politics

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...


Philosophy Talk asks: Should satire have its limits?

Jul 24, 2015

Are there topics we should never satirize? Is there a well-defined line between satire and hate speech? 

Are you a tax-raising, soy latte-drinking, Prius-driving, New York Times-reading, Daily Show-watching, corporation-hating liberal? Or a gun-toting, Bible-loving, Walmart-shopping, homophobic, climate-change-denying, immigrant-hating conservative? Why does it seem like all of American politics often boils down to these two absurd positions? Is it because of our particular political system, our culture, or deeper psychological impulses?

The ideal of science is objectivity in the service of advancing knowledge. We tend to assume that to be objective, scientists must keep their politics from influencing their work. But time and time again we see that science, even some of our best science, is awash in political influences. Could politics sometimes have a positive effect on objectivity in science? If so, which kinds of politics might have a positive effect and which might not? What criteria could we use to make the distinction? And does 'objectivity' still have meaning in this context?

Whether it's making donations and signing petitions online, or using social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never been easier. With a few clicks, we can make our voices heard around the globe. But who's listening, and is anything actually changing? Does cyber-activism mobilize real-world action on the ground, or does it reduce political engagement to simple mouse-clicking and ultimately threaten the subversive nature of change?

Whether it's making donations and signing petitions online, or using social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never been easier. With a few clicks, we can make our voices heard around the globe. But who's listening, and is anything actually changing? Does cyber-activism mobilize real-world action on the ground, or does it reduce political engagement to simple mouse-clicking and ultimately threaten the subversive nature of change?

Daily news roundup for Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22, 2015
A private collector and www.outsidelands.org

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, curated by KALW news:

Philosophy Talk asks: Is hypocrisy a vice or a virtue?

Nov 28, 2014

Hypocrites believe one thing, but do another. Jefferson opposed slavery, but owned slaves. Jesus professed universal love, but cursed an innocent fig tree. Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty, but as governor of California will be responsible for executions. Hypocrites all – but vile hypocrites? Surely it was better that Jefferson was a hypocrite, and articulated the case against slavery, than not opposing it at all. Does it take courage to defend a view that you, yourself, don't have the courage or the character to follow through on?

City Visions: Pre-Election Special 2014

Oct 28, 2014

Bay Area voters head to the polls tomorrow to consider measures addressing water shortages, housing costs, sugary beverage consumption, clogged streets, and artificial turf battles in Golden Gate Park. And they'll decide on San Francisco's next assemblymember and Oakland's next mayor. Host Joseph Pace takes up these issues and more with USF politics professor Corey Cook.

Guest:  Corey Cook, Associate Professor of politics, University of San Francisco

 

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe

Under CC license from Flickr user Scott2342

When you go to vote next Tuesday, the first thing you’ll see in the list of state measures is Proposition 1. It’s also being called “the water bond”. And let’s get one thing straight right now – this bond won’t resolve the current drought. We can’t vote to make it rain.

But, Proposition 1 can make it rain in the form of $7.5 billion worth of funding for water projects around the state. These could include projects that recycle, conserve, and store more of the water we already have.

Julie Caine

 

It’s time to hear from another candidate in the Oakland Mayoral Race, Patrick McCullough, who first gained public notoriety back in 2005 after he shot and wounded a teenager in the driveway of his North Oakland home. McCullough says the shooting was an act of self-defense necessary in a neighborhood plagued by crime and intimidation. KALW’s Julie Caine visited McCullough at home to talk about his vision for public safety in Oakland.

http://bryanparker.org/

 

Bryan Parker is a healthcare and tech executive with degrees from University of California Berkeley and NYU. Though he has never held elected office, he is a former chair of Oakland’s Workforce Investment Board and he is currently serving as a Commissioner for the Port of Oakland. He was appointed to that position by current Mayor Jean Quan. He made news earlier this year with a very successful crowdfunding campaign, and is a supporter of the alternative internet currency Bitcoin.

joetuman.com

On November 4th, Oakland voters will pick their next mayor. All month on “Crosscurrents,” we are going to bring you the voices of each of the 15 people who are campaigning for the job.

Joe Tuman is a self-described outsider to Oakland city government. He’s been a member of politically-focused Oakland organizations – including one that kept tabs on local public safety funding from Measure Y – but he’s never held political office. Instead, he’s spent nearly three decades teaching government and law at San Francisco State. And he’s competed in thirteen Ironman triathalons.

Today on Crosscurrents, we hear from the retired Charles Ray Williams, an ex Navy man who completed four tours in Vietnam. Williams has spent a lot of time on the road and overseas, and it's his worldliness and street education that he sees as setting him apart from other candidates. He has never held public office.

The issues Williams feels strongest about are city safety, the Oakland budget, services for the homeless, making school uniforms mandatory, and creating more afterschool programs for kids. 

