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Satanic Temple Threatens to Sue Twitter for Religious Discrimination After They Were Threatened With Arson

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Here’s the latest development in a fight that started weirdly and only got weirder as time went on: the Satanic Temple is threatening to sue Twitter over an imbroglio that began with former child-actor Corey Feldman ranting about “Satanic nutbags” and retweeting a call to burn down their headquarters, and ended,…

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diannemharris
1 day ago
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I love everything about this story.
hannahdraper
2 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Fox Anchor Says Minimum Wage Will Make Him Tip Less

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Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney told viewers that he isn’t convinced that restaurant workers making a higher $15 minimum wage still deserve the standard 15% to 20% tip for their services.

Said Varney: “If I walk into a restaurant and I know the waiter or waitress is making $15 an hour, way more than they used to make the previous year, I am going to say, ‘wait a minute am I going to give you 20%, 15% or whatever?'”

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diannemharris
8 days ago
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Tipped minimum wage is dc is $2.13, where the non tipped minimum is $12. These waiters are not earning $15 that is a lie.
CallMeWilliam
3 days ago
Ending tipping sounds fantastic. Let's pay people a reasonable wage. Hell, let's have a MBI.
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1 public comment
jhamill
8 days ago
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Old white man is an asshole and says something stupid. Story online all the time.
California
duerig
8 days ago
It is also a silly dichotomy. If making sure that everyone gets a decent wage means the end of the tipping custom, who cares? In Australia, there are high minimum wages and nobody tips and everything is fine.
SteveRB511
8 days ago
It's my understanding that, at least in California, most servers at resturants get far less than minimum wage since they do get tips.

Stop Prosecuting Girls for Sexting

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When Jane Doe was 14 years old, she sent a revealing selfie to a boy she liked. He kept a copy and, without Jane’s consent, shared it with other students at their Minnesota school. Jane had to endure humiliating sexual harassment — and now, prosecutors are charging her with felony distribution of child pornography, threatening to put her on a sex offender registry for being a victim of nonconsensual pornography.

Jane’s case isn’t as rare as you might think. Across the country, some police and prosecutors have brought criminal charges against teenagers for sending sexts, claiming it violates child pornography laws. In 2015, a teenage couple in North Carolina were arrested for sexting one another; the girlfriend was charged with “felony sex crimes against herself.” In Iowa, teens have even been convicted for it.

Sexting prosecutions are state-mandated slut shaming — and they come with serious consequences.

Production and possession of child pornography can carry a federal minimum sentence of 15 years. After prison, people convicted of sex offenses are placed on the sex-offender registry — making it nearly impossible to find a job, live in most areas, or go to college. Being on the sex offender registry will ruin a person’s life. That’s the sentence kids could face because some overzealous prosecutor objects to them sending a raunchy photo to their prom date.

Creating, owning, and distributing child pornography carries strict sentences because these laws are supposed to protect children from sexual exploitation. That’s why bans on child pornography are permitted under the First Amendment, while general bans on pornography are not: as the Supreme Court wrote in New York v. Ferber, producing child pornography materials requires harm to minors and that harm “is exacerbated by their circulation.”

But a high school student who sends a risqué photo to her partner isn’t harming anyone, much less committing a felony sex crime, and neither is the girlfriend who receives the photo. Nor are they victims of sexual exploitation; no one’s harmed by teens sending flirty photos to one another. Sexting is normal teenage behavior — according to one 2012 survey, nearly a third of 18-year-olds report sending nude pictures while in high school and 45% report receiving them.

Under the absurd theory advanced by Jane Doe’s prosecutor, these tens of thousands of teenagers are simultaneously perpetrators of sexual exploitation and the victims of their own acts of child pornography. Worse, they could go to prison for it.

At best, some states have “diversion” programs where teens are forced to take a class about the dangers of sexting, suffer restrictions on their use of electronics, and admit to guilt. But what exactly are teens supposed to admit guilt to? Sending nudes? Thinking about sex? Teens girls don’t need the police to punish them for — or protect them from — normal sexual expression.

