Nebraska bishop: No communion for Planned Parenthood supporters

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/04/17/nebraska-bishop-no-communion-for-planned-parenthood-supporters/

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Support for the reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood continues to be a contentious issue for Catholic groups and bishops.

According to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, Catholic lawmakers who support Planned Parenthood should be denied Communion “because they’ve defected from the Church’s faith.”

“It advocates contraception,” Bruskewitz told LifeSiteNews. “In its origins, from Margaret Sanger, it concentrates on racism. It believes certain races are inferior. It has certainly a eugenic aspect to it – extermination of people who are considered unfit to live, a la Nazis.”

“And of course abortion is an abominable crime,” he continued. “The Second Vatican Council is very clear about that. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion supplier, business, and purveyor, in the United States.”

The American Life League called for 62 Catholic members of the House of Representatives who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood to be excommunicated from the Church.

Republicans introduced legislation in February that would eliminate all $327 million in funding for Title X, a family planning program that began 40 years ago under President Richard Nixon. And while Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars from the program, Title X funds cannot be used for abortion services.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/04/17/nebraska-bishop-no-communion-for-planned-parenthood-supporters/

Discovering the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center: Pioneers Pave the Way

I was involved with the center as a client and later as a volunteer off and on during my stay in Los Angeles.

I saw the following article in their monthly news letter, “Vanguard”

From LA Gay and Lesbian Center:  http://www.lagaycenter.org/site/PageServer

Part 1 in a four-part series

In 1971, sodomy laws were still on the books. Police officers regularly raided L.A. gay bars. And the American Psychiatric Association still considered homosexuality a mental disorder.

It was also the year a group of LGBT visionaries made history. On an old clapboard house located on busy Wilshire Boulevard near Union Avenue, they hung a big, bold sign that read “Gay Community Services Center.”

“The large sign out front became a tourist attraction and was picked up by the media, becoming a beacon to isolated gay people around the world,” journalist Karen Ocamb wrote in her The Short History of the Gay and Lesbian Center (unpublished).

The leaders who hung the sign were the pioneers who, in the late ’60s, planted the seeds of the Center. By the time the organization incorporated in 1971, it was already a sturdy sapling.

And now, thanks to tending by the extraordinary women and men of the Center’s history, it’s like a Banyan tree, with a strong root system and multiple trunks designed to support the diverse community of LGBT people.

Now the world’s largest LGBT organization, the Center is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its incorporation and saluting those who paved the way.

Read the full story on Facebook.
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NLRB Intiative Helps Crack Down on Unionbusting, Illegal Firings

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7197/nlrb_intiative_helps_crack_down_on_union_bustin_as_nlrb_avoid_budget_c/

By Mike Elk
Friday Apr 15, 2011

Effort will continue, as federal mediation agency avoids major budget cuts

A few months ago, I profiled Lafe Solomon‘s appointment as General Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board, which handles disputes between unions and management, among other things. As General Counsel, he can speed up and provide quick remediation for employees illegally fired during union organizing drives.

Solomon has already make big waves in changing how the NLRB operates.

On December 20, 2010, Solomon announced an initiative to ask the NLRB’s regional offices to more quickly identify cases where someone has been fired during an organized drive. According to a press release, remedies should be crafted to “recreate an atmosphere that allows employees to fully utilize their statutory right to exercise their free choice.” The memo authorizes regional offices to include in complaints and in petitions seeking temporary injunctions from federal courts, appropriate remedies such as a reading of the Board’s remedial notice, or allowing union access to workplace bulletin boards and providing names and addresses of employees.”

One of the key features of this initiative has been to seek temporary injunctions in federal court against employers’ illegally firing, and to seek them quickly when they are needed. 10(j) injunctions are effective because they return workplaces to the status quo while the NLRB is considering the case.

The Board process is cumbersome and can take almost a year for some cases of unfair firings during an organizing campaign to make their way through the process. Going to federal court for a 10(j) injunction allows the firing to be halted until it can make its way through the NLRB progress.

If somebody gets fired in a workplace during an organizing campaign, it sends chills throughout the whole campaign. Under the normal NLRB process, it would go through a long process that could take over a year. Under Solomon’s new initiative, the NLRB would more regularly ask a judge to give a temporary order so that he could get his job back while the case is going through the NLRB. This helps organizing drive, because it makes it harder for employers to intimidate workers as easily.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7197/nlrb_intiative_helps_crack_down_on_union_bustin_as_nlrb_avoid_budget_c/

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The E.R.A. Education Project

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A Decade of Equality in the Netherlands

From The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/04/17/10_Years_of_Equality_in_the_Netherlands/

By Advocate.com Editors
April 17, 2011

As the Netherlands marks 10 years of marriage equality this month, the initial sponsor of same-sex legislation in the country celebrates what the rational among us know to be true: The sky has not fallen.