Philosophy Talk asks what "Machiavellian" really means

Sep 19, 2014

Niccolò Machiavelli is best known for arguing that people in power should use deception, force, and manipulation if those tactics are necessary to achieve their ends. In an age of unscrupulous politics and ruthless business practice, shouldn't we be encouraging a move away from Machiavellian thinking? Then again, are we even sure that those "Machiavellian" views were really Machiavelli's? If not, what did he really think, and what might we learn from him?

Philosophy Talk asks: Is Democracy a Universal Value?

May 23, 2014

Americans value democracy, and expect others to value it. But is it a universal value? Does God, or rationality, or something very basic about human sensibility, dictate that states should be organized democratically? What if there were empirical evidence that some non-democratic form of government is more likely to produce human happiness, cultural achievement, and sound money?

Details of State Senator Leland Yee's case

Apr 3, 2014

The San Francisco Chronicle has been reporting widely on the FBI’s investigation into Senator Leland Yee and 25 others who have been indicted in the past few days. The charges range from firearms trafficking to promising political favors.

San Francisco Chronicle reporters  Henry Lee  and Vivian Ho have been covering this unfolding story in detail and give us a recap of what we know so far. 

Note: Will Durst is a comedian and you may find some of his material offensive, or worse, not funny. His views do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.

Hey guys, WIll Durst here with a few choice words about awards season. You'd best be advised to hunker in a bunker wearing a Kevlar overcoat, because gold plated statues are being tossed about like air kisses at a gown fitting. Like clouds of bathroom hair spray in the Beverly Hill bathroom during the nominee luncheons. Like jaded eyes at a press screening of Transformers 4.

Courtesy of Tim Redmond


With so many media options to choose from, some older forms are getting less attention. So how are these changes reshaping what news we read, see, and hear? In our 'State of the Media' series KALW’s Ben Trefny is exploring this idea with Bay Area media makers. Today, he spoke with Tim Redmond, who recently left the San Francisco Bay Guardian after more than three decades with the paper.

BBC coverage of President Obama's Address to the Nation, with commentary and background provided by the BBC's Tim Franks.  Tuesday at 6pm.

BBC coverage of President Obama's Address to the Nation, with commentary and background provided by the BBC's Tim Franks.  Tuesday at 6pm.

Dear US Citizen.

Please accept our most egregiously sincere apologies for the difficulties and inconveniences the secret monitoring of your phone records and email and GPS units and foreign travel and bank accounts and yes, even your snail mail has evidently caused.

In the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Obama touched on several issues that might have pricked the ears of his young supporters who were instrumental in getting him re-elected.

According to CIRCLE, young black and Hispanic women provided the strongest support for President Obama among young voters in 2012. Young black male voters also heavily supported the president, although more of them voted Republican than in 2008.

Young Democrats talk about voting

Sep 6, 2012

http://www.natogreen.com/

Living in the Bay Area, it’s not unlikely that some of your neighbors end up making it big. Our area is known for inspiring and supporting talent in many fields. For instance, local comedians Nato Green and W. Kamau Bell have been cracking up the Bay for years, with a comedy tour called “Laughter Against the Machine.

Restoring John Muir's Hetch Hetchy: Is It Worth It?

Aug 8, 2012

It’s been nearly 100 years since Congress authorized the City of San Francisco to build the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park. This is the dam that turned Hetch Hetchy Valley into Hetch Hetchy reservoir, providing water and electricity to San Francisco and surrounding cities. John Muir and a emerging Sierra Club fought against this project proposal for nearly 12 years before Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913, giving San Francisco the authority to build the dam, power generators, and delivery system to the Bay Area.

Young people seek political discourse online

Jul 12, 2012

Youth might not be going to the polls in vast numbers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about making change in their communities, and in the national issues that affect their lives.

According to a recent study by the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics, youth are actively expressing their opinions on social and political issues through blogs and other social media.

Courtesy of Flickr user Clinton Steeds

One of the decisions Californians will make this June 5th is whether or not to change the amount of time legislators serve in office, mostly to lessen their terms from 14 years to 12. Prop 28 says that should happen, opponents disagree. As the discussion over legislative term limits heats up, the question at the core of Prop 28 is how long Californians think their representatives should represent them. Should they be left to serve longer and become more established as legislators? Or, should there be an encouragement of new blood in the State Assembly and Senate?

Turning 18 this year is special: you get to vote in the November elections! Remember when you first voted? The rush of being old enough to be heard, to count, to matter.

County officials are struggling to provide mental health care for newly released state prisoners under a new law that transfers responsibility for some convicts from the state to local agencies...

Outside the prisons, a state and federal program designed to expand health care coverage for the uninsured will help counties bring more mental health coverage to adults who need it...

Pages