KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Recently on Forum:
Following a remarkable streak of wins surprising nearly everyone, the Oakland A's this week clinched the American League West division title after spending most of the season far in the back of the pack. Meanwhile, an exuberant San Francisco Giants team has secured the National League West title. Both of the Bay Area teams begin playoff games this weekend. We preview the post-season and discuss the Bay Area's stunning season of baseball.
Berkeley has a controversial new ordinance on the ballot this November. If enacted, Measure S will ban sitting on sidewalks in the city's commercial districts during the day. Proponents say people camping out on sidewalks are driving customers away from local stores and restaurants and hurting Berkeley's business community. Opponents say it will divert police resources and that it doesn't solve the problem of homelessness.
Veteran journalist Don Lattin writes in his new memoir that he spent years "worshiping at the altar of drugs and alcohol" -- not the type of devotion you might expect from a religion writer. The book "Distilled Spirits" intertwines Lattin's own story with biographical sketches of three others who mixed spiritual seeking with mind-altering substances: "Brave New World" author Aldous Huxley, Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, and philosopher Gerald Heard. Lattin joins us in the studio.
President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney stepped into the ring Wednesday night for the first presidential debate. A recent poll showed most Americans think Romney is the underdog. How did he and Obama fare? What were the night's highlights? And did we learn any new details about where each candidate stands on taxes, budget cuts, health care, or how to make Social Security sustainable? Join us for in-depth analysis of Wednesday night's debate in Denver.
Author Sherman Alexie broke into the literary scene in the mid-'90s with "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" and other stories about growing up on a reservation. Since then, he hasn't shied away from sensitive topics like alcoholism and abuse among Native Americans. His book "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" was on the list of Top 10 most frequently challenged books in America. Alexie joins Forum to talk about his book "Blasphemy," a collection of 15 new stories and 15 old favorites covering topics from donkey basketball to wind turbines.
In the 12 years since armies of lawyers argued over hanging chads in Florida, election-related lawsuits have more than doubled. Law professor and election law expert Richard Hasen says we should expect even more bitter, partisan disputes over election law in coming years. We'll discuss voter ID laws, claims of voter fraud and voter suppression, plus Hasen's new book, "The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown."
Proposition 35, a new tough-on-trafficking measure, expands the definition of human trafficking and dramatically increases prison terms and fines for offenders. While everyone seems united against human trafficking, opponents of Prop. 35 argue that it's a politically motivated initiative that will penalize sex workers and their families, rather than criminals who trade in human beings. Defenders of the proposition assert the need for increased penalties in order to deter traffickers and protect those most vulnerable from the threat of sex slavery.
Billed as a campaign finance reform initiative by supporters, Proposition 32 seeks to limit political contributions by unions and corporations in California. Detractors claim the proposition is an assault on labor unions and would all but eliminate union influence in politics. We take up the debate over Prop. 32.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been signing -- and vetoing -- a flurry of bills in recent weeks. In January, new laws will go into effect that will grant licenses to some undocumented immigrants, ban therapies designed to turn gay people straight and give some prisoners with life sentences a chance at a new sentence. The governor vetoed the so-called Trust Act, that would have shielded some immigrants from deportation, and a bill that would have granted rights to domestic workers. We discuss the scores of new laws and the ones the governor has rejected.
In 2003, 28-year-old Californian Marla Ruzicka was killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad while working to document the civilian casualties of the Iraq War and to fight for compensation for victims' families. The group she founded -- now called Center for Civilians in Conflict -- has moved away from door-to-door advocacy in war zones, and now works with warring parties around the world to help civilians. We talk with Executive Director Sarah Holewinski about the campaign to reduce civilian casualties and compensate victims in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Pakistan. We'll also discuss the impact on civilians of the increased use of drones by the U.S. military.
Our election coverage continues with a debate on Proposition 33, which would change how insurance companies can give discounted rates.
The Obama and Romney campaigns are busy preparing their candidates -- and trying to lower expectations -- for Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver, which will focus on domestic policy. We preview the debates.