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.

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.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

After Republican Eric Cantor lost his primary race to a Tea Party challenger last week, most press prophets seemed either to sympathize with the House Majority Loser as Capitol Hill’s equivalent of California Chrome losing the Belmont Stakes to little-known Tonalist or to celebrate the upset as Washington’s or the GOP’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

But it’s less about the Loser – an Establishment Republican, despite his ultra-conservative bona fides – than the Virginia voters who supported Dave Brat: populists.

Rich Egger

Corporations and mainstream media often repeat the “jobs vs. the environment” angle to situations, but that’s a false choice.

Wikimedia

Spring is here.  (All together now: “FINALLY!”)

Rich Egger

The Illinois legislature’s spring session is supposed to end this week, roads and bridges are deteriorating, and state and federal programs to fund construction are expiring, so an unusual coalition of business and labor proposed a plan to address the situation.

However, it’s unclear where it stands in Springfield.

Wrapping up are Illinois Jobs Now – which funds maintenance and construction of roads, highways and public transit, set to end July 1 – and the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), ending Sept. 30 (if its funds don’t run out sooner).

Harvest Public Media

As recently reported, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea killed millions of piglets in 27 states this year. Possibly originating in China, Iowa farmers were hurt the worst.

Rich Egger

May 1 was Law Day, so this month is a great time to consider law enforcement concerning those banking gangsters –“banksters” – who violated laws and went unpunished.

Wikipedia

A lot of attention has been paid to racist comments apparently made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Everyday people holding voter-registration drives, partnering with faith communities, organizing corporate campaigns and fasting in protest all may be so familiar that their revival by Cesar Chavez a generation ago is overlooked.

Wikimedia

It’s neither unpatriotic nor an exaggeration to recall the Ludlow Massacre 100 years ago this week as that era’s 9-11, Pearl Harbor or Alamo.

Wikipedia

Insurance policyholders who pay their premiums, people who work, and veterans who serve all are eligible for coverage, for wages and for benefits.

Why Poetry Matters

Apr 14, 2014
Curtis Bisbee

Last month, on the drive home from school, my daughter recited a haiku entitled “Cruelty”:

It’s still Spring, but the Summer game’s back, with some changes and much tradition.

Dissatisfaction in the area with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues as the income-tax deadline approaches.

Two popular TV series come to mind when musing about East Moline Democratic Congesswoman Cheri Bustos joining the Blue Dog caucus: “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards.”

Christianity’s season of Lent is underway, a good time to sacrifice a little time to read Pope Francis’ book "The Joy of the Gospel.”

When I’m 64

Mar 12, 2014

A bit of resistance or resentment at aging is not unexpected, maybe.

Unionizing offers workers group strength that can mean labor contracts, due process, and a vote on their leaders.

Our Kidney Adventure

Mar 3, 2014
courtesy of Terry Smith

When Mary Eby learned her friend Amy Stein needed a new kidney, she didn’t hesitate to offer one of hers, saying, “I have two kidneys.”

In an effort to protect good jobs and community service against privatization schemes on Capitol Hill and the marketplace, Postal Workers this month called for a boycott of Staples office-supply stores.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court debate comes down to employees working at jobs where most of their peers want to be represented by negotiators they elect and share the costs of that representation, versus individuals who feel coerced into sharing the costs of achieving better compensation, and their narrow notion of free association and free speech.

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