The Operation American Greatness Gallery (In Progress)

The unveiling today of some rather extraordinary magazine covers seems occasion enough to justify presentation of the OAG Gallery as it happens to stand at the moment. Since, during the course of normal business at this site, the images appear only in thumbnail size, as randomly selected from a set of images, it occurred to me that I should somewhere display them un-cropped, full-size, and with whatever information I happen to possess about them.

Suggestions for additional images are welcome! (Just paste the urls, if you have them, in a comment box.) The only criterion for inclusion in the gallery consists of “happened to strike CK as striking, or objectively were striking enough to him for him to bother to grab them.” Most appeared without attribution in my Twitter feed, but, where artist information is available, I’ve provided it. The selection does not include very many photographs, mostly because the best ones are owned by the photographers or their syndicates, and this site respects the creative rights of artists.

“America First” by Edel Rodriguez – Der Spiegel

America First by Edel Rodriguez

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Posted in Operation American Greatness

Commenter Ignore Button Plug-In Now Available from the WordPress Repo

Commenter Ignore Button Technical Demo

From the Plug-In’s Description:

Commenter Ignore Button (CIB) lets a user put one or more commenters “on ignore.” To have such an option enabled is a frequent request at blogs and other sites where comment threads are plagued by trolls or other problematic commenters, but where site operators prefer to err on the side of open discussion – or don’t want to get involved unless they really have to. Once users become generally aware of the option, people just seeking attention may either be more polite or move somewhere else, while regular commenters – and lurkers – may become more willing to engage.

You can download it from the Repo using the link above, or you can get it here.

Posted in WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with:

Ignoring in “Illdy”: A CIB Adaptation to a “Bootstrapped” Theme (Case Study)

CIB under default settings has been tested in 100 WordPress themes selected mainly from the currently and recently “Popular” and “Featured” categories in the WordPress repository, but also including custom and more or less randomly selected themes, as well as all of the “annual” themes since WordPress “Twenty Ten.”

The results were over 90 out of the 100 qualifying as “as intended.” The outliers consisted of three main types: Some highly stylized themes; themes that use black or very dark backgrounds in their comments; and themes with completely custom comment templates, typically based on “Bootstrap” frameworks. Read more ›

Posted in WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: ,

Oops…

Just a note for anyone who happened to note, or begin, the recently published (and unfinished) “Internal Contradictions of Liberal Democracy (Regime, 2 of 3)” post: I’d parked it in “Scheduled,” certain I’d have gotten back to it and the rest of the series by Inauguration Day, but… best-laid plans and all. I hope to have it up, in proper order, soonish. If you want to be notified by email when that happens, you can subscribe on the “In Progress” page.

As soon as I’m done testing Commenter Ignore Button in around 90 more themes, so can submit it to the WordPress Repo, I think I ought to return to “on hold” writing projects and produce some kind of overview and roadmap. I’ve wanted to do it conjunction with a new WordPress add-on I’m developing for converting a series of posts into a downloadable and hard-printable e-pamphlet, but, for the sake of the blog, I may have to start publishing again first, developing on the way…

Posted in Meta

“Human nature only really exists in an achieved community of minds.” – Hegel

Just wanted to note the line, from the Preface to The Phenomenology of Spirit (§69), for later use and overuse.

I’m quite fond of the larger passage:

Since the man of common sense makes his appeal to feeling, to an oracle within his breast, he is finished and done with anyone who does not agree; he only has to explain that he has nothing more to say to anyone who does not find and feel the same in himself. In other words, he tramples underfoot the roots of humanity. For it is the nature of humanity to press onward to agreement with others; human nature only really exists in an achieved community of minds. The anti-human, the merely animal, consists in staying within the sphere of feelings, and being able to communicate only at that level.

…will have to dig up the original German sometime in search of any lost nuances…

Posted in Internet, Philosophy, Political Philosophy

Housekeeping or Sorry about Tweeting Out that Rough Draft

I’d been thinking about putting up a “sorry I’m busy post,” anyway, especially since I haven’t been keeping up with “the Russian Angle” “link-posts,” but not having posted anything other than a web development note since the turn of the year seemed like explanation enough. However, last night I or the site accidentally auto-posted a post I’d meant to have completed by now, as third in a series (of recently re-visited “untimely” posts originally drafted a few years ago!).

In short, sorry about the SNAFU, and I hope to publish a finished version of the post soonish, in proper order. Please feel free to use this post as an open thread on whatever you like, and please take the following item from the Tweet-feed as a very serious and tragic commentary on the general state of things or fake state of things or state of fake thinks or the falsification of the state…

Untitled by @DavidSRudin

Untitled by @DavidSRudin

Posted in Meta

Adding wp.media Multiple Image Selection to WordPress Plug-Ins

adding-multiple-images

Took a little while, but I finally figured out how to add WordPress Media Library multiple image selection for a process partly depicted above, part of a plug-in still in development.

My code follows. As I mentioned at StackExchange WordPress Development – where I first put the issue in the form of a question, at a point when I was unsure of my ability to answer it – I’d be happy to accept and credit improvements on this work from some true jQuery/WordPress expert, though the code seems to be working quite well so far. Read more ›

Posted in Web Design, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , ,

Friend Dog Studios: 2016: The Movie (Trailer) – YouTube

2016: The Movie (Trailer)

Posted in Operation American Greatness

Postscript to future historians from Xmas 2016 (OAG #8)

[T]he facts are what they are — email server management, rather than any deeper or more profound root cause, was the dominant issue in Donald Trump’s successful rise to power.

