Friday, June 24, 2016

"Make America White Again" Politician Has Other Stupid Things To Say, Too

 A Tennessee politician who has LOTS of stupid
things to say put up this annoying billboard.  
Rick Tyler certainly caused a splash this week when he put up a billboard in Polk County Tennessee that says "Make America White Again."

Tyler is running for to be a U.S. Congressman, representing Tennessee's 3rd District. Almost nobody thinks he'll win that seat, which is a good thing.

Beyond the extreme offensiveness of Tyler's billboard, we can also bask in the shining stupidity of his thoughts, his quotes and his campaign web site.

First of all, Tyler told television station WRCB in Chattanooga that he has no hatred for "people of color" but that the sign's message is that America should go back to a "1960s Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver time when there were no breaks-ins, no violent crime, no mass immigration."

Yes, Ozzie and Harriet  and Leave It To Beaver were pleasant, calm and um, pretty white, but has anyone clued Tyler in that they were TV shows. As in fiction. As in not reality.  As in viewers' escape from their day-to-day trouble.

No mass immigration? I seem to recall at that time, America saw an influx of Cubans - decidely nonwhite people coming to our shores and living here. I'm glad we welcomed those Cubans fleeing Castro's repression, but still, no immigration?

No violent crime? The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was on TV from 1952 to 1966. To pick one year during that show's run, the murder rate in 1960 was 5.1 per 100,000 in the United States, according to Infoplease, citing statistics from the FBI.

The murder rate in 2014, Tyler's much hated modern era, was lower than in 1960, at 4.5 per 100,000 says Infoplease

OK, this next one is a smaller point, but maybe Tyler is more impressed with himself than others.

Television station WTVC in Chattanooga took a peek at Tyler's web site and found some real gems. Including this take on his billboard:

"With its towering and massive stature, the billboard sign is difficult to ignore an dits message comes across as authorative and influential."

First of all, the billboard looks a little small and lame, judging from the photos. And was Tyler just trying to ridiculously channel the 1988 song "Nothing But Flowers" by the Talking Heads.

After all, that song has the following lyric:

"Years ago, I was an angry young man
And I'd pretend that I was a billboard
Standing tall, by the side of the road.
I fell in love with a beautiful highway."

Kind of the same message as Tyler's, no?

In ever-more flowery language (Tyler needs an editor!) he goes on on his web site:

"The Make America White Again billboard advertisement will cut to the very core and marrow of what plagues us as a nation. As Anne Coulter so effectively elucidates in her book, "Adios America," the overhall of Amerca's immigration law in the 1960s has placed us on an inevitable course of demise and destruction.

Yes, the cunning globalist/Marxist social engineers have succeeded in destroying that great bulwark against statist tyranny, the white American super majority. Without its expedited restoration, little hope remains for the nation as a whole."

Wow, quite a helping of word salad there, Ricky!

So that strange performance artist Ann Coulter is right up there with the most classic of American writers writing about America? Right up there with Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman and John Steinbeck, huh?

You're also telling us that those Mexicans and other Latin American who streamed across our borders, either legally or illegally, was some evil plot by some Marxists to create tyranny in the U.S.

But what of the white Americans who seemed intent on tyranny. Does the name George Wallace ring a bell? How about Joseph McCarthy? J. Edgar Hoover?

Of course, Tyler's "Make America White Again" billboard is a play on Donald Trump's campaign catchphrase "Make America Great Again."

Tyler's an enthusiastic Trump supporter, but it's telling that a lot of people, including a pretty good sized number of Trump enthusiasts, really hated Tyler's billboard.

Here's a great example from WTVC's Facebook page which lists viewer comments:

Don Tate said, "As a Trump supporter, that is a poor excuse of a human to put a sign up like that. But that's the wonderful thing about freedom of speech. At least you know what's really in their heart."

True, that.

Tyler is a fringe candidate who will never be elected, so the temptation is to ignore him. But it's always best to look under rocks and into dark corners to see what kind of pestulence and rot is in there.

Because of if you catch it early and bring it to the light of day, you can disinfect it pretty quickly so it doesn't cause more damage.

