More actual science emerging on coronavirus infections. Results aren’t what you expect.

January 16, 2021, 8:42 am

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An increasing number of actual scientific analyses are emerging on coronavirus infection. There is so much information out that it is quite confusing. The trend my little brain is seeing is raising substantive questions about the official narrative we’ve been told.

Articles for you to consider today:

  • Do your own research.
  • Researchers run meta-study and find minimal spread from asymptomatic or presymptomatic people.
  • Comparing 10 countries with lockdowns to 2 without, researchers find no clear benefit from shutdowns.
  • Florida is running only slightly more hospitalizations per capita in fall of 2020 than compared to the first quarter of 2018.
  • Researchers find no benefit from masks in Florida counties which require masks compared to counties without such mandates.
  • Lockdowns come with horrible side effects. We can expect an additional 900,000 excess deaths over the next decade and a half because of the extreme unemployment of the last 10 months.

Do your own research. – Don’t want to believe actual science published by someone else? Resources are available to do your own research.

For starters, check out the CDC website CDC COVID Data Tracker. That page has data for each state including total cases and cases in last seven days. It also has tallies per 100,000 people, including cases/100k, deaths/100k, seven-day-cases/100k.

Pull some data, do a bunch of calculations, and think for yourself.

I’ve pulled data from that CDC site and have done some graphing.  I’m struggling to see any beneficial correlation between infection rates in relation to mask mandates & shutdowns.

For example, Texas and Florida with light restrictions and requirements have about the same cumulative infections per 100K and deaths per 100K as do California and New York with strong restrictions and requirements. Currently, New York and California are experiencing far higher infection rates than Texas or Florida.

12/22/20 – Alachua Chronicle – University of Florida researchers find no asymptomatic or presymptomatic spread – Four researchers did a meta-study of 54 studies. They looked at secondary spread within households.

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Ongoing hypocrisy from our ruling overlords. Oh, guess who finally wants to reopen the economy?

January 15, 2021, 8:57 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Feel free to laugh. Or cry if you wish. Two more politicians demonstrate they are exempt from the rules they require us lowly, common peasants to follow.

Also, two politicians realize it, um, maybe, possibly, is time to get the economy started. Oh yeah, that is in spite of infection rate spike in New York State.

Today’s source of entertainment which would be funny if the human impact from the lockdowns had not been so devastating for the last 10 months:

  • County manager in North Carolina announces she intends to ignore travel restrictions
  • It is perfectly okay for Mayor DeBlasio to have a private dance in Times Square on New Year’s Eve even as everyone else is required to stay home
  • Chicago mayor wants to reopen bars and restaurants even though the relevant statistics show it the city is a long from otherwise being able to reopen
  • New York Gov. realizes there may not be much left of the economy if we don’t open up quickly.

12/23/20 – Red State – NC Official Says She Will Travel For Christmas After Telling Residents To Stay Home. Her Justification Is Priceless – Behold the power of rationalization.

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Large rise new claims for unemployment for week ending 1/9/21.

January 14, 2021, 9:04 am

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 1/9/21 increased to 965,000, a deterioration of 181,000 from the prior week.  That is the highest number of new state claims since 8/22/20.

Since 8/29/20, the new weekly claims have been in the 700Ks or 800Ks.

Keep in mind that before the shutdown of the economy the new claims averaged about 220K per week, so we are now running more than four times the previous norm.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment has been slowly dropping but increased for the week ending 1/2/21.

News report

Article at Wall Street Journal on 1/14/21 reports US Unemployment Claims Rise as Pandemic Weighs on Economy. Article link indicates the consensus is the increasing virus count combined with increasing restrictions on businesses caused the jump in new unemployment claims.

Article says there are other economic indicators suggesting the economy is slowing down again. Stats such as small business optimism, new home sales, existing home sales, household income, and household spending point towards a slowdown.

Following graphs show the devastation from the economic shutdown.

New claims

New claims for unemployment by week since the start of 2020:

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One more post on the utter devastation from shutdown of the economy.

December 31, 2020, 5:54 pm

When done to a 60 year old building that destruction is understandable. When done to an economy, not so much. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The government ordered shutdown of the economy in 2020 has devastated primary education, secondary education, higher education, travel industry, entertainment industry, small businesses, restaurants, physical health, mental health, and detective/ preventive treatment of chronic and deadly disease. Level of unemployment is second only to the Great Depression. We have seen evaporation of wealth, savings, trust in government officials at all levels, and trust in every public health official in the country.

