- Coming Soon:
An updated Forum website that will make exploring our archives even easier!
KQED's live two-hour call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Recently on Forum:
The rock musical "Passing Strange," created and performed by members of the indie band Stew and The Negro Problem, started at the Berkeley Rep and went on to win a Tony Award on Broadway. A movie version was later directed by Spike Lee. The band recently released their first album since their success on Broadway. We talk with composer and frontman Mark Stewart, AKA Stew.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was widely deemed the winner of the first debate against President Obama. So what sort of pressure does that put on their running mates? Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan take the stage in Kentucky for the first vice presidential debate. We'll discuss the candidates' differences on domestic and foreign policy, and we'll discuss their performances. Could the vice presidential debate affect the election in November?
Proposition 39 seeks to close a loophole that measure supporters say gives unfair tax breaks to out-of-state companies. Supporters of the measure say taxing out-of-state companies based on their California sales would bring in $1billion annually and help level the playing field for California companies. About half of the tax money, $550 million a year, would go to energy-efficiency programs and green jobs. But critics say the tax increase will discourage job creation. And, they say, allocating money specifically for green programs is another example of ballot-box budgeting that ties the hands of lawmakers.
Supporters of Proposition 31 say the measure would provide badly needed reform and transparency to Sacramento. It would switch California to a two-year budget cycle, require performance reviews of state programs and limit certain expenditures over $25 million. But critics say that Prop. 31 is poorly drafted, will waste taxpayers' money and create new layers of bureaucracy. Do you think state government needs to be reformed? And is this the right approach?
He may not be running for president this year, but he certainly has a lot to say about elections. Ralph Nader joins us to talk about his new book, "The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future." The former presidential candidate shares his thoughts on civic engagement, reforming the tax code and how to involve the everyday citizen -- and the occasional billionaire -- in rebuilding America. Do you have questions for Ralph Nader?
Almost 100 years ago, Congress approved a dam and reservoir in Yosemite to supply water and power to San Francisco. The project flooded the scenic Hetch Hetchy Valley. Now environmentalists want to drain the reservoir, hoping to restore what they call "a second Yosemite Valley." Under Measure F, the city would spend $8 million to develop an alternative plan for its water and power. But critics say the measure squanders taxpayer money and could jeopardize the city's water supply. Should we restore Hetch Hetchy?
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors decided late Tuesday to reinstate suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Mayor Ed Lee suspended the sheriff in March after Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment charges for grabbing and bruising his wife's arm during an argument. We discuss what the decision means for the city.
Bay Area author Daniel Alarcon's acclaimed 2007 novel, "Lost City Radio," features a radio show that plays a powerful role in an unnamed South American country by reuniting people missing or displaced by war. Now, Alarcon has launched a radio program in Spanish in the style of "This American Life." The program features personal stories that reflect the wide range of experiences of Latinos in the U.S., and of Spanish speakers across the globe.
We are probably living in the most peaceful era in the history of our species, author Steven Pinker says. That may be hard to believe for regular viewers of the evening news. But the Harvard psychologist's research finds that when it comes to war, genocide, capital punishment, rape, hate crimes and slavery, things are definitely looking up. Pinker joins us to discuss his latest book "The Better Angels of Our Nature." Do you think global violence is on the decline?
Point Reyes National Seashore celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. From its trademark lighthouse to 150 miles of trails, the seashore attracts over 2 million visitors a year and is home to ranchers, oyster farmers and abundant wildlife. But the story of how environmentalists and politicians joined forces to save the area from development is less well known. We talk about the seashore's storied history and plans for the future.
President Obama had one welcome bright spot in a week when challenger Mitt Romney was widely considered to have won their first debate: the jobs report. The nation's unemployment rate is at the lowest level since the month Obama took office, according to the latest Labor Department report. We'll talk about the state of the economy and the two candidates' economic plans.
California drivers faced a second day of record gasoline prices on Sunday. In response, Gov. Jerry Brown directed the Air Resources Board to take emergency steps to increase the state's gas supply. What's causing California's price spike, and how are drivers coping?