Thursday, October 19, 2017

Calendar: "Heart Throbs And Hounds"

All photos by Mike Ruiz

Celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz (Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Prince and more) knows a LOT about shooting the male physique.

And now, the handsome lensman is donating those skills to a new charity cause as he pairs woofy men with literal woofers for his 2018 calendar called "HeartThrobs and Hounds."

The 13-month calendar will make sure you have a reason to smile every single day of 2018.

The calendar features well-known male fitness models including James Ellis, Dragos Sykos, Myles Leask and cover-model Mike O'Hearn.


Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go towards Fur Friends in Need and Lilo’s Promise animal rescue. Both organizations seek to find new homes for abandoned pets.

Both organizations hope the “HeartThrobs and Hounds” 2018 calendar will help change the way people look at rescues.

“People mistakingly assume it is the fault of the animal that it ended up being surrendered or abandoned,” says Nancy Flint, the founder of Fur Friends in Need. “I would say 90% of our animals have no issues whatsoever. It’s their humans who have failed them."

Adds Schafer, “Shelter pets are not second-hand goods. There are amazing animals in shelters all over the US, including Aladdin and Bordeaux who are featured in the calendar. They simply need a little love to shine!”

Ruiz himself knows the power of saving abandoned furry friends. Five years ago, he saved Oliver, a pit bull that had been left for dead. His experience and longtime relationship with Oliver sparked the idea for an annual calendar combining two personal passions: photography and dogs in need.


Every dollar made from the sale of the “HeartThrobs and Hounds” 2018 calendar will go directly to Fur Friends in Need and Lilo's Promise animal rescues. “The calendar makes a perfect holiday gift for any human being with eyes and a pulse, and it brings awareness to our furry friends in need,” says Mike.

Mike Ruiz’s 2018 calendar, “HeartThrobs and Hounds,” is available for only $19.99 at http://www.furfriendsinneed.com .

White House Chief Of Staff Confirms Trump Told Gold Star Family "He Knew What He Was Getting Into"

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
This week, Donald Trump has been coping with yet another mess totally of his own making.

When asked about the four soldiers who were killed in action in Niger on October 4, Trump awkwardly segued in his response to noting that while he himself had contacted "every" family of fallen soldiers during his time in office, President Obama (and others before him) didn't call the families of fallen soldiers.

Apart from being totally inaccurate, it opened a whole Pandora's box of trouble for himself as the media has now found several families who haven't heard from Trump.

And then, in making a call to one of the fallen Niger soldiers, Sgt. La David Johnson, he apparently said during the conversation, "He knew what he signed up for."

The wife of Johnson and Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson told the media it was uncaring and dispassionate and disrespectful.

Just to be clear, Trump tweeted yesterday that Congresswoman Wilson "totally fabricated" her account of what she says she heard the president say.



Now, "totally fabricated" would mean to me that not a single word was accurate.

But today, Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine General whose own son was killed in action, took to the podium at the White House briefing and admitted he coached Trump to say the very words Wilson accused Trump of saying.

From CNN:

White House chief of staff John Kelly, in an extraordinary and at times emotional statement Thursday, said he advised President Donald Trump on what to say before he called the families of the four fallen soldiers who died during an ambush in Niger. Kelly said from the White House briefing room that he advised Trump to offer similar words that Gen. Joseph Dunford offered to Kelly when his son was killed in Afghanistan.

“He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war,” Kelly said, channeling Dunford’s words to him upon the death of Kelly’s son. “And when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. That’s what the President tried to say to the four families the other day.”

"He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%."

"He knew what he signed up for."

They sound a whole lot alike, no?

"Totally fabricated" is hardly the way I'd describe that.

Trump tried to take the heartfelt message that Kelly gave him, but was unable to deliver it with any humanity.

The problem is that Trump doesn't connect on this kind of a personal, intimate level. He took in what he heard Kelly say, but didn't know how to convey the empathy of the moment.

Watch Kelly explain, and verify Wilson's account, below.

Burger King PSA: Folks Stand Up For Bullied Burger More Than Bullied High School Junior


Fast food restaurant Burger King created this public service announcement in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month that seeks to find out why more people will stand up for a bullied Whopper Jr. than a bullied high school junior.

