Re: @dscotto10’s GOPocalypse, Part 2: The Upstart – Ordinary Times

Rubio, of course, could have slammed the door in Chris Christie’s face with an ad-libbed answer about the number of canned lines and repeated themes that Christie used (did you know that Chris Christie was a federal prosecutor?), but instead, he tried to “take the high road” and avoid attacking Christie. In other contexts, Rubio proved that he’s actually pretty good on his feet, but in the New Hampshire debate, he slavishly adhered to an overly-cautious strategy that utterly destroyed him.(Here, it is important not to blame Christie; his attacks should have been anticipated and should have been parried.)

A stronger performance at that debate might have meant a vastly different outcome.

Why should the Daddy Party settle for “the Bubble Boy” when they could have “Daddy” himself? All else was secondary, this time around.

Read more ›

Posted in notes, Politics Tagged with: , ,

On a Tweet-Drizzle on Trump’s Honest Dishonesty

I suspect many poll respondents do not separate “appearance of emotional authenticity” from “verbal approximation of factual truth” in polls such as the one Mr. Bouie finds “bewildering,” in which “45% see [Trump] as honest and trustworthy, but it goes lower, to 36%, for Clinton.” Setting aside, as we must in order to comment on the political campaigns, the encompassing inanity of the terms of discussion, we can further observe that the answer “he is more honest” replicates the same pattern: The answer itself may be an “honest” as in “honestly dishonest” answer in the minds of such respondents, meaning they can both “honestly” and “dishonestly-honestly” judge Trump “honestly a liar,” a liar true to himself as a liar, while Clinton remains for them a “dishonest truthteller.”

Bouie is hardly alone in his mystification. In an essay from May, David Frum predicted that the reaction to Trump’s dishonesty, or his honest dishonesty, would be “the hardest [part of this story] to explain after it’s all over”:  Read more ›

Posted in notes, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Drilling a Hole in the Universe with WP_Query in a Shortcode

To condense a long prologue into a thesis statement, it is quite possible to output the results of a WordPress “query loop” via Shortcode, but doing so risks drilling a hole in spacetime: Placing a post whose content would include a version of the post itself (containing a version of the post itself, and so on) produces an overload and site crash.

I first encountered this danger by accident, and initially wondered if the problem had something to do with specific query “arguments” or with shortcodes or the WordPress main “Loop” as such. In short, it’s just another example of the usual “infinite” regress error. I’ve also realized that under prior versions of the plug-in I’ve been working on, an inadvertent site-crash via infinite-looping was always a danger, presuming the right wrong move by some user.

To solve this problem or avoid this possible danger in the future, I’ve added a short sub-routine that excludes any offending post, or any offending post content, from whatever loop-within-a-loop the plug-in happens to output. Read more ›

Posted in Using WordPress, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , , , ,

The Wheel Has Turned – “Fear” by @WardSutton

trump-fear-by-ward-sutton

“Fear” by Ward Sutton, debuted on Twitter 31 August 2016, on the occasion of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona

Read more ›

Posted in Art, Politics Tagged with:

Scrap It 2

Further to the prior post, problems at OT were discussed exhaustively over the course of more than a year – first among the members of a “development group” and then among the Senior Editors. I was a participant in both groups. In late March of this year, the other editors turned down a proposal for putting the enterprise as a whole on a firmer foundation, and voted instead for what I saw as more of the same – or, to be more precise, for more of the same minus two major contributors. 

Since then, the decline of the site, climaxing in the latest admitted “failure,” or set of failures, has continued, while opportunities afforded by interest in the 2016 elections have mostly been squandered. The background details and the ways in which recent events and discussion expose underlying problems might be of interest to anyone trying to understand what happened to “the blogosphere” and what might come next, but I am reluctant to say more at this time, in part because my observations might be taken as personal and unkind by one or more of those involved, and perhaps as violation of confidence.

A salvage of residual value might still be possible, and a rescue or turnaround remains conceivable even now, but I would not be surprised if by this time next year there is no “Ordinary Times.”

Posted in Developing Ordinary Times

Scrap It and Start Over

A failure presents a limited range of options: scrap, salvage, or repair. Though it feels like we’ve done this before, let’s try “repair” one more time.

Why?

The site makes no sense as an enterprise – decreasingly as any kind of proposition for anyone involved.

The editors voted against “repair” last March, and “salvage” will continue to appear decreasingly rewarding, increasingly difficult. Without major changes, and possibly even with them, the only remaining questions are when and how to “scrap,” and whether anyone will care or even notice.

Posted in Developing Ordinary Times, Internet

jQuery-Filling an Input Box in WordPress Admin

Though I have somehow managed to produce some relatively complex scripts, I am still at the stage with jQuery that, when I manage to achieve some elementary thing, I throw a little celebration in my trusty old Aeron.