Indeed, Tyler faces a backlash, as you might expect. The billboard has been taken down and pretty much everybody is boycotting the local restaurant he owns.

I  hope the fine folks of Polk County, Tennesee find a great candidate among the many who are ruming. I'm sure you can find somebody better than Tyler.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Idiots Light Shelves Of Fireworks In A Walmart Apparently Because It's Fun

Somebody set fire to this display of fireworks
inside a Phoenix Walmart.  
If you're in Arizona, you can buy fireworks for your Fourth of July celebrations at a Walmart.

Except at one Phoenix Walmart at the moment.

That's because some idiots decided it would be fun to light them on fire while the fireworks were still on the store shelves in that Walmart.

You can see the two videos of the incident at the bottom of this post. Pretty wild.

Whoever set the fire - and their faces are on security cameras from the store - could face 20 years in prison with a felony conviction for doing this.

Store staff evacuated the busy store. Some of them were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation from breathing all that smoke in while making sure everybody was out of the building.

On the bright side, the flames were extinguished before they reached a nearby display of lighter fluid and propane, which really would have caused a mess.

But the store is closed because of extensive smoke and water damage.

Because of some idiots.

First video was taken right by the display as it burst into flames, the second one is store surveillance cameras narrated by a snarky guy, but still pretty fascinating to watch.

And stupid. If that fire spread any quicker, some of those shoppers and Walmart staff could have been killed.




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Amazing Broadway Support For Orlando: "What The World Needs Now Is Love"

An awesome collection of Broadway luminaries has
just released a benefit song for Orlando shooting victims
and LGBT advocacy in Orlando.
My husband Jeff told me last night I should find out about "Broadway For Orlando," and effort to help the LGBT community after the Orlando shooting.

Great suggestion, Chief! (I call my husband Chief.)

Broadway for Orlando is something absolutely wonderful.

About 60 Broadway luminaries gathered in a recording studio on June 15 - just three days after the Orlando shooting - to record the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic "What The World Needs Now Is Love."

Watch the stirring video of it at the bottom of this post. If their performance of this song doesn't move you at least a little, nothing will

Among the broadway luminaries taking part were Lin-Manuel Miranda (from "Hamilton); Kristen Bell, Gloria Estefa, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Idina Mezel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Sara Bareilles, Wayne Brody, Rosie O'Donnell, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune and Matthew Broderick.

Broadway for Orlando could not have chosen a better song for this effort, with the lyrics:

"What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone."

As a gay man, I'm thrilled to live in a changed world in which most people accept us for who we are, that I was able to marry the love of my life, even though he's the same gender as me. Things are much better than they were even a decade ago, never mind 30, 40, 50 years ago.

My favorite aunt was Aunt Irene. She was smart and funny and cool, always tooling around in her Ford Mustangs.

Aunt Irene also drank herself to death. I know now she was a lesbian, and back in the day -1950s, 1960, 1970s -  there was no way she could be who she was.

I have no proof of this, but I'm convinced the fact she couldn't openly live her life killed her.  Hate, intolerance and ignorance is a terribly efficient killer.

Years later, people bravely started coming out as gay, and when most reasonable people discovered they knew gay people and those people were just fine, the anti-gay balloon began deflating

This paved the way for people like me. I don't have to be alone and hidden like Aunt Irene. I'm proud of my husband, and who I am. Jeff and I have built a sweet life together. You know, love, sweet love, as the song goes.

But the love, as Broadway for Orlando tells us, it is not just for some, but for everyone. Or should be anyway.
Broadway stars record "What The World Needs Now
Is Love" to benefit the Orlando LGBT community. 

I know there's a lot of people like Aunt Irene. I mean still, to this day.

Anti-gay bigotry killed those 49 people in Orlando's Pulse nightclub. It also kills people quietly.

It's the so called Christian parents or churches or relatives who find out a kid is gay and rejects him or her.

The Trevor Project, an advocacy group for gay youth, tells us suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24, and LGBT are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

Gay kids who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to attempt suicide as their gay peers who report no or low levels of family rejection, says the Trevor Project. 

