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.

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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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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While their professional organizations discourage physicians from accepting gifts from corporations that may unduly influence their professional practice, no such strictures apply to gifting our politicians.  In this  edition of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, philosophy professor Christopher Meyers of CSU Bakersfield says the public should also be wary of the  continues his earlier theme on the impact of the possible ramifications of allowing unlimited gifting to politicians.

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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.”

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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Commentary: What Is Death?

Jun 2, 2014

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?

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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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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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: News That Reinforces Biases Fails Democracy

Mar 25, 2014

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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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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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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Commentary: Time For Bailouts To End

Feb 6, 2014
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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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.

Commentary: Schooling in the 21st Century

Nov 19, 2013

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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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.

Fresno State

Is it more efficient for local and state governments to privatize provision of government services to save money? In this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is Ida Jones, Professor of Business Law at Fresno State argues that there are hidden costs to privatization. Using for-profit prisons as an example, she connects increased privatization to higher long-term social and financial costs.

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Privatization is the buzzword that represents tax-revenue strapped governments transferring services to the private sector to save money. But does it?

When President Obama asked Congress to make its own decision on invention in the Syrian crisis, it marked a break from other recent military actions, where the commander in chief didn’t seek such approval from the legislative branch.

Madhusudan Katti

As global concerns about climate change continue to grow, could it be that our basic human nature is part of the problem? In this segment of FM89’s series of commentaries known as The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology Professor Madhusudan Katti suggests that our planet Earth will not accommodate our human frailties as much as we must adapt to its changing dynamics.

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We humans are aggressively territorial, willing to defend what’s ours against all comers. By no means the only territorial species, we are surely the most extreme.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve watched as Edward Snowden, the NSA analyst accused of releasing classified government information, escaped to Russia in an attempt to find asylum.  Now that his immediate future has been settled, Fresno State professor Jacques Benninga explores the moral implications of his actions in this segment of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is.

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