Commentary Series

Mon-Thurs 8:50 a.m., Mon-Weds at 5:50 p.m. and Sundays at 10:55 a.m.

More than 50 commentators provide perspective and opinion about current events, topics of interest, and often showcase the work of writers and storytellers.  The VPR Commentary Series is produced by Betty Smith-Mastaler.

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I'd been hoping for a summer of gardening with intervals of blue skies and sun interspersed with soft rain and even a few rainbows. But of course, that's always my ideal scenario and so far it's been a rather strange season.

In July 1776 Abigail Adams faced one of the most difficult challenges of her life. And, like many women at the time, she did it alone.

The U. S. Supreme Court answered a big health care question last week. It decided in the highly anticipated King versus Burwell case, that millions of Americans will be able to continue receiving federal subsidies to purchase insurance plans on federal exchanges.

For those involved in the fight for marriage equality, the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges is a victory in a long-fought, hard-won battle for equal rights - and the culmination of years of work.

Carter: Historic Court

Jun 26, 2015

While each of the 75 or so cases the U.S. Court hears each year are important, it isn't every term that the fate of so many Americans rests on two court decisions of such enormous import.

Every moment of every day, we are surrounded by sound. Right now, for example, there’s the sound of my voice, of course, but there’s also a slight hiss and fizz around it. There's the pizzicato pop of the last drop of milk falling into a cup of coffee, or the articulated clatter of teeth zipping up a raincoat.

We have reached the point where "storms of the century" are happening all the time. Network news programs are now devoting substantial parts of their broadcasts almost every evening to extreme weather related stories.

In 1997, the Swedish Parliament passed a Vision Zero plan, in a serious effort to eliminate road fatalities and injuries. By last year their fatality rate had dropped to 264 - or a rate of 3 people per 100,000 citizens. In the U.S., that rate is nearly 4 times higher.

Adrian: We The Folk

Jun 24, 2015

Mark Leibovich of the New York Times recently explored the popularity of the term “folks” as the nomenclature preferred by politicians when referring to groups of people. And he notes the origins of the word as coming from the old English “folc” meaning … people.

When I heard about the recent killings of black parishioners at a church prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, the first thing I thought of was the murder by a right-wing hired assassin of Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero in his cathedral in El Salvador in 1980. 

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