Local Commentaries

The opinions expressed in these commentaries are not necessarily those of Tri States Public Radio or Western Illinois University. Diverse viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged.

I'm a Person, Not a Place

Jan 22, 2015

I never had an abortion, but I should have.  I am sure of this after reading Katha Pollitt's highly acclaimed book, Pro:  Reclaiming Abortion Rights

A New Year’s letter to my son

We, Too, are Bidden

Dec 17, 2014
Wiki Commons

A personal hero, newspaper columnist and labor activist Heywood Broun, was known for his progressive views and his passionate interests – from sports and books to poker and Christmas.


Time magazine recently had a cover story bashing teachers that was not just one-sided, but as misleading as less-respected voices on talk radio and cable TV.

Abby Wendle

Illinoisans disappointed because the U.S. Senate didn’t pass the Keystone XL pipeline measure letting multi-national corporations bring tar-sand Canadian oil down through the Great Plains above major water sources to get crude to refineries to export: Take heart. Another pipeline is planning to plow through 12 Illinois counties after digging up Iowa and the Dakotas.

Wiki Commons

For this Thanksgiving, last winter’s “polar vortex” became this season’s “bomb cyclone” – meteorologists’ trendy term for an intense, fast-moving storm resulting from the jet stream shifting and sending frigid air roaring south into the United States, icing the roads and causing wind-chills to flirt with zero.

But the cold can’t last forever.

When ‘Waters of the United States’ Aren’t Even Waters

Nov 24, 2014
Wiki Commons

Silly is a funny word. You call babies and toddlers silly when they smile and coo and do funny things.  But adults, especially farmers, are rarely called silly. 

Friends of Lane Evans

Lane Evans had an easy smile, but downstate Illinois’ progressive champion for working people and veterans was a bit bashful and didn’t often laugh out loud.

Wiki Commons

After last week’s midterm election, Washington’s Republican leaders imagine their future as “Interstellar.”

Wiki Commons

The public-comment period on a new rule about water ended two weeks ago, but the uproar over a “government takeover” of ditches remains.

Wiki Commons

Wall Street seems like a casino where the problem gamblers ARE the House, and they only bet on sure things. “Wall Street hates uncertainty,” analysts say.

Rich Egger

Organizing can achieve results, and collective strength sometimes overcomes powerful interests.

The Overscheduled Family

Oct 20, 2014
Rich Egger

Fall has its strong points, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s also a kind of special hell for parents of school-age children.

Election Could Lead to “War on Workers”

Oct 15, 2014
Wiki Commons

Among the U.S. Senate’s almost unique powers of conducting impeachment trials, ratifying treaties, and voting on appointments as ambassadors and Supreme Court Justices, it can decide whether to confirm Presidential nominations to high-level positions in federal departments and agencies, including the Attorney General and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Rich Egger

Many Americans are worried about the influence that for-profit corporations and the rich have on elections, but will that concern translate unto a healthy turnout for the Nov. 4 election?