Commentaries

During Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or on Cityscape

Commentaries are opinion pieces provided by a wide variety of individuals in the St. Louis region. They are not necessarily the opinion of St. Louis Public Radio, but are intended to reflect diverse viewpoints on issues affecting our region. To submit a commentary or proposal, email commentaries@stlpublicradio.org.

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Visual Arts
12:25 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Reflection: St. Louisans Can Be Witnesses To (Art) History At SLAM

Max Beckmann, German, 1884–1950; Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, 1917; oil on canvas; 58 3/4 x 49 7/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Bequest of Curt Valentin
Credit © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Does every picture tell a story? Is it worth a thousand words? And exactly how many dollars, Euros or, if it were the 1940s, Deutschemarks would it take to buy a work by Leonardo, Picasso or Monet?

At its core, George Clooney’s film, “The Monuments Men,” ponders the value of art. Based on a historical account of the scholars who were sent to find and secure the artworks that fell victim to Hitler’s raping of European culture, “The Monuments Men” recounts the race to rescue the art that the Nazis stole.

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Debt
5:16 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Commentary: The Economy Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 2007

Credit sxc.hu

There is a discouraging circularity to folly. The tendency to repeat mistakes, I suspect, is born of forgetfulness. We usually remember the catastrophic failure itself, but often overlook the seemingly minor missteps that led to calamity.

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Politics & Issues
10:02 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Commentary: Privatization Can Benefit Missouri Taxpayers

Commentator David Stokes
Show Me Institute

When I was growing up, I regularly played golf at the Forest Park municipal golf course. Later, in high school and college, I noticed that the quality of the course was improving, a lot. This happened at the same time (late 1980s) that St. Louis outsourced the management of the golf course to a private company. As that outsourcing, or privatization, of the golf course has continued, the quality of the course has continued to improve.

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Historic Preservation
10:35 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Commentary: Keeping The Palladium Alive

Pokey LaFarge
Credit Glenn Hall

Right on the edge of Grand Center, at 3618 Enright, near Sweetie Pie’s, stands one of the most important parts of St. Louis music history that you need to hear about: The Palladium. The stories the building could tell future generations paint a vivid scene of St. Louis music, but the building could soon be lost forever.

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Start With Ideas
10:34 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Reflection: Art-Activist Alfredo Jaar Asks St. Louis Students To Stop Making Art and Think

Alfredo Jaar, The Geometry of Conscience, 2010. Santiago de Chile, Museo de la Memoria y de los Derechos Humanos. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York, and the artist, New York.
Credit Kemper Art Museum

An exhibit at Washington University’s Kemper Museum — In the Aftermath of Trauma: Contemporary Video Installations —  introduces painful political conflicts to St. Louis museum goers at oblique angles.

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Commentary
10:45 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Key Questions In The Debate Over Schools

Credit Bubbles | sxc.hu

While St. Louisans celebrated our past this week, the news held hints of our future.  Most significant was a proposal from state education officials to revamp how they deal with troubled districts.

Long term, the proposal would allow state officials to intervene early and with a range of approaches. Short term, the state board took financial control of the Normandy schools – a move that caught district officials by surprise.

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Opinion
8:56 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Commentary: Of Vitamins and Wage Hikes, Evaluating Stimulants

Vitamin supplements: Good or bad?
Credit Ragesoss | Wikipedia

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. The dictionary defines it as “that department of philosophy which investigates critically the nature, grounds, limits, and criteria, or validity, of human knowledge; Theory of cognition.” Woody Allen once called it the intellectual discipline that asks the question, “can we know what we know and if not, how do we know that?”

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Missouri
10:27 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Commentary: One-Cent Sales Tax For Transportation May Not Help Cities

Credit File photo | Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The Missouri Legislature is considering asking voters to raise the sales tax by 1 percent (SJR 48) to fund transportation projects. For the first time, transit, bike, pedestrian and passenger rail projects would be eligible to compete for funding.

But this proposition is risky for non-highway modes of transportation. Why? That is the same funding source cities, transit agencies, bike and pedestrian interests, transportation development districts and community improvement districts are using to make local improvements in the absence of state funding.

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Danforth Center
11:15 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Commentary: Drive To Understand Can Help Hold Off Potential Environmental Disaster

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Credit Provided by the center

Condensed from the State of the Center report to the community.

When we started, I dreamed, perhaps romantically, that our center would be part of a major human adventure of the 21st century. We would try to make the most of the wonderful human desire to know how the world really works, in our case how plants really work. This drive to understand, shaped through its evermore powerful modern offspring, science, can help hold off potential environmental disaster. In doing so, we hoped also to bring benefits and perhaps even a little credit to our home community.

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Commentary
10:57 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Our New Rundowns Are Your New Shortcuts To Good Content

Rundown will highlight some items from the chaos of information available.
Credit Wikipedia | Radagast3

In the digital world, finding information is easy. Open your email, Twitter or Facebook account, and it will find you. Search and you'll be flooded with content algorithmically judged important to your life – much of it sponsored by those who want to sell you something.

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