Conspiracy Theories and the Gullibility of Society

Conspiracy Theories and the Gullibility of Society

Let’s start with exactly what is a conspiracy theory? The standard definition is:

1. A theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; “belief that a particular “unexplained” event was caused by such a group.

2. The idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.

The most bizarre fact about conspiracy theories is the fact that any evidence presented is by definition just another cover up by said secret organizations or groups to obscure the truth.  Essentially, To conspiracy theorists,  “belief” is far more important than any facts or evidence to the contrary.

There is something seriously wrong in society when uninformed “belief” in something is far more important than “scientific evidence” to the contrary.

When did we stop believing in science?

There are many, many, conspiracy theories out there, way too many to cover them all. But, here are a few examples:

  • The Flat Earth Society
  • Secret underground cities and caves at the Grand Canyon
  • The Illuminati
  • Shadow Government
  • The American moon landings were a hoax
  • Alien bodies stored at Area 51
  • Chem Trails.
  • Climate Change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese
  • Bigfoot, chupacabras, Swamp Monsters, Mothman, and more…
  • The origins of the AIDS virus
  • The Philadelphia Experiment
  • Etc, Etc, Etc.

Are we so gullible as a society that we will blindly believe anything that anyone says and take that to be fact? Evidently, we are. At least some of us anyway.

Often, conspiracy theorists quote “Unnamed Authoritative Experts” as the evidence and scientific legitimacy to support their findings. Since when are unnamed authoritative experts the basis for sound scientific method? What do they have to hide?

If something is fact, there is no legitimate reason to be utilizing “unnamed.  authoritative sources”. In fact, this undermines the entire argument as it eliminates public scrutiny of the facts as well as eliminates the possibility that the evidence provided could be analyzed or peer-reviewed by other experts in order to reach similar conclusions based upon the preponderance of the evidence presented.

Of course, conspiracy theorists point to the fact these authoritative experts lives would be in jeopardy if their identity should become public. Their lives would somehow be threatened, or subject to ridicule, by the very same shadow government, or covert groups that actually control all that goes on.


Let’s take a look at just the few conspiracy theories  I have listed and look at the basic facts;

The Flat Earth Society – They believe the Earth is a disc with the Arctic in the center and Antarctic, a 150-feet-tall ice wall, around the rim holding back water. NASA employees guard this ice wall to prevent people from climbing over and falling off the disc. Earth’s day and night cycle is explained by positing that the sun and moon are spheres measuring 32 miles that move in circles 3,000 miles above the plane of the Earth. These celestial spheres illuminate different portions of the planet in a 24-hour cycle.

OK??? NASA has only been around since the 1950’s so who was guarding the Arctic and Antarctic ice walls before the 1950’s? What happened to all the people who sailed to the edge of the Earth and were turned back by these sentries? Or were they all forced to sign some sort of binding non-disclosure agreement?

How do you explain the around the world expeditions that have taken place in the last few hundred years?

How do you explain the thousands of photos taken of Earth by multiple nations including the International Space Station, Satellites, Astronauts, and even High School and College students that have launched go-pro cameras on high altitude weather balloons? Every single one of these photos shows the Earth as being round.

I would think that the evidence is clear.

Secret underground cities and caves at the Grand Canyon

A story on the front page of the April 5, 1909 edition of the Arizona Gazette recounted the discovery of a series of bizarre caves and artifacts in the Marble Canyon region of the Grand Canyon. The report claimed two Smithsonian-funded archaeologists, Prof. S. A. Jordan and G.E. Kinkaid, are responsible for the find. As the article noted:

 (D)iscoveries which almost conclusively prove that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt, tracing back to Ramses. If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved. Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which staggers the wildest fancy of the fictionist.

The problem here is, No record exists of Kincaid or Professor Jordan within the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology, nor is there a paper trail at the Smithsonian detailing the artifacts gathered on the expedition. When asked directly about Kincaid’s claims, a Smithsonian Institute representative once said:

Well, the first thing I can tell you, before we go any further, is that no Egyptian artifacts of any kind have ever been found in North or South America. Therefore, I can tell you that the Smithsonian Institute has never been involved in any such excavations.

Just because this area has been a “No Trespassing” area for the last 100 years doesn’t in way mean that there are secret caves or underground cities that the U.S. Government is trying to hide. Besides if there were such a thing, I would think that there would not be any trace of it now. Especially, if the U.S. Government was trying to cover it up. 100 years is a long time to erase any trace of anything ever being there.

The Illuminati

According to – The Illuminati” refers to various organizations which claim or are purported to have links to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, though these links are unsubstantiated. They are often alleged to conspire to control world affairs, by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations, in order to gain political power and influence and to establish a New World Order.

