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Ear to the Ground

Catch Up on the News With Larry’s List: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

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Posted on Nov 29, 2009
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It’s been a long holiday weekend of gratitude and family strife, yet somehow the world continues to turn. Here comes Larry Gross with an update of all that’s new and interesting.

(Almost) every day, Truthdig brings you the news items and other odds and ends that catch the eye of 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.

We’ll continue to update this entry with new items as Larry sends them to us. The newest bits are on top, and the list gets older as you scroll down.

Influence of U.S. Religious Conservatives in Promoting Homophobia in Africa
Sexual minorities in Africa have become collateral damage to our domestic conflicts and culture wars as U.S. conservative evangelicals and those opposing gay pastors and bishops within mainline Protestant denominations woo Africans in their American fight, a groundbreaking investigation by Political Research Associates (PRA) has discovered.
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How the Media Blew the ACORN Story
How is it that after laboring in relative obscurity as a community organizer for almost 40 years, ACORN was so falsely framed in news stories that many Americans believed the absurd and alarming notion that it stole a presidential election?
Link

Book Review: Youth in a Suspect Society
In the past week alone, we’ve seen students arrested for a food fight. We’ve seen over 200 suspended for dress code violations at one school. We’ve even seen students suspended for bringing food from McDonald’s to lunch.
Link

Four Things That Would Truly Help the Economy
I keep seeing this image of Franklin Roosevelt rolling over in his grave.
What might have our late, great president perturbed? Today’s debate about how to get the economy going again.
Link

How to Control Health Costs
During a conference call with reporters, Peter Orszag defended the Senate health care reform bill’s minor cost-control measures ... This must be a joke.
Link

AF-PAK Math
Just over 100,000 U.S. and allied European troops, plus 200,000 Afghan security forces and police, have not been able to defeat 25,000 Taliban. Why adding another 30,000 will make any difference is not clear. Incidentally, the administration’s other target, al-Qaida, is a force too small to be shown on this chart. There are fewer than 100 of them in Afghanistan, according to retired Gen. James Jones.
Link

Get Ready for the Obama/GOP Alliance
With Barack Obama pushing a huge troop escalation in Afghanistan, history may well repeat with a vengeance. And it’s not just the apt comparison to LBJ, who destroyed his presidency on the battlefields of Vietnam with an escalation that delivered power to Richard Nixon and the GOP.
Link

Obama’s Profile in Courage, or Cave In?
“It took a lot of courage on [John F.] Kennedy’s part to defy the Pentagon, defy the military — and do the right thing,” said retired Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, according to Robert Dreyfuss in his recent Rolling Stone article “The Generals’ Revolt.”
Link

A Key British Official Reminds Us of the Forgotten Anthrax Attack
A vast array of establishment and expert sources do not believe this episode was really resolved.
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Hockey Dad, Gay Son
This ESPN story is breaking all over the sporting news. Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, “a most public example of hockey machismo,” has a gay son, and accepts him. Not only that, but the son, Brendan, plays hockey for Miami University of Ohio. As an out player, he is helping break down the walls of homophobia in sports.
Link

Dreaded Stasi Propaganda Film Shows 5-Year-Old Kids Simulating War Games
East Germany’s secret police Stasi propaganda film made in 1977 shows children as young as 5 being made to simulate war games.
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How to Get Out of Afghanistan
Here is a sensible and detailed analysis of the options facing the president, and why he should choose to get out of this war right now.
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Getty Images Offers Grants for Editorial Photography and Nonprofit Work
Getty Images has announced a new round of Grants for Editorial Photography and Grants for Good.
Link

Returning to a Secret Country
I remember the boys dressed in army surplus, the girls in hessian, their silhouettes framed in beach shanties, staring across an abyss. You were not meant to talk about them. They were not counted in the census, unlike the sheep, and anyway were dirty and feckless and dying off. 
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