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
6:57 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Commentary: The Problem with Universal Preschool

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of “high quality preschool.” But are politicians and the tax-paying public willing to foot the bill? On this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State education professor Jack Benninga says this new effort may fail if it’s not properly funded. 

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The Moral Is
1:00 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Commentary: Should We Worry About Cosmic Calamity?

Andrew Fiala

From the effects of climate change to the threat posed by a giant asteroid, there’s a lot of things that we as humans worry about. But when faced with the possibility that humans may suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs, what should our rational response be? On this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala points to a pessimistic conclusion.


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The Moral Is
1:33 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Commentary: Don't Deduct the Fine After Doing the Crime

Ida Jones
Credit Fresno State

From the financial crisis of 2008 to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – recent events have put corporate crimes in the spotlight. But what happens when corporations try to use the tax code to skirt their criminal responsibilities? On this edition of FM89's commentary series "The Moral Is," Fresno State business professor Ida Jones says it’s time for companies to pay up.

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The Moral Is
1:28 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Commentary: Time To Turn Off Our Sprinklers, Fresno

Madhusudan Katti
Credit Madhusudan Katti

The San Joaquin Valley’s communities and farms all blossomed our of a desert landscape thanks to available water supplies. But with an increasing population, and global warming, how we use this most precious resource is becoming more and more important. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series "The Moral Is", Fresno State biology professor Madhusudan Katti says it’s time for us to turn off our sprinklers.

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The Moral Is
3:56 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Commentary: Political Civility Requires More Than Respect

Diane Blair

With today's poisonous atmosphere in Washington, D.C., calls for a return to politeness and civility in politics are common. But in this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State professor Diane Blair says the real issue is the ability to compromise. 

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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The Moral Is
3:47 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Commentary: Coaches, Doctors Need to Be Vigilant When Star Atheletes Get Hurt

Andrew Fiala

Recent injuries to NFL stars like Robert Griffin III and Alex Smith have brought considerable attention to the ethical dilemmas of sports, and specifically how players or coaches disclose injuries.  In some cases, such as Smith's, disclosing an injury can cost a player his or her job.

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The Moral Is
4:11 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Commentary: New Teaching Standards Need to Include Democracy

New educational standards that take effect in 2014 promise to replace the much maligned approach of No Child Left Behind with a focus on comprehension and understanding.  While the benchmarks have educators excited, Jacques Benninga says the focus on reading and mathematics shouldn't eclipse teaching the fundamentals of American democracy.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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Commentary
2:50 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Commentary: Fresno Should Look To Sweden For Recycling Model

The subject of trash has dominated Fresno headlines in recent months. In addition to the controversy over the privatization of residential solid waste service in the City of Fresno,  a recent online post by National Geographic cites Fresno as a nationwide leader recycling. But what if Fresno’s current recycling rate of 73 percent were 100 percent? On this week’s edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology professor Madhusudan Katti says we should look to Sweden as an example.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

The Moral Is
2:55 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Commentary: Time to Take A New Look at 'Too Big to Fail'

Four years after the biggest economic meltdown since the great depression, the effects are still being felt across the country. And besides the basic toll on the economy, the government’s response to the crisis has also caused some to reconsider the role of everything from corporate bailouts to the so-called safety net of social programs. In this week’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Business Professor Ida Jones says our problems require a new approach.

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The Moral Is
12:49 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Commentary: Male Politicians Need to Do More Listening

The 2012 election season will be remembered for a number of things, from the contentious presidential debates to the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy. The issue of women’s rights stood out as well, as a number of candidates made controversial comments about rape and abortion. In this edition of our commentary series The Moral Is, Andrew Fiala says in the national dialogue that has followed, one thing has been largely absent -  listening.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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The Moral Is
1:10 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Commentary: Reliance On Pharmaceutical Industry Should Be Questioned

Kaye Bonner Cummings

Last year, America’s pharmaceutical companies invested nearly $50 billion in research for new drugs, to treat diseases from hepatitis to depression. On this edition of The Moral Is, commentator Kaye Bonner Cummings says that despite those massive investments, new research is calling into question our reliance, or perhaps our over reliance, on prescription medication.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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The Moral Is
1:08 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Commentary: Treat Teens Like Teens When It Comes to Drinking

The issue of teen binge drinking has been front of mind for many Valley residents since the tragic death of Fresno State freshman earlier this year. The 18 year-old Garces High graduate following a night of drinking at at off-campus fraternity house. On this week’s edition of the commentary series, The Moral Is, Fresno State professor Jacques Benninga says that the old saying that teens over 18 should be treated like adults is part of the problem. 

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The Moral Is
11:27 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Commentary: Climate Change is A Moral Issue

Every election year, the political debate eventually turns to issues related to morality and values. On this edition of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology Professor Madhusudan Katti says that this year, the candidates need to show more leadership on what he calls the biggest moral crisis of our era.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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The Moral Is
7:06 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Commentary: Pay Gap Between Workers and CEOs Should Change

What’s the value of a typical worker’s contribution to a company’s success compared to that of CEOs of the largest companies? The CEO’s contribution is about 380 times more valuable, according to the AFL-CIO’s 2012 annual report on pay disparity.

380 times more valuable! Not only it is more valuable, but its value rises faster than inflation. Last year CEO pay rose 14% to nearly $13 million. What was your pay raise last year?

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Commentary
9:26 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Commentary: When Winning Is Everything, Athletes Need New Moral Compass

Somewhere deep in our cultural memory is the idea that athletic prowess is connected with virtue. For the ancient Greeks, athletic contests were religious events with social purpose: honoring the dead, preparing for war, and teaching virtues.

Contemporary sports no longer serve any moral, religious, or political purpose. Religion is not involved. Athletes are not preparing for war. And most of us gave up long ago on the idea that athletes could be looked up to as paragons of virtue. Recent scandals—at Penn State, in the Olympics, and in professional sports—haven’t helped.

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The Moral Is
1:58 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Commentary: With Super PACs, Free Speech is Far From Free

When it comes to the season of political contests, free speech is rarely free, what with non-stop political ads on radio and television in many so-called battleground states. On this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State professor Diane Blair says the rise of the Super PAC has big implications for the future of our democracy.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

The Moral Is
7:45 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Commentary: Court Decision on Life Sentences for Juveniles is Positive Step

When children commit violent acts, should they face the same punishment as adults, even if that means life in prison? On this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series, The Moral Is, professor Jacques Benninga says the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on mandatory sentences for juveniles is a positive step, and one informed by science. 

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

The Moral Is
7:40 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Commentary: Destruction of Trees at Fresno State Violates Core Values

Early this summer, a plan to expand and re-pave a parking lot at Fresno State erupted into a community wide controversy, after over 150 mature trees were cut down in one day. University administrators claimed the project was necessary to make space for more cars, while faculty and community residents cried foul. In today’s edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Biology professor Madhusudan Katti talks about how this latest incident highlights the conflict between what a university teaches, and what it actually does.

The Moral Is
7:38 pm
Sat May 26, 2012

Commentary: Religious Tolerance Should Guide Same-Sex Marriage Policy

What happens when the principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state meet contemporary culture and politics? As Fresno State Professor Andrew Fiala explains in this week’s edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, tolerance is the common thread that should guide society’s actions. 

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

Commentary
7:30 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Commentary: High Pay For Quasi-Government Officials Troubling

Sometimes in order to get the most, you have to pay the most. Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom behind high compensation for CEOs. But what happens when the company in question is operated under the arm of the federal government? On today’s edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State business law professor Ida Jones says the result can sometimes be very costly to taxpayers.

The views expressed on The Moral Is are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Valley Public Radio.

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