Central to some of the most widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories, the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, films, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos.

I think we can all agree that the rise of Donald Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States totally disproves that the Illuminati even exist at all.

Shadow Government

Once again, according to – The shadow government (cryptocracy, secret government, or invisible government) is a family of conspiracy theories based on the notion that real and actual political power resides not with publicly elected representatives (for example, the United States Congress) but with private individuals who are exercising power behind the scenes, beyond the scrutiny of democratic institutions. According to this belief, the official elected government, is in reality, subservient to the shadow government who are the true executive power.

Shadow government theories often propose that the government is secretly controlled by foreign elements (such as aliens or the Vatican and Jesuits), internal minorities (such as the Jews, moneyed interests and central banks, or Freemasons), or globalist elites and supranational organizations, who seek to manipulate policy or conquer the world.

Once again, see my previous response to The Illuminati.

The American moon landings were a hoax

Let’s just look at the facts concerning the moon landing hoax. According to conspiracy theorists, Stanley Kubrick the famous movie director actually filmed the fake moon landing on a super secret CIA controlled sound stage in Hollywood.

This is kind of strange as Stanley Kubrick, was a well-known social activist.

Essentially, according to conspiracy theorists, the Apollo moon landing never happened.

Here is the video of the launch. We all saw the get into the capsule. We all saw the launch of Apollo 11, on top of the Saturn 5 Rocket. Here is the footage;

I remember distinctly being glued to the television as an 11-year-old by and Walter Cronkite talking us through what we were watching. If they didn’t go to the moon where did they go?

Three days later, this is what we all watched. It was exciting beyond belief.

With only 13 seconds of fuel remaining Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. I will never forget this day as long as I live. This was broadcast literally around the world. It was amazing!

So, some people who are not Astro- Physicists somehow decided that the flag didn’t look right, and the shadows on the moon were somehow suspicious.

Let’s look at the facts. There were approximately 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo program. Not one, not one person, has ever stepped forward and claimed or provided any sort of proof that this was an elaborate hoax.

Besides this was during the cold war, I am fairly certain that the Soviets would be the first ones to blow the whistle on any sort of hoax like this.

Alien bodies stored at Area 51

The CIA has confirmed the existence of Area 51. Area 51 is real, no doubt. Just because Area 51 is a top-secret military installation, somehow this has morphed onto this is the location that the Federal Government is storing the bodies of aliens that have crashed landed on Earth.

Just because one person claims to have seen them, one person and we have no way to confirm the authentically of their claims, so obviously, this is fact. Right?.

This really is just as stupid as it sounds. I could claim that the United States Government had killed the tooth fairy, stored her body at Area 51, and it would have the same exact weight. What proof do I have? Nothing! That’s the point.

Chem Trails. (I have already written about this one previously. You can read about it here) ->

Climate Change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese

This is a charge often repeated by Donald Trump. Let’s look at the facts. 99% of the world’s “climate scientists” and virtually all the world’s scientific bodies have stated unequivocally, that climate change is real, and is being caused by man’s activities.

Many unbelieving politicians, especially in the Republican Party preface their ignorant statement with “I am not a scientist, but…”

You can already STOP RIGHT THERE. If you are not a scientist, what credentials do you have to refute the science?  In this case, your “belief” in something doesn’t fucking matter.

Bigfoot, chupacabras, Swamp Monsters, Moth-man, and more…

There has never, ever, been any verified sightings, dead bodies, bones, DNA evidence (Hair, scat, bones, skin samples, etc) Nothing at all to support the existence of these creatures. Until there is, there is no proof whatsoever that anything like this exists at all.

The origins of the AIDS virus

Conspiracy theorists believe that the AIDS virus was created in a laboratory and injected into homosexuals and African-Americans by ruse of a hepatitis-B experiment back in 1978. Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President, said that the scientific claims that the disease originated in Africa is false and that the U.S. government actually created the virus in a lab and is trying to place the blame on Africa. Theorists believe that the AIDS virus was created by the CIA to rid the country of homosexuals and African-Americans and to weaken the group’s numbers.

Once again, where is the proof? There is not one shred of evidence that this is actually the case. The lack if evidence has not stopped conspiracy theorists from running with this wild accusation.

The Philadelphia Experiment

According to The Telegraph UK; The Philadelphia Experiment, Popularised by the Charles Berlitz novel of the same name, conspiracy theorists believe that during an experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in October 1943, the US Navy destroyer Eldridge was rendered invisible.

