Saturday, July 20, 2019

Trump's Golf Habit Has Cost Taxpayers Over $106,000,000

Donald Trump, who endlessly mocked President Obama for taking time to play golf while in office, has now cost the American taxpayers more than $106,000,000 in support of his golf hobby.
Donald Trump
Donald Trump, who endlessly mocked President Obama for taking time to play golf while in office, has now cost the American taxpayers more than $106,000,000 in support of his golf hobby.

Note - Trump initially announced his ban of transgender military service members because their healthcare was too costly at a price of around $8 million.

His golf habit has cost 13 times that in only two and a half years. Follow the costs to the American taxpayer at TrumpGolfCount.com.






Woofy Raph Solo Drops New Album 'LIFE'

Raph Solo

Hunky out singer/songwriter Raph Solo shares the first single from his fifth studio album, LIFE.

The single, titled “Jasmine Petals,” looks to nature for inspiration in how we look back at lost loves and knowing when to let go.

“Trees release their buds after the loveliness decays and that’s when real growth to the tree occurs,” says Solo. “Such should be the case with people and love.”

“We live and love and it’s ok to lose sometimes,” he adds. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

The contemporary euro-pop track begins with a haunting, melancholy introduction before a heavy bass beat kicks in along with piano and violin.



Shot in a cemetery and in a French period mansion in North London, the music video is full of symbolism.

In one scene, Raph is seen playing a violin, blindfolded. The artist says the visual is his way of questioning whether we really see what is happening in our lives, or if we simply go through life blinded.

In several scenes, Solo brandishes a gun. In that guns can end life, Solo includes the weapon as a metaphor for choosing or ending life. Choose to put the gun down and you choose life. Regardless of circumstance, Solo says the decision between life and death is ultimately our own.

"Jasmine Petals" and LIFE are currently available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and other digital music sites.

You can check out my previous coverage of Solo's music on The Randy Report here.

Check out the video below, and you can find more info on Solo at his official website here.



Funny: TripAdvisor Shades 'Straight Pride' Using Gay Anthem Song Titles


Earlier this week, I reported on streaming giant Netflix sending a cease-and-desist letter to the organizer's of the upcoming 'Straight Pride Parade' scheduled in Boston next month.

The homophobic organizer's used several corporations logos without permission in an effort to appear that they were "in negotiations" with the companies for sponsorship.

Nope, they weren't.

Netflix got sassy with a sentence in the letter reading, “You should know that we’re unafraid of bullies. Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”

Well, now TripAdvisor got wind of the homophobes using their logo, and they ain't having it either.

Check out the letter TripAdvisor sent the organizers using the titles of several LGBT anthem song titles. You'll note the capitalized words:

Dear Mr. Hugo,

I am writing on behalf of TripAdvisor LLC concerning Super Fun Happy America’s unauthorized use of TripAdvisor’s logo, as displayed on your website [snip]. I’m Coming Out and saying this clearly: you are infringing upon TripAdvisor’s intellectual property rights. Further, your statement that you are “in negotiations” with TripAdvisor as a “potential sponsor” is completely false.

To be precise, your use of the TripAdvisor trademark and our Beautiful logo infringes TripAdvisor’s trademark and trade name rights. TripAdvisor’s trademarks are protected in many countries around the world and Over The Rainbow, including in the United States under Registration Nos. 2727627, 3171193, 4612678, and 445774. We have become a well-known brand for our reviews of hotels, restaurants, experiences and even the occasional YMCA, but we weren’t Born This Way - we obtained that recognition through significant advertising and promotion since as early as 2000. As a result of the breadth of the services it provides and its widespread renown, TripAdvisor enjoys substantial rights in its mark and name.

Contrary to your claims, TripAdvisor is not “in negotiations” with your organization for sponsorship of its “Straight Pride Parade.” Similarly, we have not authorized you to use our name or logo in any way. You Need To Calm Down - you are not sponsored by, associated or affiliated with TripAdvisor in any way, and thus, your use of our marks could confuse the public as to an affiliation with TripAdvisor. These inaccurate statements, which I trust do not show your True Colors, infringe on TripAdvisor’s rights under the Lanham Act, and impinge upon our Freedom! to decide with what organizations we want to associate our brand. Have A Little Respect and remove those statements. TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event.

