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Groundhog Day

The Smithsonian unveils a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black farmer whose cells led to medical miracles.

A 1950’s TV show had a villain named Trump who promised to save the world by building a wall.

Wedding photographer arrested after sleeping with guest, peeing on tree and threatening cops.

92-year-old doctor rides subway to work to see 200 patients and has no plans of retiring.

My evangelical church is gaslighting me, but I refuse to fall for it anymore.

Do missionaries help or harm?

Fortnite creator Tim Sweeney is buying thousands of acres of forest to stop it from being cut down.

The Kirsten Gillibrand saga highlights exactly what’s wrong with the Democratic party.

Here’s the video of the gender reveal in 2017 that started a massive wildfire in Arizona.

96-year-old style icon Iris Apfel gets the Barbie treatment.

Hitler and the Nazis were seriously into their amphetamines and opiates.

The woman who cared for hundreds of gay men as they were dying of AIDS.

Thirteen incredibly useful facts about anxiety.

Historian finds German decree banishing Donald Trump’s grandfather.

What is it like to live without any friends?

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I can remember a time when people used to get their panties in a bunch because someone published a children’s book about a little girl being raised by a lesbian couple called Heather Has Two Mommies. I was at the local public library recently when I saw this Christmas book written for children on the shelves.

It’s called Santa’s Husband and, as you can guess from the cover, it’s about Santa Claus and his husband, Mr. Claus. In addition, it depicts an interracial couple and Santa Claus is black. I can remember a time when any library with such a book would’ve been targeted by homophobic people and there would be calls to remove that book. And I know people older than me who can recall an era where people would’ve raised a stink about interracial couples (regardless of whether they were heterosexual or same-sex). These days no one has raised any kind of ruckus about that book.

This shows how much times have changed and how more and more Americans are accepting the idea of same-sex couples and same-sex marriage.

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The American Revolution’s greatest leader was openly gay.

The hidden problem of homelessness on college campuses.

Ex-KKK member denounces hate groups one year after rallying in Charlottesville.

The violence Central American migrants are fleeing was stoked by the U.S.

Monica Lewinski says unexpected headlines trigger her trauma. Here is how she copes with them.

Who needs Barbie? These high-tech dolls teach girls how to code.

Japanese-Americans imprisoned in internment camps in the 1940s watch the crisis stemming from the current detention of immigrants in camps with heavy hearts.

How America treats its own children makes it an outlier.

The Muslim World War II heroine that time forgot.

So we’re gonna pretend these refugees aren’t a result of our actions in Central America?

Study finds that most manufacturing jobs are dead ends.

There’s an obscure Monopoly game rule that changes the whole game—and you probably had no clue it existed.

A Holocaust survivor says that America feels like Germany before the Nazis took over.

Sex robot can now refuse to have sex if she’s not in the mood.

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Twitter’s stance on Infowars’ Alex Jones should be a moment of reckoning for its users.

Trump reportedly broke his promise to step away from his business.

The far right is at its strongest since the 1930s and the media is helping.

How a Democrat killed welfare.

Immigrant children are separated from parents in the UK just like in Trump’s America.

The end of capitalism is already starting—if you know where to look.

Vanity Fair backlash proves the left needs to divorce Hillary Clinton.

Pink Pistols: The American LGBTQ group fighting hate crime with guns.

25 hilarious kids’ test answers that are too brilliant to be wrong.

12 ways political parties are no different than cults.

Emma: A 15-second horror movie.

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Josh Hader is the latest example of how online posts from the past can affect us today.

What’s the common thread among sexual harassers? Too often, it’s money.

Woman from viral frozen eyelash selfie shares equally intense summer-themed picture.

A preview of a U.S. society without pensions.

The retail apocalypse has been postponed.

This Lego R/C creation as a flying toy is just plain cool.

Without Net Neutrality, is it time to build your own Internet?

Anti-Trump artists turn room in President’s Manhattan hotel into rat-filled exhibit.

A compendium of Native American tipi decoration circa 1900.

The rise and fall of the “Freest Little City in Texas.”

Everyone’s laughing at pro-Trump artist Jon McNaughton’s latest painting.

Daughter shows what Alzheimer’s did to her mother’s ability to crochet and the last piece will break your heart.

Twitter sided with Nazis over a Jewish journalist.

This guy asked for the gayest cake ever and the bakery delivered.

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Once again I was in downtown Washington, DC during DC Pride Weekend, which was held as part of the month-long Pride Month. I was there to attend the latest DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School (which I’ll get into in a future post). I decided to travel downtown just a few hours early because I heard that one of the leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. Dr. William Barber was speaking at a Sunday service.

While I was walking on my way to church, I saw this trompe l’oeil wall mural.

I made my way to Thomas Circle where the National City Christian Church is located. This church is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ and it is definitely very welcoming to LGBTQ people.

