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?

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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