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Archive for the ‘Georgia Tattoo’

Thief disguised as Walmart employee strikes again: Sheriffs Office asks for your help – WJBF-TV04.22.21

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) Investigators say a thief disguised as a Walmart employee has committed theft at the Evans Walmart a fourth time, this time revealing a distinct tattoo. The Columbia County Sheriffs Office is asking for the communitys help to identify the suspect.

In February, he stole $3,000 worth of Apple Airpods. In March he struck twice, stealing a combined $5,200 of electronics merchandise on March 17 and 19.

He hit the same Walmart again on April 7, stealing 19 iPhones.

He knows where hes going. He knows what hes after, and hes very quick, property crimes investigator with the Columbia County Sheriffs Office, Deputy Ken Waller said. He doesnt spend a lot of time standing around or waiting. The first time he arrived at the store was the longest time hes been in the store. He was in there 11 minutes that day.

The thief goes unnoticed, wearing a Walmart employee vest and carrying a key specific to the Evans Walmart electronics cases. The Columbia County Sheriffs Office does not believe he is a former employee.

The idea that hes wearing this Walmart employee vest makes him pretty much camouflaged to the other Walmart employees, Deputy Waller said. Nobody seems to challenge him and go, I dont recognize you, how long have you been working here?'

But during his most recent theft, he wore a short sleeved shirt, revealing a distinct tattoo on his forearm.

You can see on his left forearm, right below his elbow, he has a blue star tattoo, sort of like the Dallas Cowboys star, Deputy Waller said. Its fairly prominent and easy to notice.

He has another tattoo above the star, but Deputy Waller says its hard to make out.

The getaway car was also seen on Walmart security footage.

The car is fairly unique. Its a white two door coup. It has black racing stripes, Deputy Waller said.

In the state of Georgia, shoplifting over $1,500 worth of merchandise is a felony.

Hes clearly facing four felony shoplifting charges. The penalty gets excessively greater with each offense, but that wouldnt be for me to determine, that would be for a judge, Deputy Waller says.

The Columbia County Sheriffs Office tells NewsChannel 6 that if you see the thief in action, do not confront him, but call them instead. They are asking the public to contact them if you think you know how the suspect is. You can remain anonymous.

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‘Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist & Chyler Leigh Look Back on the Danvers Sisters and Ahead to the Finale – Northwest Georgia News04.22.21

When it comes to TV sisterhood, Supergirls Kara and Alex Danvers played affectionately by Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh fly a little higher than the rest. Whether fighting side by side or drinking wine on Karas cozy couch, these two women are the heart of the CW hit. Now the action drama is kicking off a two-parter that explores the roots of their bond even more.

In Prom Night on April 27 and Prom Again! on May 4 (the second half was directed by Leigh), heroic Nia Nal/Dreamer (Nicole Maines) and the data-crunching Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath) travel back in time to prom circa 2009. Their plan? To see if the teenage Danvers siblings (Izabela Vidovic as young Kara; Olivia Nikkanenas young Alex) hold the key to locating present-day Kara aka National Citys savior Supergirl within the Phantom Zone. Shes been trapped in that parallel dimension since the first episode of the sixth and final season, a storyline that fortuitously accommodated Benoists maternity leave. Leigh calls the throwback episodes an origin story of the Danvers sisters.

Here, the fan favorites behind the adopted alien from Krypton and her warrior sis prove that family is all just relative.

At what point during shooting the series did you begin to feel like sisters?

Chyler Leigh: It was pretty instantaneous. And it was a surprise, I think, for both of us to look at each other and go, Wait a minute. Im made for you!

Melissa Benoist: Our first couch scene [Season 1, Episode 3, Fight or Flight]. I threw a pillow at Chyler and thought she was going to catch it. It smacked her in the face and we couldnt stop laughing.

Leigh: The [couch scenes] are such special moments. It brings a reprieve from all the actionand theres so much of Mel and Chyler in there, I think that makes it even more special. I would say the vast majority of those scenes that we have done,its all improv by the end.

The CW

Alex has officially taken on her own super moniker, Sentinel, after a long journey as a lesbian field agent turned director of the secret agency the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) and, later, a vigilante. Melissa, how was it knowing Chyler would be joining the Arrowverses heroes to pick up the slack while you were on maternity leave?

Benoist: To me, Alex was always a superhero, so it only made sense that she got her suit and her Hand of the Soldier gauntlet [which transforms into any weapon she desires]. Like, its about time. And with David Harewood [Martian Manhunter] the three of us are the OGs from the very get-go its so solid that any of us can step out and the show is in good hands.

Leigh: Khakis and an Under Armour shirt [Alexs DEO uniform] will only help you survive for so long, you know?

Chyler, you were a mom first, and Melissa, you directed the show first. Did you two trade notes on either?

Benoist: Ive gotten to see what a wonderful mom Chyler isshes such a mama bear to us on the show. I learned by watching her.