I loved the interior of this church. You could tell that this is a historic church who has been in the same location for generations.

Each pew had an embroidered cushion at each end representing one of the 50 states. I shot this photo of the state that I currently live in (Maryland) but I ended up sitting in a pew that had a California cushion (but I ended up not taking a photo of that one).

The next photo shows the order of service and a flyer promoting the Poor People’s Campaign upcoming rally that was held later that month (on June 23).

The high point was hearing William Barber speak. He gave a very moving sermon on how he overcame his own homophobia to embrace LGBTQ rights while also promoting the goals of the Poor People’s Campaign in general.

I don’t regret making the effort to attend this Sunday service. A two-part video of this service has been archived on the Poor People’s Campaign’s Facebook page: Part 1 and Part 2.

After the service ended, we were invited to join the congregation for coffee and conversation in what looks like a newer, modern part of the church building. I didn’t see too many people at the coffee hour and I think it’s because there was the DC Pride Festival that was held on the Mall and many church members didn’t stay long because they wanted to go to that festival. I didn’t get a chance to meet Rev. Dr. Barber after the service because he went straight from delivering that sermon to a Spanish-language service that was meeting in a different room of the building in order to meet with the Latinos then he had to go on to a couple of other events that were scheduled that day. (I heard that he spoke at River Road Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda later on that same day.) The next photo shows the modern part of the church building.

I thought about making a brief appearance at the DC Pride Festival on the Mall but I didn’t get out of church until it was nearly 1 p.m. and it would’ve been cutting it close with Dr. Sketchy’s (where the doors opened at 2:30 p.m. and the event began at 3 p.m.). Instead I walked along P Street, NW from Thomas Circle to Dupont Circle while I took a variety of rainbow-themed decorations.

There were the occasional sign in Dupont Circle reminding people about a few facts about LGBTQ-related issues, such as remembering the late drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, who was one of the leaders of the Stonewall riot.

I took the occasional non-rainbow shot, such as this wheat pasted poster promoting the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie.

I saw a tent with a bicycle set up in the front yard of someone’s townhouse.

I saw some colorful graffiti in an alleyway.

I also saw some anti-Trump graffiti spray painted in various places throughout Dupont Circle.

There was a protest rally in Dupont Circle by an organization that called itself the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. All I can say is that I have never heard of this group before and they shouldn’t be confused with the Poor People’s Campaign (despite the similarities in the names). It drew a small crowd with some curious passer-bys briefly stopping by before moving on elsewhere.

I made a brief stop at Fantom Comics., which was decked out with both a rainbow flag and a Black Lives Matter flag.

Fantom Comics had a special display dedicated to Queer Comics, which featured comic books with LGBTQ characters.

They had a mannequin with a transgender flag and a pennant celebrating the Washington Capitals’ recent win of the Stanley Cup for the first time ever in the history of the team.

I didn’t buy anything in the store due to tight finances and the fact that I had planned on going to the DC Dr. Sketchy’s event at the nearby Bier Baron, which I’ll write about in a future post.

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I’m old enough to remember a time when if you wanted to purchase anything that was LGBTQ-related in the Washington, DC area, you had to go to the stores located in the heavily LGBTQ areas like Dupont Circle. You could easily forget about going to any store in the suburbs because such things just simply were not put on sale. This definitely includes Pride Month.

My how times have changed! Not only have corporations embraced Pride Month by putting out rainbow stuff but one can easily find rainbow-themed stuff on sale in the stores in the suburbs. What’s even more amazing is that this open observance of Pride Month has continued despite the fact that the Trump Administration is less-than-warm towards LGBTQ people. I kept on seeing rainbow stuff on sale in the suburbs, which is very convenient for those who want to buy rainbow items without having to take the Metro into downtown Washington, DC. I took a few photos but it wasn’t until the last day of Pride Month that I finally got around to uploading them. (I know I can be lame at times. LOL!) So, without further ado, here are some colorful stuff I saw in the suburban stores.

I saw slices of rainbow cake on sale at a local Giant supermarket earlier this month.

Rainbow Cake

But I saw the majority of rainbow-themed stuff on sale at Target.

Rainbow Clothes at Target

Rainbow Clothes on Sale at Target

Rainbow Stuff on Sale at Target

Stuff I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

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Earlier this month I went to this event at the Artist & Craftsman Supply store in Hyattsville where there was a special free workshop on creating your own rainbow clothes especially for Pride Month. All you needed to do was to supply your t-shirts, bags, or hats. If you forgot to bring one, you could buy one from the store itself. I ended up paying around $3 for a blank white t-shirt so I could participate.

Basically we used a variety of different fabric paint spray along with stencils and fabric markers to create our unique rainbow clothes and accessories. I took a few photos during the workshop itself.

