David and I love Blank on Blank, a video series that animates recorded interviews with notable people. It's produced by PBS Digital Studios, and the latest one is a 1982 interview with kidnapping victim Patty Hearst, who served time in prison for being forced to take part in a bank robbery by her captors, the psychotic Symbionese Liberation Army.
At Hearst's trial, U.S. Attorney James L. Browning, Jr. -- who applied for his post because he had become "distressed by what he considered federal laxness toward civil disobedience, and encouraged by his politically conservative mother" -- didn't think being threatened with death, beaten to unconsciousness, brainwashed, and raped in a closet while blindfolded by her captors when Hearst was 19 years old was a good enough excuse. Hearst was sentenced to prison for seven years.
President Jimmy Carter's commutation of her sentence to the 22 months served freed Hearst eight months before she would have had a parole hearing. The 1979 release was under stringent conditions. President Ronald Reagan reportedly gave serious consideration to pardoning Hearst. She recovered full rights when President Bill Clinton granted her a pardon on January 20, 2001.
One of my mottoes is that the important thing about tech isn't what it does, it's who it does it to, and who it does it for; this is especially important in discussions of "smart city" tech, which can easily be turned to systems of population-scale surveillance, control and oppression.
The official story of the Trump administration's family separation policy is that it came about as a result of "zero tolerance" in which every person who could be charged with a crime would be, and that meant that parents were arrested too, and since the parents were going to jail, their kids had to be […]
Many of the world’s most iconic movies have problematic themes or plots, but the romanticization of kidnapping and false imprisonment ranks among the worst.
For those with a writing flair, the thought of building a career as a professional copywriter should probably have some appeal. Thankfully, it’s also an in-demand job skill with the average copywriter making a healthy $60,000 a year for their efforts. But even if you have a way with words, you still need the industry […]
While we all love our iPhones and iPads, celebrating the releases of their latest and greatest versions, it’s amusing to consider how much we at the same time HATE the main item that keeps these little tech marvels powered up and working. No, Lightning cables don’t exactly inspire feelings of awe and wonder. It’s more […]
Every family is chock full of stories. Stories of history, stories of memory, stories of accomplishment and stories of love. From a grandparent’s tales of life decades ago to a couple’s first meeting to amazing life experiences and moments that you wish could be preserved for future generations. Unfortunately, we all don’t have the literary […]