September 25th, 2011


NFL adds "Sexual Orientation" to collective bargaining agreement

Pete Olsen at Wide Rights did a comparison of the collective bargaining agreements between the NFL and the NFL Players Association in 2006 and 2011. What he found was pretty cool: The addition of “sexual orientation” in the article on player security.

Section 1. No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.

Olsen wonders in his blog whether it was Robert Kraft, Scott Fujita (whom he rules out thanks to a Twitter exchange)…or Ted Olsen and David Boies:

Olson and Boies are the two lead attorneys of the case challenging the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California. They also were on opposite sides of the NFL negotiations (Boies with the owners and Olson with the players).

Either way, this is fantastic news. NFL players are now protected based on sexual orientation. Sports is no longer a homophobic place. Yes, there are people who are homophobic. Some of them are players, some are owners, some are coaches and some are fans. But as an institution, sports is dramatically less homophobic than it was 10 years ago.

And congrats to Pete for digging up this little morsel. Read his full
analysis at


Murasaki Shikibu

An Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk

An Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk
September 23, 2011

We the undersigned women of African descent and anti-violence advocates, activists, scholars, organizational and spiritual leaders wish to address the SlutWalk. First, we commend the organizers on their bold and vast mobilization to end the shaming and blaming of sexual assault victims for violence committed against them by other members of society. We are proud to be living in this moment in time where girls and boys have the opportunity to witness the acts of extraordinary women resisting oppression and challenging the myths that feed rape culture everywhere.

The police officer’s comments in Toronto that ignited the organizing of the first SlutWalk and served to trivialize, omit and dismiss women’s continuous experiences of sexual exploitation, assault, and oppression are an attack upon our collective spirits. Whether the dismissal of rape and other violations of a woman’s body be driven by her mode of dress, line of work, level of intoxication, her class, and in cases of Black and brown bodies—her race, we are in full agreement that no one deserves to be raped.

The Issue At Hand

We are deeply concerned. As Black women and girls we find no space in SlutWalk, no space for participation and to unequivocally denounce rape and sexual assault as we have experienced it. We are perplexed by the use of the term “slut” and by any implication that this word, much like the word “Ho” or the “N” word should be re-appropriated. The way in which we are perceived and what happens to us before, during and after sexual assault crosses the boundaries of our mode of dress. Much of this is tied to our particular history. In the United States, where slavery constructed Black female sexualities, Jim Crow kidnappings, rape and lynchings, gender misrepresentations, and more recently, where the Black female immigrant struggle combine, “slut” has different associations for Black women. We do not recognize ourselves nor do we see our lived experiences reflected within SlutWalk and especially not in its brand and its label.

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Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections

Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, King Abdullah has announced.

gathered in protest...

He said they would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council.

The move will be welcomed by activists who have called for greater rights for women in the kingdom, which enforces a strict version of Sunni Islamic law.

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"Occupy Wall Street" - Police turn violent, mace protestors, make unprovoked arrests

From the Occupy Wall Street website:

This is a video of a white-collar police officer macing penned-in young women (OP note - thanks eugeniedfranval for posting a slo-mo video and alternate view video in the comments):

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bonus link: a list of which giant corporations own which news entities, making it even more clear why this isn't getting any coverage

please feel free to use this thread to post any other videos and pictures coming out of the Occupy Wall Street movement!
MP - Something Completely Different


LDS leader dismissed after criticizing Friends of Scouting

Kenny Thomas says he could not in good conscience lead the annual Friends of Scouting fund drive in his LDS ward in Herriman without first sending an email to members to tell them that the money helps pay high salaries for Boy Scout executives and doesn’t stay with their local scout units.

He says that upset his stake president, who persuaded his bishop to release him after four months as president of the ward Young Men organization. The stake president sent him an email saying he was "appalled" at "misinformation" Thomas spread and suggested he did not "follow the prophet."

David C. Roth, president of the LDS Herriman South Stake, told The Tribune that Thomas was "released because of his unwillingness to support scouting in general," which is an activity arm of Young Men in the church, "and not just because of what he did with Friends of Scouting."

Thomas says, meanwhile, "It’s pretty clear I was released because of what I did with Friends of Scouting," and says he only distributed what he feels is truthful information from such sources as The Tribune. "I don’t think any member of the church should be afraid of standing up for the truth."

The episode comes after The Tribune last month reported about how the LDS Church locally uses higher pressure methods for its Friends of Scouting drives than do other groups nationally, including having stake presidents and bishops ask members for $50 to $100 each, and sending armies of Scouts to knock on every door in their boundaries (including people who are not LDS) to seek money.

The story also noted that money from the drives helps pay big salaries. Local scout councils declined to give the current salaries of executives. But past tax forms showed, for example, that former Great Salt Lake Council executive Paul Moore made $228,000 annually before leaving to head a council in Los Angeles where he is paid $383,500.

Thomas said he had already been looking into — and was upset by — how the Boy Scouts spent Friends of Scouting money and other funds. He said that started a year ago when he saw his ward was paying far more for what he calls "ramshackle" Scout camps than it was for higher-quality girls camps run by the church.

"Facilities were awful, and the latrines were literally unusable," he said. "Friends of Scouting money was supposedly going to help fund the camps, too, but it didn’t appear to be percolating down. And anytime a boy wanted to do something there — like shooting or rappelling — they charged an extra fee."

Given that, he said he was shocked at how much Scout executives are paid, and said he found online that some charity-rating groups say the salaries are too high compared with other nonprofits.

Thomas said he told his bishop before he conducted their Friends of Scouting drive that he felt he needed to tell members about that so they could make an educated decision about whether to give.

