Archive for the ‘Georgia Tattoo’

‘The Challenge’: Stephen Bear Admits He Lied About Having Twins on the Way; Fans Furious – Showbiz Cheat Sheet02.11.21

The Challengethree-time competitor andCelebrity Big Brotherchamp Stephen Bear has been under fire for the past few months due to his alleged involvement in a revenge porn case with ex Georgia Harrison. Following the accusations, Bear announced he was expecting twins with his 18-year-old girlfriend. However, fans began blasting the 31-year-old reality star after discovering he used a picture from the internet for his announcement.

London native Stephen Bear made his reality television debut at the age of 21 as a contestant on competition series,Shipwrecked, where he placed fifth.

He then appeared as part ofEx on the Beach U.K.series 3 and 5, where Bear established himself as a polarizing character. His popularity landed him a spot inCelebrity Big Brotherseries 18, and he went on to win the competition.

RELATED: The Challenge Star Georgia Harrison Accuses Ex Stephen Bear of Secretly Recording Her and Posting It

The reality star then appeared in the U.K. showsCelebs Go DatingandJust Tattoo of Usbefore joining the cast of MTVsThe Challengefor its 33rd season,War of the Worlds.

He competed in three seasons back-to-back but didnt return for season 36sDouble Agents. Its unclear if the 31-year-old will compete inThe Challengeagain.

DuringWar of the Worlds, Bear met U.K. rookie Georgia Harrison, and they fell for each other, even though he had a girlfriend at the time. He broke up with her to pursue things with the other rookie, although things didnt work out with them either.

The two seemingly called it quits for good in the summer of 2019. A year later, Harrison accused her ex of filming their sexual interactions and sharing the video, both without her knowledge.

RELATED: The Challenge Star Stephen Bear Arrested in Connection With Ex Georgia Harrison Revenge Porn Allegations

She reached out to the platform where he allegedly posted the clip, OnlyFans, and asked them to remove it as she claims it was filmed without her consent. In response, the company deactivated his account. Bear attempted to return using different usernames, but fans continually reported until he switched to another platform.

Following her accusations, he vacationed in Dubai for a few weeks. When he returned, police took him into questioning for his involvement in the revenge porn case before releasing him on bail. According to the Essex Police, Bear has a court date on Feb. 10.

The 31-year-old began publicly dating 18-year-old social media influencer Tia McAlister, whom many initially believed was underage, shortly after returning to the U.K.

A couple of weeks after the arrest, Bear posted a picture of an ultrasound depicting twins, captioning it, Wasnt expecting two. Think its time I grow up. Very soon after his announcement, fans found the same ultrasound picture on the internet.

His followers quickly began calling him out for faking the pregnancy and thought he posted it because hesdesperate for attention.Othersblasted himfor faking it, calling his prank an insult to the people who cant have children.

Bear later admitted in aYouTubevideo that he was not expecting kids and claimed the backlash surprised him.The Challenge 36airs Wednesdays at 8/7 Central on MTV.

RELATED: The Challenge: Stephen Bear Responds to Revenge Porn Accusations, Calls Himself the Victim in Statement

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How TikTok communists are reclaiming the hammer and sickle – i-D02.11.21

To prove to you why communism is so bad, were going to talk to my dad who grew up in communist Romania, TikToker @stinkysocialist says, in a video thats amassed 2.4m likes. Walking into their dads study, they ask: Dad, why was communist Romania so bad? The dad, serious, thoughtful and poignant, begins: I lived there until I was 21 years old, so I have a lot of horrible stories to tell you. I left communist Romania in 88, which was one year before the war went down. And if I were to tell you one main thing that I remember? I aint never seen two pretty best friends.

Scroll through TikTok and youll find a lot of videos like this that ostensibly touch upon the legacy of the Soviet Union, before flipping the script. The Daddy Karl trend back in October 2020 was a signal of how quickly TikToks communist community was growing. Four months on, #communism has reached over 563 million views and accumulated hours of videos dedicated to highlighting Gen Zs seemingly growing anti-capitalist beliefs, and their faith in opposing ideologies.

Youll find people flexing tattoos of the hammer and sickle symbol (originally created by Soviet artist Yevgeny Ivanovich Kamzolkin to represent unity between the working class and the peasantry) to the soundtrack Just Did a Good Thing. Another video sees the face of Joseph Stalin, the notorious leader of the USSR from 1922-1952, whose legacy is caught somewhere between mass murderer and World War Two hero, deepfaked to lipsync to Millie Bs M to the B. One TikTok is captioned communist leaders as chav anthems (Stalin is Sophie Aspins Mash Up, for those interested).

The influx of iconic Soviet symbols hanging on TikTokers bedroom walls or printed on their bikini tops, and videos claiming the USSR is best over a Soviet chorus soundtrack not to mention the numerous light-hearted tattoos and animations may seem like little more than another TikTok trend. For some, it does appear to be more of an aesthetic interest than a deeply political one. But for many others who place the hammer and sickle in their social media bio, or label themselves commies or comrades, its a belief; an important part of their identity.

20-year-old Ilyssa, from New York, sees communism as the only viable alternative, one that will improve the societal issues we currently face. From a young age, I was very aware of the stark class differences that existed, she says. I grew up with a single mother in a very poor family. We made it work but I was aware of our class status. On TikTok, she educates her 67k followers on the subject of anti-semitism and creates hammer and sickle-inspired makeup looks. For Ilyssa, the symbol means solidarity among the working class. [Communism] means being anti-capitalist. It means advocating for equality and dignity for all people and striving towards a basic level of humanity for every person that exists.

