Commentaries

If you're a regular listener to NPR news programs, you're probably familiar with the occasional brief commentary during the morning or evening news programs by experts in various fields; people providing insight into public affairs, observations on the arts, and thoughts on how we live. This page contains transcripts and/or audio recordings of local commentaries that have aired on WYSU.


Cost of Family Fragmentation to Taxpayers

Published: Jun 6, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

The Institute for American Values and three other groups dedicated to strengthening the family commissioned a study which was published recently. It is entitled The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: A Report to the Nation. (1) The principal investigator is economist Benjamin Scafidi. The report confirms that due to divorce and unwed childbearing, the institution of the family is in trouble in America, and the fragmented family comes with a staggering price tag which the report estimates, conservatively, at $112 billion a year. (2)

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So You Want to be a Professor?

Published: May 22, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Every year in the spring the American Association of University Professors, an old and respected national organization of higher education faculty, publishes a report on the economic status of the profession. This year's report deals with two issues, faculty salaries and shifts in staffing. (1) The report was authored by economist Saranna Thornton of Hampden-Sydney College who chairs the AAUP Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession.
On faculty salaries, the AAUP report has plenty of bad news for current and prospective faculty:

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Ghosts

Published: May 15, 2008
Commentator: Lou Zona
Transcript:
There is no transcript available.
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Confronting the Debt Culture

Published: May 8, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Next week at the Washington, D.C. Marriott, a national conference will be held with the theme "Confronting the Debt Culture." It is co-sponsored by five organizations, including the Institute for American Values and the New America Foundation. (1) The conference will attract consumers and consumer advocates, scholars, elected and appointed government officials, philanthropists, and representatives from foundations, banks and credit unions, among others.

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U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

Published: Apr 24, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

In February of this year, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released the results of one of the most extensive surveys in history of the views of Americans toward religion. The survey, titled the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, was conducted in 2007 among a sample of 35,000 adults. (a) Thousands of facts about believers and non-believers in America can be found in the narrative or tables in this 250 page document, including these:

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Cultural Relativism

Published: Apr 3, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

A prominent ethical theory, cultural relativism, holds that the right or the good is the customary. Further, in that customs often differ from culture to culture, so right and wrong differ, and there is no objective, universally applicable moral law. "(T)here are only the various cultural codes, and nothing more. Moreover, our own code has no special status; it is merely one among many." (1)

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Jeremiah Wright

Published: Mar 24, 2008
Commentator: Regina Reynolds
Transcript:

Most Americans love their country and why shouldn't they; we are some of the riches, freest people in the world. However, it is very possible to love one's country and at the same time see its faults. Much as a mother loves her children while being fully aware of their shortcomings and past discretions. This is very much how I see the current accusations against Barack Obama's preacher, Jeremiah Wright. I went to the web sites and listened to several of his sermons and yes to my very white ears they were sometimes harsh in deed.

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Senator Obama on Religion

Published: Mar 6, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Presidential aspirant Barack Obama tells us that he wants to overcome divisions in America and refocus Americans on the pressing problems that face the nation and the world. One such division is between evangelicals, on the one hand, and liberals and seculars, on the other. How exactly does the Senator hope to bridge this gulf? He answers this question in a chapter on religion in his book The Audacity of Hope. (1)

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The Gospel of Prosperity under Fire

Published: Feb 21, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

He wears elegant silk suits, he drives a $350,000 Bentley, he lives in a $10 million oceanfront mansion, and he flies around the world in a private jet. Is he a billionaire investor, a corporate CEO, or a Hollywood celebrity? None of the above, it turns out. He's a pastor of one of the six mega-churches which are a target of an investigation by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has requested a mountain of financial information from them.

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Justice Brennan's Dissent

Published: Feb 7, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

There are powerful forces in America today promoting the entanglement of church and state. Dozens of religious organizations intrude into politics in defiance of the laws granting them tax-exempt status. (1) The courts are ever more receptive to entanglement as was shown last year when the Supreme Court approved President Bush's faith-based initiatives which distribute huge grants to religious organizations. (2) The Congress is ever more receptive to entanglement as was shown in December when the U.S.

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