According to some accounts, the scientists on the experiment found a way to bend light around an object but that the experiment went wrong and Eldridge was transported through space and time, reappearing at sea. Several sailors, it is said, were badly hurt when the experiment went wrong and some were melded into the ship’s superstructure. The US Navy has denied that the experiment ever took place.

Certainly, I can imagine that U.S. Navy did do experiments to render ships invisible to radar. However, this entire conspiracy came about based on a novel by Charles Berlitz.

Furthermore, according to Wikipedia; The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until August 27, 1943, and it remained in port in New York City until September 1943. The October experiment allegedly took place while the ship was on its first shakedown cruise in The Bahamas, although proponents of the story claim that the ship’s logs might have been falsified or else still be classified.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) stated in September 1996, “ONR has never conducted investigations on radar invisibility, either in 1943 or at any other time.” Pointing out that the ONR was not established until 1946, it denounces the accounts of “The Philadelphia Experiment” as complete “science fiction.”

A reunion of Navy veterans who had served aboard the USS Eldridge told a Philadelphia newspaper in April 1999 that their ship had never made port in Philadelphia. Further evidence discounting the Philadelphia Experiment timeline comes from the USS Eldridge’s complete World War II action report, including the remarks section of the 1943 deck log, available on microfilm.

Once again, the proof to support these type of wild allegations is not based upon any facts to support the actual evidence.

I am not saying that any of these theories that I have listed have zero basis in fact. What I am saying is that the evidence does not support the narrative that is provided to us. Until solid evidence is provided and verified, we cannot say for certain that these events actually happened as the conspiracy theorists would lead us to believe.

As Tom Dye, The Safety Guy, I often investigate incidents. Often, my initial working theory turns out to be incorrect. Once all the facts are revealed, timelines established, and sequence of events are verified, the actual root cause reveals that my initial working assumption was often incorrect.

The truth of the matter is always the truth, no matter what my personal beliefs may be. Obviously, I have to accept that where the facts and evidence may lead me, must take precedence over my personal beliefs on the matter.

I have to rely on “scientific method” to base my decisions on. what is the scientific method?

Per Wikipedia; The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

Another tool that I find to be extremely useful is; Occam’s Razor;

The definition of Occam’s razor is : a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

To put it into simpler terms; With two things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right answer.

Is society gullible? Obviously, many people are. Whether it comes to politics, personal interactions, science, or everything in between. Many people rely on belief with no basis in fact and choose to ignore the evidence right in front of them.

When did we lose our way as a society start ignoring, or disbelieving scientists and science?

As the great Astrophysicist Neil DeDegrasse Tyson said; ” The best thing about science is it is still true whether or not you believe in it”

Here’s more from Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Am I a scientist? No. I am not; a Physicist, Mathematician, Chemist, Geologist, Biologist, or any other kind of Scientist. However, because I am not, I have to rely on the people who are. That doesn’t mean that I will just follow one person’s facts blindly, not at all. I do my research and try to find collaborative research from others to support the facts.

Who else are we to believe?

I believe in facts, and objective truths, whether I find them personally uncomfortable or not. Because it doesn’t really matter what I believe personally, because the facts speak for themselves.

Should you take my word that everything I have written as the truth? Of course not. Do your own research and cross referencing for own benefit, You would be a fool just to take my word for it.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists would say that I am just another member of some sort of secret organization or group, attempting to sway their opinion from the actual truth that they hold to be self-evident.

One never knows does one?

It is for you, and only you, to decide the truth for yourselves.

As Always,

I Am,

Tom Dye, The Safety Guy


What’s Wrong With Political Correctness?

What’s Wrong With Political Correctness?

What is political correctness? according to Wikipedia, the definition of Political Correctness; Political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct), commonly abbreviated to PC, is a term that, in modern usage, is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.

I fail to see how this would be a problem, with anyone. However in this election cycle Donald Trump and his supporters often complain that a big problem this country has, is being “politically correct”.  What?

Obviously, Donald Trump, his surrogates, and many of his supporters also believes this. You can easily confirm this yourself. Just Google, or listen to the things he has said in the last 15 months or so.

Here are just ten examples. There are literally hundreds more.

I believe that Donald Trump, his surrogates and supporters who believe that America is too politically correct, ARE DEAD WRONG!

Let me just give you a few examples to support my case on why political correctness is absolutely essential in a civil society.

Donald Trump and his supporters have often criticized President Obama and even demanded that he resign because Obama refuses to utter the words “Radical Islam”

President Obama has said; “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam,” he said at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in February 2015.

President Obama’s carefully chosen “politically correct” words actually convey several important messages.

