KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Last update1 year 7 weeks ago
March 23, 2012
Over the course of three days next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of the president's sweeping health care legislation. At the heart of the case is the individual mandate requiring almost everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Two years to the day it was signed into law, we look at the arguments in front of the court. What might the outcome mean for California?
March 22, 2012
We continue a special live broadcast from Oakland's Castlemont High School on the dropout crisis in public schools. In this hour, we turn to policymakers and education reformers who have given this issue a lot of thought. Do they think the problem is only about schools? Or does it have more systemic causes? What are some proven, innovative approaches to help alleviate the problem?
Nearly one-quarter of American high school students drop out before they graduate. In Oakland, the problem is even worse: more than 35 percent of high school students in the city don't reach graduation. Dropouts are exposed to an uncertain future with higher rates of crime, poverty and health problems than their peers with diplomas. In a special live broadcast from Oakland's Castlemont High School, we discuss the dropout challenge with educators and students.
March 21, 2012
Abel Gance's silent epic "Napoleon" has had a turbulent history since its premiere in 1927, but the film has not yet met its Waterloo, thanks to Kevin Brownlow. The cinema historian has spent decades restoring the film's scattered fragments. Starting this weekend, the five-and-a-half hour account of young Napoleon Bonaparte's life will be shown at Oakland's Paramount Theater, complete with symphony orchestra and requisite three-screen finale. We discuss the film and its significance in film history.
In recent years, the democratically-elected president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has emerged as an international leader on climate change issues. It's no wonder, since the low-lying island nation is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. But public protest and police mutiny linked to his predecessor forced Nasheed out of office in February. We talk with the director of the new documentary film "Island President," which follows the ex-president's rise to power and his quest to cut carbon emissions around the globe.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is charged with promoting intellectual collaboration between its 195 member states. But last year, the U.S. government pulled its funding -- amounting to more than 20 percent of UNESCO's budget -- after the agency admitted Palestine to full membership. We talk with Irina Bokova, who has served as UNESCO's director-general since 2009, about the organization's work.
Today, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee plans to file official misconduct charges in an effort to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office, following the sheriff's guilty plea in a domestic violence case involving his wife. The charges will trigger a city Ethics Commission investigation, and require Mirkarimi's immediate suspension. We discuss the evolving situation.
March 20, 2012
The New York Times calls Adam Johnson's new novel "The Orphan Master's Son" "daring and remarkable" for the extraordinary lens it provides on life in North Korea. The detail in Johnson's novel results from his travels there in 2007. He joins us in the studio.
Thousands of active duty service members and returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Treatment and early recognition of PTSD within the military has increasingly become a priority, but violent events -- like the recent 16-person massacre in Afghanistan -- still occur. We discuss the role PTSD will play in legal defenses of soldiers accused of violent crimes, and examine what can be done to help soldiers with mental health issues.
March 19, 2012
A new report on the state of the Bay Area economy from a business-sponsored public policy group finds a remarkable resilience among Bay Area businesses, in spite of hard times statewide and nationally. We discuss areas of growth and stagnation in the Bay Area economy, and challenges in the coming years.
San Francisco HIV prevention specialist Dr. Grant Colfax has been appointed by President Obama to direct the Office of National AIDS Policy. His programs while director of HIV prevention at the San Francisco Health Department have been credited with helping in the recent decline of new HIV infections in San Francisco.
Elaine Pagels' new book "Revelations" takes a fresh look at the final and most dramatic book of the Bible. Pagels analyzes the Book of Revelation in its historical context, suggesting the fiery descriptions of the apocalypse are a veiled commentary on events at the time it was written.
March 16, 2012
Long before Silicon Valley became the nation's technology hub, ambitious researchers and creative thinkers flocked to New Jersey to work at the famed Bell Labs. We talk with Jon Gertner, author of "The Idea Factory," which chronicles Bell's uniquely innovative culture. What were the conditions that made Bell Labs successful, and what lessons can Silicon Valley learn?
Corporations, unions and individuals can give unlimited donations to outside groups to support political activities, forming so-called super PACs. But critics fear that these super PACs have undue influence over elections. Now, with the White House embracing pro-Obama super PACs, we discuss how big money is influencing the 2012 presidential campaign.
March 15, 2012
Retired Stanford psychiatrist Irvin Yalom has written what one reviewer calls a "very cerebral mystery" novel that spans three centuries. It involves the unlikely connections between the excommunicated Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who lived in pre-Enlightenment Amsterdam, and Alfred Rosenberg, one of Hitler's closest advisers in Nazi Germany.
California Governor Jerry Brown has recently been pushing his own tax plan, and trying to convince backers of other tax increase ballot proposals to back off. Now, the governor has joined forces with these rivals on a new revenue initiative. We discuss the deal and the likelihood of its passage in November.
The brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow last year outside of Dodger Stadium and other acts of violence against fans have prompted a proposed California law that would ban violent fans from attending games. But critics say the law penalizes people for acts they haven't yet committed.
March 14, 2012
Brian Copeland returns to the Bay Area stage with a new one man show "The Waiting Period," an intimate portrayal of the mandatory 10 days Copeland spent waiting to purchase the gun with which he intended to end his life. Without abandoning his signature brand of humor, Copeland explores what it means to live with clinical depression.
Rents in San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula are the least affordable in the country, according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Continuing home foreclosures have pushed rental rates up nationwide, even as home prices in some areas continue to decline. We discuss this trend, and what it may mean for both homeowners and renters.