I also tend to forget what I’ve figured out until the next time I have to achieve the same effect. So, here are some notes for future reference, or for the sake of other jQuery hackers, on how I think a textbox should be filled in WordPress Admin… from simple anchor links… and when the content – in this instance long image links –  is too long to be nicely contained. Read more ›

Posted in WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , ,

Comparative Page Loads with and without Image Errors

This benefit of WP-RUBI is additional to the one of avoiding “the $8,000 mistake” of using unlicensed images, but for some sites will be much more important. 

Focusing on images exclusively, here is the difference between two page loads, one with image errors, one with WP-RUBI replacement, as recorded on Google Chrome Developer Tools console (no throttling).

With errors:

Page Loaded with Two Broken Image Links

Page Loaded with Two Broken Image Links

Read more ›

Posted in notes, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , ,

An Alliance of Digital Artists (Art and Work in the Age of Instant Reproducibility)

If the Digital Artists Alliance never amounts to more than a temporary reference point, the basis for a gesture of respect by some site operators toward an ideal, then that will be enough for me, but I invite anyone interested in exploring larger possibilities to join me.

Is there already an organization or organizations set up to protect and advance the rights and interests of digital artists, and to inform and educate both them and their patrons, clients, employers, and “users” about those rights and interests as such?

I have not heard of such an organization, though I know that numerous artist guilds and groups worldwide have been actively engaged on the topic, and that “Digital Rights” issues have been at the forefront of major litigation and legislation. An initial net search did not turn up any organization of this particular type, and I was surprised to discover that “digitalartistsalliance” was available as a “top level domain name” in the main variants that occurred to me. The TLDs “digitalartsalliance.com” and “digitalartsalliance.org” (i.e., referring to “arts” rather than “artists”) are taken, but, as you may see if you click on the links, they do not appear to be actively in use as of this writing.

For now, digitalartistsalliance.org and digitalartistsalliance.com, which I purchased yesterday, link to a sub-page at this site, but, if the idea generates some positive response, I may move on to setting a free-standing site, as the home of a not-for-profit membership organization. At this point, however, I’m thinking we still need to define the idea.  Read more ›

Posted in Featured, Web Design Tagged with: , , ,

Devoted and Selfless Consecration

IMG_5226

To mark the anniversary of the death of a veteran, the United States Government sends out a framed “certificate” like the one pictured above.

My father was proud of his service, but he was not a hero decorated for valor or a high-ranking officer, his experience of combat was limited (quite more than enough at that, he would say), and, more to the point, the war in which he fought was won by a self-consciously democratic nation: No reason why this later commemorative message should be anything other than “government issue”: That it makes a good first impression and brings back fond memories of Dad is good enough for us, anyway. So what if they happened to spelled our family name wrong, without capitalizing the “L” in MacLeod? “MacLeod” may be the most common of Scottish names, but the USG is the USG. If the Nazis had won, maybe their commemorations would have been perfect, but they didn’t win.

The signature stands out, and Dad in his last years may have been Obama-deranged enough to dislike the certificate on that basis alone. In his earlier years, I believe he would have been more accepting. The ink seems a bit thick, and I will assume until and unless informed otherwise that it was done by “autopen.”

The most interesting thing to me about the document is, however, its sacralized language, not its production values. Read more ›

Posted in notes, Political Philosophy, War

Getting Right with Image Rights: Workflow and Major Minor Upgrade

I discovered many non-rights-cleared images that I now think may have detracted from the posts in some ways, even if they initially seemed to make them more attractive or striking.

After announcing the WP-RUBI Beta (0.91) a bit more than a week ago, I installed and began to work with it at this very blog, and I immediately began to notice that “workflow” improvements I had thought to save for a later day – or even reserve for a “premium” version – had to be considered “basic” to using the plug-in effectively. So, I began another week of fairly intensive work now represented in the Beta numbered 0.93. I could “re-up” or “re-announce,” but I’ll think I’ll save doing so for submission of “1.0” to the WordPress Plug-In Repo.

The enhancements include the following:

  • Set and View Image Removal/Replacement Status from Post Edit and All Posts/Pages (Quick and Bulk Edit) Screens
  • Category and Author Inclusion/Exclusion by Display Name instead of ID #
  • Category Inclusion/Exclusion Includes “Child” Categories
  • Option to Replace Images without Standard Image File Extensions (Mainly Served Images)
  • Admin Convenience Improvements (Expandable Text Areas instead of Text Boxes, Additional Editing Instructions)
  • Expanded Reset Options: Reset Main Settings and Post Settings Separately if Desired

In terms of actual workflow as I worked and flowed it, I think that the first and third above were the most significant (code samples at end): Read more ›

Posted in notes, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , ,

Getting Right with Image Rights: WP Replace Unlicensed and Broken Images Plug-In

A primary use for WP-RUBI will be at sites where administrators have decided to remove images that have been used either without permission or under lapsed or lapsing usage licenses: Proper employment will help to reduce or eliminate legal and actual “exposure” quickly and easily, without harming the site’s search engine rankings and while preserving posts as originally composed, allowing for eventual restoration.

