Adventures with Heroku: python-saml, libxmlsec1, and SWIG

A client uses OneLogin for their single-sign on services. We're building their website hosted on Heroku. We needed to build that SSO integration, and fortunately the folks over at OneLogin have released a very adaptable and well demonstrated toolkit for writing SAML SSO integration in Python. Heroku was the hard part.

Ask a libertarian: gay marriage and religious freedom

The Supreme Court last Friday issued their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, removing all laws and state amendments denying marriage licenses to gay couples. Voices in the religious right, from Republican presidential hopefuls to public officials to religious leaders, all lined up to claim the decision violates their religious liberties. The ACLU announced it would no longer defend religious freedom laws like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because "religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others."

Why everybody should be angry after King v. Burwell

This morning, the Supreme Court decided King v. Burwell, the second legal challenge to the PPACA, aka ObamaCare, that the highest court in the land has heard. Again, the Court upheld the law, and again Roberts penned a head-scratcher of a majority decision.

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On inclusivity and tolerance

Last Wednesday, Elia Schito tweeted from his personal account, apparently referring to gender reassignment surgery:

Unburied: The Secrets We Keep

Photographs from the opening reception for Unburied: The Secrets We Keep, a gallery showing at Convergence in Alexandria, Virginia, featuring the art of Isabel Cureux, Naphtali Ginsberg, Marcus Ellison, and Donald Harris, Jr., curated by Isabel Cureux.

The Snowden hit piece author ironically explains why we need Snowden

CNN aired an interview with the Sunday Times' correspondent Tom Harper about his journalism-free Edward Snowden hit piece (behind a paywall - here's the full text) from yesterday:

Interviewing and hiring developers

Methodologies and philosophies on screening, interviewing, and hiring software developers go through fads and phases, as popular wisdom is debunked, thought leaders share their methods, and developers themselves are promoted and bring their own experience to bear. Most of us would agree that nobody's really doing this right, and we don't really agree what "right" would look like.

A thought on public transportation

Over at The Atlantic's CityLab, they present a chart and some thoughts on a Brookings Institution analysis of losses-per-passenger in U.S. subway and metropolitan rail projects. Unsurprisingly, they all lose money. Surprisingly, some of them lose a lot of money. They note that the small, dense, center-of-the-city operations tend to fare better than those systems with tendrils stretching out into the suburbs.

Why campaign finance reform is doomed to fail

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC prompts my liberal interlocutors to start frothing at the mouth. It's clear to anybody of any political bent that the very cozy relationship between big business and big government corrodes our republic, that the channeling of money and favors to lawmakers and decision makers merits labels like bribery and corruption. But I don't see the Citizens United decision the way they do.