Mysterious Apocalyptic Message Interrupts TV Broadcasts in California: ‘Violent Times Will Come’

Original Article

By Jennings Brown

 

The mushroom cloud from “Ivy Mike” rises above in the Marshall Islands in 1952. (Photo: AP)

Many Californians’ regularly scheduled broadcasts were interrupted Thursday morning with strange emergency messages warning of extraterrestrial invasions and the beginning of Armageddon. The bizarre warnings aired on TVs in the Orange County area, affecting Cox and Spectrum cable users, according to the Orange County Register.

One video of the broadcast uploaded to YouTube includes a terrified, breathless voice saying: “The space program made contact with… They are not what they claim to be. They have infiltrated a lot of, uh, a lot of aspects of military establishment, particularly Area 51. The disasters that are coming—the military—I’m sorry the government knows about them…”

Gizmodo found that the audio comes from a call that Art Bell, the host of the conspiracy theory-themed radio show Coast to Coast AM, received in 1997 from a man claiming to be a former Area 51 employee.

Other videos of the emergency broadcast feature a different voice warning that “extremely violent times will come.” Redditor smittenkitten77 discovered the audio came from the Christian radio program Insight for Living with Chuck Swindoll.

“It almost sounded like Hitler talking,” one Cox customer told the Register. “It sounded like a radio broadcast coming through the television.”

It’s still unclear whether the messages were broadcast intentionally or by accident, but broadcast signal intrusions by pranksters aren’t unheard of, even in the digital era. Most famously, still-unidentified hackers hijacked TV signals in the Chicago area in 1987, broadcasting footage of a person wearing a Max Headroom mask and a man’s bare buttocks being spanked with a flyswatter. More recently, a suspect was arrested in 2013 after allegedly overlaying broadcasts in several states with emergency alerts about dead bodies “rising from their graves.”

Cox spokesperson Todd Smith told Gizmodo that the company does not know how many customers were affected and is still trying to determine where the originating signal came from. Cox believes its system got the message after a radio station or multiple stations were conducting their monthly emergency test, which cable networks piggyback on. Usually, radio stations transmit an end “tone” to complete their alerts. However, this time, it seems no such tone was transmitted.

Spectrum did not immediately respond to a Gizmodo request for comment but spokesperson Dennis Johnson told the Register, “We have confirmed that we were fed an incorrect audio file.”

Many viewers reported being alarmed and confused by yesterday’s broadcast—though we assume some were relieved at the possibility that the end times were imminent.

 

 

Justice Department Sides With Baker Who Refused To Make Wedding Cake For Gay Couple

Original Article

By Robert Barnes

In a major upcoming Supreme Court case that weighs equal rights with religious liberty, the Trump administration on Thursday sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The Department of Justice on Thursday filed a brief on behalf of baker Jack Phillips, who was found to have violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to created a cake to celebrate the marriage of Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012. Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it would violate his religious beliefs.

The government agreed with Phillips that his cakes are a form of expression, and he cannot be compelled to use his talents for something in which he does not believe.

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.

Plaintiff in landmark Supreme Court case says: ‘One person can change the world’
The Post’s Steven Petrow sits down with Jim Obergefell, the main plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, and talks about gay marriage, equality for the transgender community and his late husband John.(Video: Erin Patrick O’Connor/Photo: Maddie McGarvey/The Washington Post)

The DOJ’s decision to support Phillips is the latest in a series of steps the Trump administration has taken to rescind Obama administration positions favorable to gay rights and to advance new policies on the issue.

But Louise Melling, the deputy legal counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the couple, said she was taken aback by the filing.

“Even in an administration that has already made its hostility” toward the gay community clear, Melling said, “I find this nothing short of shocking.”

Since taking office, President Trump has moved to block transgender Americans from serving in the military and his Department of Education has done away with guidance to schools on how they should accommodate transgender students.

The DOJ also has taken the stance that gay workers are not entitled to job protections under federal anti-discrimination laws. Since 2015, the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission has taken the opposite stance, saying Title VII, the civil-rights statute that covers workers, protects against bias based on sexual orientation.

Federal courts are split on that issue, and the Supreme Court this term might take up the issue.

