Washington stood idly by as the 1 percent killed the middle class; building sturdy relationships with neighbors is important to leading a healthy life; meanwhile, the Senate is creating an elitist definition of what an “official” journalist is. 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.

RIP, the Middle Class: 1946-2013 The 1 percent hollowed out the middle class and our industrial base. And Washington just let it happen.

The Senate Is Busy Creating a Privileged 1st Amendment Club for ‘Official’ Journalists On September 12, 2013, the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee narrowly defined who the law should consider to be a journalist, by amending the proposed Free Flow of Information Act (“FFIA”).

NSA Leaks Bring the Whole Idea of “Net Neutrality” Into Question Last week, in the midst of ongoing NSA secret spying revelations ranging from billion-dollar efforts to make the private accessible to government by breaking Internet communications security to “near real time” collection of data from fiber optic networks, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument in the case Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission.

A Necessary War on Garbage Trucks Sustainable waste management has a rather zen mantra: it’s not just where the trash goes — it’s how it gets there.

Could the City of Light Become the City of Height? Monolithic, dazzling in sunlight and almost 700 feet tall, Paris’s Tour Montparnasse is probably the most hated building in all of France.

A Fantastically Clear, Concise Explanation of Why Traffic Happens Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic, gave a great 20-minute overview on the counterintuitive science of congestion at the Boing Boing: Ingenuity conference in San Francisco last month.

Obama May Yet Bail Boehner Out on the Budget. That Would Be an Historic Mistake. We’re headed for a government shutdown when this year’s funding runs out on September 30.

Liking Your Neighbors Could Help Prevent You From Having a Stroke When it comes to preventing a stroke, living in a neighborhood where you have strong social ties and feel comfortable may be as important as not smoking.

The GOP’s Self-Defeating ‘Defunding’ Strategy In 2010, Republicans took the House of Representatives by gaining 63 seats.

Israel’s Right Wing Embarrasses Itself Over Court Ruling The Israeli High Court of Justice has a not entirely justified image as an institution which often intervenes in matters that are none of its business.

Civilization Has Lasted 5,000 Years. How About 5 Million?, Scholars Ask. Washington is not known for its long-term thinking.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.