  • The United States is not at war with Islam or the 1.5 billion around the world who practice it. This includes several hundred thousand American citizens.
  • As President of the United States he is also reiterating how he is President of “all the people” whether you voted for him, or not, and no matter what your relegous beliefs may be.
  • President Obama fully understands that words matter, words are powerful. You must choose your words carefully.

This same sort of “Political Correctness” run amok argument was also used over the controversy over the Confederate flag. Proponents of keeping the Confederate flag claimed it was a symbol of Southern Pride and everyone was being too politically correct.

The problem is, the Confederate flag is deeply offensive to literally millions of Americans. As a civil society don’t we have an obligation to consider the feelings of literally millions of our fellow citizens? Isn’t being politically correct just another phrase describing compassion, empathy and human decency?

As a political correct society we have virtually eliminated slang names for women, in civil society that women find offensive. These slang terms include; Amazon – arm candy – astronaut’s wife – Aunt Jemima – aviation blonde – b – babe – bad kitty – bag – bag bitch – BBW – beast – beav – beaver – Becky – Benjamin – Betty – biddie – biddy – Big Booty Judy – bimbo – bimho – bint – bird – bisnotch – bitch – blonde – bob – booth babe – box – breezie – breezy – bridezilla – broad – Buffy – bunny boiler – burger – bushpig – butch – butterface – butter face – butterhead – cat – chank – chica – chicadee – chick – chickabee – chickadee – chicken head – chicken hoe – chiquita – chiquita banana – classy hoochie – cougar – cow – crank whore – crockadillapig – cronk – cunt – ‘c’ word – dame – decent Rita – dime – dish – ditz – diva – doll – double R – dudette – f4f – fag hag – feedbag material – fem-fetale – filly – flange – flipper – floozie – floozy – foxy – gal – ghetto bird – ghetto ho – GILF – girl – girlfriend – girlie – girly – girly-girl – gold digger – good sort – Grimace – grizzly chicken – gurl – gyal – gyal dem – heina – ho bagel – hockey whore – hoe – hogbeast – homegirl – ho-nasty – hooch – hoochie – hose beast – hoss – hot ma’ – hunny – hussy – huzzie – ice queen – jackpine savage – Jane Doe – Jenny McCarthy – jumper – jumpoff – karena – lass – LOLITA – lumberjack – ma – ma’am – mack mamma – mami – manizer – manster – MIF – MILF – millihelen – minger – MIWLF – mole – moll – Mona Bushpig – mudpout – MWF – old bag – Omega Mu – pass around pussy – Pebbles – pigeon – poon – poontang – popcorn hoe – prostitot – puck bunny – pussy – PYT – queen bee – ragamuffin – rasp – rat – RUB – runner – sauerkraut – sausage jockey – scud – sea donkey – sea hag – sex kitten – sexy mama – shawty – Sheila – shiksa – shorty – sista – sister – skank – skeezy ho – sketel – sko – sleaze – sorostitute – space queen – split-tail – Susan Glenn – suspy – swamp donkey – sweet sister of mine – SWF – SWM – tail – tart – toots – tramp – trick – trim – troglodyte – troll – twinkie – twist – two o’clock beauty queen – vamp – village bicycle, the – what’s-her-face – whatshername – whooty – whore – wild – woofer – Xbox – yak – younger model – yummy mummy.

I for one agree that if women find these terms to be offensive, then we as a society have to respect their wishes. Certainly, this is politically correct, but it is mostly respecting the wishes of women. What’s wrong with that?

Sports teams with names e.g.- “Washington Redskins” and “Cleveland Indians” are offensive to Native Americans.

These sports teams have been around for a few dozen years. Native Americans have been around for ~13,000 years. So who’s feelings should we be respecting? It seems to me that the answer is perfectly clear.

The same is true for politically “incorrect” names for; disabled people, homeless people, the mentally ill, poor white people, LGBT people, Jews, Muslims, Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, etc., etc. I could keep going on and on. But, I think I have proven my point.

Political Correctness is a basic requirement for a civil society. Political Correctness is nothing more then the language of inclusiveness, and respect for others.

Political Correctness, is the glue that holds our society together. Political Correctness, facilitates open communication. Political Correctness, promotes understanding between opposing views.

Next time, someone tries to explain to you that the problem with America, is political correctness.  they have just attempted to justify their; misogynistic, racist, bigoted or xenophobic beliefs, as the problems or incorrect beliefs of others instead of themselves…..The problem in America is not “Political Correctness” it is the false narrative that others use to try to justify their personal prejudices against others.

So,  What’s Wrong With Political Correctness? Nothing, Nothing at all.

As Always,

I Am

Tom Dye, The Safety Guy

Why Do People Fear Others Who Are Different From Themselves?

