Reflections on the acquittal of Byron Sonne

Yesterday, Byron Sonne was acquitted of all charges against him. Sonne is the Toronto-area security researcher who pointedly demonstrated the inadequacy and incoherence of the heavy-handed, $1.2B security arrangements for the G20 summit in 2010. Denise Balkissoon has done some of the best reporting on the bizarre trial that followed (after Sonne spent nearly a year in jail), and now she's got good commentary on the acquittal:

"Byron Sonne, you're a free man," said one of his lawyers, Joe DiLuca, as Sonne stood outside the courthouse.

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Byron Sonne is an innocent man

Twitter's #freebyron hashtag is alive with the news that Byron Sonne, the Toronto-area security expert who was incarcerated and treated as a terrorist for pointing out and making fun of the security flaws in the $1.2B security scheme for the Toronto G20 summit, has been found Not Guilty on all counts. — Read the rest

Dozens of US Military personnel spotted on Nazi networking site

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate-group watchdog organization based in Alabama, will present documentation to Congress on Friday about the presence of active duty military personnel on the white supremacist social networking site newsaxon.org. On that website, SPLC spotted 40 users who claim to be serving in the military, an apparent violation of Pentagon regulations prohibiting racist extremism in the ranks. — Read the rest

Gingerbread version of Carcassonne board game

BB reader Paul sez,

A board-gaming colleague of mine created, played, and I beleive subsequently ate, a full gingerbread version of the popular, and oft-expanded tile-laying game "Carcassonne". She has published the details including how long it took and llinks to lots of photos…the little gingerbread "meeples" are the best!

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Iraq visual language survival guides for military personnel

A friend who recently returned from Baghdad brought me an unusual souvenir: a "visual language survival guide" used by coalition soldiers. It's a sort of show-and-tell folding map intended for both soldiers and private contractors working in Iraq — with lots of little pictures you can point to in front of an Iraqi person to say things like "is the improvised explosive device hidden under the dead goat?" — Read the rest

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia has been on my mind a lot lately.  

It feels a little strange to think so much about a state that I've only been to two or three times. Sure, some of my favorite records were made by artists from The Empire State of the South: Vic Chesnutt's 'West of Rome,' Otis Redding's 'The Soul Album,' 'In an Aeroplane Over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel, and, duh, Outkast's 'Speaker Boxxx/The Love Below,' to name a few.  — Read the rest