Then we have the small but odious band of people in the U.S. who call themselves Christian and regularly try to beat the gay community down.

There's so-called Pastor Steven Anderson, who celebrated the deaths of the 49 people in Orlando shorting after the massacre.

There's also alleged Pastor Roger Jimenez, who wished the 53 people injured in the shooting at that gay nightclub would just die already because most of them were gay. (The owner of the building that leases space to Jimenez's "church" is so upset with the comments that they're kicking him and his church out.)

These are extreme examples, of course. But this kind of rhetoric is dangerous. Most people wouldn't act on these bigoted speeches, but a few wackos could.

I feel relatively safe being who I am, but not completely safe. I know there are hateful bigots that want me dead. Or to at least go away.

The hatred that still lingers. Statistics are iffy, but between 20 and 30 people are murdered in anti-LGBT violence annually. Most victims are people of color.

So yes, Broadway for Orlando is exactly right. What the world needs now is love, sweet love for everyone.

I'm also grateful Broadway for Orlando is continuing to publicize and push this so hard to raise money for The Center in Orlando. I noticed the Broadway luminaries got together again to perform "What the World Needs Now Is Love" on the Maya and Marty show on NBC last night. 

Sirius XM Rado host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley decided on Monday, June 13 to organize the benefit single, People magazine reports. By Wednesday, the recording was done.

"We started making calls, and suddenly we had tons of theater actors along with an orchestra and the services of a fully-staffed recording studio, all willing to donate their time and talent......
Our community of artists has banded together as we always to to show we can end this cycle of violence and intolerance. Love will prevail," Rudetsky said.

You can go to BroadwayRecords.com or iTunes to download Broadway for Orlando's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," for $1.99.

Even more importantly, when you see hate or hear hate speeech against the LGBT community or anyway, counteract it. Do something loving. Tell the haters why they're wrong. You might not change their minds, but you'll  put them on notice.

Here's the spectacular video of Broadway for Orlando's "What the World Needs Now Is Love"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kids Playtime Turns to Extreme Adventure Thanks To Hollywood Dad

Is this toddler clinging to the edge of a tall skyscraper?
Find out in the video in this post.  
UPDATE: The video I origionally posted was deleted by YouTube for violating terms of service.

I don't know why, but a replacement video is available, which I've posted.'

ORIGINAL DISCUSSION:

This is what happens to a normal kids's playtime when his dad works in Hollywood.

Let's do a little CGI on the kid.

This is pretty wild and fun, but I'm sure as heck glad the kid wasn't really in any danger.

Just special effects.

Watch and enjoy!

Conspiracy Nutjobs Delight In Torturing Orlando Shooting Victims

Patience Carter, who was injured during The Pulse nightclub
massacre in Orlando, was victimized again by nutjobs
 claiming she's a crisis actor partiipating in a government
ruse to take all our guns away, or something.
Photo by Zack Wittman/Tampa Bay Times 
A woman named Patience Carter was shot and injured at The Pulse nightclub during the massacre there earlier this month and a friend she was with was killed.

Carter, like all the victims in this shooting deserves all the support and love anybody can give her,  obviously.  

But cue the nutjobs!

Every time something like this happens the conspiracy weirdos come out of the woodwork to tell us the same old story they have. This massacre didn't happen. It was staged by the government to take all our guns away and suspend all our civil rights.

And those victims we all saw on TV? Those are all crisis actors brought in to stage the "shooting"

Riiiigghht.

You'd think the conspiracy wackos would come up with something original, but that's the narrative they give every time.

We could safely ignore these idiots if they didn't make sport of harassing people like Patience Carter. But they seek people like her out, splash her all over the internet and "expose" her as the fraud she is clearly not.

According to Slate, the "proof" the conspiracy dingbats offer is that Carter is supposedly a crisis actor , which is obvious because she had interned at television station WTFX.

She worked for awhile at a TV station! Which proves she's an actor!

Or something like that.
Patience Carter meets with President Obama after the
Orlando shooting, not before, as the conspiracy nutjobs
would have it. 

Carter also Instagrammed photos of herself after the shooting, including one in which President Obama was comforting her when he went down to Orlando after the crime. 