Why Do People Fear Others Who Are Different From Themselves?

To me the answer to this question is stupidly obvious.


It is impossible become familiar with something just by reading about it, watching it in a movie or on television, or seeing it on the news. What I mean is familiarity absolutely requires “one-on-one” human interactions on a personal level.

To further illustrate this, I am going to use my own life experiences to make my case.

I was born in Southern California in 1958. I was raised in a typical middle class family. Both my parents worked typical jobs, and I have one sibling, a younger sister that is 2.5 years younger then me. My parents were High School sweethearts, and my Mother was 19 and my Father was 21 when they got married.

We were literally, the typical 1950’s nuclear family. We lived in a typical 3 bedroom tract house, in a typical Southern California neighborhood.

As I look back on it, my formative years were definitely NOT “Ozzie & Harriet” but  something entirely different. Try to imagine what you would get if you were to take; Laugh-In, Adam-12, The Brady Bunch, Dragnet, The Jefferson’s, All in the Family, Star Trek, The Bob Newhart Show,  Sanford & Son, Chico & the man, and threw all of them into a blender, blend on high until thoroughly mixed, and poured them out to create something new. Well you get the idea.

I went to school and grew up in a typical medium/large Southern California city that demographically included a mix of Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. You see, for me this was my “normal” reality. We all played together, went to school together, ate dinner at each others houses, had neighborhood barbecues, rode our bikes together (most of us had Schwinn Stingrays back then). you know all the usual stuff that kids do.

So, for me, Blacks, were just like me except they had a much darker skin tone, they had some different cultural identities, but hay, we all have these, right?

Hispanics, especially Mexicans which were the predominate Hispanic population in Southern California, once again different cultural identities, but I have to say their ethnic foods were amazing. I even learned some Spanish. Mostly swear words though.

The Asians were also cool. I actually never thought anything about any of this as being anything other than absolutely normal.

There was also the typical mix of hippies, jocks, rockers, potheads, feminists, and everything in between. I knew them all and we all got along just fine.  Sometimes there were minor conflicts, but mostly not. Typical kids stuff.

If you were a teenager in Southern California in the 1960’s or the 1970’s, like I was, You most likely smoked pot. This was the norm across all racial lines. I was no different. This was actually a good social ice breaker.

Once again…


When I was 17 my parents moved us up to the mountains in Central California, to a really, really, small town called Ahwahnee, population 550. They had bought 80 acres a few years prior to that, and off we went. Talk about culture shock for a Southern California boy. Kind of like a reverse Beverly Hillbillies.

This area still had Blacks and Hispanics, who by this time were normal by my upbringing. But now I was meeting Cowboys, Cowgirls, Ranchers, American Indians, and so much more. Talk about culture shock. These people not only talked different from me, they dressed different as well. Believe me when I say, that this an entirely different reality then anything I had experienced before. My first impressions were; OMG, we’ve landed on planet redneck.

I don’t know if my parents had actually considered that moving my sister and me up to the mountains in the middle of nowhere was a better environment or what…..

Well, let me tell you, I learned within a week of moving to Ahwahnee, that this was the area where they actually grew all the pot. I just thought that this fact was ironic.

(I It’s important to state at this point that, I haven’t smoked pot in over 28 years now, but the fact that I did then is vaguely relevant to the story. Personally, I don’t have a position one way or another on if people should or should not be smoking pot.)

Once again…


We moved up to the Sierra Nevada foothills during our summer vacation after my Junior year of high school.  I didn’t know a soul except my parents and my sister.

Let me tell you about Ahwahnee. At that time, it had a population of 550, there were 6 party line telephones, and the dirt road that lead to our home from the actual road was 1/2 mile long. Talk about isolation.

You have to understand, the entire town consisted of two bars; The Country Inn, and The Hitching post Saloon, a post office, two feed stores, a general store, a real estate office, a volunteer fire department, and a church and that was about it

Just by wandering around out of sheer boredom, I did met a few of the local kids my age (or close to my age) Now, these were people different than others I had known in my life, but they were certainly friendly enough. Although, I never did understand the cowboy boots and chewing tobacco thing.

Although, I certainly did understand the; “Do You Want To Get High?” question. Talking about breaking the ice. I am pretty sure that when I was a teenager, this line was sort of a test to see if we hand any sort of common ground no matter how tenuous. Now, that we had minimal common ground, could begin to learn from each other and maybe even became friends. I could even begin to overlook the cowboy boots and chewing tobacco thing.

I especially  developed very strong friendships with Dave, Rocky, Keith, and Doug. Not to mention Carol, Dixie and Glenda, just to name a few.