Yet it's hard to ignore the geographical and historical disconnect between young Americans with a new interest in this history, and those related, through experience or blood, to hardships under Soviet rule. Alina, an 18-year-old from Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine, wonders if TikToks communist boom is rooted in people who are fans of communism, but who understand little about its history.

In Russia and former Soviet satellite states, such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, the Soviet symbol and images of the regimes leaders still carry the trauma of that time. For the children and grandchildren of those who suffered, the hammer and sickle represents much more than the solidarity initially intended. Stalins regime will be remembered by its descendants for decades to come, 18-year-old Anton from Omsk, Russia says. They will not forget the deaths of their repressed relatives.

The Red Armys arrival is rarely remembered as a pure liberation, historian Anne Applebaum wrote about the USSRs victory over the Nazis in her book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe. Instead, it is remembered as the brutal beginning of a new occupation.

Many of the descendants of the regime know Soviet rule for its horrors. There was the looting and rape by Red Army soldiers, as documented by writers like Vasily Grossman; the Gulag system that led to the deaths of tens of millions of inmates; and the criminalisation of homosexuality in 1934 that targeted an unknown but substantial number of gay men and women -- a subject Dan Healey explores in his book Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi.

The flag of the Soviet Union may trigger memories of events like the Holodomor in Ukraine a famine widely considered to be a genocide that led to the deaths of up to 12 million Ukrainians. To some, its a symbol that represented the anti-Semitism that was characteristic of Stalins regime, such as the 1953 Doctors Plot, a witch-hunt that targeted predominantly Jewish doctors. For others, its a reminder of the 1921 invasion of Georgia, which aimed to rid the country of its independence and implement Bolshevik control, or the Great Terror/Purge of 1936-1938 that targeted everyone from ethnic minorities to those suspected of dissidence.

Its not just the ideologys dark history that Anton worries is being ignored, but its problematic present. The current situation in North Korea is an example, he says. The communists know what is going on there but either dont think its necessary to talk about, or they discuss it ambiguously.

There are a lot of TikTok videos under #communism that set out to show that true communism has never been properly implemented. One video says the Stalinism and Soviet communism legacy distorted so many peoples understanding of Marxism and socialism. They are different ideologies. For the communists of TikTok, oppressive regimes like that of Stalin, North Korea, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia have very little to do with what communism and the hammer and sickle mean today.

I dont necessarily agree that its offensive, says 18-year-old Zoe from Chicago, who has a tattoo of the symbol and uses her TikTok platform to educate others about communism. I dont think that we should equate communism with the Soviet Union. We associate the symbol with more radical, positive change. That desire for change was what pushed her into far left and anti-capitalist politics in the first place. It was mostly the events happening in the US, especially over the summer, that were the reason I decided that communism was the best fit for me, she says. And there are many others, both Gen Z and millennials, that are also starting to consider communism or socialism as a more suitable ideological fit.

A 2019 YouGov poll found that more than one third of millennials in the US approve of communism an 8% increase on the previous year. Elsewhere, predictions of the current presidential election in Ecuador are indicating a nation eager for a return to socialism after years of neoliberal rule under current leader Lenn Moreno. In Russia, only over the past few months has the seemingly progressive, socialist and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny (who has a history of racist and nationalist politics) overtaken Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who has called for the Re-Stalinisation of Russian Society. Now, Navalny is seen as the substantial political opposition to Vladimir Putin.As such, he has recently been imprisoned for violating parole terms, during a period of time spent comatose in a Berlin hospital as he recovered from novichok poisoning.

The semantics of these debates are complicated, not least because while many advocating for communist ideals are based far from the former USSR, they arent necessarily disconnected from its history. Ilyssa recounts the hardships that her Jewish relatives felt when fleeing Russia from the pogroms in the early 20th century, and then from the Soviet Union a few decades later. My great grandparents were able to flee and come to the US, but a lot of their relatives were killed, and theres no documentation that exists of them outside of their memories, she explains. As a history major and descendant of victims of the Soviet Unions regime, Ilyssa wants to reclaim the hammer and sickle as a symbol of hope and a brighter future. But thats not to say that she doesnt recognise the dark nuances of the flag from which her great grandparents fled. Its realising that [Stalin] was not representative of communism or the hammer and sickle thats what makes it so easy to divorce the two. But its still worth learning from. We have to look at what parts of Marxism and communist theory left a space for totalitarianism and authoritarianism to take hold, and how we can prevent that from happening in the future.

Many young Russians also want to see the crimes of Stalin dissociated from the countrys proud heritage. The symbol isnt offensive," Roma, from Sarapul in Western Russia, says. It represents pride, a time when people strove for the best. Over 800 miles away in Saint Petersburg, 22-year-old Maria says she thinks its a good thing that Gen Z communists are breathing new life into the symbol: I personally dont associate it with anything bad. The hammer and sickle was there before Stalin and it was there after him. His crimes are a black stain on our history that still resonates to this day.

For many of Gen Zs TikTok communist community, rejuvenating the hammer and sickle is not about ignoring the weight that it carries. Its about returning the symbol to its original meaning: one of unity and solidarity. They want the symbol to represent everything they dream of seeing in the world. But, above all, they see it as an emblem of hope for a generation caught within a defective, splintering system; one they collectively want to topple on its head.

