Candidate/election-runner Brian Kemp's hacking accusation is a new, absurd low

Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State for Georgia, where is he also running for governor, meaning that he is overseeing his own election -- and in that capacity, he has purged thousands of Black voters from the rolls (the total purge runs to the millions) and distinguished himself as one of the last holdouts for replacing his state's worst-of-breed insecure voting machines with ones that produce a paper audit trail that can be consulted if they are suspected of malfunction. Read the rest

Old dentists' office walls are full of thousands of "buried teeth"

For at least the third time, construction workers in Georgia have opened up the walls of a former dentist's office only to discover thousands of teeth in the wall cavity. Read the rest

Public domain scores a huge appeals court victory: the law cannot be copyrighted (UPDATED)

For years we have chronicled the tireless fight of rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) whose Public.Resource.org has devoted itself to publishing the world's laws, for free, where anyone can see and share them. Read the rest

Georgia Senator, asked about voter suppression, mugs constituent for his phone

US Senator David Purdue (R-GA/@sendavidperdue), a grown-ass human being elected to high office in the most powerful nation in the land, was asked a question about Brian Kemp, who is both a (monumentally unhinged) candidate for governor of Georgia and Georgia's Secretary of State, in charge of overseeing the election in which he is standing. Read the rest

Against all evidence, city of Savannah claims googly eyes glued to Revolutionary War statue are "not funny"

An extremely funny prankster glued googly eyes to the statue of Revolutionary War commander Nathaniel Greene; the City of Savannah took to its Facebook page to insist that this was "not funny" but rather "vandalism" and saying that the police had been involved. Read the rest

Voting rights groups sue Georgia & Brian Kemp to reinstate 53,000 blocked registrations, 70% are Black

Voting rights advocacy groups are suing the state of Georgia to reinstate 53,000 blocked voter registrations, 70% of which are from African American voters, saying the current policy violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act and The National Voter Registration Act. Read the rest

Georgia purged 10% of its voters: here's a way to check if you're one of them!

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (previously) embarked on an aggressive voter suppression campaign in 2017, purging 10% of the voter roll, some 591,000 Georgian voters. Read the rest

Georgia Republican introduces legislation to kill PACER, the outrageous paywall around the US justice system

PACER (previously) is a paywall that charges you every time you look up the US's public domain Federal court records; for years, activists have railed against its existence, liberating key documents from it and putting them online for free, calling on Congress to eliminate it altogether. Read the rest

State of Georgia goes to court to defend voting machines that recorded 243% voter turnouts

A federal lawsuit brought by voting security activists against the State of Georgia has revealed breathtaking defects in the state's notoriously terrible voting machines -- and, coincidentally, the machines in question were wiped and repeatedly degaussed by the state before they could be forensically examined as evidence of their unsuitability for continued use. Read the rest

Russia buffs strategic Baltic nuclear bunker

As President Trump continues his campaign to piss off anyone who’s not a Nazi or the leader of an oppressive dictatorship, CNN is reporting that Russia may have dropped some serious coin to modernize a strategically-placed nuclear weapons storage facility. The facility is located in Kaliningrad – a wee bit of Russia all jammed up between Poland and the Baltics.

From CNN:

On Monday, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) published aerial photographs that the group says show the facility in the Baltic outpost has been under major renovation since 2016.

FAS said the images document refurbishments at the site back in 2016, when one of three underground bunkers at the location was excavated and deepened before it appeared to have been covered over in recent months, "presumably to return (to) operational status soon."

Now, here’s the fun part. Despite the fact that the bunker is designed for the secure storage and deployment of nuclear weapons for use by the Russian Air Force and Naval dual-capable forces, there’s no knowing whether it has ever stored nuclear weapons in the past or whether it will do so in the future: just because a military installation comes packing mission capabilities doesn’t mean that it has to use them. It’s the world’s shittiest shell game!