I have over 100 posts protesting the foolishness and destruction this year with those posts containing close to 90,000 words describing the devastation.

This will be the last routine post describing the intentional disruption we have suffered this year. I will have one more post describing actual science that is surfacing, which is in sharp contrast to the alleged “science” that has driven the demolition of the country.

Discussion in this post:

  • Devastation in travel industry
  • Drastic increase in U.S. poverty rate
  • Collapse of incoming freshman class at U.S. colleges

Indicators of the devastation in the travel industry

11/4/20 – Wall Street Journal – How Coronavirus Ravaged Travel in 2020 – The Middle Seat column tabulated a number of indicators showing the illness across entire travel industry.

What does the collapse of an entire industry look like? A few stats:

Traffic at three largest New York airports:

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Small decline in new claims and continuing claims for unemployment for week ending 12/26/20.

December 31, 2020, 10:45 am

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 12/26/20 declined for a secone weeks in a row. New claims are 787K, a 19K drop for the week.

This two week drop follows two weeks of increases, which totaled 176K.

Since 8/9/20, the new weekly claims have been in the 700Ks or 800Ks.

For contrast, remember that before the government induced shutdown of the economy the new claims averaged about 220K per week so we are still running three or four times the previous norm.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment is continuing to drop. Large part of the drop is people going back to work. Some portion, likely a lot, of the drop in state-level continuing claims has been offset by rising number of people on the federal program.

When a person exhausts the state level coverage, they become eligible for the extended federal benefits, called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Article at Wall Street Journal on 12/31/20 reports US Unemployment Claims Fell Modestly Last Week.  Article explains the new claims for state programs is a proxy for layoffs. Good observation.

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Two websites track incidents of rule makers ignoring the rules they demand we follow.

December 28, 2020, 8:29 am

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There are so many elected officials, political leaders, and public health officials ignoring the rules they demand you and I follow that two different websites are accumulating a list of the incidents.

Covid Hypocrisy: Policymakers Breaking Their Own Rules

Visualization from Heritage.org tracks incidents in the United States. A map shows location and provides one sentence summary.

Detail of incidence are listed, which includes date, name of the public official betraying the public trust, location, and description of incident. The description includes a link to news article explaining the hypocrisy.

On 12/24/20 I count 42 incidents. As you would expect, California is in the lead with eight incidents if you include the legislator’s junket to Hawaii for a vacation funded by lobbyists.

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The Supreme Court ruling reinstating free expression clause of First Amendment is harsher than you have read.

December 27, 2020, 8:58 am

First Amendment of the US Constitution text. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Don’t know what you have read of the Supreme Court decision that has restored the free expression clause to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This ruling is significant because SCOTUS has issued three additional temporary injunctions citing this specific ruling when ordering the District Court to reconsider their incorrect decision.

Several sentences in the ruling have been widely quoted.

After reading the full decision, I realize it is stronger than I realized. Harsh even.

I have brought plenty of sarcasm and ridicule to bear discussing the attacks on the First Amendment willfully carried out by many politicians and public health officials. My point-and-laugh-out-loud efforts pale in comparison to comments from the ruling and several concurring arguments.

The Supreme Court injunction is titled ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK v. ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.

Link to the text can be found at No. 20A87 with the actual text found here.

I will quote a large number of the specific comments in the ruling with a few of my observations

Comments from unsigned opinion:

Some background:

The two applications, one filed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the other by Agudath Israel of America and affiliated entities, contend that these restrictions violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and they ask us to enjoin enforcement of the restrictions while they pursue appellate review. Citing a variety of remarks made by the Governor, Agudath Israel argues that the Governor specifically targeted the Orthodox Jewish community and gerrymandered the boundaries of red and orange zones to ensure that heavily Orthodox areas were included. Both the Diocese and Agudath Israel maintain that the regulations treat houses of worship much more harshly than comparable secular facilities.

In a red zone, while a synagogue or church may not admit more than 10 persons, businesses categorized as “essential” may admit as many people as they wish. And the list of “essential” businesses includes things such as acupuncture facilities, camp grounds, garages, as well as many whose services are not limited to those that can be regarded as essential, such as all plants manufacturing chemicals and microelectronics and all transportation facilities.

