The re-publication of the fact that Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico is outrageously meant to inspire distrust; some Mormons now identify as gay, yet suppress their sexuality in order to follow their religion; meanwhile, a mirror has been designed to eliminate blind spots on the road. 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.

Mitt Romney’s Mexican Roots Four years after electing its first black president, the U.S. could soon have its first presidential nominee whose father was born in Mexico.

General Mills against gay marriage ban General Mills is taking a stand against a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, becoming the most prominent corporate voice making such a public declaration.

Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online, … revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

Can You Be Both Mormon and Gay? Why a religion notorious in the gay community might be “evolving.”

Madonna sings for apartheid; yet campaign to boycott Israel grows stronger Madonna kicked off her “MDNA” tour on 1 June with all the spectacle one has come to expect from her.

An algorithmically designed mirror promises to do away with the visual mysteries of the road The most obvious thing about blind spots is that they are absurd, and actually kind of offensive, and their continued existence on our highways is an egregious affront to the ease and safety and common sense that technological progress represents.

Why the Middle Class Needs Unions Now More Than Ever The question of whether unions are necessary is misguided.

Why a Weak Website Can’t Replace a Daily Newspaper in New Orleans The newspaper industry is in the midst of a mass decimation.

Bieber Fever Is More Contagious Than the Measles A mathematical model proves that Bieber fever is one of the catchiest diseases of our time.

The Death-Penalty Debate Represents a Market Failure The debate over the death penalty offers a vivid illustration of a tragic flaw in the market of ideas: Strong beliefs attract a lot more attention, and can have a lot more influence, than the truth.

How Obama’s Targeted Killings, Leaks, and the Everything-Is-Classified State Have Fused Last week, touching down in India on his way to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described reality as you seldom hear it in the confines of Washington and, while he was at it, put his stamp of approval on a new global doctrine for the United States.

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.