Indeed, lawyers for Jameka Evans, who claims she was fired by Georgia Regional Hospital because of her sexual orientation and “nonconformity with gender norms of appearance and demeanor,” on Thursday asked justices to take her case.

Citing a 1979 precedent, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected her protection claims.

Taking that case, along with Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, would make the coming Supreme Court term the most important for gay rights issues since the justices voted 5 to 4 in 2015 to find a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry.

The case of Phillips, a baker in the Denver suburbs, is similar to lawsuits brought elsewhere involving florists, calligraphers and others who say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs. But these objectors have found little success in the courts, which have ruled that businesses serving the public must comply with state anti-discrimination laws.

Mullins and Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, along with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriages were legal at the time, and then hold a reception in Colorado.

But Phillips refused to discuss the issue, saying his religious beliefs would not allow him to have anything to do with same-sex marriage. He said other bakeries would accommodate them.

The civil rights commission and a Colorado court rejected Phillips’ argument that forcing him to create a cake violated his First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and exercise of religion.

The court said the baker “does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law.”

Robert E. Lee Decendant/Denouncer Quits N.C. Pastorship After “Hurtful” Reaction to VMA’s Speech

Highlights from the 2017 VMAs
From Kendrick Lamar winning video of the year to emotional speeches on the violence in Charlottesville, here are the highlights from MTV’s Video Music Awards.(Courtesy of MTV)

He was the great-great-great-great-nephew of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee, and he felt it was his moral duty to speak out against his ancestor, “an idol of white supremacy, racism and hate.” He said as much when he took the microphone near the end of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, when he introduced himself by a familiar-sounding name: Robert Lee IV.

Lee’s speech at the VMAs on Aug. 27 followed the glitz and glam of red carpets and all-star performances by the likes of Lorde and Ed Sheeran. But his appearance quickly caught Internet fame as among the night’s most memorable. As he appeared before the cameras, Lee stood in stark contrast to the sleek, geometric set behind him, dressed simply in a black cleric’s shirt and collar. Soon he would introduce Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer had been killed 15 days before, after being mowed down by a car as she protested white supremacy in Charlottesville.

“My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville,” he said. “We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.

“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on.

“We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs.”

On Monday, Lee announced he would be leaving his church — Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, N.C.  In his statement, published on the website of the Auburn Theological Seminary, Lee wrote that while he did have congregants who supported his freedom of speech, many resented the attention the church received after the VMAs.

“A faction of church members were concerned about my speech and that I lifted up Black Lives Matter movement, the Women’s March, and Heather Heyer as examples of racial justice work,” he wrote, adding that his “church’s reaction was deeply hurtful.” Lee wrote that he never sought the kind of attention that has followed him since the protests in Charlottesville last month, even while his visibility as a religious leader and staunch opponent of Confederate memorials garnered international recognition, a turn of events no doubt fueled by his namesake. (Technically, he’s an “indirect” rather than a “direct” descendant.)


Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Google Maps)

Lee did not describe specific responses he received from congregants. But the comments section on an article about his VMA speech in the Winston-Salem Journal gives some sense of the backlash. One commenter wrote that there was “no way” Lee was a Christian and that “it seems anybody that wants to protect our country is a racist, or white supremacist. … It’s a sin to use your position to name-call and judge.”

Another commenter wrote that rather than appear on television, Lee should devote his time to ministering: “You have how many faithful members? Maybe if you spent more time around the church that number would increase.”

[Gen. Robert E. Lee is his namesake ancestor. On Sunday, he’ll preach about the evils of racism.]

In an Aug. 18 interview with BBC News, Lee argued that statues of his ancestor honor white supremacy and endorse a system in which it is acceptable to be racist in America. He pointed to the complete lack of markers to fascists in Europe following World War II as evidence that there is a way to “remember your history and not commemorate it.” Lee talked of how he had spoken with a descendant of a slave owned by the Lee family, describing his heartbreak over hearing the firsthand experiences of those “hurt and oppressed by statues.”

Lee has spoken openly about how he arrived at his own conclusions about his lineage, saying he has at once felt pride in the fact that Lee family members signed the Declaration of Independence and shame over Robert E. Lee’s leadership over the Confederacy. In one NPR interview, he spoke of how he was often given mixed messages on whether the elder Lee was a proponent of slavery or states’ rights.

