News of Note

Park your formulaic sex at the door

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Like a lot of people, I took note a couple of weeks ago when Cosmo, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the fun girl's bible, ran a story with pictures laying out 28 Mind-blowing Lesbian Sex Positions. The modern Cosmo was the brainchild of its brilliant editor and author Helen Gurly Brown in 1965, who started dialogs on topics unheard of in print at the time, skillfully merging sexuality with a commercially available mainstream magazine. Long considered a sexual freedom advocate, she told women they could "have it all." With this article on lesbian sex, and few ...

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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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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)

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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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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Women Like Sex (a lot)

Photo of central panel of Bosch

  "Women like sex. Stop making ‘health’ excuses for why we use birth control” --  Jessica Valenti, author, Guardian columnist, and founder of Feministing.com (@JessicaValenti) Once again, Valenti has focused her laser-sharp analysis to challenge popular arguments on behalf of free access to reproductive health. She urges everyone to stop saying that birth control is necessary for the small percentage of women who use it for medical health reasons, and deal with the reality that 99% of women use birth control, mostly because they like sex, and shouldn't have to make excuses for it. It's amazing that in 2014 ...

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Yes, It’s True: Gay is Good

Photo by Beth Lofgren Flickr/creative commons

Study: Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples Healthier and Happier Our children are now 28 and 32 after being raised in what we originally called a post-gender family, in keeping with our world view that post-genderism is part of everyone's future. As their parents, Dan and I may have appeared to them, and most of the world at large, as a "straight" couple, but we both considered ourselves true androgynes, wishing since our youth to encompass everything available to males, females, and everything in between. It's why we fell in love and stayed in love, and eventually founded VenusPlusX to usher in ...

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