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Former NRA president duped into giving 'graduation speech' to empty chairs of kids killed by guns

Earlier this month, former president of the National Rifle Association David Keene and pro-gun writer John Lott gave prepared speeches for the graduating class of James Madison Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. In what they understood to be a dress rehearsal, they spoke to empty chairs about Madison's writing of the second amendment and encouraged students to push back on gun control legislation.

They didn't know they were speaking to students at a school that doesn't exist. And they didn't know that they would ultimately be giving their speeches to 3,044 empty chairs, representing the students who would have been graduating this year if they hadn't been killed in acts of gun violence.

Parents of Joaquin Oliver, a student killed in the Parkland school shooting in 2018, orchestrated the dupe to create a series of PSAs about gun violence and the gun lobby. Oliver's father, Manuel, told Buzzfeed News, "We lost Joaquin three months before his graduation. We know exactly the feeling of being there and receiving the diploma without your kid being there. Because we understand that, we know there are a lot of people going through that same experience right now."

Here's the first PSA of "The Lost Class," showing David Keene speaking interspersed with recordings of 911 calls from people seeking emergency help during school shootings:


Lost Class 1/3www.youtube.com

The effect is haunting. Knowing that the "students" Keene is speaking to about achieving their dreams will never have the chance because they were shot and killed hits home as we hear the terror in the voices of those 911 callers.

The second PSA, featuring John Lott:

The Lost Class 2/3youtu.be

And the third, featuring Patricia and Manual Oliver, the parents of a school shooting victim, explaining the purpose in putting together the hoax.

The Lost Class 3/3www.youtube.com

"We are here representing every single kid that is not able to finish high school," Manuel said.

"People deny the actual reality," Patricia added. "And we cannot allow them to deny it because this is real. This is happening."

The powerful PSAs were shared by Change the Ref, the organization the Olivers founded after the Parkland shooting to empower and inspire future leaders to speak out and take action.

"We need to call them out, we need to show everyone — this is how they process the logic behind the gun industry," Manuel Oliver told Buzzfeed. "We need to show we're brave and we're not afraid of these guys. We've already felt the worst possible situation. There's no threat that can make me feel different."

The Olivers encourage people to sign the petition at thelostclass.com to demand that lawmakers pass laws requiring universal background check laws.

If Keene and Lott had done their own basic background checks when asked to speak to students at James Madison Academy, they could have saved themselves some embarrassment. If implemented properly, universal firearm background checks might actually save lives. It's gun legislation that the vast majority Americans already support, so hopefully this powerful message will get through to lawmakers, even if it does nothing to convince the gun lobby that their time has passed.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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