From his pulpit, Lee implored his parishioners to condemn the racism swirling around them, insisting they would be doing the church wrong if they remained silent.

“It’s not the message that we’re used to hearing from our pulpits. But maybe now is the time to start having those messages,” Lee said in the NPR interview.

In his first appointment out of seminary, Lee has been the pastor of Bethany Church since April, according to the church’s website. The church was founded in a log meeting house around 1789 and is one of the oldest Reformed churches in North Carolina, having been originally founded as a “union effort of persons of Reformed and Lutheran faith.” The church’s website still listed Lee as its pastor as of early Tuesday.

The United Church of Christ has been known for its liberal views, given its support for social justice issues. For instance, it has called on the Washington Redskins to change its name.

A graduate of Appalachian State University and Duke University Divinity School, Lee is the author of “Stained-Glass Millennials”— a book about the relationship between millennials and institutional church — and is a regular columnist for the Statesville Record & Landmark, which has covered Iredell County, N.C., for more than a century. Lee did not return requests for an interview Monday night.

In an Aug. 31 column for the newspaper, Lee emphasized the “cost of discipleship,” particularly when condemning hate.

“I wish I could say it was easy to speak up and speak out in God’s name,” Lee wrote in the column. “But it wasn’t.”

Story and headline was updated to reflect the fact that while Lee calls himself a descendant, he’s an indirect descendant.

GOT Director Confirms More Incest

Original Article

By William Hughes

Out all the shows of on TV, HBO’s Game Of Thrones is probably the last one you’d accuse of withholding intra-family sexual relationships from its viewership. So it’s not wholly surprising to learn that Alan Taylor—the episode director who handled last Sunday’s penultimate episode of the show’s seventh season, “Beyond The Wall”—has seemingly promised that the relationship between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen is going exactly where we all expected it’s going, despite the fact that Dany is almost certainly Jon’s secret aunt.

Taylor has been making the rounds this week for interviews, but he seemingly confirmed the news to The Daily Beast, stating, “There’s no secret that this is where this is going. Readers of the book have known that things were heading towards this destination for a while. Even the characters in this story know it’s heading in this direction. Tyrion is making fun of Dany about what’s brewing.” And while he didn’t comment on the fan-theory-turned-fan-firm-belief that suggests Jon is the son of Dany’s dead brother, Rhaegar, he did confirm that, sex-wise, “It’s clear that that’s our destination at this point.”

Taylor also discussed some of the, let’s say, odd choices the characters made in the most recent episode, and expressed what appears to be mounting frustrations at the show’s fans, and their wacky need to watch something that can keep a basic timeline straight. “There’s been tremendous amount of talk about the airspeed velocity of the raven,” he noted, “Which seems to be catching some people a lot. I don’t have an answer for that, except to say those ravens are really fast.”

[via Esquire]

Discussion

Christopher Macbride Adapting Scott Snyder’s and Jeff Lemire’s “A.D. After Death” for Sony.

Original Article

By Rich Johnston

Writer-director Christopher MacBride has already written and is directing Amnesiabased on the Arcana Comics graphic novel by Dwayne Harris. He also adapted Tim Truman‘s comic book series Scout for Studio 8 and producer Braden Aftergood. And now, third’s the charm: Deadline is reporting that he is tapped by Sony and producer Josh Bratman at Immersive Pictures to adapt the Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire graphic novel A.D.: After Death.

A.D.: After Death was published by Image Comics last year and optioned by Sony in December.

Summary: WHAT IF WE FOUND A CURE FOR DEATH? Two of comics’ most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three-part epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three oversized prestige format books written by SNYDER and fully painted by LEMIRE.

You can read a review/recommendation of A.D.: After Death right here

“Cooke is aware of the tensions between his parents, their losses, failures, and hopes, in a highly charged, novelistic, way. These are people struggling to find meaning and a sense of being in life, just as their son is, and he becomes obsessed with recording it as if it is all fragile, something precious that can be lost. Cooke’s life as narrated by him is depressing, scary, and beautiful.”

…and a preview below…

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