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Jewish constituents must live with her hate – The Jewish News of Northern California02.07.21

Disturbed, exhausted, frightened, frustrated, hurt these are only a few words members of the Rome, Georgia, synagogue Rodeph Sholom have used to describe their reactions to Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Within the last week, Greene, a believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory, was revealed to have publicly called for the execution of top Democratic Congressional leaders, harassed David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, and accused the fictional Rothschild Inc. of causing massive California wildfires with a space laser.

After the story broke, many were quick to laugh at Greenes beliefs. Saturday Night Live parodied Greene in their cold open. Social media flooded with jokes and memes. The New Yorker satirized her. The Forwards PJ Grisar outlined the pros and consof laughing at Greene, ultimately concluding that poking fun at these conspiracy theories or challenging them with facts is actually imperative.

Jew lasers and notions like it can and should be laughed out of town, before they make their way to the Capitol, he wrote.

But Greene hasnt been laughed out of her town. In fact, she was elected with overwhelming support. And in laughter, we fail to consider those who our community should be caring for the Jews in Greenes district.

I am a Jew by choice. I was not born Jewish. I have been converted for 30-some years, almost 40 years, and I find her rhetoric extremely hurtful, said Nancy Brant, Rodeph Sholoms president. Id find it extremely hurtful if I were a Jew, or if Im not a Jew. I find it extremely hurtful as a human being.

The nearly 150-year-old Rodeph Sholom, which serves Jews across northwest Georgia, is a tight-knit congregation, fiercely protective of its community. And Brant is far from alone among its congregants in being vehemently upset by her congressional representation.

Dr. Jeffrey Peller, a two-time president of the synagogue, said he was concerned by Taylor Greene less as an individual than as a representative of a swath of American society. There are way more people following the QAnon conspiracy theory than her, he said, noting that the conspiracy theory is associated with a lack of caring about what the truth is, a lack of caring about facts, and, of course, issues of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim and anti-gay rhetoric.

Were in the spotlight, but I dont know that theres any part of America that can feel they are immune from that, he said.

After the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in 2018, there was an outpouring of community support, recalled Shelly Peller, Jeffrey Pellers wife. Hundreds of the congregations non-Jewish neighbors attended the synagogues services in solidarity.

But despite what they see as a generally supportive community, Greenes antisemitism is symptomatic of a larger issue one that continues to plague Rodeph Sholom.

We have, over the decades, had isolated incidents and antisemitic acts, Brant said. Some 25 years ago, the Pellers said, a large black swastika was found painted on the front door of Rodeph Sholom. Evan Ross, a local artist and former state senate candidate, said hes had multiple run-ins with white supremacy, such as standing in the grocery store checkout behind a man with a swastika tattoo or having one of his students use the derogatory phrase Jew you down only to face no repercussions from the schools administration. Members of the antisemitic neo-Confederate hate group League of the South, Ross said, have nearby homes.

In 2017, the white supremacist group Vanguard America used rubber cement to stick flyers advertising their group on the front door of Rodeph Sholom; the flyers bore the phrase the tide of Jewish globalism wanes. In 2018, the white supremacist group Identity Evropa placed stickers on the guardrails in the synagogues parking lot.

After the 2017 and 2018 incidents, the congregation invested in more advanced alarm systems.

It was like, we know youre here. Shelly Peller said.

When I started with the congregation 10 years ago, we would only have security on the High Holidays, said Rabbi Judith Beiner. That changed five or six years ago, and anytime there was an event, there was always a cop there.

Beiner splits religious leadership of Rodeph Sholom with Rabbi Steven Lebow, rabbi emeritus of Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Georgia. (Rodeph Sholom has not had a permanent Rabbi since 1955.) I had one person who serves the public, in a public forum, and who sort of shook his head wearily and said, I cant believe that seven out of 10 of the people that I work with voted for Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lebow said. Thats a scary number to live with.

If it were up to me, Lebow continued, I would widely publicize that the congregation exists to try to bring people in from all over. But I think that the congregation would be reluctant to do that because, like many Southern congregations, they dont want to advertise that theyre there, lest there be someone harmful in the community who would come forward.

Shelly Peller echoed Lebows sentiment. I think that any religious group or any minority wants to be under the radar when they feel like theyre being threatened, she said.

As a whole, Rodeph Sholoms community has decided to neither elevate nor promulgate Greenes rhetoric. (An exception was a Jan. 30 statement, in which the congregation wrote It is especially heinous when any elected official singles out a specific group and engages in false narratives regarding them. It is not only unethical and irresponsible, but it is extremely dangerous to all concerned.) Theyre frustrated by the media, which they perceive as having given Greene an unnecessarily prominent platform. And while they hoped that Greene will be expelled or resign, and want her Republican colleagues to speak out against her, they are not optimistic.

The congregants of Rodeph Sholom are weary. They speak carefully and consider the consequences of vocalizing opposition to Greene. The nation is laughing at Jewish space lasers, while they fear for the safety of their synagogue, their friends and their families. When we laugh or mock Greene, we mock the very real consequences that members of Rodeph Sholom face.

The choice to laugh also minimizes the fact that Greene is not alone in her beliefs. Some polls have found that themajority of Republicansbelieve that some or all aspects of the QAnon conspiracy are true. These Republicans hold office all over the country and at all levels of government. And where they are, so too are Jews who are at risk.

But the members of Rodeph Sholom remain hopeful for the future, despite the concerns raised by Taylor Greenes as-yet brief tenure in Congress.