There is nothing Vogue or acceptable about making false claims about others merely to support your own cause. If I Could Turn Back Time, I would tell you not to use our name in the first place. But now that you have, TripAdvisor demands that you remove all uses of our name, mark and logo from your website (and anywhere else you might use it) within 24 hour and not use them again. In other words, Black Me Out with an “X” on the above webpage. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) disappointment that you thought this might be an acceptable way to do business.


The travel website also tweeted, "TripAdvisor is a proud and inclusive workplace. Our lawyers are definitely the most creative defenders of diversity!" The tweet also tagged gay divas Madonna, Lady Gaga, Diana Ross, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Gaynor, and Taylor Swift.




Friday, July 19, 2019

Billy Porter: 'Conservatives Are Human Beings, Too - It's All About Respecting Each Other's Humanity'

In the afterglow of his Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series  category for his work as 'Pray Tell' in the acclaimed FX series POSE, Billy Porter shared with The Wrap how the show is teaching all kinds of people - himself included - about a world too few understand.
Billy Porter in POSE

In the afterglow of his Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
category for his work as 'Pray Tell' in the acclaimed FX series POSE, Billy Porter shared with The Wrap how the show is teaching all kinds of people - himself included - about a world too few understand.

“There are a lot of older white people who are watching the show who stop me on the street and thank us for being brave and bold enough to stand inside of our truth — when many in the world think our truth is insignificant, that our truth is mutable, that it’s dismissible. That our humanity is up for legislation, constantly."

“Some of the people that I’ve come in contact with are conservatives. Conservatives are human beings, too. They can be moved and can be changed. It’s all about respecting each other’s humanity. We get to teach people how to do that. How to love. How to choose love and not hate.”

“I came out when I was 16 in 1987 and we went straight to the front line to fight for our lives. I have realized with this show that the T in LGBTQ has been really absent from my knowledge,” he said.

“If you want to see real authenticity, the bravest kind of authenticity, look at these transgender people and how they live.

"The choice in this world. The necessity to be authentic. We throw that word around a lot. I always say it’s easy to be who you are when what you are is what’s popular. These are true heroes, in my book. and true teachers. They’re teaching us what it means to be honest to be truthful to be authentic — no matter what.”

Out Music: Sam Smith Busts A Move With "How Do You Sleep?"


Well, look at Sam Smith get down with his bad self.

After a tremendously successful year that saw Dancing With a Stranger garner an amazing one billion streams, hitting #1 in both the US and UK, and going platinum in 15 countries, it seems Mr. Smith is in the mood to dance about.

Smith begins his new single, "How Do You Sleep," singing ‘I’m done hating myself for feeling / I'm done crying myself awake,' to an ambient, light-as-air accompaniment before the track kicks into a mid-tempo dance groove complete with hooky chorus.


And that's when Smith surprises by busting a move (a lot of them!) with a company of half-naked male dancers choreographed by Parris Goebel.

It's a nice change of pace for the 4-time Grammy Award winner.



The singer tweeted to his fans, "My heart is beating so fast. I'm so proud of this one. Thank you to all the beautiful humans who've helped me really come out my shell over the past year. I hope you all enjoy this & please learn the moves so we can dance together soon."




Woman Beaten Unconscious In Long Island Hate Crime

A lesbian couple on Long Island were attacked earlier this month in Patchogue in an assault that police say they are investigating as a hate crime.
Kimberly Page was brutally attacked by a group of four men on Long Island

A lesbian couple on Long Island were attacked during the early morning hours of July 7 in an assault that police say they are investigating as a hate crime.

Kimberly Page told Suffolk police she and her girlfriend had been socializing with co-workers and friends in a local bar prior to the assault.

After leaving the bar, the couple were approached on the street by a group of four men, one of whom made homophobic comments to Page’s girlfriend asking why she would want to be with another female.

The women say they ignored the men, but the group persisted. Page says she told them, “I’m trying to make it known I’m not trying to fight or have an altercation.”

Page told NewsDay: “My girlfriend [was] in high heels, a little bit more feminine than I am, and [the suspect said] ‘I’m not going to fight you because you’re a woman, I’m going to fight her,’ meaning me, ‘ because she’s a man.’”

