Write a Blog, Risk Going to Jail

Daniel McGowan, an Earth Liberation Front activist, was imprisoned last week for writing a HuffPo post; Fox News claims that Rutgers University firing its abusive basketball coach is evidence of cultural decline; and no, Bitcoin is apparently not the future of currency. These discoveries and more after the jump.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly For Writing Huffington Post Blog
The federal government on Thursday jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said.

Passing Gas: A Modern Scientific History
Our most embarrassing bodily function has scientists — and big business — obsessed.

Progressives Push Back Against Obama’s Social Security, Medicare Austerity
Obama proposes to squander his mandate in pursuit of a “grand bargain” with House Republicans—a bargain that would replace the current approach to calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients with a “Chained-CPI” scheme.

Bangladesh Protesters Demand Blasphemy Law
Hundreds of thousands of marchers call for a law that would include death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.

Joe Biden, Aesthetic Populist
Four days after President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, New York Times national correspondent Mark Leibovich made a rare foray into the paper’s “Style” section to pinpoint the political zeitgeist.

Fox Host Rants that Rutgers Firing Furthers ‘Wussification of American Men’
Fox News host Eric Bolling bemoaned Rutgers University’s decision to fire men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, after video surfaced of Rice abusing players by throwing basketballs at them, shoving them and harassing them with profane and homophobic language, including “fucking faggot.”

The Inner Syntax of Palestinian Stone-Throwing
It would make sense for Palestinian schools to give classes in resistance: how to build multiple ‘tower and stockade’ villages in Area C; how to behave when army troops enter your homes; how to identify soldiers who flung you handcuffed to the floor of the jeep, in order to submit a complaint.

President Obama Proposes a Bigger Hit to Seniors Than to the Rich
It might have been worth making this point in an article on President Obama’s budget proposal that tells readers of his plan to cut Social Security by reducing the annual cost of living adjustment.

Ground-Breaking Israeli Journalist Amira Hass Accused of Incitement
In the history of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, stones have played a central role.

Washington’s ‘Playbook’ on Provoking North Korea
In an April 3 Wall Street Journal article, “U.S. dials back on Korean show of force,” reporters Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes revealed that the White House approved a detailed plan, called ‘the playbook,’ to ratchet up tension with North Korea during the Pentagon’s war games with South Korea.

The New Telecom Oligarchs
This is simply too much, too big, too powerful, too lacking in benefits for American consumers and citizens,” Michael J. Copps said as he cast his no vote on the market-altering Comcast-NBCU merger in January 2011.

Sorry, Libertarians, History Shows Bitcoin Isn’t the Future
As we consider the digital-currency phenomenon that is Bitcoin, bear in mind that there are, broadly speaking, two accounts of the origin and history of money.

LGBT: A RIght-Wing Movement
Ted Rall misses the gays of the 1970s. Before AIDS made them fearful.

In Our Digital World You Don’t Own Stuff, You Just License It
Corporations and lawmakers have put us on course for a world where consumers do not own the things they buy.

U.S. Was Never a Fair Broker of Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Last week in New York Carlo Strenger had breakfast with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian intellectual who has written extensively on the development of Palestinian identity and served as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation to the negotiations with Israel and the U.S. from 1991 to 1993.

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