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Ear to the Ground

American Media, Stay Away From Me

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Posted on Dec 4, 2011

American news media outlets such as Time and Newsweek are keeping the U.S. in the dark about world issues; a Silicon Valley startup has dreamed up a ship for international techies to avoid immigration problems; and Wi-Fi and cellphones are making us sick—or are they? 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.

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American Vs. International News: Time and Newsweek
Americans are notorious for their ignorance of global issues and international news. 

Why Is Art So Damned Expensive?
The global economy’s in a tailspin, but among the world’s elite collectors, works are selling for record prices.

Christmas Carols: Why do we keep singing them?
Why have Christmas carols stuck around so long—and not just boldly, puzzlingly, recording-career-of-Tom Jones long but centuries, epochs, eons? Consider the bizarreness of the product at hand. …

Occupy D.C. distances from Democrats. Or does it?
The more than 100 D.C. Occupiers who marched from McPherson Square on Wednesday night to protest outside two high-dollar fundraisers for 15 House Democrats, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, carried what seemed an especially clear message for a movement so often criticized for lacking focus.

Occupy Our Homes: Shining A Light On Our Great Failure
The housing crisis is America’s most urgent economic problem, but until now, it’s been the farthest from policymakers’ minds.

Which Side Are We On? NYT, U.S. and Cluster Bombs
International efforts to ban cluster bombs fell apart late last week. If you were reading about this in The New York Times, you might have been led to believe that the United States was pushing to get rid of the weapons—instead of the opposite.

How Politicians’ Sex Lives Changed America’s History
A review of pornographer Larry Flynt and Columbia American history professor David Eisenbach’s book “One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History.”

Radiation From Cellphones and Wi-Fi Is Making People Sick
With millions of cell towers dotting the planet and billions of cellphones placed next to billions of heads every day, why aren’t we all getting sick?

Securing Nebulous Privacy Rights in the Cloud
The cloud may be a blessing to global business, but it remains a major headache for sovereign states determined to protect their citizens’ privacy.

The Personal Computer Is Dead
Power is fast shifting from end users and software developers to operating system vendors.

A Floating Silicon Valley for Techies Without Green Cards
Since Sept. 11, America’s increased concern with security has threatened to undermine its ability to attract global talent.

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.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: Lafayette

Your comment: ” If the OWS movement thinks they
can build a viable third-party, they are very, very
wrong.”

I wouldn’t worry about this overly much, some will
always vote third party and most likely the Dems
never had their vote anyway. Outside of that, it’s a
long way to Nov. 2012. Right-wing trolls will be here
endorsing third party green votes to undermine
Obama. But again, the boards were riddled with their
nonsense in 2008 and it didn’t work.

The problem in 2010 was the showing at the polls, but
this is why the Repugs are attempting to violate law
and deny people their vote, literally.

The Repugs, tea party or not, have clearly shown they are stooges for the rich,
without regard for anyone else. I agree with you, the
Dems is the ONLY answer… retake our party.

I look at it this way, after the election (2012) Obama
doesn’t need to kowtow to anyone. They’ll (big money)
place their bets of course, and they know their line-
up sucks, so they’ll also throw money Obama’s way as a last ditch pitch for their cause. They did this when they made contributions to Nader (2004), undermining the Dems. They’ll do it again, it’s all but guaranteed.

Fact is, they’re screwed if Obama’s elected and they know it.
That’s why they’ve been working, since Obama has been elected to make him “a one term President”.

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By felicity, December 5, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Lafayette - I know they’re ‘big’ ideas but the
electorate needs to understand the GOP.  The so-
called Right represents the America of fear, a false
reading of the past and the present - manifested by
envy, intolerance, ungenerousity and false
patriotism.  Who’s going to shout it from the
housetops but the Left.

(And then there’s the American media.  TV has the
capacity (and uses it in spades) to distract, delude,
amuse and insulate. And who better to carry out the
‘mission’ but would-be actors, not journalists. No
self-respecting journalist would allow
himself/herself to be connected with TV’s so-called
news programs.)

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, December 5, 2011 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

A PROGRESSIVE AGENCDA

Quinlan: Occupy DC ostensibly sought to declare its independence Wednesday night from the Democratic Party, the liberal activist group MoveOn.org and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), all of whom, protesters fear, are trying to co-opt the movement to win votes in 2012 and advance an agenda equally as corrupt and beholden to monied special interests as that of Republicans.

This is a great shame. If the OWS movement thinks they can build a viable third-party, they are very, very wrong.

That is not the way our political system of Money Messaging, Redistricting and Winner-take-all voting works. Which is an intricate and complex process to maintain the political status-quo.

It would be far, far easier to co-opt the present Democrat Party, which has numerous “progressive politicians” and upon that base to change it. Progressive Politics is anathema to the Rabid Right, so allow the troglodytes there to shamefully self-destruct.

Reformation of the Dem-Party is a long-term success and cannot happen overnight. If the OWS movement wants a QuickFix (to a monstrously complex problem) that will effect the outcome of the November elections, then they are moving in the direction of the “also ran” party.

Just ask Ralph Nader or look at any other movement that tried to do so in recent history.

This time is different? No, it isn’t. The level of outrage and indignation IS different - but the political dynamic that decides elections hasn’t changed. The Right will vote Right and the Left will vote Left and the middle will switch in either direction to make the victor.

(Not to mention the shameful way voters stay at home. A large voter turnout helps the Left more than the Right.)

It is that swing vote in the middle that must be addressed with the right arguments. And that is not happening today. Nowhere is there a coalescence around a Progressive Agenda that describes what policies are necessary to reform America. (Especially addressing America’s Number One priority, which is to correct the glaring Income/Wealth Disparity by means of taxation policy.)

And that is what we, the sheeple, need to see clearly expressed in a party’s platform.

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