Even though drones are killing more civilians in Pakistan than terrorist leaders, they play no role in the U.S. presidential campaigns; California passes a bill legalizing self-driving cars; meanwhile, millionaires like Mitt Romney perpetuate the rags-to-riches tale by denying their roots. 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.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

America’s Scandalous Drone War Goes Unmentioned in the Campaign A new study released this week by researchers at Stanford and NYU has found that American drone strikes in Pakistan are killing far more civilians than advertised, taking out few high value targets, and have become the primary recruiting tool for the terrorist groups the policy is aimed at combating.

“Maine Superior Court Rules that Nader Case Against Democratic Party Must Proceed to Trial” Maine Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy ruled on September 20, 2012 that a lawsuit filed by consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his Maine electors Christopher Droznick, Nancy Oden and Rosemary Whittaker against the Democratic Party and several of its allies must proceed to trial.

Is the NYT the world’s greatest—or at least most important—organ of state propaganda? The NYT is surely an outstanding paper, with exceptionally wide scope, many good journalists on board and publishing many interesting and enlightening articles.

Whither the white working-class? Of late, David Ruccio has been making the argument that Obama will win the election, and he’ll win the election without the support of the white working-class.

Why American Students Can’t Write Every decent human impulse we have as teachers shouts in favor of not imposing rules and discipline on students, but liberating them to discover the power of their voice by sharing their stories.

California Legalizes Self-Driving Cars That road trip down Highway 1 in Big Sur poses a dilemma for the human driver: Focus intently on the road ahead and miss the stunning views, or enjoy the scenery and risk hurtling to a grisly demise.

Redistributing wealth upward Which is the more redistributionist of our two parties?

Our New Iran Plan Is to Help a Cult Gain Power. What Could Go Wrong? Leaks from State Department officials indicate that, after years of delay, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally decided to remove the Iranian opposition group, the MEK, from its list of designated terrorist organizations.

Why the 2012 Election Will Be Another Inside Job Last week, Mitt Romney and President Obama traded insults in a most amazing way, reminding us that success in American politics these days requires two things: saying the most absurd things with a straight face, and maximizing the appearance of differences with your opponent, while minimizing their reality.

Mitt Romney and the myth of self-created millionaires We could call it Romnesia: the ability of the very rich to forget the context in which they made their money.

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