Smoker -- Commentator Elissa Ely explains the complexity of classifying mental ward patients, with this tale of one patient's frustration at not being allowed to smoke. (2:30)
Hillary Clinton -- Commentator Amy Dickinson talks about how it has felt to have Mrs. Clinton listening to the people of New York all summer. She and all her
neighbors are feeling just a bit invaded. (2:30)
Changing Neighborhoods -- The neighborhood where Commentator Jacqueline Woodson grew up was called Bushwick. But recently she's heard it called South Williamsburg, just like parts of Harlem became the Upper East Side. (3:30)
Nephew -- Commentator Michael Hood says it is better being a nephew than a son. He had such fun with his Aunt who let him do things his parents didn't. Now he is an uncle! (3:00)
Idiot's Guides -- Commentator Andrei Codrescu relates some of his
thoughts about a publishing trend he finds hard to understand: the proliferation
of books marketed to stupid people. (3:30)
Racial Stereotypes -- Sometimes racial stereotypes are embraced by those they're meant to narrowly define. Commentator Leon Wynter worries one young man he knows in the Bronx may be heading off to college using his self-imposed racial stereotype as a defense against learning. (4:00)
Bottom Feeders -- Commentator Allyson Stack relates a story about a young musician who walks home from his gig every night. One early morning, he sees a kindred spirit -- a woman cleaning fish in the early light. (3:30)
New School Year -- Daniel Ferri is a sixth-grade school teacher outside of Chicago. He writes about the debris left behind in his classroom after the students leave in June: how much there is to clean up, and how it reflects on the students and their experiences together over the past school year, learning and teaching one another. (5:15)
Nuclear Espionage Aftermath -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that the Los Alamos espionage investigation may do more damage to America's scientific community than the spying itself how Americans no longer did to national security. (3:00)
Hot Dog -- Commentator Andrei Codrescu on his love of hot dogs - which began in Transylvania when he was growing up. (3:00)
D-O-G -- Commentator Katie Davis, a Washington DC based writer, muses on the varied use of the word dog by youngsters in her urban neighborhood.
Security Inc. -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says today's reopening of Columbine High School shows how Americans no longer
take security for granted. (3:00)
Lord, Let it Rain -- As the East Coast drought continues, we turn to the West for advice on water conservation. Bill Ferguson of the Santa Barbara Public Works Department offers some advice for saving water around the home -- set to the tune "Lord, Let it Rain," performed by Chicago singer-songwriter Patricia Barber. (8:00)
Forbes -- Commentator Daniel Pinkwater is unabashedly a Steve Forbes man. He really likes the idea of someone so rich on top --- someone who can buy off trouble makers like Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic --- someone who doesn't have to be constrained by the whims or politics of congress. (3:00)
School Computers -- Commentator Douglas Rushkoff tells us about a survey his students conducted. It indicates the kids who know the most about computers and have the greatest access to them -- kids in private schools -- may view computers as encumbrances, while those who use the machine after school still see the computer as something that will improve their lives. Douglas Rushkoff's latest book is called Coersion: Why We Listen to What They Say. It's published by Riverhead Press. (3:00)
Paddling the Apple -- Commentator Peter Heller is struck by the beauty of the landscape, when taking his kayak out on New York Harbor. (3:00)
Corruption as Corrective -- Traveling through the Ukraine, Commentator Jeffrey Tayler encountered a series of "shakedowns" by officials who forced him to buy stamps and passes and insurance he didn't need. He notes that this corruption is endemic in the former Soviet Union, where low or non-existent pay turns minor government officials into petty extortionists. (3:30)
Religion and Textbooks -- A new set of textbooks on the history of religion in American life gets rave reviews from commentator Joe Laconte.
The books consider the role of religion in American life, without proselytizing. (3:30)
George W. Bush -- NPR Senior News analyst Daniel Schorr says that front
running Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush is beginning to stumble on issues about his experience and his past. (2:30)
Innocents Returned -- Commentator Andrei Codrescu relates the story of two writers who came home to America after years in Prague, to experience real culture shock. They found the US, containing everything from ATM machines to an alligator farm, overwhelming. (3:30)
Internet -- Gary Beach of CIO magazine says its time to allow people to register and vote on-line. Given the diminishing numbers of people voting, and the growing number of people on line, its time to recognize the reality and to do something that will most certainly benefit the democratic process. (3:30)
Living Art -- When, on a visit to Paris, Commentator Bailey White sees a painting of a nude woman stretched out across a bed, she thinks the woman looks passionate and sexy. It is only when our commentator is trying to sleep through a hot Paris summer night
that she realizes - it was a picture of a hot middle-aged woman desperately trying to get some rest. (4:30)
Russia - Analysis -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel
Schorr says the frequent firings of his cabinet are Boris Yeltsin's way of
creating security for himself at the expense of stability for his nation. (3:00)
WWW - DOT - COM -- Alex Van Oss is tired of hearing all about w-w-w and dots and the other codes of internet addresses. With a nod to Victor Borge, he suggests a more phonetic approach to naming sites on the worldwide web. (3:00)
Nixon's Legacy -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says as the
25th anniversary of Nixon's resignation approaches, it is time remember the
side of his legacy.
Necklace -- Commentator Marion Winik tells the story of losing a necklace belonging to her son. He is in the fifth grade, and it was important because it was given to him by a friend "who is a girl." The loss turned life upside down. (4:00)
Kosovo - Integration -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that,
despite the presence of NATO peacekeepers, the vision of an ethnically integrated Kosovo is slipping away.
Tax Cut - Analysis -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that the debate over a tax cut plan proposed by Congress overlooks billions of dollars worth of special interest tax breaks. (2:30)
Return to the Commentaries main page.