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.

Commentary: Are We Fiddling While the Planet Warms?

Jul 9, 2013

Can we solve the climate crisis?  Are we wise enough?  In this segment of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Fiala asks whether, like Nero, we are fiddling while Rome burns.

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President Obama recently announced a new initiative on climate change.  But will we be able to address climate change in time to prevent the worst that is predicted?  I doubt it.  Decades of dithering about global warming do not inspire hope. 

Recent revelations that the government has been monitoring and analyzing phone calls and on-line activities raises questions about the role of Big Data in our lives, especially when it comes to our privacy rights. In this segment of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State communication professor Diane Blair explores the role of digital communication technologies and our own complicity in the loss of personal privacy.

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Each Spring district offices and school boards decide who will lead their schools for the following academic year.  Many schools will receive new principals.  In this version of The Moral is, Dr. Jacques Benninga of Fresno State’s School of Education writes that often such important decisions have little research to back them up.

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Madhusudan Katti

The recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh has highlighted the globalized nature of today's apparel industry. On this edition of Valley Public Radio's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State professor Madhusudan Katti says that it's time we look at the true cost of fast fashion.

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Are my hands clean?

Fresno State

What happens when society fails to care about people? And why do our priorities as individuals differ so much from our actions as businesses and lawmakers? In this edition of Valley Public Radio's commentary series “The Moral Is” Fresno State business law professor Ida Jones says that uncontrolled greed and a civilized society are incompatible.

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Commentary: New Curriculum Needs to Focus On the Arts

Apr 11, 2013

Later this year, when students return to the classroom after summer break, they’ll be greeted by a new curriculum that aims to replace the goals of No Child Left Behind. On this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series “The Moral Is” Kaye Bonner Cummings says this presents a great opportunity to put the arts back in education.

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Shortly after First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage at this year’s Academy Awards, commentators from both Hollywood and inside the beltway erupted with criticism.  It was just the latest chapter in a decades old debate about the proper role of the first lady in contemporary society. On this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State communication professor Diane Blair says that when it comes to public praise or criticism, it often tells us more about society as a whole than about the first lady herself.

Commentary: The Problem with Universal Preschool

Mar 19, 2013

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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Commentary: Should We Worry About Cosmic Calamity?

Mar 8, 2013

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.


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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Commentary: Time To Turn Off Our Sprinklers, Fresno

Feb 19, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Commentary: Climate Change is A Moral Issue

Sep 12, 2012

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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