Dean Buscher/The CW

Leigh: To see Mels eyes twinkle, I have no doubt shes going to be a phenomenal mom. From a directing standpoint, I had a much different experience [from Benoist]. Im not in [Prom Again!]. But I think we can both say we did a pretty damn good job.

The midseason finale airs May 11, and then youre on hiatus until summer. Whats in store for the Danvers sisters in the remaining 13 episodes?

Benoist: Oh, good question! [Laughs]

Leigh: Well, eventually Supergirl has to come out of the Phantom Zone, so maybe another Danvers couch scene is in order!

Is there a Danvers sisters tattoo yet?

Leigh: [Laughs] No, but weve talked about it!

Dean Buscher/The CW

Do you hear from fans or sisters who see themselves reflected in Kara and Alexs relationship?

Leigh: Oh, yeah. [Fans are excited to see] that you dont have to have sisters that are catty. These girls have each others back, and they fight to the death for each other, which has happened pretty much every season.

Have there been discussions about Kara flying off into the sunset as the show wraps up?

Benoist: The ending that was pitched I was really happy with. Of course, Im not going to give anything away, but I am very happy with the strength and the empowerment that comes with the way were ending the series for Kara.

Supergirl,Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW

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‘Shameless’: Will Frank Die Before the Series Ends? 4 Clues Point to the Possibility – Northwest Georgia News04.05.21

Shameless is preparing to hang its hat after 11 seasons, but will all of the characters make it to the finish line?

One Gallagher family member who has us worried is patriarch Frank (William H. Macy), who has been on a continuous downward spiral. Sure, hes had some close calls throughout the years, including organ failure and physical injuries, but his new diagnosis is the scariest of all.

In Season 11s sixth episode, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Eh, Screw It, Franks told that hes suffering from Early Stage Alcoholic Dementia. Lapses in memory leading up to the reveal surely tipped viewers off, and the season continued to show a downward spiral.

Will Frank will make it out of Season 11 alive? Below, we look at the reasons that make us think a funeral could be in his future.

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/Showtime)

Franks Tattoo

In the shows recent 10th episode, DNR, Frank, whose youngest son, Liam (Christian Isaiah), feels responsible for keeping his dad safe, begins to come to terms with his predicament. To take the burden off Liam, and others, he decides to get a tattoo that reads Do no resuscitate written across his chest.

A Return for Fiona?

While theres been no obvious hint that eldest Gallagher sibling Fiona (Emmy Rossum) will return before the show ends, which is something fans would love, Franks death would be a perfect reason for her to appear. Fiona, who had played a prominent role in the dramatic comedy, had left Chicago and her family behind in Season 9 after receiving a large sum of cash. Even though Frank caused her plenty of grief, we cant imagine shed miss out on saying goodbye to him.

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/Showtime)

A Fitting End

If viewers can recall all the way back to the first scene of the series premiere, Frank introduces viewers to the entire family, doting on his kids strengths as well as their ability to party hard. With his family scattering in the current season, seeking new starts in other corners of the city or beyond, it would be a fitting end for them to come together for one final gathering. Could it be Franks funeral? Only time will tell, but we wont be shocked if it is.

The Finale Title

The shows upcoming finale installment is titled, Father Frank, Full of Grace, emphasizing a focus on the Gallagher family patriarch. If the title sounds familiar, that would be because it was used for Season 1s finale episode in 2011, further enforcing the full-circle idea. Whether it means Frank dies or not is uncertain, but the religious tone suggests a spiritual route of sorts.

Shameless, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime

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Electric Tattoo: Love of art and ‘forbidden fruit’ drives Asbury Park studio – Asbury Park Press04.05.21


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ASBURY PARK -For Robert Ryan, Mike Schweigert and Tom Yak, owners of Electric Tattoo in Asbury Park, getting their business off the ground at their first location was not what they expected.

We ended up opening our first location in Bradley Beach, but it was not a smooth start by any means, Ryan said. Unfortunately, the town itself was not too thrilled at the thought of having a tattoo shop in their vicinity. Even though tattoo shops had been around at that point for some time, people were painting a bad picture of our intentions there. They believed that our establishment would attract the wrong people and would give the town a bad name.

On the upside, we stuck it out and hung in there, and eventually, we persevered and we were able to open up that first location in Bradley Beach in 2007, Ryan said.It was kind of funny that the whole thing was in the news and people were talking about it constantly. In the end, we got some good notoriety out of it and by the time we opened, there were a good deal of people that knew where we were and that we existed.

Visual business: Pure Shots owner directs his own future with his Asbury Park photography studio

Electric Tattoo, an Asbury Park-based business offers tattoos of all types. Tattoo artist Evan Lindemann works on the arm of a customer. Asbury Park, NJFriday, March 26, 2021 (Photo: Doug Hood)

For all three owners of Electric Tattoo, their first interaction with tattoos all happened at a very young age.

