To gain insight into the workings of American society, it may be productive to focus on the 1 percent’s erratic behavior; Japan’s prime minister has asked for international assistance to deal with the Fukushima leaks; meanwhile, is Speaker John Boehner the Berlusconi of the States? These discoveries and more below.

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.

The Booing of Churchill Viewers of Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ‘45 are shocked to see Winston Churchill being booed and heckled during the 1945 General Election campaign.

Boehner’s Berlusconi Moment Will it take the United States 20 years to rid itself of Tea Party obstructionism?

Israeli Apartheid: The Numbers The Israel Democracy Institute released its latest Democracy Index, [confirming] that by and large Israelis hold racist views and reject bedrock democratic principles, while believing that their country should be both Jewish and a democracy.

Culture of Wealth Instead of studying the so-called culture of poverty, we should focus instead on the pathologies of the rich.

Japan Asks For World’s Help On Fukushima Leaks Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that Japan is open to receiving overseas help to contain widening disaster at the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima, where radioactive water leaks and other mishaps are now reported almost daily.

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz With technology comes power. Shouldn’t MIT teach students how to use it responsibly?

Not a Retirement Club Recent data suggest that baby boomer professors largely won’t retire at or even around 65.

Higher Education’s Payoff When the College Board released a report on higher education’s payoff in 2010, some critics questioned whether the organization was overstating the benefits that accrue to individuals and society from going to college.

Reasons to Lose Sleep over the Shutdown and Obamacare Sure, the government shutdown and Republican demands regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are reprehensible, but let’s not delude ourselves about the ACA itself.

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