For the spot, the company hired actors to play the bullies and the victim during a busy time in a Burger King restaurant. While the teenager is getting bullied, employees served "bullied" Whopper Jr's to patrons.

The patrons didn't hesitate to complain about the burgers, but practically no one addressed the bullying going on right in front of them.

As one kid shares, "It's just easier to do nothing."

From Burger King:
Scrawny. Short. Ugly. Fat. Weird. 30% of school kids worldwide are bullied each year and bullying is the #1 act of violence against young people in America today (Source: nobully.org). The BURGER KING® brand is known for putting the crown on everyone’s head and allowing people to have it their way. Bullying is the exact opposite of that. So the BURGER KING® brand is speaking up against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Visit NoBully.org to learn how you can take a stand against bullying.

And watch below to see how many customers actually step up for the high school junior.

New Music: Gryffin "Nobody Compares To You" Featuring Katie Pearlman



Check out the latest single from Los Angeles-based producer Gryffin', "Nobody Compares To You" featuring rising vocalist Katie Pearlman.

The light, airy production has a beat you can bounce to, and Pearlman's vocals have a sweet effervescence.

Take a listen below. Gryffin is currently on his "Castle In The Sky" tour.

President George W. Bush On Trump: "We've Seen Nationalism Distorted Into Nativism"


Speaking in New York City today, former President George W. Bush took a not-too-veiled slap at Donald Trump's extreme nationalist policy positions.

Just a few excerpts:

"Argument too easily turns into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization."

"We've seen nationalism distorted into nativism. We need to recall and recover our own identity."

“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

“It means that bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed, and it means the very identity of our nation depends on passing along civic ideals.”

“Bullying and prejudice in our public life … provides permission for cruelty and bigotry.”

“The only way to pass along civic values is to live up to them.”

There's a lot more packed into even just this one minute clip below.

AG Jeff Sessions: I'm Not Sure If Federal Workers Can Discriminate Against LGBTs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
According to testimony before U.S. Senate Oversight Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn't sure if federal workers can or cannot blatantly discriminate against LGBT people.

From Dominic Holden at ThinkProgress:

During Wednesday’s Justice Department Oversight Hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the Department of Justice’s new “religious freedom” guidance. In particular, Durbin was concerned about how the guidance might enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination, asking Sessions to respond to several hypotheticals.

“Could a social security administration employee refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse?” Durbin asked.

There was a long pause. “That’s something I never thought would arise, but I would have to give you a written answer to that, if you don’t mind.” Sessions responded.

Durbin countered, “I’d like to have that,” then launched right into another hypothetical. “Could a federal contractor refuse to provide services to LGBTQ people, including in emergencies, without risk of losing federal contracts?”

“Likewise, but I would say to you — are you citing Title VII for this? Or the guidance? I’m not sure that’s covered by it, but I’ll look.”

Sessions is famously anti-LGBT on just about every issue.

Watch the exchange below.

Trump Judicial Nominee Admits He Discriminates Against Gays: "Does That Mean I Can't Be A Judge?"

Jeff Mateer

VICE News has compiled remarks from two speeches given by Jeff Mateer, Donald Trump's nominee to become a district judge in Texas.

Currently the first assistant attorney general in Texas, Mateer told the National Religious Liberties Conference in 2015 he openly discriminates against gay people:

“Guess what? I attend a conservative Baptist church. We discriminate, alright. On the basis of sexual orientation, we discriminate. Does that mean I can’t be a judge? In some states, I think that’s true, unfortunately.”

Vice News combined remarks from two speeches, each an hour long, into a single audio file, with beeps indicating editing.

Just a few of the thoughts Mateer shared with his audience:

• diversity training is “brainwashing” and “reprogramming”

• the “separation of church and state” is nowhere in the Constitution

• gay marriage is unconstitutional

• LGBTQ-friendly workplaces force Christians to approve of their policies

• gay marriage is a “challenge” for Christians.

This guy is nominated to be a federal judge. Think on that.

Saying his comments disqualify him, 36 LGBTQ advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Senate on Tuesday demanding that its members vote down Mateer’s nomination.

Listen to the compilation below.

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