On Jan. 29, more than 50 people gathered on Zoom for a virtual Shabbat service led by Jonathon Adler, a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Adlers grandparents, Jule and Rose Levin, were influential community members, and Adler discussed their involvement in Romes Jewish history and the Civil Rights movement. By the time the service concluded, with members unmuting to sing Adon Olam, Greene had only been mentioned once, and only as that woman.

Present at Shabbat was Dr. Anne Lewinson, a professor of anthropology at Berry College, who moved to Rome in 2001. Her husband is a Black, Muslim immigrant from Tanzania. Her children grew up in an interfaith and interracial family and have thrived in Rome. And while Lewinson finds Greenes supporters alarming, she doesnt feel endangered or unsafe.

Maybe that is just my general Pollyanna attitude, she said, but I dont question whether we belong here, whether this is our place. This is where we live. And this is our place.

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Terminally-ill man on a mission to get matching tattoos with strangers across the country – KXAN.com01.15.21

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) A man battling stage 4 kidney cancer is on a mission to celebrate life and leave a lasting impact on many.

Don Caskey, an Ohio man with a love of tattoos, said he was diagnosed with the terminal illness in December 2019. By New Years Eve, hed undergone surgery to remove a kidney.

It weighed about 8 pounds, the thing was huge, just full of cancer, Caskey toldNewsNation affiliate WSAV-TV.

The disease has since spread to his lymph nodes. Last summer, the 54-year-old father of five began reflecting on life and the things that matter to him the most.

I looked down at the tattoo I got for my cancer, the dying pine tree, and I realized that I cant take anything material with me, I cant take money or cars when I die, but those memories, those tattoos, they will go with me, I believe, said Caskey, who got his first tattoo at age 40.

He embarked on a journey of expanding his collection of ink, but he didnt plan to do it alone.

I just thought Id start asking people if they want to join me, create more memories, have more human connectivity and make a lot more friends, Caskey said. At first, people thought I was kind of crazy, I mean, theyre looking at me like, what the heck, this guy wants to get in touch with me, he doesnt even know me.'

He began his tattoo journey on Aug. 23, 2020, by posting on Facebook his plans to appear at different tattoo shops to get tatted with complete strangers.

People just kind of show up, Caskey said.

Since August, he said hes gotten matching tattoos with 141 people.

So far, hes visited tattoo shops in Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Maryland, bonding with newfound friends through their love of body art.

The cancer part yeah, it sucks but Im having one of the best times of my life, he said.

Caskey kicked off the new year in Savannah, stopping by Tramp Art Studios on Victory Drive.

He said about 14 people joined him in getting matching tattoos over two days. One of them was Nina Bragg.

One of my friends and I came in to get tattoos, and he was sitting right here and asked what we were going to do, Bragg told WSAV.

I told him what tattoos we were getting, and I jokingly asked if he wanted to get one as well, Bragg said, adding, He was like, well, actually, let me tell you my story, so he told us and asked if it was okay if he could get a matching tattoo with us, and of course, we said yes.

Their tattoo of choice seemed fitting for Caskeys visit to the Peach State.

I got a Georgia peach on my butt, he said.

He said hes overwhelmed and humbled by the support that total strangers have shown him on his celebration-of-life journey thus far.

One woman who beat cervical cancer drove over an hour to Savannah just to get matching cervical cancer survivor tattoos with Caskey.

To have somebody put something permanent on their body for me, it just is huge, Caskey said. I dont know how to describe it, other than its just one of the most amazing feelings ever.

He says hes received support and messages from people all over the world. I get people that connect with me saying hey, Ive got Crohns disease, or Ive got depression, or my dad died of cancer, saying that Im inspiring them to get through whatever theyre going through, Caskey said.

Tramp Art Studios owner Kirsten Cassat, along with a few of her colleagues, also took part in Caskeys mission.

I have a lighter with Don in the middle of it, Cassat said, describing her new tattoo.

I think its awesome, Ive never experienced anybody doing what hes doing, Cassat said.

Hes really brought something new into our lives that we didnt know was going to be a thing, she added. People dont get matching tattoos with just anybody, so it is a special connection that he brought to our community.

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State Is ‘Battered, Not Broken’ Kemp Says In State Of The State | 90.1 FM WABE – WABE 90.1 FM01.15.21

In his second state of the state address as Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp reflected on the bruising past year, which featured a deadly pandemic that continues to rage in Georgia and a high-profile political battle with President Donald Trump.

As the state continues to see rising coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths, he vowed Georgia would win this fight against COVID-19 and asserted the state while battered, is not broken.

One year ago, I had no idea what we would experience in 2020 what we would endure, the storms we would face, Kemp said to a joint session of the State House and Senate.

We didnt know that our prosperity and our economy would be undermined at the same time that our health and well-being was threatened. We didnt know all of the challenges ahead, all of the impossible decisions to make; all of the struggle, pain, and grief, he said.

We didnt know that political division would generate ridiculous and harmful conspiracies, lawlessness, and death.

Of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kemp said, we can now see the light at the end of this tunnel, pointing out that 283,000 Georgians had been vaccinated as of Wednesday.

He also thanked health care workers who have literally faced hell on earth and highlighted the dedication of federal CARES act dollars to supplement healthcare staffing last year.

Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlantathe largest in the stateis now one of many in Georgia having their capacity strained thanks to the pandemic.