I met my first real “American Indians” or “Native American” face to face, fairly quickly. Now, this was a totally new experience for me.

One of the early things I heard, being such a small town,  was The Hitching Post Saloon, which was a beer bar, and had a couple of pool tables, and was one of the very few places to hang out. I found out that some of the regulars used to buy a bunch of beers and place them around the corner from the bar, near the pool tables, and I could drink a beer without the bartender, Rich ever being the wiser. Hey, at 17 years old, this was certainly a major consolation prize, for having to live in the middle of nowhere.

Later on, there were also plenty of times that Rich was passed out from drinking his Whiskey that he kept in one of those red coke coolers, that I could literally serve myself from the tap, and no one knew, or cared. But that is a different story.

Let me tell you about, Rich the Bartender. This dude was a cowboy from the word go, and, no shit he walked just like John Wayne. I am not sure if he walked liked that because of the whiskey he drank all the time that he used to keep in the old red Coca-Cola cooler behind the bar or not. He used to start the night with whiskey and Coke, and has the night went on, his drinks kept looking more and more like straight Whiskey.

Most people just called him Cowboy.

Rich used to get so drunk that instead of going home, he would spend the night in this little travel trailer parked outside the bar. He once found two kittens and he used to feed them. I once asked what their names were and he replied, “Shit” and “Ass”.  He was a colorful guy. I grew to like him a lot. I have a lot of stories about Rich.

More on Rich the bartender, the Hitching Post Saloon, and living in Ahwahnee in the late 1970’s, in future story, stay tuned. Believe me, it gets even more bizarre.

Once again…


Wow! before I took this stroll down the rabbit hole of long forgotten memories, I was going to tell you about my first encounter with “real live” American Indians.

I hitch-hiked down the 3 miles or so the The Hitching Post Saloon, not for anything except for sheer boredom. I had already been there a few times and sort of knew, Rich the Bartender.

I walked in and right away noticed that there was 6 or 7 American Indians (Native Americans) playing pool. I had never seen an American Indian in person before. These guys were big guys. The biggest meanest looking one of all, named Iggy. (I learned his name a few minutes later). Quite frankly, they looked like a pretty scary bunch.

These guys all had jet black hair, brown skin and brown eyes. When I say that they looked like the typical stereotype of American Indians in the westerns these guys could have just walked off a Hollywood movie set.

Great, I thought no playing pool for me. There were a few other redneck looking cowboys in the bar as well.

I went up to the bar and sat down and ordered a Pepsi. Besides Rich the Bartender was there as well as, “Flo” one of the owners of the bar. Flo was interesting in the fact that the more she drank, the faster she would blink. At the time she was blinking up a storm.

I sat down at the bar, drinking my Pepsi and lit up a Marlboro Red. Of course I thought I was cool. At this time I had fairly long hair. (This was decades before I actually started losing hair)

No more then two minutes had went by before I heard a male voice from right behind me asking; “Hey, is that a man or a women?” several others laughed at this joke that was quickly becoming obvious that I was the brunt of it…..

I looked up to the mirror behind the bar and was horrified to find that the redneck cowboys (three or four of them) that I had noticed when I first came in, were now standing about three feet behind me.

This was not good!

Just as I was envisioning my ass being kicked by a bunch of rednecks, There was another commotion. The American Indians, remember them? who were previously playing pool at the back of the bar, were now pushing themselves through the rednecks until they were standing right behind me.

The biggest meanest looking Indian of them all was right behind me, telling the redneck that was not a very nice thing to say to their friend. The rednecks began backing away.

He gently started pulling me off the bar-stool and started heading for the door. He was saying dude, it’s good to see you again, we’re just stepping out to get some air come on.

We went outside, and he introduced himself as Iggy. I thanked him profusely for their assistance and he told me something that I still remember to this day. “That’s OK, little man, anyone that the rednecks have a problem with, is OK with us”.

Up until this second, I had no idea that the cowboys and Indians were still fighting, but evidently they were.

He told me to go home, but not to worry, because these guys would not be bothering me again.

The funny things is, he was right. The rednecks never bothered me again. I guess it’s a good thing to have friends that were known to be crazy.

I later became friendly, not only with just Iggy, but several other local American Indians as well.

Iggy, and his friends used to regularly get drunk, and get in huge physical altercations with the hardcore rednecks. But they were always cool to me. I actually learned a lot from them

Once again…


I met hippies living in a commune, not one, but two, pool sharks, and many other interesting characters. Most were very different from me. I learned a lot from each and every one of them. We had all kinds of awesome adventures together, but most importantly they were my friends.

