Noam Chomsky on “the evil scourge of terrorism,” Glenn Greenwald on White House reporters being afraid of the White House, plus: why you can’t be a cop in Papua, Indonesia, if you’ve had your penis enlarged.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that 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.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

David Hockney Meets the iPad … David Hockney was in the Boy Scouts (motto: “Be Prepared”), so he points out that in tailoring terms he was ready for the advent of the iPad.

Police barred from penis enlargement Forget about getting a job as a police officer in Indonesia’s Papua if you have had your penis enlarged. You won’t get it, according to local media reports citing the Papua police chief.

The hidden damage of psychiatric drugs An award-winning science reporter looks at the history of mental illness in America — with disturbing results.

The abuse scandals won’t kill the Catholic Church — but it will make it look a whole lot different These are obviously dark days for the Roman Catholic Church. For over a decade, the U.S. church has been assailed by abuse charges and devastated by the resulting litigation. …

Will Goldman Sachs prove greed is God? The investment bank’s cult of self-interest is on trial against the whole idea of civilisation — the collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even if we can.

Hava Nagila!

White House reporters afraid to criticize the White House I can’t recall reading any sentence quite as illustrative as this one from Politico stating (without any irony) that White House reporters insisted upon anonymity because they’re afraid of angering the White House with their public statements.

An Agenda for Graduate Education The prime position of American graduate education is increasingly at risk, and both universities and the government need to renew their commitments to helping students earn advanced degrees, says a report being released [Friday].

Libel Case, Prompted by an Academic Book Review, Has Scholars Worried If you’re an author confronted with a negative book review, you have several options. You can write an angry letter to the editor. …

“The Evil Scourge Of Terrorism” The president could not have been more justified when he condemned “the evil scourge of terrorism.” I am quoting Ronald Reagan, who came into office in 1981 declaring that a focus of his foreign policy would be state-directed international terrorism, “the plague of the modern age” and “a return to barbarism in our time,” to sample some of the rhetoric of his administration. …

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