And the situation shows little sign of improvement. According to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report, Georgia is eighth in the nation for test positivity, is in the red zone again, and is in full pandemic resurgence.

House Minority Leader James Beverly painted a different picture of the pandemic in response to Kemps remarks. The Governor asked us not to relive or relitigate 2020, he said. But 2020 has led to worsening conditions because we didnt do what we needed to do in the beginning.

More than 10,000 Georgians have died of complications from the virus. In the last week, the state set a new one-day record for COVID-19 fatalities, then nearly broke that record the next day.

Despite numbers that continue to worsen and ongoing calls from the Trump administration for the implementation of stronger COVID-19 mitigation measures, the public health guidance from the state has not changed for months.

Kemp also announced several legislative priorities, including significant reforms to the states citizens arrest statute. That statute has come under intense scrutiny after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, last year. Kemp said it would be a step towards a better, safer, and more just future for our state.

Kemp highlighted Georgias unemployment rate of 5.7%, which falls below the national average, as well as the states recent economic development announcements, and revisited the criticism he received for being one of the first states to reopen after coronavirus lockdown in the spring.

The governor this morning chose to tout his leadership during the crisis as he reopened businesses this summer, Beverly said. Rather than heed the warnings of public health experts across this country, he reopened bars, nightclubs, and tattoo parlors just as numbers were about to get worse.

For news cycle after news cycle, it seemed like the only voices given a megaphone were from the elites, those who could work from home long-term, and those who had the resources to shelter in place for months on end, Kemp said.

But the voices I heard were the voices of men and women from Bainbridge to Bolingbroke to Baldwin, who had spent years building their business, creating jobs, sowing a harvest they hoped to one day reap for themselves and their families literally days away from losing it all.

Kemp announced he plans to prioritize a natural next step of the states PPE Tax Credit, which encouraged in-state production of critical health care supplies, by extending it to cover pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers.

He confirmed that the state will not face budget cuts this year. Last summer, the state was forced to trim more than $2 billion from the budget because of the recession caused by the coronavirus. We find ourselves in an economic position that many other states should envy, he said.

Kemp highlighted a range of priorities in his proposed budget, including $1,000 one-time supplements for all teachers and school employees. Kemp campaigned on a pledge to raise teacher pay, which was slowed down last year.

He also proposed a $5 million pilot program to target a drop in higher education enrollment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kemp addressed the General Assembly just a week after Georgia Republicans lost both Senate seats and months after President-elect Joe Biden won the states electoral college votes.

Kemp did make any mention of electoral law changes in his speech.

He has been supportive of requiring photo ID for absentee ballots but did not list it as a priority Thursday.

Still, Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent highlighted combatting any tightening of voting rules as a Democratic legislative priority: These barriers dont prevent fraud. They prevent democracy, she said. As Democrats, we know our policies are the ones preferred by a majority of Georgians. We arent afraid to let people vote.

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Jeff Whitten: Just make it go away – Bryan County News01.03.21

Some ladyup north is after me to go vote. Shes so concerned about it she actually penned a handwritten letter explaining how much my vote means.

Doesnt matter who I vote for, her letter said. Just vote.

Id like her to know I plan to do just that, and hence this column. Id also like her to know I havent missed many elections in my adult life, bless my heart.

That said, Id wager a paycheck this is the first election Ive gotten a handwritten letter from some concerned northerner telling me to go out and cast my ballot in a Georgia election.

Yep. Seems Im on some mailing list in which busy-bodies from around the U.S. with nothing better to do than worry about other people are mailing letters to supposed low propensity Georgia residents urging them to vote in the upcoming U.S. Senate runoff because otherwise the world as we know it will go to you know where in a handbasket, and then were really in for a rude awakening.

Its a dire, bleak, horrible, nasty, deplorable, scary and bad situation, for sure. Ive been keeping a wary eye on all the political ads on TV and radio and in my mailbox, and it appears this is as clear cut a choice between ad and worse as humankind has ever faced.

In short, either the radical socialist liberal Democrats will burn down your health insurance and turn loose all the prisonersand probably require you to house one or two in your man cave, freeor the heartless capitalist carpetbagging Wall Street insider Trump kissing Republicans will make another $2.5 billion in interest and leave the rest of us stuck reviving the economy with $600 in stimulus money that wont even cover a mortgage payment for many.

In other words, either way you go youre probably going to get shafted.

The left will run you over with taxpayer- funded do gooders in sneakers; the right will continue stripping government funding down until it cant govern anymore and point to that as proof of how bad government is. Republicans have been doing it for years.

Me, I tend to waffle. You cant trust me to vote the same way twice.

Sometimes I like to stick it to the man with my ballot, only then I wonder whether someone who gets my vote under those pretenses can actually be trusted to be the man if he/ she wins.

You surely dont want the person responsible for things like budgets and laws and troops to act like a surly college kid spouting whatever it is surly know-it-all college kids spout these days.

On the flip side, sort of, is the fact I have never understood why people who hate governmentso much run for office in the firstplace.

Why bother if its just going to make you mad?

And then, once these folks get in office, they sure dont want to leave.

I can see not wanting term limits if youre a big government Democrat. Heck, youre right there in your milieu (I looked that word up and think it fits) and probably happier than a hog in slop getting to have committee meetings and ad hoc stuff until the cows come home.

But if youre a small government Republican who decries big government and keep trying to get re-elected, well, its stranger than running in the first place. And if that wasnt enough to give one pause in the ballot box, theres something about people who want to be in charge that should make one nervous.

