The Moral Is

Sundays at 3:55 PM; Wednesdays at 7:55 PM

Our daily lives and the lives of those who influence events are confronted with problems and conflicts and with choices and resolutions. These are grist for moral discussions, and how we address those issues influences the course of events in our lives and in the world. The Moral Is presents contemporary issues and opinion in a thought provoking context, through commentaries written and read by faculty members from California State University Fresno. It is produced in partnership with the Bonner Center for Character Education at Fresno State. The Moral Is airs Sundays (at 3:55 pm) and Wednesdays (at 7:55 pm). The commentaries can also be heard during the program Valley Edition.

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The Moral Is
4:18 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Commentary: Society Needs To Reinforce Socialization Lessons From Schools

Professor Jacques Benninga
Credit Fresno State

America’s public schools have been called a laboratory for society.  In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga of Fresno State’s School of Education says that if that’s the case,  teachers have responsibilities that go far beyond promoting academic achievement.

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The Moral Is
4:02 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Commentary: Racial Bias In Policing Makes Those 'Living While Black' Nervous And Afraid

Fresno State Business Law Professor Ida Jones
Credit Fresno State

What happens if you do all the right things as you pursue the American dream? You graduate from high school. Then college. You work for one employer 25 years, rising from administrative assistant to training director. You get married, and when it doesn’t work out, on your own you raise your children to become self-sufficient. You even exercise and eat right. Shouldn’t you be able to take a walk during your work break without incident?

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The Moral Is
12:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Commentary: Are We Better Off Today? It Depends On Who You Ask

Andre Fiala

For years, many people subscribed to the idea that progress in society was inevitable. But in today’s world, the question of whether we are better off than our parents were has become increasingly difficult to answer. And as Fresno State Philosophy Professor Andrew Fiala suggests in this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, it all depends on your point of view. 

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The Moral Is
11:20 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Commentary: Time To Give Ex-Felons Voting Rights

Diane Blair

Felony disenfranchisement laws have a long history in the United States, but individual state laws vary considerably. Recently the U.S. Attorney General called on states to consider repealing laws that prohibit felons from voting after their release from prison. In this edition of The Moral Is Fresno State Communication Professor Diane Blair explores the topic of felony disenfranchisement and suggests that our own civic virtue and commitment to democracy is what is at stake in the issue.

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The Moral Is
11:10 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Commentary: Do We Have More Morality Than An Asteroid?

Madhusudan Katti
Credit Madhusudan Katti

For many, climate change is still and unsettled issue.  Yet it is indisputable that throughout its long history, our planet Earth has undergone major species-destroying transformations.  We know this through a reading of the paleontological record that documents dramatic transformations over billions of years.  In this edition of The Moral Is, Professor Madhusudan Katti of Fresno State’s Biology Department explores whether, as a result of industrialization, we are yet again at another planet-altering brink.

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The Moral Is
11:01 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Commentary: Don't Look For Simplistic Solutions In Teacher Tenure Debate

Dr. Jacques Benninga
Credit Fresno State / Jacques Benninga

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled in a case called Vergara vs. California that California education statues related to teacher tenure violate the equal protection laws of students, essentially depriving students of effective teachers by failing to remove ineffective teachers from classrooms.  In this week’s edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State education professor Dr. Jacques Benninga explores the teacher evaluation controversy and its reasonable implications.

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The Moral Is
1:18 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Commentary: It's Time To End Corporate Personhood

Ida Jones
Credit Fresno State

There’s been a great deal of news lately about the way money and politics interact and wind up influencing our system of governance. In today’s edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Business Law Professor Ida Jones says democracy works best when persons vote with their ballots and not when corporations vote with their money.

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The Moral Is
8:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Commentary: Climate Change Raises Tough Ethical Questions

Andrew Fiala

Governor Jerry Brown recently said, “humanity is on a collision course with nature.”  He was referring to climate change and the early advent of the fire season here in California.  In related remarks, Brown said we have to “live with nature.”

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The Moral Is
10:29 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Commentary: It's Not Just Physicians Who Are Influenced By Gift Giving

Christopher Meyers, Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director, Kegley Institute of Ethics, California State University, Bakersfield.

The same human characteristics that build community can also work against its well-being. As humans, we give back to those who are kind to us and we feel indebted to those who show us kindness.  In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, philosophy professor Christopher Meyers of CSU Bakersfield argues that our disposition for reciprocity can work against the common good. 

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The Moral Is
9:07 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Commentary: What Is Death?

