Trump Fails to Ascend as God Emperor, Leaving Diehard Fans Adrift –

Anna Merlan and Mack Lamoureux:

At least one group, the Proud Boys, has seized upon the void Trump’s departure has left in his followers’ lives. On one of their official channels on Telegram they tell Trump fans “here is hope. Not for Trump to become president, but there is hope for our future. Abandon the GOP. Embrace the ultranationalist 3rd position.”

This is exactly what we should be worried about right now. White supremacist groups tend to use moments like this to recruit people, which is why it’s important to make sure they don’t have access to places where recruitment can happen.

Deplatforming isn’t just about getting the loud, obnoxious Nazi out of the bar. You want to make sure he doesn’t come back with his friends and start putting up flyers.

US police three times as likely to use force against leftwing protesters, data finds | The Guardian

Lois Beckett:

The statistics, based on law enforcement responses to more than 13,000 protests across the United States since April 2020, show a clear disparity in how agencies have responded to the historic wave of Black Lives Matter protests against police violence, compared with demonstrations organized by Trump supporters.

No one who watched what happened a week ago at the Capitol should be surprised by this.

Also very important:

The US Crisis Monitor previously found that, despite Trump’s rhetoric and the intense media coverage of property damage or violence during protests this summer against police violence, more than 93% of Black Lives Matter protests since April had involved no harm to people or damage to property.

COVID-19, Day 272

This was the week that virtual school finally got to all of us. Miriam and I have both been really busy with work. We moved our youngest kid’s desk into our office so we could all work together. Meanwhile, our oldest has been working from a desk in her bedroom. So far, it’s been fine.

We caught the youngest watching Minecraft videos in picture-in-picture mode WHILE STILL IN CLASS after her teacher told us she called on her four times and didn’t get a response. We got an email from our oldest’s teacher today saying that she’s been making things with clay during class and is so distracted that she couldn’t answer questions and then refused to put the clay away.

We’ve all been having sleep disturbances. Miriam and I have been having random bouts of insomnia. I got maybe 4 hours of sleep Wednesday night, and I was up for a couple of hours last night. The youngest is waking up earlier and earlier, getting up in the middle of the night. When she wakes up, she wakes her sister up, who then complains loudly and wakes us up.

Most weeks, by Thursday or Friday, they both have dark circles under their eyes and look exhausted. The kindergartener broke down this evening because “the learning is too hard.” She says she wakes her sister up in the morning “because I don’t have any friends and I’m lonely.”

I’m really glad there’s a break coming up. We’ll all get a chance to reset. But that starts on the 21st, and I figure next week will be even worse than this week was.

And winter hasn’t even started yet.

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps –

Joseph Cox:

The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, an app for following storms, and a “level” app that can be used to help, for example, install shelves in a bedroom.

The focus on Muslims by a US anti-terror organization seems incredibly bigoted, especially when ultra-conservative white American males tend to pose a far bigger threat to our safety than Muslims do.

Bigotry aside, it’s been a bad few days for data privacy. Last week, Apple’s new OS update gave Apple’s own services the ability to sidestep the APIs Apple requires firewalls and VPN software to use, and the same trick could be exploited (easily!) by a bad actor.

The VPN provider I use says they’re looking into it to see if they’re affected. I hope they aren’t, but I bet they are.

Developers also found Big Sur to be phoning home, sending identifiable information about every app you open to Apple’s servers, and the data wasn’t even transmitted securely over HTTPS. Apple claims they’re going to patch that up, but we’ll see.

I was also shocked to see that iMessage is no longer considered secure if you’re using iCloud backup. Apparently that’s old news, but it was new to me. At least we still have Signal.

In the meantime, I’m evaluating Linux-based laptops.

How to Avoid a Surprise Bill for Your Coronavirus Test – The New York Times

Sarah Kliff:

Congress wrote rules in March that aimed to make coronavirus testing free for all Americans. Patients, with or without insurance, have found holes in those new coverage programs. They’ve faced bills that range from a few dollars to over $1,000.

What a sad state of affairs. An explainer like this should not be necessary.

Also, I argue with the phrasing here. Did the patients find these holes? Or did the people profiting off the holes find and exploit them? If the patient found a hole, it’s likely they fell into it like a trapping pit.

Newsom attended French Laundry party with more households than California advises during pandemic –

Alexei Koseff:

State guidelines limit gatherings, defined as “social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,” to no more than three households. Representatives for Kinney and Newsom declined to specify how many households the diners represented, but did not dispute that it was more than three.

Even with Dems: restrictions for thee but not for me.

See also this dinner being held tonight for new members of the House that Nancy Pelosi said is “safe.”

Update: Dems canceled their in-person dinner.

COVID-19, Day 234

Well, here it is. Election Day. Woke up before my alarm went off and couldn’t go back to sleep. Brain’s been scattered all day. Trouble focusing. Sounds like everyone I know is in the same boat.

Saw that the Dow is way, way up and figured, “Okay, the market’s saying Trump is going to win.” Of course, I have absolutely nothing to back that up except speculation. My thinking goes like this: the markets love Republicans because they deregulate things and let corporations run roughshod over everyone. They fear Democrats because they regulate corporations and attempt to make them pay taxes and not abuse employees or the environment. Maybe the markets know something we don’t? Who knows? Seems about as reliable as polling data.

On the bright side, we’re planning to try to have fun tonight. Snacks galore, the TV set to CNN while we watch the results, good or bad, and explain how this whole thing works to our kids, who are surprisingly interested in the whole ordeal. I refused to buy a bottle of champagne this year, though. In 2016, we drank it in despair, and I’m afraid that planning to celebrate a positive outcome with bubbly would somehow jinx it.

I’m normally not this superstitious.

To kill a few minutes today, I rewrote my posting action for Drafts so that it now supports both AND Twitter. There are checkboxes that let you choose to send your post to one, the other, or both. Sometimes I wanna cross-post, sometimes I don’t, y’know?

I think the thing that’s bothering me most about today is that, even though I know it could be the beginning of a turning point, the problems of the last four years won’t disappear at midnight. The election itself could drag on for weeks, the virus isn’t going away, and we’ve got the Trump regime in power until at least late January. Who knows what kind of trouble they’ll cause during the lame-duck period? What about their supporters, who will either be emboldened or super-pissed?

Kinda wish I could sleep until it’s all settled.

The first female recession: Women in Richmond and beyond are leaving the workforce in record numbers during COVID |

Colleen Curran:

Women account for 52.6% of job losses between February and August, or 5.6 million jobs, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since February, there are 2.6 million fewer women in the labor force. In September, 617,000 women dropped out of the workforce, in comparison to only 78,000 men.

This is depressing and made even worse by Mark Meadows saying yesterday “we are not going to control the pandemic.” As I’ve said before, this is the future Republicans want: women beholden to men. The pandemic provides a path.