Especially the people who always want the credit but never the blame. They know who they are.

That said, Im going to vote in the upcoming Senate runoff. Its my civic duty. Id tell you who, but Im afraid it might swing the election in the other direction.

Onward.

I did one truly worthwhile thing in 2020 by giving up Facebook. Havent missed it a bit. Now, 10 things on my to-do list for 2021: Get a tattoo.

Either that, or a motorcycle and then a tattoo.

Or maybe a tattoo of a motorcycle. That would probably be safer, unless I wind up in prison and have to explain myself.

Learn to crochet my own cool hats. The kind that include beer cans.

Get my eyes and ears checked.

Eat more Spam. (I like Spam grilled).

Write the great American novel.

Learn to fly fish for bass.

Find my mojo.

Grow a mullet.

Have a great 2021. Thanks for reading.

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Jeff Whitten: Just make it go away - Bryan County News

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The Interview Gift Guide That Gives Back – Interview12.23.20

Art by Jack Vhay.

As the brutal year of 2020 comes to an end, weve put together a holiday gift guide suited for our unique times. This holiday season, material gifts are meaningless unless they are building up our communities, supporting grassroots organizations that help move our country forward, and of course, make us and others feel happyeven if just for a moment. Below, the Interview editors give us some gift ideas that all give back in one way or another. Tis the damn season.

JULIANA UKIOMOGBE, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

I love the intention behind this CBD pre-roll and lighter pack. Her Highness is a woman-owned cannabis and CBD brand donating 50% of its proceeds to the Last Prisoner Projectin support of incarcerated women who have been unjustly imprisoned for low-level cannabis offenses.

MICHAEL QUINN, PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Im giving a donation to True Colors Foundation, a NY-based nonprofit (founded by Cindy Lauper) that advocates for the rights and protections of LGBTQ young people who are experiencing homelessness. True Colors provide all kinds of support for young displaced people; legal advice, financial guidance, job supporttheyre also involved in educating states and local government in the US and abroad on the better methods and approaches to the issue of LGBTQ homelessness with the goal to end it. Theyre an incredible organization and they have a super quick and easy donate page. Its a great gift for anyone.

SARAH MORRISON, PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

I have two ideas: First, Ketchup World Sweatshirts! Formerly a boutique marketplace for specialty ketchup in the early-aughts, the original founders daughter has reclaimed and repurposed the name as a digital brand and storefront for fundraising-driven merchandise. At current, there are sweatshirts, t-shirts, stickers, and some limited-edition candles. All profits are split between The ACLU and The Transgender Law Center. Also, NAOMI NOMI masks. Back in March, NAOMI NOMI was one of the first brands to mobilize and create masks out of the fabric that would have been for the launch of their Spring garments. A portion of every sale is used to send masks to the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Fund. To date, the brand has donated over 4,000 masks to those in need.

NICK HARAMIS, EDITOR-in-CHIEF

Its not cheap, but I love this print by the Canadian artist Marcel Dzama called A Spark of Hope in Bloom. All of the proceeds go to Voting Rights Lab to support the Democratic Senate run-off elections in Georgia in January.

CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN, EDITOR at LARGE

I cant think of a better way of supporting a vital New York City non-profit art space AND getting some awesome art in the process than buying one of this limited edition works from The Kitchen in Chelsea. Id recommend the Kim Gordon print or the Dara Birnbaum photograph.

JACK VHAY, DESIGNER

I recommend Family Meal, a cookbook project by illustrators and designers, to anyone looking for a gift that gives back to the New York restaurant community. The book features 38 recipes from 38 New York eateries, including Buttermilk Biscuits from Pies N Thighs, Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Maple Sherry Agrodolce from Saraghina, and Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon, Arugula and BBQ Aioli from Peaches Hothouse, to name a few. All of the proceeds go towards New York restaurantsand their employees through ROARs employee relief fund.

SARAH NECHAMKIN, DIGITAL EDITOR

Neighborhood Spot has become my go-to destination for shopping local without leaving the couch. Their collabs with New York City mainstays such as Elizabeth Street Garden, La Bonbonniere, and Mr. Taka Ramen make great gifts for the city kid in your life. Im partial to the Casa Magazines beanie (I already bought one, Mom, but thanks), or the New York Gritty tee. Also, as a Jew who celebrates Christmas with carbs and not-so-jolly holiday movies, ifsomeone sent me this Wake Up in Brooklyn schmear basket from Brooklyn bagel bulwark Shelskys, thus sparing me the 15-minute walk, I wouldnt complain. (Zuckers makes a good one, too.)

For the socialist in your life, there are these Green New Deal mugs that support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the fight for climate justice. For the capitalist (or the competitive socialist), there are these pandemic-appropriate Monopoly-themed pajamas, made in collaboration with Morgan Lane. Sleep comfortably knowing that you can still enjoy putting your friends in debt while supporting small businessesand that the worlds most seemingly capitalist board game actually has progressive roots.

ALEXA LANZA, MARKET DIRECTOR

Im into gifts that give twice. This year Im giving theSambal Evie packfrom culinary collectiveCash Only. All proceeds from this drop go toFood Roots,Asian Pacific IslanderForward Movement, an organization dedicated to providing Los Angeless A.P.I. communities with local sustainably farm fresh foods.Other pals will receive aholiday trio packfromRose Los Angeles, a CBD & THC treat company who focus on hiring formerly incarcerated persons at their San Francisco headquarters.