He sent ward members an email talking about salaries and set up a Facebook page with more detailed information.

The email said he was "shocked to learn that the ever-increasing cost of scouting is driven by the growing inefficiency, bureaucracy, top-heavy organization and million-dollar-plus salaries being paid within the BSA." (Robert J. Mazzuca, the national chief Scout executive, had a 2009 compensation of $1.21 million.)

He said people at church laughed about it and several gave him a thumbs-up for courage. He said many people told him they always mistakenly thought the money stayed with their local Scouts. He said most donated to the drive anyway.

One member of his ward who was upset, however, was Roth. He acknowledges talking with the bishop about releasing Thomas and said the bishop decided that was the proper thing to do. Roth said it was because of general lack of support of Scouting by Thomas, which he says is not appropriate for a Young Men’s president.

Thomas said he sent Roth an email months ago about his concerns, but Roth responded only on the day that he was released by his bishop.

Roth’s email said, "I have recently received the Friends of Scouting drive for our stake. I am just going to be direct and to the point. I am appalled with the effect that your misinformed actions have had on this effort for our ward. Our donations are about $1,200 less than the goal of $50 per boy, and is significantly less than the other wards in the stake.

"Even though our family has already made a contribution to this cause, I will not let your efforts negatively affect the program. I will personally make up the difference. Scouting is endorsed by the prophet. He knows more than you and I about the efficacy and worth of scouting. I trust he has received revelation regarding this. For me, it is an easy and straightforward concept. I follow the prophet," the email said.

Thomas said in an interview, "I support Scouting and what it can do for the youth, but am concerned about the administration of the BSA. I think there is a lot of waste, and the salaries are too high. I am not attacking scouting or the church. I would like to see change in BSA administration. I think that most people understand that."

After The Tribune talked to Roth, Thomas said the stake presidency requested a meeting with him, which included asking why he had contacted the news media.

Thomas says he sees the meeting as a positive, however, because it started a dialogue about his concerns and why he acted as he did.

Thomas said, "This has become more difficult than I ever imagined when I started down this path. I knew I was climbing out on a limb and it would be a lonely road for me. But I feel that bringing awareness to this is important, and I am committed to continuing it."



A bit of background for those who do not know: Boy Scouts is Real Serious Business in the LDS church. It's a bit of a rite of passage for LDS boys to be enrolled in Scouts and to receive their Eagle Badge. It's so integral, in fact, that the Mormon church introduced a Young Women's program called Personal Progress or something to that effect that basically mirrors the Boy Scouts system. It's easy to grow up in the religion thinking Boy Scouts is a Mormon organization. Just to give an idea as to why even hinting that the BSA is corrupt could spark an enormous backlash in a Mormon community.

That said, I'm no fan of the BSA, but I didn't know they were this disgustingly corrupt.
barack/hillary; laughing

Suicide Bombing in Indonesia

SOLO, Indonesia — A suicide bomber attacked a packed Indonesian church on Sunday killing at least one person, wounding several others and sending terrified worshippers rushing out into the streets.

The morning bombing of the Church Bethel Injil in the city of Solo, in Central Java, was the latest in a spate of deadly attacks on minorities in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Kristanto said he and his wife were getting ready to leave at the end of the service when the blast went off.

"I was about to head home when a very loud explosion shocked me. A crowd of people from inside the church rushed to the streets," he told AFP.Collapse )


This happened an hour from where I live. Scary stuff. :\

And in this corner, Voice of God versus That One Pizza Guy

Herman Cain is hitting back at Morgan Freeman for calling the Tea Party racist.

The Republican presidential candidate called the Oscar-winning actor’s eyebrow-raising remarks “short-sighted” on Friday. "Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Partiers about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party," Cain told Fox News.

Freeman, who endorsed Obama in 2007, created a firestorm when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier this week that conservative opposition to the President has enflamed racism in America. He added the Tea Partiers have the mentality of "Screw the country, we're going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here…It is a racist thing."

Despite the criticism, Cain said he wasn’t offended by Freeman’s comments. "Name calling is something that is going to continue in this because they don’t know how to stop this movement and this movement is making a big difference in politics," said Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

At a GOP presidential debate on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said - if he could - he would pair Cain with ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to form his ideal running mate.

Cain was flattered.

"I’ve even seen some of the phrases that I used in the first debate being used in some of the later debates," said Cain. "I’m ok with that; imitation is the best form of flattery."

But Cain trails behind several of the other presidential hopefuls. He stands in fifth place, with 7% support, according to the latest Rasmuseen Reports survey of likely GOP primary voters. Ahead of him are Perry, with 28% support, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with 24%, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 9%, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 8%.

Video included at source.

(Also, no Herman Cain tag?)
hula girl

Little girls or little women? The Disney princess effect

By Stephanie Hanes, / Correspondent
posted September 24, 2011 at 11:48 am EDT

A few years ago, Mary Finucane started noticing changes in the way her 3-year-old daughter played. The toddler had stopped running and jumping, and insisted on wearing only dresses. She sat on the front step quietly – waiting, she said, for her prince. She seemed less imaginative, less spunky, less interested in the world.

Ms. Finucane believes the shift began when Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva) discovered the Disney Princesses, that omnipresent, pastel packaged franchise of slender-waisted fairy-tale heroines. When Finucane mentioned her suspicions to other parents, they mostly shrugged.

"Everyone seemed to think it was inevitable," Finucane says. "You know, it was Disney Princesses from [ages] 2 to 5, then Hannah Montana, then 'High School Musical.' I thought it was so strange that these were the new trajectories of female childhood."

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