McDonald’s Corporation on the hook

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McDonald's NLRB joint employer ruling Yesterday's ruling gives litigants and activists alike a bigger target, and a big boost for fast-food workers' rights everywhere.  We like to catalog progress when we see it. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finally came to its senses by ruling that McDonald's Corporation could no longer avoid complaints from its workers by asserting that they were not responsible for what goes on in their franchised stores, the vast majority of its 14,000 restaurants. This single ruling gives renewed hope and power to dozens of court cases to end unfair labor practices, and to ...

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The Sexual History of America

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First, consider the mottoes and symbols of our nation, but meditate upon their true meaning. E Pluribus Unum—from many, one—unity without uniformity Annuit Coeptis—he approves our undertaking—divine providence is assured Novus Ordo Seclorum—a new order of the ages—we’re here to change the world What is this all about? Are these empty classical boasts, or do they hold genuine meaning for understanding our national purpose? The study of the history of sacred sexuality in “western culture” in turn shows how these ideals, ideas, and practices date from ancient, if not prehistorical times, progressively converging to the present day when we are at last able to ...

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New Anti-HIV Condom Available

by Gabe Av Flickr/creative commons

Starpharma: VivaGel® Condom Receives TGA Device Certification - Launch Preparations to Follow Don't Get Too Excited About The 'HIV-Killing' Condom Yet An Australian company, Starpharma, has just received its government's approval to produce and sell a promising new condom incorporating VivaGel®, a lubricant purported to block viral infections, including HIV, HPV, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), up to 99.9% of the time. The Australian consumer brand is LifeStyles Dual Protect, and the company has plans to market worldwide.  Some experts, ...

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Decriminalizing Sexting

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Manassas Case Rekindles Debate Over Penalties for Sexting The recent efforts of Manassas police and Prince William County prosecutors to photograph the erect genitalia of a 17-year-old boy for evidence in a “sexting” case has revived a debate in Virginia over whether such conduct between minors should be illegal at all . . . Sexting is a phenomenon that emerged with the digital age, the sending of nude or semi-nude photos via a smartphone. In the "old days" people exchanged polaroids if they could, easier to hide, and to destroy. If charges are brought, punishment, even for consenting teens, can include ...

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Professor Walt Helps Explain America’s Bankrupt Israeli Policy

Palestine vigil and demonstration Effi Fuks Flickr/creative commons

  AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israeli Policy As we speak, today, Israel is expanding it ground offensive in Palestine. [US] politicians and policymakers continue to back a brutal military campaign whose primary purpose is not to defend Israel but rather to protect its longstanding effort to colonize the West Bank.

-- Stephen M. Walt, International Affairs Professor Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government

  In a two-parter this week, Israel's Messy Package (Part 1 and Part 2) I offered up my youthful experience of my own family of "regular jews" to trace the more than ...

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Israel’s Messy Package (Part 2)

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Yesterday, in Part 1, I told my personal family's jewish history in an attempt to put the existence of Israel into a broader context. Earlier enough, I had dispensed with the myth of my youth, that Israel was simply the world's and Palestine's gift to the jewish culture, a safe harbor for Jews following the atrocities of WWII. In fact, Israel was conceived by a militant zionist movement begun in the late 1800s, so it is motive that has to be understood for anything to change. (We use the word, zionists, as we use the word, christianists, to denote ...

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Israel’s Messy Package (Part 1)

Photo by LeftMedia  Flickr/creative commons

"Creating land already occupied by Palestinians would 'imperil not just American but all Western interests in the Middle East.'"

--Dean Acheson, 1947, statesman and foreign policy expert for several presidential administrations, including as Harry Truman's Secretary of State

In the early 1900s, both sides of my Jewish family fled the Kiev countryside because of the militant anti-Jewish pogroms, leaving dead my paternal great grandfather and my grandmother's infant sister killed by armed men on horseback who burned their farm to ground. Both my grandfathers were born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They didn't ...

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The Sexual Freedom Project: Influences

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  How do you describe it? What culture, family, or church constraints do you think interfere with full equality for all people? Let's hear your voice. Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay -- or even create an original work of art -- and express your thoughts on these topics. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you. More videos.

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Counting on what is good

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By everyone's estimation, last week was bad, in fact we are having many bad weeks piling up for sometime now. But, these horrible events distract us from all the good that is emerging at the same time. It's not Pollyanna-like to see that this cauldron of world-wide strife is now bubbling over for all to see and evaluate and soundly reject.  Universal human rights, environmental protection, and self-determination, and all that they convey, will prevail, not just because of their rightness but because they represent survival. Science-denying, theocratic fundamentalists, here and abroad, simply have no future. Previously I have ...

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Our Horrible Days

by Alfonso Flickr/creative commons

How Do We Respond to This Really Horrible Day?

"It's too late to reverse the death and destruction, but it's never too early to advocate for peace and life." -- 

Just 3 days ago, believing things are getting worse at a faster pace than ever before, we revisited Where Does of All This F*cking Evil Sh%t Come From? to offer up some explanation of why the world seems to be plummeting downward. Yesterday, everything got much worse. While the media was fixed on the passenger jet that was shot out of the sky by Russian-backed Ukrainian ...

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