WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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.

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.

teachers.net

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?

Jamelle Bouie/flickr

Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Tom Jackson last week apologized to the family of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown.

Workers who used to be on the edges of the economy – day laborers and temps, freelancers and adjuncts, independent contractors and contingent employees – are closer to the core.

My Life with Dogs

Sep 17, 2014
Wiki Commons

This week I’m one of the Baby Boomers who’ll be added to the ranks of the program that’s the closest this country has to universal health care: Medicare. Whew! Made it! I almost feel winded, like I should be panting.

Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

Sep 11, 2014
Wiki Commons

I’m a survivor of sexual assault.

Wiki Commons

The mere accumulation of facts doesn’t always lead to good conclusions, judgment or wisdom. Too many of us, progressive and conservative alike, can fall victim to extrapolation or correlation.

Wiki Commons

In two controversial decisions this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court made it more difficult for unions to operate, and could make it more important to come up with innovative ways to do their work.

Rich Egger

Progressive Democrats are fighting back against employers that break the law by introducing legislation on Capitol Hill that makes free association with unions a Civil Right.

Wiki Commons

A lot of attention is understandably being paid to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent “Harris v. Quinn” ruling.

Wiki Commons

Last month, a progressive actor equally at ease playing a ne’er-do-well gambler, private eye or astronaut died: James Garner. The best among favorite actors, he still lives on old black-and-white western reruns.

Rich Egger

Township and municipal officials statewide are trying to comply with Illinois’ law on providing past public records to a Chicagoland Republican with connections to Tea Party groups while coping with a lack of staff or the type of material requested.

Progressives and conservatives alike should be outraged at the bipartisan stonewalling and slights that last week culminated in the Illinois Green Party having to file a federal lawsuit about ballot access.

Rich Egger

College costs and student loans aren’t being discussed enough, but maybe this month’s increase of student-loan interest rates will start something.

Wage Theft in Baseball

Jul 16, 2014
Rich Egger

Two days after Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game, the contest at Minneapolis’ Target Field is over but the contest between owners and their employees who aren’t players is in extra innings.

Wikimedia

Six years ago this week, when George W. Bush was still President, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing six.

Wikipedia

As flags unfurl, fireworks explode, and independence celebrated this week, patriotism seems absent from many corporate boardrooms, and an effort to encourage America-first business with roots in west-central Illinois lies dormant since being introduced eight years ago.

Renee C. Byer

Eighty-five people have more wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet.

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