Once again…


Fast forward, I finished my senior year in High School, and waited till my 18th birthday came around again in February. Two weeks after my 18th birthday, I moved 350 miles South to Chatsworth, Ca.

My friend David from the mountains had moved there a few months earlier to work with his Grandfather making redwood gates. David called and said they needed more help, That’s how I ended up in Chatsworth.

There was nothing special about Chatsworth, Ca. The city is located in the San Fernando Valley. You have to understand that Southern California is just one big mega-city. The only way you can tell that you entered another city, is the street signs are a different color.

However, this story is not about David, redwood-gates or Chatsworth, Ca. Although, I have a lot of great stories about people and my experiences during this time.

This is strictly about one unique person, our neighbor directly across the street from us.

As I remember, his name was Joe. He was a little on the short side, maybe 5’5″-5’6″ tall. Joe had a full beard and mustache. Joe was pretty muscular and usually wore red plaid shirts, Levis and work boots. He always reminded me of a short lumberjack. He was also about 165 pounds and muscular.

I had seen Joe coming and going for several weeks before I actually met him. He was a few years older than us, maybe late twenties or thirty, so he didn’t go out of his way to hang out with us.

I found out sometime later that there was something else about Joe. He was a surgically transitioning Transsexual.  There was nothing to give any indication that he was anything other than how he looked.

Joe was born Kathy. He had been taking male hormones for years, had his breasts removed and was currently going through the final surgical phase to create a penis. Joe liked women as much as I do, and we talked about the usual stuff that guys talked about, when guys get together.

We eventually got to know one another fair well and we would hang out, have a couple of beers or whatever. I thought Joe was a pretty interesting guy. My only criticism would be the “lumberjack look” I never thought this to be a really good fashion statement, but to each their own. He had a girlfriend that was cute, so I guess it worked for him.

Now, When I first met Joe, to me he was just a short lumber jack type, manly man. When I found out that Joe was a Transsexual, did that change my perception of him? Absolutely not. Joe was my friend, and there was no turning back now. Besides, I thought it was fascinating.

Joe seem relieved that I didn’t run away in terror when I found out about it. Of course, since I have an inquiring mind, I also had a thousand questions.

Joe was happy to answer all my questions.  Here is what I learned:

Firstly, San Francisco was one of the few places in the country in the late 1970’s that did this type of sexual reassignment surgery. The surgery was coupled with psychological counseling.

This explained why Joe would not  be around for days at a time.

Did he still have female parts? Yes.

Are they going to make you a penis? Yes.

This was the stage where Joe was right now. He offered to show me how they were going to accomplish this. I agreed.

Stop it right there, I know what you are thinking, this had nothing to do with sex or anything else, this was science.

He stood up pulled down the front of his shorts and there was a large bandage. He peeled back the bandage and I saw what looked just like a suitcase handle from the top of his groin to just below his belly button.

Through incisions and skin grafts they created a handle and it would stay this way until it was fully healed. Later another surgery would release the handle from the top,

Eventually they would create a more realistic look, and through skin grafts and artificial testicles (yes, these are a thing) would finish it off.

The final phase would be to create a tube between his bladder through the penis. This would allow him to pee standing up just like every other man.

Of course, I had to know, how do you get it up? or can you? – Here is where fucking science comes into play. When they were finally finished, another feature is another tube, or hollow space that open just below the testicles and ended just below the head. This hollow space was where he could insert a stainless steel rod, appropriately called a “stiffener”.

No, he was not doomed to have a realistic looking penis just hanging limp between his legs, Oh No! Just insert the stiffener, and he could have an erection for hours, days, or weeks if he wanted to. Now, this was impressive to say the least.

And, remember this was decades before “Viagra” and their ominous warning that erections lasting more than 4 hours could be hazardous to your health. Ha, Viagra’s got nothing on this guy.

Joe eventually completed his surgeries and moved on with his life. I still remember has a very funny guy, and a friend. Except for the lumber jack fashion statement, he was just a regular guy.

Obviously, during this year/year and a half there were many other unusual and memorable people, and experiences but Joe was by far the most interesting of them all.

Once again…


I started living with a girl from Connecticut, eventually she wanted to move back home to New Milford, Ct. She wanted me to go with her. Me being a California boy and having never lived anywhere else agreed. So, off we went

We arrived in New Milford, Connecticut in late August of 1978.

Within a week we were meeting her friends who lived in Mew Milford.

This was another first for me. Just by sheer luck of the draw I met the; Gay, Artist, Intellectual crowd.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Whoever someone loves or chooses to be with is absolutely fine with me. The point is that this was another group of people who are totally different from me,  who I had previously had little interactions with.

