About

I am not associated with any party, university, church, or other institution. This blog is supported solely by donation – my own donation of time and effort.

My main projects as a writer are organized as this blog is organized: I write on philosophical, theological, political, and cultural themes, with posts increasingly brought under one of two main headings: “Anismism” for pieces focused on philosophy and theology, and “Neo-Imperialism” for geo-politics and theory of the present historical conjuncture. I select pieces from any category including those two for “Assorted Topics” after they’ve had a chance to be re-read and re-edited for a few months.

I also keep an archive on web design and development, as well as separate pages featuring the WordPress Plug-Ins that I have authored or am in the process of developing.

Selected Plug-Ins

Site Design and Operation

My experience with design and development includes all aspects of site installation, migration, rescue, management, design, and operations, with a primary focus on WordPress and related applications, and on the coding they rely on intensively: PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. My past and ongoing projects include professional, personal, community, and e-commerce web sites mainly based on open source frameworks. I have tested, used, and modified countless WordPress plug-ins and themes, lately with an emphasis on WooCommerce and its add-ons, previously with osCommerce as well as diverse eBay-related applications. I have also worked extensively with S2Member.

I enjoy teaching people what I have learned. For more on my web design philosophy, you can begin with my general notes on the subject, and check out other posts in my “Web Design” archive.

I also have maintained an eBay on-line store since 2005, and have been an active eBay seller since 2001 – with ca. 5000, 100% positive feedback ratings. My specialty is collectibles, especially movie collectibles, and I frequently work as a “trading assistant” facilitating sales on consignment.

You can drop me a line using any of the options on the blog contact page. You may also, if you are so moved – because you support the causeless cause of this blog or because you would like to follow in some tradition of patrons of commercially mostly hopeless work or because you just found something useful or interesting here and fair is fair – offer a donation directly to me via Paypal or credit/debit card using the image link below:

…which I will keep confidential or broadcast to the world: your choice.

As for professional and educational background: At various times I have been a working writer – screenwriter, journalist, editor, translator – and I have also been published as a poet in obscure literary magazines most or all of which no longer exist. The best money I ever made was probably as a legal secretary, and the most consistent living I made was as a script reader/development person for independent movie production companies during the ’90s. At another stage in my life I was a full-time political activist.

I was born in Vienna, Austria, of American parents, who returned to the US while I was still an infant. I read German as a mostly self-taught foreigner, not as a native German-speaker. I studied English in college, at UCLA, where I received a B.A.

–CK

(Last updated 2016.12)

Noted & Quoted

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President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.

The allegations, if true, would appear to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics, even as US-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million (£8 million) annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP.

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The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.

In one exchange, daughter Jessica Manafort writes “Im not a trump supporter but i am still proud of dad tho. He is the best at what he does.” Her sister Andrea Manafort responded by referring to their father’s relationship with Trump as “The most dangerous friendship in America,” while in another exchange she called them “a perfect pair” of “power-hungry egomaniacs,” and asserted “the only reason my dad is doing this campaign is for sport. He likes the challenge. It's like an egomaniac's chess game. There's no money motivation.”

By contrast, the Manafort daughters and their mother seemed much more unsettled about Paul Manafort’s work as a political consultant for Yanukovych’s Russia-backed Party of Regions, which is a subject of renewed interest among investigators probing possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

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If there's anything mitigating the bad news for the White House here, it is that Comey may have also sent subtle signals that the matters under investigation are not principally about the personal conduct of Trump himself. While this is speculation, I do not believe that if Comey had, say, validated large swaths of the Steele dossier or found significant Trump-Russia financial entanglements of a compromising variety, he would have said even as much as he said today. I also don't think he would have announced the scope of the investigation as about the relationship "between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government" or "coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts"; these words suggest one step of removal from investigating the President himself. If the latter were the case, I suspect Comey wouldn't have used words suggestive of the Flynn-Manafort-Page cabal.

But that's reading a lot into a relatively small number of tea leaves. What is clear is that this was a very bad day for the President. In it, we learned that there is an open-ended Russia investigation with no timetable for completion, one that's going hang over Trump's head for a long time, and one to which the FBI director is entirely committed.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Yeah, I read C's comments as trying to do a variety of things at the same time, having the effect of making interpretation more difficult. Any [. . .]
Benjamin Wittes: How to Read What Comey Said Today – Lawfare
bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, so why do they have "work Phones" they take home? Even if they don't have fate of the world responsibilities, who they work [. . .]
Isenstadt and Vogel: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House – POLITICO

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