Finding Common Ground

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — Last March, my wife and I decided to move into our vacation home in Central Wisconsin to stay safe from the pandemic. Our home is located in the Town of Jackson (unknown population as it is unincorporated), 5 miles from Oxford, where about 600 people live, in Adams County, where about 17,000 people reside in a large, sparsely populated area. Our closest … Continue reading Finding Common Ground

The California Housing Crisis

Jeff Berger — Conor Dougherty’s new book, Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America, is an important contribution to understanding the housing crisis in the United States. Dougherty is a New York Times journalist who grew up in San Francisco and who returned to his home city in 2013. While the book focuses on California, and especially the Bay Area, the housing crisis is by … Continue reading The California Housing Crisis

An Uncomfortable Truth: Tackle Football and CTE

Ron Berger — As another season of the National Football League (NFL) comes to an end, I have been thinking about the football fans who live with a peculiar form of cognitive dissonance: They certainly must know (but seem able to deny) that the athletic gladiators they enjoy watching, who perform heroic feats on the playing field, are undergoing lasting harm to their physical and … Continue reading An Uncomfortable Truth: Tackle Football and CTE

A Life in the Neighborhood

Bob Bates — The brown wooden door opens and Mister Rogers enters, looking directly into the camera. Stepping over to the closet, he slips out of his jacket, hangs it up, and dons his zip-up cardigan (always knitted by his mother). He casually sits down to flip off his loafers and put on his blue canvas deck shoes—all while liltingly singing “It’s a beautiful day … Continue reading A Life in the Neighborhood

Advocacy and Constructive Criticism in Public Education

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — Last July, a local school board President expressed annoyance with me on social media because she felt that I only expressed criticisms of her school district. While pointing out to her that I occasionally praise things that I believe the district does well, I informed her that my job as an advocate is to identify problems and suggest solutions through constructive criticism. … Continue reading Advocacy and Constructive Criticism in Public Education

The Graying of Disability

Ron Berger — Most anyone who lives long enough can expect to have an experience with disability before they die. Moreover, as people live longer, on average, we are witnessing a process of what gerontologists Jeffrey Kahana and Eva Kahana call the “graying of disability.” Thus, US Census data indicate that about 25% of individuals 65-74 years live with an identifiable disability, as do about … Continue reading The Graying of Disability

Technology and Jobs of the Future: The View from Karl Marx

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

Someone is Wrong! (And Why You Don’t Need to Correct Them.)

Karen McKim — Judging by the conversations I read on social media, I’m not the only human who has an impulse, when I read a comment containing four true statements and one false, to respond only to the false one. We’ll be more successful in our political conversations if we let an occasional ignorant or illogical statement go free. Example: Suppose you support funding for … Continue reading Someone is Wrong! (And Why You Don’t Need to Correct Them.)

Can the Majority Rule in the Era of Trump?

Larry Lancit — In the United States we have spent the last two years enduring all manner of insult to our democracy. With the election of Donald Trump, an era of autocracy began. The hints of its arrival have been foreshadowed for the past 20 years by movements like the Tea Party, the Alt Right, and the Freedom Caucus. But then, on January 20, 2017, … Continue reading Can the Majority Rule in the Era of Trump?

Celebrating the Viking Past

Jeff Berger — Two popular television series have recently appeared to reignite the public’s interest in the history of the Vikings. One is the History Channel’s Vikings, which just completed its fifth season. The other is The Last Kingdom, with the first season produced by the BBC, the second season co-produced with Netflix, and the third season by Netflix alone. These two shows have several … Continue reading Celebrating the Viking Past

Rural Chainsaw Repair

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — There are many things that divide city life and rural life: digital access and politics are often discussed in the media, but access to  repair and services in rural America is also vastly different than in our cities. When we need something repaired in the city that we cannot fix ourselves, we either call someone to come to our homes or we … Continue reading Rural Chainsaw Repair

The Politics of Identity: Insights from Francis Fukuyama

Ron Berger — In his slim but useful book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018), Francis Fukuyama offers insights into one of the most perplexing questions of our times, the issue of identity and identity politics. In doing so, Fukuyama takes us on a tour of the globe, though his emphasis is on Europe and the … Continue reading The Politics of Identity: Insights from Francis Fukuyama

Surviving the Digital Maelstrom

Larry Lancit — I received an email this morning from my friend Karl, who had a question. He said, “Well, I’ve gotten this far, what do I do now?” The back-story is that I am a video producer and our company had just finished a video for a large healthcare provider in Southwest Florida. It was a video designed to encourage persons of civic responsibility … Continue reading Surviving the Digital Maelstrom

California Dreamin’: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Houses

Jeff Berger — Why do people choose to remain in California in spite of its problems? Some people do it because they don’t want to leave their friends and family. Others love the climate, the environment, and the culture. Nature is readily accessible to everyone 365 days out of the year, even to those living in the heart of a big city. But, Californians pay … Continue reading California Dreamin’: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Houses

A Difficult Learning Curve: Starbucks in Context

Bob Bates — During the morning of April 12, 2018, in a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for trespassing while awaiting the arrival of a business acquaintance. They had not been there long and the shop was not crowded, but they had not made a purchase. The Starbucks manager called 911 to summon police to remove the two 23-year … Continue reading A Difficult Learning Curve: Starbucks in Context

Do Tips Belong to the Employees Who Receive Them?

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?

Young immigrants protesting for DACA

The Dream Deferred: The Assault on DACA

Larry Lancit — When I was in High School in the mid 1960s, I was a tenor in the A Cappella Choir. One of the most inspiring pieces of music we did was a rendition of “Give Me Your Tired Your Poor,” originally composed by Irving Berlin and, of course, written by Emma Lazarus. Lazarus’s words are inscribed on the base of the Statue of … Continue reading The Dream Deferred: The Assault on DACA

Collective Memories of Death Camps and Complicity in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Ron Berger — The Polish government recently passed a law making it illegal in Poland to accuse the nation of complicity in the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in Polish territory during World War II, and from using the term “Polish death camps” to describe the concentration camps that were established and operated by the Nazis. The legislation, signed into law by president Andrzej Duda … Continue reading Collective Memories of Death Camps and Complicity in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Two young women participants, each dressed in colorful dresses and carrying pineapples on their shoulders.

Images of Oaxaca: A Photo Essay

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