ERNESTO MACIAS, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

When I think about 2021, I cant help but reminisce about the many things 2020 stripped us away from. So this holiday season Im opting for gifts that will hopefully bring back, or help the journey back to recovery, of some of my favorite New York places. First, a donation to Gays and Lesbians Living In a Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S.), an organization that makes sure trans sex workers, as well as trans community members, have access to housing, health care, and more. For the merch-obsessed human, theres this Discover Bisexuality hoodie from Mood Ring, a temporarily-closed Astrological-themed bar in Bushwick that serves as a home to creatives, queers, and moody explorers, as the hoodie suggests. Last but not least, I love the temporary tattoo sheet from Special Special, a gallery-meets-shop-meets-art print house located in the East Village. Its one of my favorite places to visit, and their tattoos are a celebration of their 4-year anniversary.

MEL OTTENBERG, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Seth Bogart face mask, or for the high roller, Seth bogart SAFE by Dennis Cooper ceramic art piece, which I really wanted and needed from Seths Fierman Gallery show this summer in NYC. Proceeds from the masks go The Loveland Foundation, an organization committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Also, Baz Bagels Bagel Baking Kit at home: because I descend from hundreds of years of Jewish bakers, but I cant bake, so maybe we can all really learn how to cook Jewish food together this winter.

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Who are the Best Atlanta Tattoo Artists? Top Shops Near Me12.18.20

Featured Atlanta Artists

Here are some of the best Atlanta tattoo artists and shops according to our research. If you think we should add anyone to the list or if you see anything that should be edited, contact us by clicking here

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Tattoo Styles: Custom, Realism, Horror

Tattoo Profile: Brandon Bond is one of the most influential tattoo artists alive today. His tireless focus in tattooing is only rivaled by his other business endeavors. Publishing books, creating award winning films, fundraising for a slew of charities, and teaching his tattooing techniques, he has created an Empire of success that is unparalleled, and his tattoo studio, ALL OR NOTHING Tattoo in Atlanta, GA has become the most published and award winning tattoo parlor in the history of tattooing, and is the home of some of the best tattoo artists in the world.

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Tattoo Styles: Neo-traditional, New School, Cartoon, Black & Grey, Color

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Tattoo Profile: One of Atlanta areas premier tattoo shops specializing in Japanese and traditional style tattoos. Our artists include Joe Vegas, Josh May and Darby Dust.

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Tattoo Profile: Welcome to the Award Winning Golden Anchor Tattoo Studio. We take pride in serving the metro Atlanta area with elite body art along with great customer service. We have multiple artists who range in many styles, feel free to check out the artist portfolios and set your appointment today!

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Tattoo Profile: Providing the tattoo community in Atlanta and beyond with a world-class experience! Our commitment to you extends beyond the quality of your tattoo. As a custom design shop, our clients trust each and every one of our artists to conceive a piece that is unique for them.

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Tattoo Profile: Tattoo Fiesta is one of the leading tattoo and body piercing shops in Duluth GA. Our mission is to give our clients the best services and be the best in the Tattoo industry. We have creative and expert body piercers and tattoo artists in Atlanta who are highly skilled in tattooing, body piercing and tattoo cover up; using top notch modern equipment.

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Tattoo Profile: City of Ink is an Art Gallery and Tattoo Studio in the downtown Atlanta Area (Castleberry Hill District). Experience the movement.

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Tattoo Profile: Were the oldest running shop in Atlanta GA.Owned by Tony Olivas, we have some of the most talented artist in Atlanta. Specializing in custom tattoos, we do everything from traditional to portraits.

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One of the most famous tattoo shops in Atlanta is Liberty Tattoo. The shop has been around since back in 2002 and they are known for having fantastic artists and they also happen to be one of the cleanest shops in the area. While it is not the largest tattoo shop in Atlanta, Liberty Tattoo does have a very long list of great tattoo artists at its disposal, giving customers a lot of options when they want a specific style for their tattoo designs.

As we pointed out above, though, you really do have a lot of great options when it comes to getting a tattoo in Atlanta. What really matters is figuring out the type of tattoo that you want to get and then finding a shop that has a great reputation when it comes to making that type of tattoo. For example, if you knew that you wanted to get a skull tattoo, it would be a good idea to look through some shops portfolios to until you find one that matches the look that you want in your design. Whats great about being in a large city like Atlanta is that you never have to go too far to find a tattoo shop that will do a great job on your particular design.

As you probably know, Georgia is known for its peaches, but Atlanta is the place to go if you want to see an abundance of peach trees. Peach tattoos are still quite popular in Atlanta, not only because they are prevalent in the area but also because the fruit is quite meaningful. Peach tattoos symbolize discipline and endurance, among other things, so they are great tats to get if you both live in Atlanta and happen to take pride in those traits.

Atlanta is also very well known for its long trails and countryside views, so a lot of residents will get honor the city by getting one of its most famous landscapes in their tattoos. Landscape tattoos are better than ever these days thanks to modern tools and the popularity of leg and arm sleeves. IF this sounds like the Atlanta tattoo for you, you will find that there are quite a few artists in Atlanta who have perfected their landscape design skills.

Atlanta is a big-time sports city, so a lot of its citizens go to the tattoo shops in the area looking to get their favorite teams logos tattooed on their skin. The Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves are probably the two most popular franchises in the city, so many people will get one or both of those logos in their Atlanta tattoos. Youll also find that people include those logos in completely unrelated tattoos sometimes simply because they want to show their love for their local teams.

