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Ear to the Ground

Shoot Your Ex-Girlfriend, Courtesy of the NRA

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Posted on May 10, 2013

“Slut” shaped targets that bleed when shot were sold at the gun lobby’s convention; Hispanic high school students went on to college at a higher rate than white ones last fall; meanwhile, the U.S. is the only wealthy nation that hasn’t gotten the message that the death penalty is passé. 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.

NRA Convention Sells “Ex-Girlfriend” Target That Bleeds When You Shoot It
At the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston, Texas this weekend, a company that sells shooting targets “designed to help YOU prepare for the upcoming Zombie outbreak” displayed much of what is wrong with the pro-gun movement with its foul “Ex-Girlfriend” target that bleeds when you shoot it.

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

Hispanic High School Graduates Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment
A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts,1 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

New Era Windows Opens for Business in Chicago
Meet the takers: They took over their factory, they took on their bosses, they took the initiative to form a worker cooperative and today they’re taking the wraps off a brand-new worker-owned company: New Era Windows.

The Cesspool: Why Youth Sports Stink
Last weekend, Dave Zirin had the great joy of being a judge at the 2013 DC, Maryland and Virginia Louder than a Bomb teen poetry slam competition.

The New McCarthyism: National Security and the Inversion of Governmental Promise
One does not have to be a right-wing nutcase to apprehend the dangers of government, a position staked out by Republicans and pseudolibertarians (“pseudo” because almost invariably concerned with taxation, rampant individualism, and laissez-faire business aggrandizement, rather than its originative creed, the sacredness of the human person) to push for unrestrained capitalist development, while the Left in America still regards, uncritically, government per se as the friend of the common people.

The Pernicious Politics of the DSM-V
Back in the benighted old days of the DSM-III—the third iteration of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the American Psychiatric Association’s official catalog of the mental illnesses—my therapy patients included a 26-year-old man who came to see me due to his wife’s complaint that he’d “gotten out of control of himself.”

Hold The Front Page! We Need Free Media, Not An Order Of Mates
The other day, John Pilger stood outside the strangely silent building where he began life as a journalist.

The Liberal Narrative Is Broken, and Only Populism Can Fix It
The liberal narrative is not working.

Death Penalty Dying Out
Most of the world’s governments no longer use the death penalty. Among wealthy nations there is one exception remaining.

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