Someone changed the time stamps on Carter's Instagrams to make it look like they were taken before the shooting, then re-posted them on line.

Hey, if you do a sleight of hand and change the time stamp, then the time sequence really did alter, apparently. What, these conspiracy theories have Cher's "If I Can Turn Back Time" as a constant earworm in their sick little heads?

Similarly to this situation, the kooks tortured parents of young children who were killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school massacre. As if these grieving parents needed more pain in their lives.

I'm not sure what to do about these nutjobs. Trying to bat away their idiotic rantings is just a fruitless, endless game of whack-a-mole.  Still, they deserve all the ridicule we can throw at them, which is what I'm trying to do here.

As for Patience Carter, she ended up "thanking" the morons who were bothering her with the nutty conspiracy theories. On Instagram she wrote: "It's your outrageous insensitivity that makes me want to heal even faster, and grow even stronger."




WTFX

Monday, June 20, 2016

Comfort Dogs Once Again Come To The Rescue, This Time In Orlando

A K-9 Comfort Dog consoles a woman in
Orlando last week after The Pulse nightclub shooting. 
Sometimes, humans are incredibly cruel to other people.

Like that evil Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and injured dozens more in The Pulse nightclub in Orlando a little more than a week ago.

Of course, many humans are incredibly kind, which explains the outpouring of support for Orlando.

Some of those kind people are with K-9 Comfort Dogs, sponsored by Lutheran Church Charities,  a group that trains golden retrievers to be therapy dogs.

The dogs go to places that are in crisis or had a disaster - like Orlando - where they help comfort people traumatized by the events.  Dogs always seem to be a light in an otherwise dark tunnel.

Unlike humans, dogs are almost always willing to lend a hand - make that a paw - when people need help.

Tim Hetzner of K-9 Comfort Dogs sent 12 golden retrievers along with 20 human volunteer dog handlers to Orlando, says CBS News. quoting Hetzner:

"With a golden, you don't feel alone, and you know that you're loved.....That helps people at the time to cope and to talk, and to see that there's hope. There's light."

Any breed of dog would help in a crisis like Orlando's of course, but golden retrievers are very good picks for this type of work.

The K-9 Comfort Dogs start a training program that lasts more than a year, starting whe their just eight weeks old. They learn to work with people with disabilities, get through airports, airplanes and escalators, and to manage their own temperaments in distressing situations.

While on the job, the comfort dogs will only work two hours at a time, then decompress during a play break by fetching balls orby taking a nap.  You don't want to overtax these dogs, who are only trying to help.

If what the comfort dogs are doing in Orlando sounds familiar, it should. The same organization went to Newtown, Connecticut when elementary school kids were slaughtered by a crazed gunman, traumatizing the town - and the nation.

According to National Geographic, petting a dog decreases levels of stress hormones and lowers blood pressure. Research suggests petting a dog releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding in affection, in both dogs and humans.

As many of us with dogs as companions know, they seem to have empathy. One study cited by National Geographic put dogs in a room with a couple of people. One person just sort of hummed to himself, the other pretended to cry.

The dogs always ran up to the person crying and nuzzled him or her.

Here's another good thing about comfort dogs and dogs in general: We seem to be an era of xenophobic politicians (Hi, Donald!)  These so called leader want to reject anyone they perceive as "other." So let's get rid of the Muslims, the Mexicans, the gays, or whoever else you want to target!

Dogs aren't like that.

Says National Geographic, citing Brian Hare, director of Duke University's Canine Cognition Center.  

"We've done research on this, and we've found is that not only are most dogs totally not xenophobic, they're actually xenophillic - they love strangers," Hare said. "Thats one way in which you could say dogs are 'better than people. We're not always that welcoming."

People often give obedience training to dogs. Maybe it's time the dogs start training us humans.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Fun: Dogs React To Guy Barking

The video in this post is a couple years old, but it's still a fun distraction on a Friday.

We have a guy that can bark, uncannily, just like a dog. So they put him in a room with dogs. He barked. The dogs mostly looked confused.

But it's still fun to watch the dogs' reactions to Barking Man: