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:
As fond as we may be of our grandmothers, evolutionary biologists have long questioned why women live for so long after they can procreate. The so-called "grandmother hypothesis" posits that grandmothers help the species survive by taking care of grandchildren and helping support families. In the U.S., grandparents are the primary source of child care for a third of families with a working mother and young children. We discuss the role of grandmothers in the U.S. and globally. What role did your grandmother play in your life? If you're a grandmother, does your family rely on your labor? How do you feel about it?
California cities and towns could allow bars and restaurants to serve liquor until 4:00 a.m. under a proposal by State Senator Mark Leno. Currently, the state permits booze service from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. The San Francisco Democrat says the extended hours would boost employment and promote tourism. But critics contend that the change could lead to more crime and encourage drinking and driving.
On Wednesday, the 100-plus musicians of the San Francisco Symphony officially went on strike, just days before they were set to perform at Carnegie Hall and kick off an East Coast tour. The musicians say they want salaries comparable to the Chicago and Los Angeles symphonies, and they question the bonuses and spending of symphony management. Symphony officials say musicians are already well compensated, with average salaries exceeding $165,000. We hear from both sides on the discord.
What makes some people thrive in the heat of competition, and others drop the ball? How important are genes in predicting success? Those are among the questions explored by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in their new book "Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing." Bronson joins us to discuss the book, which challenges many commonly held assumptions about success and failure.
White smoke rose from the Vatican chimney on Wednesday: a signal to the world that the Roman Catholic Church had elected a new pope. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, hereafter known as Pope Francis I, was elected the 266th pontiff, the first South American and the first Jesuit to lead the Church. We'll discuss the new pope, his background and what his selection means for Catholics in Latin America and around the world. We'll also examine the challenges he faces, including priest shortages and sexual abuse scandals.
When Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was confirmed last month despite opposition from conservative Jewish groups, some observers declared it a victory for the more moderate Israel lobby group J-Street, which supported Hagel. J-Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami joins us to talk about his group's work and about President Obama's trip to Israel next week.
For the second time in a year, San Francisco Muni buses are featuring ads critical of Islam. The latest ones feature pictures of and quotes from Osama bin Laden and the Times Square car bomber. Local officials and Muslim groups have denounced the ads -- but the city has refused to pull them on free speech grounds. We talk to critics of the ads, and the woman behind the campaign.
California would ban smoking indoors for people living in townhouses, condos, apartments and other attached units under a bill introduced by state Assembly member Marc Levine. The San Rafael Democrat says he wants to protect the one-third of Californians who live in multi-unit complexes, and who may be forced to breathe secondhand smoke from their neighbors. If approved, it would be the strictest anti-smoking law in the country. We'll talk to Levine and an opponent of the idea.
As part of our "In My Experience" series, we talk with people who work with the dead for a living. A crematorium director, a woman who specializes in at-home funerals and a student who dissects cadavers all join us to share their stories. How has working with the dead changed their own views on life?
The new documentary "A Fierce Green Fire" traces the history of the modern environmental movement, chronicling dramatic battles like the Sierra Club's fight against dams in the Grand Canyon, Greenpeace's campaign to save whales and recent efforts to combat climate change. San Francisco-based director Mark Kitchell, who also made the Academy Award-nominated "Berkeley in the Sixties," joins us in the studio. Who are your environmental heroes?
America's Cup organizers are falling short in their efforts to raise private donations to help pay for the cost of bringing the America's Cup sailing competition to San Francisco -- and that could leave the city on the hook for about $20 million. The Board of Supervisors holds hearings Wednesday to discuss the shortfall. Supporters say even without all of the promised private funds, the city still benefits financially from hosting the America's Cup.
For more than six decades, San Franciscan Aileen Hernandez has been working to make American society more equal. A native New Yorker born of Jamaican parents, she moved to California to work for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. She went on to become the only woman appointed by President Johnson to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, soon after, helped found the National Organization for Women (NOW). She became NOW's second president, where she worked for more inclusion of women of color in the women's rights movement.
Tensions in North Korea over new United Nations sanctions, elections in Kenya with candidates accused of war crimes, and ongoing efforts to free peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels are just some of the latest stories from around the world. We discuss the top international headlines with a panel of experts.