Even without the atomic weapons being packed into the Kaliningrad bunker, the joint still serves a purpose. The installation is one of the most westerly located in Russia. Upgrading it, in a manner that’s observable via areal photography or satellite imagery, provides an unspoken political message: The Russia that’s currently hosting the World Cup is the same one that invaded Ukraine in 2014, vandalized Georgia in 2008 and continues to giddily weaponize the baltic region, prompting a tactical response from NATO. Read the rest

The Democratic candidate for the Georgia governorship is a Black woman running on an "unapologetic progressive" platform

Stacey Abrams has won a bitterly contested primary for the Democratic candidate in Georgia's upcoming gubernatorial race; Abrams aims to be the first Black, woman governor in US history, and she plans on taking that office with an "unapologetic progressive" platform of gun control, financial aid for low-income families, and marijuana decriminalization. Read the rest

Georgia's governor has vetoed SB 315, the state's catastrophically stupid cybersecurity law

When Georgia's legislature passed SB 315, a horribly misguided cybersecurity bill that criminalized routine security research, thus allowing bad guys to get much worse, everyone pinned their hopes on Governor Nathan Deal vetoing it. Read the rest

The teachers' strikes are spreading

From Labor Notes, a weekly report-card of teachers' strikes, which are spreading from state to state, with North Carolina -- the laboratory for gerrymander-fueled Republican takeover -- next in line for a wave of school closures. Read the rest

Georgia criminalizes routine security research

Georgia is a hub for cybersecurity research, with leading university computer science and security programs and a new $35m state cybersecurity research center underway; but the Georgia state legislature just passed SB315, the most onerous prohibition on computer security research ever passed in the USA. Read the rest

Mysterious sea monster photographed on Georgia shore

Over the weekend, Jeff Warren and his family spotted this mysterious sea monster washed up on the shore of the Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge near Darien, Georgia. It is either:

• Altamaha-ha (aka Alty), a cryptid, said to live near the mouth of the Altamaha river, that reportedly looks very similar to what's in the photo

• A frilled shark, according to a marine science educator at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center

• A basking shark, in the opinion of a Savannah State University marine scientist

• Or a hoax, according to scientists at Georgia Southern University.

Either way, the story ends well.

“My son, who is twelve, thinks it is the child of the legendary Altamaha-ha and has now decided he wants to be a marine biologist,” Warren said.

(Savannah Morning News) Read the rest

The B-52s and a tour of their old Athens, GA haunts (1989)

In 1989, to promote their fifth studio album, Cosmic Thing, the B-52s took MTV viewers on a tour of the city where they formed: Athens, Georgia ((sadly, without guitarist Ricky Wilson who died of AIDS in 1985).

They began at the now-defunct Bluebird Cafe, formerly named the Eldorado, a vegetarian eatery where Fred Schneider used to wait tables.

From there, they continued their Athens excursion, first from the back of a convertible and then by walking the streets.

As the story goes, the band formed in October of 1976 after drinking many Flaming Volcanos at Hunan, one of the few Chinese restaurants in town. After drinks, they had their first of many jam sessions, according to this 1980 Rolling Stone article:

"So after the meal we went over to this friend's house," Kate [Pierson] continues. "And we just started playing these instruments."

The song they wrote that night was called "Killer Bees." "It's about a bus being chased by killer bees," Ricky [Wilson] explains. "It runs off into a river, and all the people get eaten by piranhas. And then the killer bees swarm into a theater, where these people are watching a movie, and they attack them. It's a true story."

The method of composition the band used that night — Ricky and Keith jamming on a musical idea and Fred, Kate and Cindy improvising lyrics — is the one the B-52's still employ. The jams, which often last several hours, are recorded on tape, and then Ricky arranges the material into a three- or four-minute song after studying the recorded havoc.

Read the rest

Someone wiped a key server in Georgia right after voters filed a lawsuit over insecure voting-machines

Georgia's voting machines are among the worst, most hackable in the nation, and that's why a "diverse group of election reform advocates" including the Coalition for Good Governance sued the state to purge its hoard of 27,000 AccuVote voting machines, whose defects were not patched though the state was warned of them six months prior to the election. Accuvote machines do not keep any kind of paper audit-tape that can be used to compare the electronic total to a hardcopy. Read the rest

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