I met some of the most amazing and close friends that I have ever known in my entire life. I finally felt like I had met the most interesting and accepting group of friends that I had ever known. Some of my friends are now passed away, but many are still my friends to this day. My entire life was preparing me for this very moment in time.

I met gays, lesbians, straight people, intellectuals, musicians, actors, artists, outcasts, business people and everything in between. I never met a single person through this group that I didn’t immediately consider to be my friend. I even met people that I am fairly certain that I would have never met, or even considered to be my friend if not for this core group of amazing friends.

These amazing individuals included: Neal, Joe, Jeff, John, Dave, Rich, Dawn, Carol, Kathy, Julie and Jeanine.

Through each of them, I met several other people and so on, and so one.

Although, the main catalyst was my friend, Neal. He has since passed away, but his legacy and the friendships he facilitated are still strong today.  It was not uncommon to hear the phrase; “Any friend of Neal’s is a friend of mine”

I can honestly say that this was absolutely true, and still is.

Once again…


In the early 1980’s I moved to nearby Danbury, CT.  This was a great time in my life. Sometime in the later 1980’s a Punk bar opened in town. I love punk rock, Ska, And New Music. I started listening to punk in 1975 starting with Patti Smith. I love Patti Smith to this day. I also began listening to; The Buzzcocks, Lords of the New Church, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Richard Hell, Iggy Pop, and others. I especially liked The Ramones. I was fortunate enough to have seen The Ramones, “live” 22 times.

Anyway, The Chameleon Cafe opened in town. I was literally in Punk Rock heaven. Live Punk Rock music 6 days a week. There were no other venues like this within 50 miles.

I became such a fixture at The Chameleon Cafe, that I eventually began working there as a DJ virtually every night. I even had a bar stool with my name on it.

The Chameleon Cafe was owned by three partners, all three were Italians from Brooklyn. Two of the three talked just like “My Cousin Vinnie”.

To the uninitiated, a punk bar can be a really scary place. The people who frequented places like this could be scary to some people. I mean lots of leather, Mohawks, rooster cuts, studs, chains, boots, tattoos and everything else. Then there were the men. Some of these guys were big and scary looking.

And then there was the music. The music was EVERYTHING! It was amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that everyone in the bar dressed like that as that is not the case. I didn’t because I worked a regular good paying job an dressing like that would definitely be frowned upon by my employers in the defense industry.

I did however, wear all black for several years. Black tee shirt, black pants, black socks and black shoes. It made it really easy to get dressed in the morning. The only thing I had to be careful was was clashing blacks. Some black articles of clothing fade more then others.

If I wanted to really get dressed up, I would put on my black High-Top Chucks and put on a black sport coat. I also had this amazing black motorcycle jacket that I had placed all kind of patches and pins from various punk bands that I liked as well as pins from the United States Army and Marines. To top it all off it had an American flag on the back. I really wish I still had it. It was that awesome.

But I digress, I used to invite all kind of people to the bar, friends, work colleagues, etc. I was actually really surprised that many people would not go, and would not even consider it. and furthermore made it very clear that they were not comfortable around “people like that”. People like what? Are you kidding me. I was also very disappointed that people would assume that I would invite them to an environment that may be hazardous to their health.

Seriously? Everyone that knows me is fully aware that I am the least violent person that anyone could know, so to think that I would invite someone to a place that would be dangerous to either me or them was in my mind, ludicrous.

In my time spent at The Chameleon Cafe, I can honestly say that there was almost never, ever, any sort of trouble at the bar, meaning fights, or other altercations.

How many other bars can say the same thing? For me, these people were my friends, and we had a common bond, THE MUSIC. I was invited to some of these peoples homes, and they came to mine. I had a party for my 35th birthday, and it was memorable to say the least.

Once again…


I got married, had children, divorced, moved to Massachusetts, got married again,moved to Florida, got divorced.

I finally found my soul-mate and we have been together for almost 14 years now.

I have learned through the long line of people who I have met in my life, that you can never judge a book by its cover and never, ever, be afraid of anyone that is different from you.

You never know, maybe that person that at first glance is totally different from you in almost every imaginable way, may just be the one person that may change your life forever.

For me, it was my Friend, Neal, a gay man, artist, and amazing human being. Neal passed away from cancer in 2014. His friendship changed my life forever. I will never forget him as long as I live.

Think about it! If every person that you had ever encountered in your entire life, looked like you, talked like you, thought like you, acted like you, dressed like you, you would be bored to death.

Embrace diversity with an open mind, and learn from others as they may learn from you.

Once again…


It really is that simple.

As Always,

I Am,

Tom Dye, The Safety Guy


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