That infamous ex-Google employee has found himself in yet another firestorm.

Remember James Damore, the (now former) Google employee who created a firestorm for that controversial memo he sent to colleagues?

Well, he's up a creek again.

In early August, Damore was fired after a sexist memo he wrote — in which he falsely claimed biological differences between the genders were a reason why fewer women work in tech — leaked to the press.

Damore has since defended (and even doubled down) on his debunked assertions. And now, that's led him into yet another self-inflicted controversy.



In an interview with Business Insider, Damore suggested being a conservative employee at Google is like "being gay in the 1950s."

After being asked about how he'd respond to women at Google who were offended by his remarks, Damore segued into the allegedly oppressive work environments keeping conservatives quiet in Silicon Valley:


"Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of [the] closet as a conservative."

The internet wasn't having it.

After the interview published, Twitter users piled on, pointing out how asinine Damore's remarks truly were.

Damore was fired for sending out a sexist memo — not for being conservative — which sort of nulled his point from the get-go.

It's absurd for someone like Damore to try and play the victim card in the first place, though.

Because it's difficult to be part of the largest political ideology base in the U.S. and also claim you're oppressed.

You can't get fired simply for being conservative, after all. You still can be fired, however, for being LGBTQ.

Decades-old research, one user highlighted, found large majorities of LGBTQ people reported being harassed or assaulted because of who they were.

You don't need hard data to understand what LGBTQ people went through, though. The tales are horrifying enough.  

Damore probably should have done his research before making a claim like that.

When words failed, images said it all.

Le sigh.

GIFs, too, seemed like an appropriate response.

A very appropriate response.

Damore's clueless comparison shows the dangers in forgetting history — or failing to learn it in the first place.

In 1950 — long before gay marriage or same-sex adoption laws were even up for debate — homosexuality was still considered a sociopathic personality disturbance by the American Psychiatric Association. In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order banning LGBTQ people from working for the federal government because they were perceived as a security threat.

It wasn't until 16 years later that the Stonewall Inn riots — considered the launch of the modern day LGBTQ rights movement — erupted after years of harassment and abuse of queer New Yorkers at the hands of city police.

You really believe the challenges you face as a conservative are comparable to what closeted LGBTQ people dealt with 60 years ago?

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If you had to choose, which would you rather have: a healthy father or a good father?

Studies suggest men often choose being a good father over being healthy.

Becoming a father is a major milestone in the life of a man, often shifting the way he thinks from being "me focused" to "we focused." But fatherhood can also shift how men perceive their health. Our researchhas found that fathers can view health not in terms of going to the doctor or eating vegetables but how they hold a job, provide for their family, protect and teach their children, and belong to a community or social network.

As founder and director of the Center for Research on Men's Health at Vanderbilt University and as a postdoctoral fellow from Meharry Medical College, we study why men live shorter lives than women, male attitudes about fatherhood, how to help men engage in healthier behavior – as well as what can be done to reduce men's risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Here's to the stepdads who step in and step up to fatherhood.

Happy Father's Day to all the stellar stepdads.

Some fathers are there at the starting line. And some fathers step in partway through the race.

My biological dad left my mom when I was a toddler. I don't even remember living with him, and my memories of weekend visits throughout my early childhood are vague. He loved me, I'm sure, but he eventually slipped off the radar. He wasn't abusive or a massive jerk or anything. He just wasn't there.

Who was there was my Dad. My stepdad, technically, but for all intents and purposes, he was and is my Dad. He stepped in when I was four, and stepped up to raise two kids who weren't his. He went to the parent-teacher conferences, attended the school plays, surprised us with trips to the ice cream shop, taught us how to change a tire. He loved us, not just in word but in action.

As a parent myself, I now understand how hard it must have been to step into that role. Step-parenting involves unique relationship dynamics, and you have to figure a lot of things out as you go along.

My Dad had his own demons from his own childhood to deal with on top of that, and his cycle-breaking parenting still awes me. But he was always there to cheer me on, comfort me, and talk me through life's challenges. He wasn't perfect, but he was there, actively engaged in the marathon of fatherhood every step of the way.

Stepparents are often vilified in stories, but there are millions of awesome stepdads out there.

Without a doubt there are some terrible stepdads (and stepmoms) out there, just as there are some terrible parents in general. But there are a lot of great ones, too.

Alison Tedford's 11-year-old son Liam is lucky to have such a stepdad. Liam shares his time between his mom's and dad's house equally, but when he is with his mom, he's also with his stepdad, Paul. Alison says that Liam adores Paul, who stepped into the stepdad role when Liam was 7. Paul spent the first couple of years carrying Liam to bed every night, per Liam's request. Now that he's too big for that, they practice lacrosse and play video games together.

"To support Liam in his love of lacrosse, Paul took a lacrosse coaching course and is the team statistics manager," says Tedford. "They are best buds and Paul treats him with all the love and kindness he does his own kids. He drives him all sorts of places, goes on field trips, and makes sure he has everything he needs and is having fun. He's a really great stepdad."

These aren't the kinds of stories that make the news. But millions of stepdads dive into supportive, involved parenting as they fall in love with their loved ones' kids.

Having a stepparent is now about as common as not having one.

According to the US Census Bureau, half of the 60 million kids in the U.S. live with a biological parent and the parent's partner. And the most common stepfamily configuration—85% of them—is a mom, her biological kids, and a stepfather. That's a whole lot of stepdads.

Blending families can be complicated, and figuring out how to navigate those waters isn't easy. But family counselor and researcher Joshua Gold calls becoming a stepdad both "a challenge and an opportunity."

"The challenge comes in rejecting previously held beliefs about what it means to be a father," Gold wrote in The Conversation. "Stepfathers – and I count myself as one – must avoid outmoded notions of compensating for the absent biological father or paternal dominance."

"The opportunity comes in devising a parenting role that expresses the best and fullest aspects of being a man and a father figure," he wrote. "Done consciously and deliberately, the role and function of the stepfather can be tremendously fulfilling for all, and a source of lifelong joy and pride."

Here's to the stepdads who step into that role, step up to the challenge, and make the most of the opportunity to have a positive, nurturing influence in children's lives.

Family

Today, June 14th, is Trump's birthday, which is a hard pill to swallow for fellow Gemini sun signs, but here we all are: in hell with Trump.

Currently, on Twitter there is a trending hashtag #HappyBirthdayMrPresident in honor of his birthday, but it has quickly been overtaken by people wishing Obama an early birthday, and singing Obama's praises in general.

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The Poison Garden of Alnwick www.youtube.com


Plants have the power to heal us, yet plants have the power to harm us. There's an unusual garden that's dedicated solely to the latter. The Poison Garden located on the grounds of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England is the deadliest garden in the world. In the Poison Garden, you can admire the plants with your eyes, but you're not allowed to touch or smell anything, because every plant in the garden is poisonous, and can possibly even kill you. The name of the garden should be a dead giveaway.

The garden was created in 2005 when Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, wanted to show people the scariest plants around. "I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill," the Duchess said. "I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it, and how gruesome and painful the death might be." Honestly, she's got a point.

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