Those programs may be better than the sex offender registry, but they still seek to punish young people who have fundamentally done nothing wrong. A sexting diversion program is nothing more than court-mandated slut-shaming where teens are told that their sexual expression is so wrong that the state is intervening to teach them a lesson. And for victims of nonconsensual pornography like Jane, I worry that a program requiring her to “admit guilt” sends the atrocious, taxpayer-funded message that she’s responsible for her own sexual harassment.

It’s the same logic that leads district attorneys to throw rape survivors in jail to force them to testify: prosecutors say they’re punishing women and girls for their own good, as though they knew better. As though it’s worse for a young woman to send a completely consensual risque photo to her boyfriend than to end up on the sex offender registry.

It’s past time for courts to step in — sending nudes shouldn’t turn teens into sex offenders. In a 2010 case, the Third Circuit upheld a restraining order against a Pennsylvania DA who threatened to prosecute three teens for sexting unless they agreed to a re-education program, finding the case implicated the Constitutional rights of the girls and their parents. More of this, please. And as for Jane, the ACLU of Minnesota is stepping in on her side.  

As #MeToo disrupts longstanding imbalances of workplace power, we’ve seen a chorus of misguided writers clutching their pearls over punishing people for mere flirting. If you’re worried about a sex panic, maybe you should worry less about flirting and more about the local prosecutor’s office turning teens who send nudes into sex offenders.

Image Credit: ACLU of Minnesota

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diannemharris
9 days ago
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3 Pro Soccer Players Take On 100 Kids In A Wildly Entertaining Soccer Match

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In a Japanese New Year tradition that puts America’s bowl games and outdoor NHL games to shame, three pro soccer players took to the field to take on 100 children comprising the other team. No doubt many wistful adults have wondered how they would fare as fully-grown contestants against much younger opponents, and that very hypothetical has become a reality in this surreal, chaotic contest. 

90 children took to roaming the field while no less than 10 hung back to serve as goalkeepers during the beautiful frenzy. Inevitably, the hoard of children spent as much time colliding and evading each other as they did taking on the trio of pros from the Japanese J League. 

Here’s a video of the encounter, which serves as an answer to the question no one asked, “What if the Puppy Bowl was played with people?” 

Further hampering the pros is their reluctance to kick the ball so hard that it harms one of the ubiquitous children, so they’re left passing and shooting at half-speed for safety’s sake. 

The contest appears simply a race to score the first goal, which the pros were able to manage somewhat unfairly by knocking in a header over the pint-sized wall of goalkeepers. 

Such absurd contests are common on Japanese television shows, which once aired a contest in which three Olympic fencers took on 50 amateurs in a far more intense contest. 

Fortunately, none of those contestants were little kids. Even Japanese game shows have their limits. 

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diannemharris
10 days ago
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hannahdraper
10 days ago
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Washington, DC
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QOTD

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What a world:

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hannahdraper
16 days ago
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Washington, DC
diannemharris
16 days ago
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Great Wall of China Slide in Huairou, China

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Looking ahead on the slide.

Millions of people dream of one day standing atop the Great Wall of China. But at the wall’s Mutianyu section, visitors have the opportunity to experience the world wonder in a much more thrilling way: by whizzing down it in a toboggan slide.

Though the majority of visitors to the famous flock to the easily accessible Badaling segment, it's worth driving just two hours north to Mutianyu. There, after ascending to the top of the Great Wall via gondola, chairlift, or foot, you can return to the base by zooming down a steep, zig-zagging slide, with views of the Great Wall along the way.

The ride, which runs adjacent to the wall, lasts about five minutes depending on how much you apply the brakes with the joystick attached to your cart. The average speed on the slide is 12 mph, although a few adrenaline junkies might reach much higher top speeds. It isn't just for daredevils—celebrities like Michelle Obama and Peyton Manning have taken their turns on the slide, too.

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diannemharris
24 days ago
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Ooh!
hannahdraper
24 days ago
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I've been there! It's super fun!
Washington, DC
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