“A decade later, of the nearly 75,000 civil marriages that take place in the Netherlands each year, about 1,400 involve same-sex couples,” Boris O. Dittrich, advocacy director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch and the first openly gay member of parliament in the Netherlands, wrote in a Sunday op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. “Heterosexual couples did not turn away from the institution of marriage, nor did the world isolate my country. Civilization as we know it did not end. And, as far as I can tell, God did not punish the Netherlands.”

Complete article at: a href=”http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/04/17/10_Years_of_Equality_in_the_Netherlands/”>http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/04/17/10_Years_of_Equality_in_the_Netherlands/

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Home Depot’s disgusting union-busting video

The phrase Uncle Tom comes to mind. Along with a whole lot of Joe Hill, Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips and Woody Guthrie songs.

From Teamster Nation: http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2011/04/home-depots-disgusting-union-busting.html

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xi3c1y_leaked-home-depot-anti-union-video_news

The Home Depot, a multi-million dollar corporation, recently created a pathetic anti-union video it will presumably show to new employees. The leaked video is a disturbing example of just how far the War on Workers has gone.

The high-quality, 14-minute clip features over-bubbly employees dressed in The Home Depot garb chirping about why working for the company is so freakishly awesome. They mention great benefits like medical, 401(k) and job security (yeah, right). What they don’t mention are the facts:

• 85 percent of union members have defined pensions—not 401(k)s;

• According to research, the majority of working Americans say they would join a union if they could;

• A strong union contract is the only way to ensure job security.

The video also conveniently forgets to mention serious violations filed against The Home Depot by OSHA in 2010 for “lacking adequate personal protective equipment and deficient injury recordkeeping.” It overlooks a class-action suit brought against the company for failing to provide adequate seating for employees who need it.

Oh, but it gets better. In 2001, The Home Depot paid $10 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it mishandled hazardous material and improperly trained employees who handled that material. The ADA has cited The Home Depot for discriminating against deaf workers. Home Depot CEO Frank Blake was implicated in a lawsuit that alleged numerous instances of abuse, including harassment, falsification of company documents, forgery and retaliation.
Employees in the video talk about Home Depot’s honest, open-door communications policy. They say,

We have a good thing here at Home Depot. You know, unions like to talk about giving workers a voice, but at Home Depot our associates already have a voice.

But they don’t bring up the fact that in 2008, Home Depot Founder Bernie Marcus said any CEO that doesn’t contribute to Republicans opposed to Employee Free Choice “should be shot.” So much for open communication.

Isn’t This How Hitler Started?

From Lezgetreal: http://lezgetreal.com/2011/04/isn%E2%80%99t-this-how-hitler-started/

by L. S. Carbonell
04-17-2011

On January 30, 1933, German President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. Hitler quickly pushed Hindenburg aside and eliminated the non-Nazis in his coalition government. The regime used excessive military spending to ease unemployment and create prosperity. They rode this prosperity to popularity, used the secret police to destroy liberal, socialist and communist opposition, destroyed labor unions and persecuted gays and Jews. They took control of the courts, local government and all civic organizations. All information was controlled and free speech was suppressed. Unswerving loyalty to the fatherland was the keystone of acceptance in a conformist society.

On January 20, 2001, George W. Bush was inaugurated President of the United States. He used two unfunded wars and limitless government spending to create prosperity. He deregulated the financial industries, making credit easy. He appointed Supreme Court Justices who shared his neo-conservative views. Unswerving loyalty to the homeland was encouraged to make America capable of fighting a vague and nebulous enemy. In the final year of his administration, the economy collapsed. His successor was America’s first black (actually half-black) President, and his differentness led to allegations he wasn’t a “real American.” He was portrayed in the conservative media as a terrifying liberal, communist, socialist, Maoist, Marxist, Nazi who would destroy America. By lumping Nazis in with their sworn enemies, the conservative media sought to deflect comparisons between their vision of America and Hitler’s Germany. This conservative media had had 14 years to persuade its viewers that only they spoke truthfully on issues, so that their viewers never questioned the facts when they started lying. Two years later, the Democrats had been unable to perform a miracle with the economy, so the conservative media helped propel into office a group of men and women who received massive amounts of financial support, both directly and indirectly, from a small group of ultra-rich businesspeople. At the state level, these politicians passed laws to destroy labor unions, persecute immigrants, gays and Muslims, and take control of local governments. Conservatives flooded internet comment sites, occasionally shutting them down, frequently slowing them to a crawl with excessive postings until they had pushed opposition voices off the sites.

In Saturday’s Forbes Magazine on-line politics page, writer Rick Unger, with a assist from Wisconsonite Doug Olson, showed how Governor Scott Walker is planning to introduce a bill into his highly co-operative legislature to give him virtually unlimited power to take over a local government. Michigan’s Gov. Rick Snyder already has that power. The trigger for the take-over would be Walker’s personal opinion that a locality is financially unfit. Since his budget cuts over $1 billion from local governments and forbids the raising of local taxes, he has created the circumstances by which he could seize every locality in the state, dismiss the locally elected officials, appoint a person or company to run the locality, end local services, and cancel local employment contracts.

Continue reading at: http://lezgetreal.com/2011/04/isn%E2%80%99t-this-how-hitler-started/

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