Major shift at Supreme Court on Covid-19 orders – POLITICO

The Supreme Court signaled a major shift in its approach to coronavirus-related restrictions late Wednesday, voting 5-4 to bar New York state from reimposing limits on religious gatherings.

The emergency rulings, issued just before midnight, were the first significant indication of a rightward shift in the court since President Donald Trump’s newest appointee — Justice Amy Coney Barrett — last month filled the seat occupied by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.

Source: Major shift at Supreme Court on Covid-19 orders – POLITICO

Why is it a “rightward shift” to reinforce the single, most-fundamental, undergirding tenant upon which this country was founded? The people who settled this country were religious zealots who refused to be told what to do and how to do it when it came to practicing their belief in God, and they formed an entire country based on that premise. From the Declaration to the Constitution to everything that followed, not being told what to do when it comes to religion is about as American an idea as anything, and perhaps what makes this country unique. That principle of refusing to be told what to do has flowed through everything else that’s followed, from the South’s secession, to the gold rush and the Wild West, to people who refuse to wear masks.

I understand that some people won’t like this, but some of us still think the “freedom of religion” — and all that this phrase implies — is the most-valuable freedom we have. You may think it needs to be changed. That’s fine. There’s a process for that. Feel free to avail yourself of it. If you can amend the Constitution to strike the provisions of the First Amendment, then we can talk about whatever restrictions you’d like on churches. If you think that seems like an impossible thing, 1) it’s been done before, and 2) the daunting you feel at the thought is perfectly indicative of how unpopular and difficult this would be. As long as the First Amendment stands in effect, I reject the idea that anyone can tell anyone else how or when or where to worship God as they see fit.

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The 2020 Election, Benford’s Law, and Twitter

In response to allegations of rampant voter fraud, and subsequently digging into the details of the voting, Scott Adams tweeted (and I’m embedding static images, for reasons which will become clear):

Knowing what he was talking about, I laughed, and bookmarked the link. Sure enough, this post went viral on Reddit. In it, someone demonstrates that the votes for Biden in highly-contested areas do not fit the expected statistical pattern.

Someone forwarded me a link to this article, in Gnews — whatever that is — but, again, something that will become clear later. That article references the Reddit post.

The article includes a link to the data, and the math to produce the graphs, hosted at GitHub. The top left graph demonstrates the issue at hand.

Since the most concise place to link into all of these seems to be the Gnews article, I linked it in Twitter, with a comment: “Absolutely fascinating.” I hit refresh in my browser, and got this suspension:

I was also immediately emailed a notification that I had been suspended for — get this — posting nudes.

I’ve since looked around the Gnews site for more about what they’re all about, and they have several articles showing Hunter Biden in various… extremely compromising pictures. So I’m guessing that’s what the ban is all about. But if they want to ban me for posting a link to a news site that they’ve blocked entirely because they don’t want to hurt the Bidens, well, they can have their stupid service. I’m going to create an account on Parler after I’m done with this rant.

As for the actual content of the story, and the implications of the statistical math, I agree with the interpretation that it is a smoking gun for fraud. Up till now, I was willing to assume that the allegations of systemic vote manufacture were just paranoid delusions of a party desperate to hold on to power, and I was confident that, once reviewed, problems would be easily attributable to normal human error. Even though all the questionable counts seem to only be going one way, I assumed that the courts would ensure that it was all sorted out.

Now, the shoe is on the other foot. If this is all true — if the data really shows this statistical anomaly in many hotly-contested areas — especially where Biden “extended” his “lead” in after-election-day counting — then it changes the equation. This would make it incumbent on the Democrats to put all of the votes on the table, and prove that they haven’t fudged the numbers.

UPDATE: Wondering how widespread these Hunter Biden pics/videos were, I searched Reddit for “Hunter Biden sex tape.” There are dozens of posts with headlines saying that you would be banned for posting any link to it/them, because they were leaked against someone’s will. Meanwhile, at the top of the search results, in the “related subreddits” section, was a link to an entire subreddit devoted to… leaked sex tapes. What a bunch of hypocritical tools. “Sure, you can post intimate videos of people without their consent, just not of anyone powerful, who could afford to sue us and make a dent in our revenue.”

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Not completely related to personal accounts being banned, but something that hap… | Hacker News

It’s incredibly scary that Google’s moderation bots can be a single point of failure for a business employing 20+ people.

Source: Not completely related to personal accounts being banned, but something that hap… | Hacker News

When you’re starting a business now, you simply have to factor this possibility into the plan. How are you going to deal with random — or not so random — malfeasance Google? Or Facebook? Or Amazon? Or Apple? Just like any other obstacle, you’re going to have to have a way to route around them. If you can’t figure out a solution, but still want to move forward, then you have to have an exit strategy in case the platform you’re relying on screws you over. They don’t owe you a thing, and you may get exactly what you’re paying for. Plan accordingly.