Christopher Meyers

Should parents have to option to determine the definition of death for their children? Jahi McMath’s case has motivated that question, along with a host of associated ethical concerns. In this edition of Valley Public Radio’s The Moral Is, Christopher Meyers, Professor of Philosophy at CSU Bakersfield and a clinical ethicist, concludes that there are medical, scientific and moral reasons why determinations of death must be left to health care experts.

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What does it mean to say someone has died?

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The Moral Is
1:07 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Commentary: Education Key To Ending Sexual Assaults On Campus

Fresno State Communications Professor Diane Blair

Earlier this month the Obama administration released the names of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for their handling of sexual assault complaints.  The problem of sexual assault and rape on college campuses is significant.  In this edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State communication professor Diane Blair says a culture change in this area will require education, and a lot more. 

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The Moral Is
12:44 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Commentary: Common Core's Emphasis On Process Overlooks Important Content

Dr. Jacques Benninga

One of the latest political footballs in 2014 is in the world of education and specially the new curriculum that many states have adopted, including California. But beyond the concerns of those of some on the right that Common Core is a federal takeover of education, others are asking different questions. In this edition of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Education Professor  Jack Benninga says all the focus on learning process may leave some important gaps for our students. 

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Commentary
10:39 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Commentary: CEOs Shouldn't Escape Criminal Charges In Economic Crisis

Credit Fresno State

While the nation has finally recovered most of the jobs lost in the recession, and the stock market has reached all time highs, if you ask many people, the economic downturn that began in 2008 doesn’t seem all that far away. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Business Law Professor Ida Jones says a five year statute of limitations for those most responsible for the meltdown is a problem.

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Commentary
7:28 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Commentary: News That Reinforces Biases Fails Democracy

There is so much information available to us these days, much written by agencies and entities with unreliable records of objectivity and accuracy, that making informed decisions becomes ever more confusing. In this edition of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, Dr. Jacques Benninga of Fresno State’s School of Education ponders the fidelity of information-deluge on citizens’ abilities to make important decisions.

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The Moral Is
10:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Commentary: Do You Deserve To Be Happy?

Andrew Fiala

Do you deserve to be happy?  In this segment of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Fiala discusses the pursuit of happiness and the question of what we ought to do to be worthy of happiness.

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The Moral Is
7:55 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Commentary: Response To Multilingual Coke Ad Displays Deep Divide On Immigration

A screen capture from the Coca-Cola Superbowl ad
Credit Youtube.com / Coca-Cola

With the issue of comprehensive immigration reform once again stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives, the nation's deep divide on immigration remains vivid. In this edition of FM89's commentary series  The Moral Is, Fresno State Communication Professor Diane Blair argues that it is our own paradoxical and spiteful rhetoric about immigrants and immigration that is paralyzing politicians and the nation when it comes to reasonable reform.

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The Moral Is
7:40 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Commentary: Time For Bailouts To End

Fresno State business law professor Ida Jones
Credit Fresno State

Taxpayers have already bailed out banks during the past several years and now one of them wants to get bailed out again. In this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is, Ida Jones, professor of Business Law at Fresno State, argues that taxpayers should not have to continue to bail out financial institutions that speculated in mortgage securities and then lost when the real estate market collapsed.

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The Moral Is
7:26 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Commentary: Apply Mandela's Vision Of Reconciliation To The Environment

Madhusudan Katti, Associate Professor of Biology, CSU Fresno
Credit Madhusudan Katti

Despite enduring a lifetime of oppression, Nelson Mandela transformed his nation by seeking reconciliation with his oppressors rather than retribution. In this week’s edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology Professor Madhusudan Katti wonders whether the power of reconciliation as a moral principle might save us all from the damage humanity is inflicting on our planet and ourselves.

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With the passing of Nelson Mandela last month, we lost one of the strongest needles in humanity’s moral compass.

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The Moral Is
9:00 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Commentary: Schooling in the 21st Century

Kaye Bonner Cummings

Schooling in the 21st century will look quite different than that of the past.  In this edition of Valley Public Radio’s The Moral Is, Kaye Cummings, Executive Director of the Bonner Family Foundation, explores the changes in curriculum and teachers’ delivery that must occur to meet the needs of the students and the society of the 21st century.

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The Moral Is
9:09 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Commentary: It's Not Too Late For Americans To Rekindle The Flame of Science

Madhusudan Katti
Credit Madhusudan Katti

America was once the scientific “City on the Hill”, investing its resources and its capital to improve the world’s physical, social and cultural infrastructure.  But in the 21st century America seems to have lost its moral compass in this regard.  In this week’s edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology Professor Madhusudan Katti calls on all Americans to rekindle the commitment that for so long maintained America’s scientific dominance that served humanity so well.

This is a peculiar moment to be a scientist in America.

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