Because the challenged restrictions are not “neutral” and of “general applicability,” they must satisfy “strict scrutiny,” and this means that they must be “narrowly tailored” to serve a “compelling” state interest.

Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700, and 2 can seat over 1,000. Similarly, Agudath Israel of Kew Garden Hills can seat up to 400. It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000-seat church or 400-seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows. (emphasis added)

.

Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure. (emphasis added)

Look at that again:

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At least one flaming hypocrite in public leadership has enough shame to retire from public life. But just so you know, it is our fault, not hers.

December 23, 2020, 8:38 am

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At least one person on the constantly growing list of flaming hypocrites in public leadership has a sense of shame. Or, at least enough shame to realize she should retire. Eventually. Someday.

After two days of publicity about her non-Thanksgiving non-celebration trip to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with family she doesn’t live with, Dr. Deborah Birx made the announcement.

12/22/20 – National Review – Dr. Birx Announces She Will Retire after Holiday Travel Controversy and CBS news – Birx says she plans to retire, citing strain on family.

After two full days of controversy, Dr. Birx announced she will retire shortly after assisting in the transition to a new administration. Presumably, that means sometime in late January or early February. Or maybe March. Or maybe June.

Recall from yesterday the day after Thanksgiving she traveled from her home in D.C. to one of her vacation homes in Delaware for a 50 hour stay with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, all of whom live in a different home she owns in Potomac.

When challenged about whether traveling to another state with people from a different household during the Thanksgiving weekend was appropriate given her very public advice not to travel at all over the weekend and not to be with anyone from a different household, she provided a splendiferous rationalization.

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Federal mileage rates for 2021.

December 23, 2020, 8:00 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The IRS has published the reference amounts for mileage rates for 2021. The rates:

Beginning on January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a vehicle will be:

  • 56.0 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020,
  • 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down 1 cent from the rate for 2020, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate decreased one and a half cents for business travel driven and one cent for medical and certain moving expense from the rates for 2020. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

The business rate is down from 57.5 cents in 2020 and 58.0 cents in 2019, which in turn was up from 54.5 in 2018.

The standard rate for business is based on their analysis of the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  The medical & moving rate is based on variable costs of operation.

Rates were published in Notice 2021-02:  2021 Standard Mileage Rates.


The parade of alleged leaders who ignore their own Covid recommendations keeps growing.

December 22, 2020, 8:42 am

Rationalization can blind our views and limit perspective. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It is taking more and more time to keep up with the political and public health leaders who don’t bother to comply with the recommendations they give us.

This time it is Dr. Deborah Birx who blew off the travel restrictions and gathering size limits at Thanksgiving. Oh, pardon me. It doesn’t count as a Thanksgiving trip since she traveled to her destination the day after Thanksgiving.

Saddest part of this example of hypocrisy is it took place after a large volume of other supposed leaders drew massive criticism for ignoring the rules. It isn’t as if every political and public health leader hasn’t been given notice their behavior is being observed.

Scariest part is her rationalization that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the trip.

Last point in this discussion is the wish that every American had the same freedom she has exercised. Specifically, the freedom to make our own decisions on what is best for our family given our circumstances.

12/20/20 – Associated Press – Birx travels, family visits highlight pandemic safety perils – The day after Thanksgiving, Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator for the official White House coronavirus response team, traveled from her D.C. home to her vacation home in Delaware. Joining her in Delaware were her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. While in Delaware they ate meals together for two days.

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The hit parade of Covid-restricting political hypocrites marches on.

December 21, 2020, 9:01 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

List continues to lengthen of government officials who are exempt from what they demand you do.

Today’s examples are Shemia Fagan, newly elected Secretary of State from Oregon, and Gina Raimondo, governor of Rhode Island.

12/14/20 – PJ Media – ANOTHER Democrat Covid Hypocrite: Oregon’s Newly Elected Secretary of State Violates Governor’s Order on Gatherings for Kid’s Birthday Party – This time it is the incoming Secretary of State in Oregon who is above the law.

Shemia Fagan was photographed hosting a birthday party for one of her children at her home. There were seven adults from six different households visible. They are outside and inside the house. Of course only a portion of the people visible in the photographs were wearing masks.

It is unknown and unrevealed how many other people from how many households were present.

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News flash: Religious freedom is blooming everywhere. Three SCOTUS injunctions in favor of First Amendment and LA County to allow indoor worship.