Another popular Atlanta tattoo that people like to get is the Georgia Capitol Dome. It is one of the most beautiful state capital buildings in America and can look great in tattoo form. You can get the outline of the building included in your design or you might instead go all-out with the design and add in that unique gold color to the top of the dome.

Atlanta, Georgia has a rich tattoo history. Featuring shops such as Mystic Owl Tattoo, Memorial Tattoo, Only You Tattoo, Ink & Dagger Tattoo Parlor, and Liberty Tattoo, Atlanta is a great destination if youre looking for some new ink. With a population of around 435,000, there are lots of potential customers for the parlors in town. Yelp currently lists 182 different shops when searching for tattoo in Atlanta. Google Places lists 298 different tattoo shops in the Atlanta area, which shows how competitive the city truly is. Mystic Owl Tattoo currently boasts one of the best selection of artists in the area, featuring Mike Bugenhagen, Jace Masula, Vince Villalvazo, and Taylor Anne. When doing research for your artist, we suggest not paying too much attention to price because quality is much more important when youre going to be living with the artwork for the rest of your life.

Atlanta is a city that has a reputation for being one of the best places to visit in the south. Its a haven of culture and history at the same time and has been a vacation destination for many years now. The ATL or Hotlanta is known as many different things. Its musical history and influence have touched many musicians. In fact, Ludacris, Usher and John Mayer all got their breaks in Atlanta and have lit up the music charts ever since. Its known for the sports teams that make their home in Atlanta including the NFLs Atlanta Falcons, baseballs Atlanta Braves and the NBAs Atlanta Hawks to name a few. It is also home to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which is considered to be the busiest airport in the world.

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UGASports – Mind of Mike: Thoughts on Auburn firing Malzahn – rivals.com12.14.20

The Mind of Mike is a dangerous place. Here are the latest thoughts from Rivals National Director Mike Farrell about the firing of Gus Malzahn and more coaching news over the weekend.

Lets start with this. Its about time. Despite some success at Auburn, watching talent being wasted on the offensive side of the football was getting old. Malzahns gimmicky offense worked with Cam Newton and Nick Marshall but when it was attempted with a passing quarterback like Jarrett Stidham and Bo Nix it was a disaster.

Malzahn was somewhat successful at Auburn with his 67-35 record but he was very average in the SEC at 38-26 and his teams often played down to opponents. Yes, he led the team to the national title game as a second-year head coach and beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl but it wasnt enough.

When youre compared with Alabama in-state and then LSU outpaces you in the SEC West while Texas A&M and others seem to have a brighter future, its time to go. This season was a disaster and Auburn should have lost to Ole Miss and Arkansas in addition to its bad losses to Alabama and especially South Carolina.

Malzahn did a solid job recruiting but it was very up and down and 2021 has been rough. The Auburn class has zero, thats right zero, recruits from the state of Georgia a few days from National Signing Day and is outside the national top 50. Key losses recently to teams such as Florida, Alabama and others have stung badly and this appears to be a small class that will struggle to make a big impact.

Malzahns first class finished eighth in 2013 and and he was ninth in 2014. He followed that up with two more top 10 classes in 2015 and 2016 but took a step back in 2017 with the 14th-rated class and No. 6 class in the SEC. He hasnt finished higher than 10th since then and as I said, 2021 is bad.

Malzahn has some big recruiting wins over his tenure bringing Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and Byron Cowart in with obvious different levels of success. He had success in Florida especially when Will Muschamp and Tarvaris Robinson were on staff but that didnt last long.

In-state recruiting was rough as Jameis Winston, Justyn Ross and George Pickens headed out of state and of course Alabama clobbered him in-state each year. Player development at Alabama was also much better especially on offense.

The hiring of Chad Morris wasnt a great call by Malzahn and theyve done some odd recruiting in Texas this year where they wont have lasting success.

Linebacker Reuben Foster is perhaps his most famous recruiting loss and the five-star linebacker committed to Auburn and got an Auburn tattoo only to flip to Alabama late. But lately Auburn hasnt been in it for bigger names like that and with ever successful recruit like Tank Bigsby there are others that simply flopped under Malzahn.

You know things were bad when a $21 million buyout doesnt stop Auburn from firing him in a global pandemic with massive economic repercussions.

So whos next? Kevin Steele is the interim coach and will get a look. It will be interesting to see if Auburn has any interest in Will Muschamp, as he had success recruiting there but that should never happen.

Hugh Freeze, Billy Napier, Tony Elliott, Brent Venables and others should be near the top of the list and pie in the sky would be Mario Cristobal or someone who has proven they can recruit. Dan Quinn and Bill OBrien are former NFL head coaches to consider as well.

The Malzahn news overshadows the firings of Kevin Sumlin at Arizona and Lovie Smith at Illinois or the retention of Tom Herman at Texas this weekend. Neither Arizona nor Illinois will be fishing in the same coaching pond as Auburn.

Sumlin and Smith lost, and lost a lot, and neither had this amazing buyout. Malzahn is the biggest firing so far, which includes Muschamp at South Carolina. With a lot of great candidates out there, this is the time to make a home run hire.

All in all, Malzahn and his quirky offensive ways started off great at Auburn as he was given more credit for the national title than Gene Chizik in 2010 and led the team back to the title game four years later. But since then its been frustrating to watch Auburn on offense, especially the Stidham and Nix years.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH AUBURN FANS AT AUBURNSPORTS.COM

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