The last photos in this post are about my own t-shirt that I designed myself. The next photo shows the t-shirt as a work in progress.

The next photo shows me using the blow dryer in order to make the t-shirt dry faster. (The fact that it was raining outside that day made it imperative that I try to dry the t-shirt as much as possible before I could even walk back to my car.)

Here is my completed t-shirt just a few weeks after that workshop.

Here’s the back of the t-shirt, which isn’t that interesting mainly because I used fabric paint spray instead of the tye-dye that I usually do with these kinds of projects. Plus it would’ve made the t-shirt drying that much longer and difficult since I had to carry it back to my car in the rain.

Last, but not least, is a selfie of me modeling that t-shirt, which reads “Pride Not Prejudice.”

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Budweiser’s new beer is based on George Washington’s handwritten recipe.

Suhad al-Khateeb, the first female communist elected in Iraq’s holiest city, calls for social justice.

How Amazon is holding Seattle hostage.

A look at why babies in medieval paintings look like middle-aged men.

Between financial troubles, lawsuits, and trailer park brawls, has the alt-right peaked?

New NRA President Oliver North once worked with cocaine traffickers to arm terrorists.

Working for free is not an opportunity, it is an imposition.

How American racism influenced Hitler.

Yes, there are worker-friendly alternatives to Walmart. Here are four good ones.

The Internet Archive “liberates” books published between 1923 and 1941 and will put 10,000 digitized books online.

Almost all violent extremists share one thing: their gender.

What it’s like to work in the sex industry in the wake of #MeToo.

These tiles turn your walls into a giant Lego playground.

An open letter that every LGBTQ+ person needs to read.

A presidential historian speaks out about Donald Trump.

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Yesterday I went to my first training for the Poor People’s Campaign in order to prepare for next month’s activities of protests in order to highlight the plight of the workers, the poor, women, racial minorities, and immigrants. The season of protests is scheduled to kick off nationwide on Mother’s Day weekend and it’s meant to build on Martin Luther King’s original Poor People’s Campaign (which he had just started when he was killed 50 years ago this month).

The training was held at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Cedar Lane had some nice touches on the outside that proclaim to the general public how it’s open and accepting of everyone regardless of who they are while taking moral stands on certain issues (such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, and gun control).

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

I went inside and saw a few training flyers I needed to pick up. I made some small talk among the fellow participants until the start of the training session.

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

The training was straightforward. We were taught how to behave ourselves in public while protesting in order to not turn off the general public to the message that we were trying to send. (For example, we are discouraged from wearing masks while protesting, drinking alcohol, taking illegal drugs, and uttering foul language.) The most important thing was that we had to remain nonviolent at all times.

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

I took part in the workshop on how to do nonviolent civil disobedience. At this point I’m not sure if I will actually set myself up to be deliberately arrested at a protest because I have just started a new job and my current finances are precarious. I still took the workshop just in case some cop decides to do a very wide sweep and arrest those who aren’t doing civil disobedience as well as those who are trying to get arrested. At least I know how to react if I somehow get caught up in some kind of a wide sweep.

I remember when I was a child my parents used to watch All in the Family and I still remember the episode where working class conservative bigot Archie Bunker happened to go to an anti-war protest in order to retrieve his son-in-law after Edith and Gloria were worried about Mike’s safety when they heard that the protest was getting violent. Mike returned home safe and sound while Archie ended up in jail along with the protesters whom he normally would never have any association with simply because he got caught up in a wide sweep by the police. You can read more about this episode here. There’s a full episode on YouTube that’s available for now but it’s unknown as to whether it will remain online or will get yanked for copyright reasons. In any case, I kept that episode in mind as I went to the training because I want to be prepared for the possibility that I would end up in jail like Archie Bunker even if I’m not doing civil disobedience.

The most memorable part of the training where we took turns simulating a civil disobedience act while other people playing the role of counter protesters and provocateurs yelled in our faces. The hardest part was remembering the chanting we were doing while someone yelled in our faces.

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Maryland Poor People's Campaign Training

Well, anyway, I learned a lot that night. The only downside of the training was that it rained that day. It wasn’t so bad going to the church but when we left, the rain was pouring down harder. I tried commuting on the Capital Beltway and it was so harrowing with the cars speeding in the downpour like it was nothing. I got off in Silver Spring and I blundered around until I consulted my smartphone GPS app and I managed to configure it to give me a route back home while bypassing all major highways. I traveled along the back routes until I arrived home. The drivers were more civilized on the back routes so I didn’t have to fear getting into an accident. The downside was that I had to stop at so many traffic lights that I didn’t return home until after 11 p.m.

In any case, despite the rain and the harrowing car trip home, I don’t regret going to that training. The Poor People’s Campaign is set to have its inaugural rollout nationwide on Mother’s Day weekend next month so stay tuned, folks!

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