December 20, 2020, 8:02 am

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The US Supreme Court has issued injunctions in three different cases in three different circuits overturning lower court rulings which restrict religious freedom. (Update:  make that four in total.)

On top of that, the County of Los Angeles has announced it will revise its public health orders to allow worship services to be conducted indoors.

Fantastic, wonderful news for your early Sunday morning reading.

(Update: Minor corrections for grammar and typos made without identify such changes. Substantive updates identified as such.)

Update: I just read the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn ruling. Wow. The sum total of all sarcasm and ridicule I have previously brought to the table regarding religious freedom pales in comparison to the scathing comments by Justices in that ruling. When I have time, I’ll recap some of the comments. Quick summary:  it is past time for governors to stop intentionally ignoring and flagrantly shredding the U.S. Constitution. Oh yeah, the Governor of New York is working hard to fight the case and violate the Constitution.

US Supreme Court – Harvest Rock Church, et al. v. Newsom, Gov. of CA

In a 10 line, unsigned order SCOTUS vacated the ruling by the District Court for the Center District of California which ruled against Harvest Rock Church in their lawsuit to allow indoor worship.

Ruling can be found here.

The ruling was dated Thursday 12/3/20, which is 2 ½ weeks ago.

The court ordered the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to order the District Court to reconsider their ruling in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

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Two more courts uphold the free expression clause of the First Amendment. Part 3 of 3.

December 19, 2020, 11:05 am

It is possible the above activity might soon be protected by the First Amendment. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

This three part series looks at rulings which show courts are beginning to recognize that imposing severe restrictions on religious worship constitutes a violation of the free expression clause of First Amendment.

Just in case you think I’m being too harsh in my sarcastic, ridiculing comments regarding the attacks on the First Amendment, check out some of these court rulings.

When it comes to criticizing unconstitutional government rules, I’m a lightweight compared to any of these judges.

These posts focus on two lower courts that re-read the U.S. Constitution after the U.S. Supreme Court started the refreshing trend of actually reading said Constitution before issuing a ruling. The cases:

 

Ninth Circuit –Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak.

12/15/20 – Hill Faith – First Amendment: Court Strikes Down Nevada’s Covid Church Attendance Limits – Nevada issued rules restricting the number of people who can gather for worship to the lesser of 50% of fire code capacity or 50 people. Large number of other activities have a restriction level of 50% of fire code capacity.

The 50% only limit without a numerical cap applies to “casinos, bowling alleys, retail businesses, restaurants, arcades, and other similar secular entities.”

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Two more courts uphold the free expression clause of the First Amendment. Part 2 of 3.

December 18, 2020, 7:27 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

This three part series looks at rulings which show courts are beginning to recognize to impose severe restrictions on religious worship constitutes a violation of the free expression clause of First Amendment.

Just in case you think I’m being too harsh in my sarcastic, ridiculing comments regarding the attacks on the First Amendment, you really need to check out some of these court rulings.

In terms of criticism of constitution-ignoring governments I am a mere simplistic lightweight simpleton with lightweight  rhetoric compared to any one of the following judges. I wouldn’t think of calling the alleged thought process of the California government specious.

These posts focus on two lower courts that re-read the U.S. Constitution after the U.S. Supreme Court started the refreshing trend of actually reading said Constitution. The cases:

  • Supreme Court – Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn (previous post)
  • California Superior Court – Bakersfield Division – Father Trevor Burfitt vs Gavin Newsom (current discussion)
  • Ninth Circuit –Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak.

California Superior Court – Bakersfield Division – Father Trevor Burfitt vs Gavin Newsom

12/11/20 – Hill Faith – California Court Delivers Stinging Rebuke To Newsom’s Anti-Church Covid-19 Regulations California Superior Court Judge Gregory Pulskamp granted a preliminary injunction allowing several churches to continue worship, after finding the state requirements violate the California Constitution.

The ruling is titled Father Trevor Burfitt vs Gavin Newsom and can be found here.

The core issue is concealed in this technical sentence on page 1:

“Although Defendants collectively advocate for the use of a “rational basis” standard, it is clear that when restrictions appear to treat religious activity less favorably than comparable secular activities, the restrictions are subject to “strict scrutiny.””

If you understood that sentence, you can already guess what the ruling will be.

To my little pea-brain, the case is almost resolved when this sentence is provided on page 2:

“In this case, the restrictions are not “neutral” and of “general applicability” because they assign entities into disparate classifications which results in religious activities being treated less favorably than comparable secular activities.”