The facts are what they are: Even intelligent, knowledgeable, sophisticated, and articulate writers for successful websites dedicated to usefully explaining events and issues for well-educated readers were, in America 2016, utterly incapable of usefully explaining events and issues for well-educated readers.

Matthew Yglesias apparently believes, as the sub-head in his Christmas Day article has it, that “Big events sometimes have small causes.” The notion is suggestive of chaos theory, which describes how small variations in initial conditions can sometimes produce radically outsized differences in eventual outcomes, but the situation in question is better evoked by the saying on straws and camel’s backs. Yglesias tweet for his post re-stated its conclusion, quoted above, even more illustratively:

The “hook” is precisely the absurdity – and self-inter-exponentiating meta-absurdity – of the notion it entails, and of the co-absurdifying and absurdified political culture and political system it reflects. Read more ›

Posted in Internet, notes, Operation American Greatness

Commenter Ignore Button 0.99

Commenter Ignore Button Demo

As previously noted, this plug-in is or will be the greatest gift to humankind in all of history heretofore. It is now in “Late Beta”, meaning I think it’s just about ready to be distributed, and to begin improving the lives of billions or more forever. For a limited time, I’m offering free installation, configuration, and styling to anyblogger who wants to try it (so that I can iron out any last hinks I happen to find, collect feedback, and maybe produce some additional use cases).

Read more ›

Posted in Meta, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with:

Noted & Quoted

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Trump actually congratulated Erdogan on the outcome. Trump apparently thought it was a good thing that, despite all the flaws in the process, a bare majority of Turkey’s citizens voted to strengthen their populist leader. I don’t think any other post-Cold War president would have congratulated a democratic ally that held a flawed referendum leading to a less democratic outcome. This is not that far off from Trump congratulating Putin on a successful referendum result in Crimea if that event had been held in 2017 rather than 2014.

Public disquiet and behind-the-scenes pressure on key illiberal allies is an imperfect policy position. It is still a heck of a lot more consistent with America’s core interests than congratulating allies on moving in an illiberal direction. In congratulating Erdogan, Trump did the latter.

For all the talk about Trump’s moderation, for all the talk about an Axis of Adults, it’s time that American foreign policy-watchers craving normality acknowledge three brute facts:

  1. Donald Trump is the president of the United States;
  2. Trump has little comprehension of how foreign policy actually works;
  3. The few instincts that Trump applies to foreign policy are antithetical to American values.
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He sensed that the public wanted relief from the burdens of global leadership without losing the thrill of nationalist self-assertion. America could cut back its investment in world order with no whiff of retreat. It would still boss others around, even bend them to its will...

There was, to be sure, one other candidate in the 2016 field who also tried to have it both ways—more activism and more retrenchment at the same time. This was, oddly enough, Hillary Clinton... Yet merely to recall Clinton’s hybrid foreign-policy platform is to see how pallid it was next to Trump’s. While she quibbled about the TPP (which few seemed to believe she was really against), her opponent ferociously denounced all trade agreements—those still being negotiated, like the TPP, and those, like NAFTA and China’s WTO membership, that had long been on the books. “Disasters” one and all, he said. For anyone genuinely angry about globalization, it was hard to see Clinton as a stronger champion than Trump. She was at a similar disadvantage trying to compete with Trump on toughness. His anti-terrorism policy—keep Muslims out of the country and bomb isis back to the Stone Age—was wild talk, barely thought through. But for anyone who really cared about hurting America’s enemies, it gave Trump more credibility than Clinton’s vague, muddled talk of “safe zones” ever gave her.

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As they war with the right, though, Trump and Kushner would gain no quarter from Democrats—unless Democrats were allowed to set the all the terms. This is Bannon’s central point. Democrats have no incentive to prop up Trump’s presidency for half-loaf compromises that many will suspect are contaminated with seeds of Trumpism. Trump can adopt or co-opt the Democrats’ infrastructure platform outright if he likes, but he can’t easily entice them to compromise with him, and he can’t entice House Speaker Paul Ryan or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance a trillion dollar direct-spending bill filled with environmental and labor protections that the GOP exists to oppose.

Which is just to say, Kushner wants Trump to chart a new course that leads to a substantive dead end for at least another 19 months. Bannon’s path, at least, preserves the hope of keeping his base consolidated through the legislative ebb. He can deregulate, scapegoat, and unburden law enforcement to turn his Herrenvolk fantasy into reality—all while keeping congressional investigators at bay.

There’s no real logical rebuttal to this, except to point to three months of chaos and humiliation as indicative of the futility of continuing to do things Bannon’s way. That is really an argument that Trump should get rid of both of his top advisers, but Trump is unlikely to grasp that in a contest between loyalists, both might deserve to lose. Family loyalty, and the beating his ego will take when the stories of his first 100 days are written, will pull him toward his son-in-law. And that’s when the real fun will begin.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

+ Wade, your last paragraph is crucial to your argument. Certainly it expresses economically the source of the weight of a country's foreign policy, and [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic
CK MacLeod
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Not sure where you got the idea that I ever wrote “[President Trump] doesn’t know what he’s doing!!!!!!" - bob's idea for a possible rallying [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic
Wade McKenzie
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ The conversation that you and Bob were having at the time that I wrote my comment had everything to do with the recent missile strike [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic

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