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Op-Ed

Off To College? Are You Ashamed? (Part 2)

This continues from Part 1 a discussion about private colleges and universities obtaining religious exemptions to legally discriminate against students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and against their faculty and employees with whom they differ, straight or not. We began with The Shame List put out by Campus Pride showing which institutions are complicit, and threw in a short refresher course on the actual meaning of freedom of religion. Even if you do not attend one of these colleges, you should first be appalled by the power over sanity that our government continues to bestow on ...

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Off To College? Are You Ashamed? (Part 1)

Maybe you are packing suitcases right now, or helping your teenager to pack, while planning the big drop off on campus in the next few weeks. You might be unaware of the religious intolerance you may face as part of your new community. As a student on one of these campuses or an employee or faculty or even just a tax-payer in the same state you have much to be concerned about. The number of colleges and universities officially filing, or already have successfully filed, for Title IX exemptions in order to legally discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ...

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Robert Reich on Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

"The biggest threats to American sovereignty are invisible digital dollars wired into U.S. election campaigns from abroad." -- Robert Reich

  Wrapping up my several days of again raising the alarm about the imperative to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizen's United (and what we can do about it), the last word for now must come from one of my heroes, progressive economist Robert Reich. Much lauded Reich has emerged as the best spokesperson prescribing the cure for what is wrong in the US. You can follow his think pieces ...

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More On Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

If people in the US agree on so much, why isn't anything getting done? This is a continuation of yesterday's $pecial Interest Government Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. The stats are in Majorities of people in the US, Democrat, Republican, and Independent, agree to commons sense gun control (85%) and climate change action (including 65% who blame human activity). The majority object to a tax system supporting income inequality (60% want higher taxes for the rich and 82% want corporations to pay their fair share in taxes) and an economy rigged in favor of corporations (more than 70%). Including 80% ...

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$pecial Interest Government is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Despite much hand-wringing by presidential candidates bemoaning a divided US, we the people are in agreement on many issues, including what is undermining our democracy. Frances Moore Lappé and Giulio Caperchi, writing for BillMoyers.com outline it for us based on a 2014 study covering both blue and red states. Climate change. Americans’ concern about global warming is at an eight-year high, with a record 65 percent of us now blaming human activity for rising temperatures. Gun control. Eighty-five percent of Americans — including large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats — favor closing gun-sale loopholes by ...

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Action on Climate Change is a Matter of Life and Death

Flickr/creative commons

Truth-Out again raising the alarm: "every second, one person is displaced by disaster." "In 2015 only, more than 19.2 million people fled disasters in 113 countries. Disasters displace three to ten times more people than conflict and war worldwide." (According to the Oslo-based Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reports) "We have never had so many complex and protracted humanitarian emergencies now happening simultaneously from West Africa all the way to Asia, with very few spots in between which do not have some issue. We have today 40 million forcibly displaced people and 20 million refugees, the greatest number of uprooted people since the ...

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Blue States Prosper While Red States Falter

Flickr/creative commons

The data is in and cannot be refuted. Red states under the influence of Koch-styled governance are hurting their citizens through their inhumane policies. They are promoting "an economic model [so] disconnected from the true sources of prosperity." Editorializing earlier this week, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, the authors of American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, discuss this red-blue economic differential, noting that "the key drivers of growth are science, education and innovation, not low taxes, lax regulations or greater exploitation of natural resources." The difference between thriving blue ...

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Hail the Passing of a Paranoid Homophobe

Tim LaHaye, left in a screenshot from the documentary "The God Who Was Not There," courtesy of Niklas Pivic

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State noted this week the death of 90-year-old Tim LaHaye, a name known and condemned by everyone who believes in equality rights. Like me, you may remember his blockbuster Left Behind series of prophecies or other books he wrote as founder of Liberty University's Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy. An avowed dominionist christianist, the series served to brand him forever as homophobia personified and as the darling of the Religious Right. LaHaye earned millions of dollars trying to smash every argument for equal rights for women and LGBT people. Americans United featured a quote from LaHaye's 1977 Understanding The Male ...

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Coining the Term, Free Love

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We reminded everyone yesterday that long before Hillary Clinton, it was trailblazing sexual freedom advocate Victoria Woodhull who was the first woman to run for the US Presidency. That was in 1872, nearly 50 years before women were allowed to vote in this country. Woodhull preached "free love" and was perhaps singularly responsible for coining the term. Almost 250 years ago, though, the terms, free love and sexual freedom, meant something very specific and vastly different that what they mean today. Woodhull's free love was about two things, only: A woman's right to choose a husband; and her right to divorce her husband. Sit in the space ...

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Victoria Woodhull was the first woman nominated to be US President

Victoria Woodhull

This very day, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman nominated to be US President (by a major party). So this is a very appropriate time to remind everyone of her predecessor, Victoria Woodhull. Woodhull's storied career, public service, and style of activism have always been near and dear to VenusPlusX especially because she was a sex futurist of unparalleled accomplishment. Unconventional even among the suffragettes she led, Woodhull was nominated by the Equal Rights Party in 1872. As soon as that happened she was excoriated in the press for colorful past and her belief in free love. Two hundred years ago (and ...

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