Following comment is so scathing it ought to be wrapped in fire-resistant fabric:

“Entities permitted to engage in indoor activities – also known as “essential businesses” or “critical infrastructure” – include big-box retail stores, grocery stores, home improvement stores, hotels, airports, train stations, bus stations, movie production houses, warehouses, factories, schools, and a lengthy list of additional businesses. It is important to note that almost all of the entities that are allowed to host indoor operations do not engage in activity that is constitutionally protected, whereas houses of worship do.

Nowhere does the Constitution mention home improvement stores or movie production companies, yet they are allowed to continue indoor operations while constitutionally protected worship services are not. Ouch.

After summarizing the government’s response to the strict scrutiny issue, the ruling continues:

“To the contrary, based on the evidence presented (or lack thereof) and common knowledge, it appears that shoppers at a Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, etc. may – and frequently do – congregate in numbers, proximity, and duration that is very comparable to worshippers in houses of worship. Defendants have not convincingly established that the health risks associated with houses of worship would be any different than “essential businesses” or “critical infrastructure,” assuming the same requirements of social distancing and the wearing of masks were applied across the board

So, no difference in risk between a trip to Costco and sitting through a worship service. Double ouch.

Ruling then cites comment by Justice Kavanaugh in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn:

“Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew? And why can someone safely interact with a brave deliverywoman but not with a stoic minister?”

Why indeed.

The ruling continues to identify that the New York restrictions of 10 people in “red zones” and 25 in “orange zones” were categorized by the Supreme Court as “very severe restrictions.” What then to make of the California restrictions which set the restriction at zero for indoor worship? Seems to me that zero would be an order of magnitude beyond “very severe restrictions.”

Ruling then explains the government has not demonstrated that are indoor worship word “negatively impact public health.”

The court finds as specious the government’s argument that watching TV is the same as worshiping in person. Don’t believe a court could be that harsh? Check it out for yourself:

“Similarly, Defendants’ protestations that religious services may still be offered through means of modern telecommunication, such as TV or web-based platforms, seem specious because, as noted in Roman Catholic Diocese, “such remote viewing is not the same as personal attendance.” “

I just had to go look up the definition of specious:

specious

adjective

superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive.

Let me rephrase the comment:

Government protestations that religious services may still be offered through means of modern telecommunication are superficially plausible but actually wrong and in fact are misleading in appearance.

Specious arguments. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

The court ruled the state requirements are a clear violation of the California Constitution:

“The free exercise of religion clause in the California Constitution prohibits Defendants from treating religious activities worse than comparable secular activities. California’s current Covid-related restrictions do exactly that.”

The court granted a temporary injunction against the state of California until a full trial is held on the merits of the case.

Care to make any wild guess what the court will be thinking at trial, guided by the recent SCOTUS ruling?

Next post: ruling from the Ninth Circuit applying the Supreme Court ruling to rules in Nevada. Hint: the rules violate the U.S. Constitution.


Two more courts uphold the free expression clause of the First Amendment. Part 1 of 3.

December 17, 2020, 10:55 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Courts are beginning to recognize that imposing more severe restrictions on religious worship than other similar activities constitutes a violation of the free expression clause of First Amendment.

Just in case you think I’m being too harsh in my sarcastic, ridiculing comments regarding the attacks on the First Amendment, you really need to check out some of these court rulings.

The following rulings entail complex sentences with multiple subordinate clauses, systematic use of multisyllable words, embedded legal citations, technical legal verbiage, and subtle nuance. Hidden behind those comments are harsh and brutal critiques of the egregious violations of religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In terms of criticism of constitution-ignoring governments I am a mere simplistic lightweight simpleton compared to any one of the following judges.

This series of posts will provide more background on the Supreme Court ruling that started this trend of courts on actually reading the Constitution and then discuss two more rulings. The cases:

  • Supreme Court – Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
  • California Superior Court – Bakersfield Division – Father Trevor Burfitt vs Gavin Newsom
  • Ninth Circuit –Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak.

12/14/20 – Hill Faith – Justice Samuel Alito’s Christmas Present For America – Article calls attention to a speech given by Associate Justice Alito to the Federalist Society’s National Wires convention back in November.

In his speech he opined the religious freedom protections outlined in the first amendment are in more danger now than ever before with politicians using the pandemic as an excuse to walk all over the Constitution (my paraphrase of the article).

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