Short Takes: News From All Over

Unionbusting Confidential
By Art Levine, In These Times
Amid the neon lights, rabid gambling and all-you-can-eat buffets of Las Vegas, reporter Art Levine slipped past the heavy security guarding an exclusive seminar on how companies can stay union-free. The two day-long conference, led by the anti-labor law firm Jackson Lewis, encouraged managers to keep American unions on a steady downward trajectory by scaring employees away from unions and even firing employees aiming to organize. Though it might cost a lot of money to stay union-free, the law firm argued, it’s better than wasting money on health insurance or higher salaries. — Brendan Mackie

The Fight To Prevent the Bill Of Rights
By Alexander Burns, American Heritage
Today the Bill of Rights is regarded as the cornerstone of civil liberties and held up by the US government as a model for free and democratic societies. When those rights were proposed, however, they weren’t so admired in our start-up nation. In a look back at the controversial origins of the Bill of Rights, American Heritage notes that Alexander Hamilton felt that explicitly listing certain rights could give the government the authority to infringe on rights not explicitly listed. James Madison, the ‘principal architect’ of the Bill of Rights, initially agreed with Hamilton, but had his mind changed by Thomas Jefferson. — Chris Gehrke

TV and the ’70s Sex Revolution
By Elana Levine, American Sexuality Magazine
During the next few weeks of fall lineup premieres, TV shows will settle into their regular schedules and their sometimes subtle, sometimes overt sexual innuendos will spill into living rooms across the country. In an article for American Sexuality Magazine, Elana Levine charts the intermingling of sexuality and network television in the 1970s and explains how once-taboo subjects made their way onto prime time television. Levine looks at the effect ’70s TV had on popular culture at a time when college campuses and discos embraced a brazen sexual revolution, and shows like The Love Boat and Three’s Company began to explore new sexual mores. ?— Chris Gehrke

Teen Girls Report Abusive Boyfriends Try To Get Them Pregnant
By the University of California Davis Health System
Intentionally ‘sabotaging birth control’ and ‘manipulating condom use’ are newly documented cruelties facing young women in abusive relationships. Elizabeth Miller, a pediatrician at the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital, surveyed 53 women between the ages of 15 and 20 and found that 26 percent of them reported that their boyfriends were trying to get them pregnant. ‘You think of forced sex as an aspect of abusive relationships,’ said Miller, ‘but this takes that abuse a step further to reproductive control of a young woman’s body.’ — Anna Cynar

Joanie 4 Jackie
By Miranda July
Director, author, and performance artist Miranda July has created a unique way for female filmmakers to unite in the male-dominated movie industry. Women who send their films to Joanie 4 Jackie will receive a compilation video of 10 ‘lady-made movies,’ including their own. Using this chainletter tactic, the project aims to create a worldwide community of female directors, and the project already has more than 10 years worth of women-directed movies in its archives. — Cara Binder

Malacca Strait Pirates
Text by Peter Gwin, photos by John Stanmeyer, National Geographic
‘Are you ready to learn how to steal a ship?’ a modern-day pirate named Muhammad asked writer Peter Gwin as the two floated in a small, wooden boat down the Strait of Malacca, a key trading route off the coast of Malaysia. One-fifth of the world’s sea-trade must maneuver through those dangerous waters, and pirates like Muhammad eke out a living by hijacking the ships’ precious cargo. Gwin navigates the straits, and Southeast Asia’s seedy underbelly, to explore the little-known world of maritime crime. — Brendan Mackie

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