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Ear to the Ground

Russia Gets the L.A. Treatment

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Posted on Aug 22, 2013

In response to that country’s anti-gay laws, Los Angeles City Council members placed a rainbow flag on the St. Petersburg Sister City sign; the U.S. and the U.K. are blatantly trying to inhibit journalists from doing their job; meanwhile, certain Amazon textbooks are rented under the condition they do not leave the state they’re purchased in. 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.

L.A. City Council Members Unveil Rainbow Flag on Sister City Sign
Los Angeles City Council Members Mike Bonin, Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge eloquently described their anger over the anti-gay “propaganda” law now being enforced in Russia before unveiling a small Rainbow flag attached to the St. Petersburg Sister City sign prominently displayed near City Hall.

Congresswoman’s Voicemail: Where’s My Bribe?
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton left a voicemail for a lobbyist in which she brazenly begs for a “contribution.”

Marcel Proust’s Masturbation Problem
Marcel Proust was undoubtedly a gifted author, known largely for his classic multi-volume novel, In Search of Lost Time, a mammoth piece of work believed by some to be one of the greatest books ever written. More importantly, he was also, it is said, obsessed with masturbation.

How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners
The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

Obama Pushes for Warrantless Access to Phone Data… Again
White House petitions Supreme Court to declare the practice lawful as public outrage over NSA warrantless spying continues to grow.

Reporter Hijacks Panel on Russian Television to Slam Anti-Gay Law
Though he was booked on a panel to discuss Bradley Manning, James Kirchick went utterly rogue during an appearance on Russian television, slamming the country’s draconian new law that effectively criminalizes most forms of gay public expression and open support for gay rights.

Black Helicopters: Britain’s Blind Faith in Intelligence Agencies
The Snowden affair was actually going pretty well for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Conspiracy to Commit Journalism
The UK government told the editor of The Guardian, a national newspaper: Time’s up, no more of that journalism stuff! We’ll decide when there’s been enough debate. Stop now or we’ll make you stop.

Detention of Greenwald Partner in London Clearly Came on US Orders
It is becoming perfectly clear that the outrageous detention of American journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Brazilian partner David Miranda by British police during a flight transfer at London’s Heathrow Airport was, behind the scenes, the work of US intelligence authorities.

Why Stephen Hawking Has a lot to Teach Us About Celebrity Culture
When one of the world’s greatest intellects happily admits to being seduced by fame, perhaps the rest of us should stop being so sniffy about it.

Books With Borders
Students who rent textbooks through Amazon.com’s Warehouse Deals, Inc. may be unknowingly agreeing to an unusual condition: They are not permitted to cross state borders with their books.

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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