Being a young teen and walking by these places, you have some idea that its not an environment for kids, but in a way, you are intrigued by it and it piques your curiosity, Schweigert said.You are looking through the window and wondering, 'What is this place and how did it get there?'

I used to walk by this place in Point Pleasant on the way to grammar school, Ryan said. I always felt like there was a magnetism to this tattoo shop and you know you are not supposed to go in, but you have to anyway.Anything that has that temptation will always draw you to it. Its all about tasting the forbidden fruit.

As both Ryan and Schweigertstarted getting into tattoos, both were also dabbling in skateboarding and hardcore/punk rock music that were part of the underground scene and met each other through hanging out with similar crowds.

"Tattoos were a big thing in that world, Ryan said.When I got to that age of getting tattoos, I started making contacts with people who are a part of that world and had that familiarity to their personality when it came to their interest in tattoos.

Sweet success: How Pasta Volo duo grew with pasta on the go in Asbury Park

Electric Tattoo, an Asbury Park-based business offers tattoos of all types. Co-owner Mike Schweigert works on a client in the shop.Asbury Park, NJFriday, March 26, 2021 (Photo: Doug Hood)

Everything was natural, Ryan said. We would be hanging out in small crowds and we would spot each others tattoos from across the room and be really interested as to what the tattoo was about and what kind of overall meaning it had to that particular person.The art of tattooing just brought us all together.

Schweigert started as an art student going to school in Savannah, Georgia. When Schweigert was in the middle of getting his first tattoo there, the artist tattooing him knew he was a student, so he talked to Schweigert about drawing tattoos himself.

"After giving it much thought, I decided I wanted to become a tattoo artist, Schweigert said. When I was learning to tattoo, the first tools I had to work with included pencils, markers, paint brushes and watercolor paint.When working with a pencil, I would yank the eraser off because I knew I couldnt make mistakes, which was the same as the actual process of tattooing.

I ended up failing art in school because I was so involved with the tattooing at that time, Schweigert said. Tattooing and art were just too different from each other and I had to choose one over the other, so I chose tattooing.When I applied my first tattoo, I just knew that was what I wanted to do.

'I love the way its made': Asbury Park shop owner keeps midcentury furniture alive

Electric Tattoo, an Asbury Park-based business offers tattoos of all types. A sample of the artwork done in house that customers can choose from for tattoo work. Asbury Park, NJFriday, March 26, 2021 (Photo: Doug Hood)

From 1994 to 2004, all three men were working in a Point Pleasant tattoo shop for ownerGene Bernardo. After he passed away, they went their separate ways and worked different tattoo jobs by themselves. But they decided they should open their own shop after the realization that they could be more successful as a trio rather than operating on their own.

After operating in Bradley Beach for sevenyears, Electric Tattoo was getting more popular. Theyneeded more space to accommodate additional employees and growing clientele.

Asbury Park was really starting to come back at the point that we were looking at other locations, Yak said. One thing we really recognized about Asbury Park was that it really is a breeding ground for people with creative and artistic talent. This space of Asbury Park is built on the art and music scene from '70s, '80s and '90s and what we have now.We really saw a bit of ourselves in this location, especially with the other businesses that were already here at the time we opened up in 2014.

Unusual items: Severedwing in Asbury Park takes off, with help from eclectic merchandise

Schweigert, Ryan and Yak seek to offera one-of-a-kind experience for the customers that come into their shop.For them, its not just about getting a tattoo and then going on their way. Its a combination of things an endless choice of designs that speak to every individual customer, and how those designs convey the customers way of expressing himor herself.

Its important that, if you are in a community that is very artistic, that you should lend your own contribution to keep the community thriving in that way, Yak said. The best way to do that is to understand that youre not just here to live off of the people frequenting other stores.You are here to become a part of that artistic tradition through hard work and maintaining that atmosphere of creative self-expression.

Electric Tattoo, an Asbury Park-based business offers tattoos of all types. Co-owner Mike Schweigert works on a client in the shop.Asbury Park, NJFriday, March 26, 2021 (Photo: Doug Hood)

Love art on the skin?So does Pogue Mahone Tattoo Co. in Middletown

As with many businesses during COVID-19, Electric Tattoo closed their doors at the time of the pandemic.

We were closed for four months, Schweigert said.It was tough on us, but we got through it and reopened in June. After being back in business, we focused on being clean and safe by throwing away all of our disposable items and, with any items that are not disposable, we thoroughly sterilize them. We operate with single-use needles and everyones skin is prepped and cleaned. Every tattoo station is properly spaced apart and those areas are also disinfected after use. We cover all of our bases and make sure that everyone inside the shop is safe at all times.

As far as Electric Tattoos future plans, they believe they are always evolving.

We feel like we get better with every tattoo we do and we think we are growing out the business artistically and maintaining the ambiance, Yak said.We want to keep the ball rolling and do everything right.

Location: 605 Lake Ave., Asbury Park

Phone: 732-988-8882


Hours: noon to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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‘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.


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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