KPCC Blogs


Should California legalize pot?

Should California legalize pot?

Supporters say it’s safer than alcohol or tobacco and improves quality of life. Detractors call it a gateway drug rife with health risks. This November, California voters will get to decide if marijuana should be legalized for recreational use in California. Would marijuana tax revenues help balance the state budget? Would a legal trade in [...]

Do you know your cell phones’ radiation level? If you live in San Francisco you are about to find out

Do you know your cell phones’ radiation level? If you live in San Francisco you are about to find out

First it was a ban on plastic bags, now the City by the Bay has tentatively passed an ordinance requiring cell phone companies to post their SAR “specific absorption rate” levels next to their phones at retail outlets. Research on the link between cell phone use and specific types of brain cancer has been inconclusive, [...]

Prop. 8 trial winds to a close… for now

Prop. 8 trial winds to a close… for now

A federal judge will hear closing arguments today in a case that challenges Proposition 8, the California voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Though ruling is not expected today (WED), Judge Vaughn Walker has asked each team of lawyers to answer 27 questions in their final statement, including: Is there a fundamental right to marry? Would [...]

Bret Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms

Bret Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms

In the sequel to his wildly popular cult classic novel <i>Less Than Zero</i>, author Bret Easton Ellis follows those main characters through their middle-aged lives in his new book <i>Imperial Bedrooms</i>. From the tortured and brutal world of drugs, sex and confusion of <i>Less Than Zero</i>, Ellis continues the journey into the human psyche and [...]

The Promise: President Obama, Year One

The Promise: President Obama, Year One

Over a year into his term in office, President Obama has faced leading the nation through a continuing war in Afghanistan, one of the worst economic eras since the Great Depression, and now the BP oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Jonathan Alter, Chicago-native and longtime Newsweek columnist, assesses Obama’s first year as president [...]

Profiting from poverty: how the working poor became big business

Profiting from poverty: how the working poor became big business

Adding insult to injury, the poor are the most likely to fall prey to scams. In his new book, Broke, USA: From Pawnshop to Poverty, Inc., New York Times writer Gary Rivlin looks at what he calls the “poverty industry.”It used to be just pawn shops that offered short-term cash for the remaining valuables of [...]

Shot in the back: accident, momentary loss of reason, or homicide? The case of Johannes Mehserle

Shot in the back: accident, momentary loss of reason, or homicide? The case of Johannes Mehserle

Shouting, chaos and confusion at the Fruitvale BART (Bay Area Rapid Transition) station in Oakland on New Years Day 2009 ended with Oscar Grant III, a young, African American man, shot in the back by twenty-eight-year-old, white BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle. The shooting, widely viewed on YouTube and local news outlets, ignited a massive [...]

Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone

Larry Mantle sits down with Director Debra Granick and actress Jennifer Lawrence to discuss their new film, Winter’s Bone, which portrays the trials and tribulations of a young woman growing up deep in the Ozark mountains. The film was the recipient of the both the Grand Jury Prize and the Screenwriting award at this year’s [...]

Arms control for the uncontrollable: Obama policy toward Iran, North Korea & our own arms sales

Arms control for the uncontrollable: Obama policy toward Iran, North Korea & our own arms sales

President Obama has laid out an ambitious vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, and backed up his words by signing a treaty with Russia that drastically reduces the nuclear stockpiles of both countries. But there’s a lot of work to be done with rogue countries like Iran and North Korea, with American allies [...]

Manhattan Transfer returns to Playboy Jazz Fest

Manhattan Transfer returns to Playboy Jazz Fest

In its 40-year career, jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer has earned 10 Grammys for a unique sound spanning boogie-woogie to vocalese. On their latest album "The Chick Corea Songbook," the quartet puts their take on compositions by the influential jazz keyboardist. And on June 13, the Manhattan Transfer will co-headline the Playboy Jazz Festival [...]