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This persons’s snap story! Just doesn’t seem real at all. : thatHappened

This persons’s snap story! Just doesn’t seem real at all. from thatHappened

About 30 years ago, I started going to an Apostolic Pentecostal church. We believe that the stories in the Bible paint a picture of a God who is still very much involved in this world’s affairs, even though most people blow this sort of thing off.

One Wednesday evening, our Pastor was out of town, and one of the assistant pastors was preaching. At the end of service, he started to get a little agitated. He was trying to shut down the service and dismiss, but he was clearly wrestling with something. Finally, he said that he didn’t know why, but that he was “feeling led” to have us all to join hands in a big circle around the sanctuary.

He admitted it was odd. We all thought it was odd. It was awkward. We sang a song, and started to leave, but someone who had never been to our church before leaned over to the assistant pastor, and he gave him the mic. I couldn’t believe it. You don’t give a mic to a stranger. What was he thinking?

That stranger told us that he had been praying: God, if you’re actually real, lead me to a church, and if they all join together and hold hands, I’ll know that’s the church I’m supposed to go to. Now, you would think that this would cement someone’s decision to live for God forever, but, no, he came a few more times, and then stopped coming.

Regardless, I wanted to relay the story in response to this Reddit post, because I’ve seen “that happened” for myself. You can make fun of the posted story, but I’ve seen almost this same thing happen with my own two eyes.

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Cruz in heated exchange with Twitter’s Dorsey: ‘Who the hell elected you?’ | TheHill

Dorsey noted that every person or organization that signs up to have an account on Twitter agrees to its terms and services.

Source: Cruz in heated exchange with Twitter’s Dorsey: ‘Who the hell elected you?’ | TheHill

In a world of weasel words, said about so many things, this one has to be in the running for taking the cake.

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Breach at Dickey’s BBQ Smokes 3M Cards

One of the digital underground’s most popular stores for peddling stolen credit card information began selling a batch of more than three million new card records this week. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the payment card data was stolen in a two-year-long data breach at more than 100 Dickey’s Barbeque Restaurant locations around the country.

Source: Breach at Dickey’s BBQ Smokes 3M Cards

The article says the card data only came from Dickey’s, but I don’t know. I can’t recall ever having eaten at one of these joints, but this happened too coincidently, and I’ve been watching for an announcement exactly like this since. I expect there’s more than just the one source in the dump.

Visa and MasterCard instituted new rules in October 2015 that put retailers on the hook for all of the losses associated with counterfeit card fraud tied to breaches if they haven’t implemented chip-based card readers and enforced the dipping of the chip when a customer presents a chip-based card.

Also, pretty interesting stuff about mag stripes still being so prevalent. I appreciate the card companies making it the retailer’s problem. However, fraud related to security breaches at retailers should always be their problem, regardless of technology used.

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Analog vs. Digital

The popular recording of “Love is a Battlefield,” by Pat Benetar, is almost mono. There’s very little stereo separation or spatialization. When CD’s came out, there was a marketing effort to make digital recording a differentiator to boost sales. I think Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album was the first one to brag that it was a “DDD” album: digitally recorded, mastered, and finalized. The recording, of course, was the last big holdout. But I couldn’t hear any real difference between that album and others released around the same time which were “just” “ADD”. I guess, because at the time of transition, analog tech was mature, and digital was still brand new, and we were comparing the best of a limited technology versus the first production-ready version of the future. I wonder if you could hear any difference now? I’ve noticed several songs lately which have intentional saturation noise in them. Crazy that people are intentionally reinserting analog limitations back into digital recordings. It’s like putting polaroid filters in snapchat. 

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A San Francisco ‘Co-Living’ Startup Suddenly Shut Down, Leaving Tenants In Limbo

San Francisco-based “co-living platform” HubHaus has collapsed, saying it has no funds, leaving people using its platform to rent rooms in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, in limbo.

Source: A San Francisco ‘Co-Living’ Startup Suddenly Shut Down, Leaving Tenants In Limbo

Oh, look. A scammy “Web 2.0” app company reselling real estate in a ridiculous housing market has failed to understand either part of that equation.

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Apple Removing SD Card Slots

A couple of friends installed flush-sized SD memory cards in their MacBook Air’s, which are used as hard drives by the OS, because they were running out of room on the internal drive. It occurs to me, well after the fact, that a non-trivial reason Apple removed those slots was to prevent this scenario, as upgrading to a larger hard drive is a primary reason to upgrade your laptop.

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Oracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal – The Verge

FEC documents show that Ellison made the $250,000 donation to the Security is Strength PAC on September 14th. The Security is Strength PAC has bought ads exclusively in support of Graham’s political ambitions, including his 2015 presidential campaign and his current reelection bid for the US Senate.

Source: Oracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal – The Verge

Larry Ellison is one of the richest people in the world. $250K is lunch money for a guy like this. The truly sad thing about our American democracy isn’t that it can be bought; it’s that it can be bought so cheaply. It’s nauseating.

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