In recent years, with the maturation of the internet and especially of the blogosphere, sites that display photos and other images without concern for usage rights have come under enhanced scrutiny, sometimes resulting in costly lawsuits and always at least anxiety-producing threats of lawsuits. In addition, some site operators, especially as they have gotten more successful, have undergone a change in thinking about the underlying issue: the right of artists not to have their worked exploited without acknowledgment and, where appropriate, payment.

My new WordPress plug-in “WP Replace Unlicensed and Broken Images” (WP-RUBI) makes getting right with image rights easier. It selectively replaces images when a post is rendered, according to whatever chosen combination of post publication date, particular post or posts, post categories, authors, image file locations, and image types, supplying a customizable fallback image in place of the unwanted or broken one, and without altering underlying post data. Unlike common Javascript/jQuery solutions for broken images and links, WP-RUBI will also prevent load and search engine “crawl” errors that can harm search engine rankings and also fill up a site’s error log to the point of making it unusable.

[Not a valid template]

Read more ›

Posted in Using WordPress, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , , ,

A Trump Rally Live-Tweeted

Make room in the time capsule for the hard copy.

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Posted in Politics, US History Tagged with:

Subtweet (American Conservative Eschaton)

So, we can sum up the crisis of the American conservative movement as follows: With less and less semblance of temperamental conservatism, ever more self-destructively, nominally conservative Americans have sought in vain to immanentize as eschaton the non-immanentization of eschaton. Having reacted to the realization of paradox on the level of the whole state or the level of highest abstraction, represented in politics as the national level or the level of collective conceptual self-integration – so, integration by disintegration – as eventually world-historical failure, they have, by re-doubling down on re-doubling down without limiting idea, at last produced the political-intellectual equivalent of a nuclear explosion, with their constituency or former constituency clustered at ground zero.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics, US History

Subtweet

The absolute evil for politics as politics is the introduction of the question of absolute evil into politics, as the dissolution of politics. This rule is of the same form as the prejudice of philosophy against the entrance of prejudice into philosophy.

Posted in Featured, Political Philosophy

All-Nude Tweets (Hacking Extraneous Content from Twitter Embeds)

The Twitter default is for “cards” and “conversation” to display, but you can get rid of them either tweet by tweet or through a copy-paste-search-and-replace-re-copy-paste.

Intro

When you embed a tweet from its URL – for example, for this tweet from Justin Tiehen’s list of explanations for the rise of Donald Trump

https://twitter.com/jttiehen/status/735315944428310528

…it will, by the magic of oEmbed, produce the following display in your WordPress page:

Tweet with conversation and card

Tweet with “Conversation” and “Card”

Now, a lot of the time, this is totally superduper: You’re happy to include the replied-to tweet, and the part down below, with the image of Mr. Trump there linking to the original article (in a real tweet embed, not the screenshot version of it I’ve used above), is very nifty and even useful, and the nifty formatting is also nifty: Altogether just what your nifty users want.

In some contexts, however, all of the extra stuff is just distracting – especially if you’re showing a long list of tweets or rendering a conversation.

What follows is a hacky way to grab naked tweets instead.
Read more ›

Posted in Using WordPress Tagged with: ,

Output-Buffering and Extensible WordPress Plug-Ins

Contrary to my tentative conclusions of a month ago, I now understand at least one good reason to use output-buffering while writing WordPress code. Indeed, I now anticipate using the tool frequently.

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Posted in Using WordPress, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: , , , ,

Comment Elsewhere: To @BurtLikko under “How to Fix a Broken Elephant: Prologue”

@Burt Likko

You write as though you have determined that the primary sin, the sin of sins, is “Othering.” So, of course, you have to turn your back on politics, since the defining political distinction or the distinction that defines politics remains “us” and “them,” “friend” and “enemy,” collective “self” and “other.”

The left-liberal notion is that politics is about “policy” for the good of all – “all people created equal” and so on – but no left-liberal [or any other] politics is able to address the good of all immediately, or to whatever extent it might it passes over into the apolitical or politically irrelevant: Read more ›

Posted in Comments Elsewhere, Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: ,

Jacksonian Neo-Isolationism 2

Put more simply: The failure of the neocon project led to, as a practical matter seemed to require, the replacement of neo-imperialism with xenophobia in Republican conservative rhetoric. To those capable of setting aside their judgments of the American approach to the world, the psychology involved may resemble the familiar pattern of unrequited love. Those on the Left will be constitutionally predisposed to put the idea in almost any other way, and may also operate under the belief that they or their constituencies are immune to the syndrome.

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, Politics

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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