At that point, the man slapped Page’s girlfriend, knocking her to the ground, and then he punched Page causing her to lose consciousness.

"I know now that he was bashing my head on the concrete ground multiple times," Page told reporters at a press conference. "While that is going on, another one of the men was holding and pushing my girlfriend to the ground, in order for her not to help me."



Both women were taken to nearby Long Island Community Hospital. Page was held overnight and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and her girlfriend was treated as well.

At the press conference, Page’s mother, said, “We love Kimberly, we love everything about Kimberly. We wouldn’t change anything about her. But every time she leave the house, I’m afraid.”

Suffolk County Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the attack.

Anyone with pertinent information can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers via anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, texting "SCPD" and your message to "CRIMES" (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

Suffolk County police say they are looking for the man circled in the surveillance photo below in conjunction with the attack.

(photo: SCPD)

Twitter Responds To CATS Movie Trailer

(screen capture via CATS trailer/Youtube)

Yesterday I shared the newly-unveiled trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical, CATS, due out at Christmas.

Having been a part of the CATS family back in the 1980s, as a cast member of the original national touring companies, I have a personal fondness for the show.

And as a creative person, I knew the movie might take a different direction here and there, and I'm one to keep an open mind.

That said, apparently the trailer didn't sit all that well with some folks on the interwebs, and they made themselves known on Twitter.

I'll say up front - let's not bash the movie before we see it. But, some of these tweets are pretty funny.

Take a look:



















And, of course, that burning question:




Leaked Memo Urges GOP House Members To Pressure Amazon Regarding Conversion Therapy Books

(stock photo of depressed teen via Depositphotos)

A memo currently being circulated among Republican members of Congress asks the lawmakers to “contact Amazon with concerns” regarding “censorship” after the online retail giant announced it had removed books on the subject of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’

Earlier this month, Amazon announced it had removed all books by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, widely credited as the ‘father of conversion therapy.’

The action by Amazon was the result of months of complaints and an online petition that garnered over 82,000 signatures demanding the removal of the titles which included A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Healing Homosexualityand How a Gay Boy Became a Straight Man.

Conversion therapy, sometimes known as reparative therapy, has been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide.

The discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has been widely denounced by major medical organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association as phony 'pseudo-science.'

Currently, 18 states plus dozens of local municipalities have banned the harmful practice for minors.

But Vice News obtained a copy of the memo, given to members of the Republican Study Committee, which includes more than 70% of all GOP members of the House. The document was handed out during a private meeting of the members on Wednesday.

It would appear that Republicans want to see Nicolosi’s books back in circulation on Amazon.

“These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned Amazon to remove the ‘homophobic books’ from the company’s website,” reads the memo per Vice News. “Amazon removed Dr. Nicolosi’s books and those of several other authors on similar topics.”

“It is not clear that any of the banned books have violated an Amazon policy,” continues the document. “But rather that the company is choosing to censor speech.”

The memo urges the GOP lawmakers to read an article from the Federalist which tries to assert hypocrisy for banning books on conversion therapy when Amazon still sells history book about Hitler, Mussolini, KKK leader David Duke and U.S. terrorist Timothy McVeigh.







Calling the LGBTQ community “a supposedly oppressed and marginalized group,” the Federalistarticle states the community “wields an extravagant amount of power” aimed at “anyone who chooses not to support” LGBTQ rights.

Vice News contacted Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) who has previously chaired the Republican Study Committee. Walker shared he didn’t know about the move to pressure Amazon but admitted he thinks Amazon shouldn’t be in the business of ‘banning speech.’

The author of the online petition, Sky Gray, told Vice News via email that the goal of banning conversion therapy books could be hampered with members of Congress getting involved.

”It shouldn't be surprising that the conservatives are in support of conversion therapy; they've made it clear they are in the past,” said Gray. “It looks like this is going to be a bigger fight than previously anticipated, though I knew it would be an uphill battle.”

“Looks like the hill just got a lot steeper, with this knowledge in mind,” he added.

A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling released in April this year showed 80% of respondents believe performing conversion therapy on minors should be illegal.