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Rightie says they can learn from Lefties

David Hines is a rightie who studies the left in detail, looks at how the left organizes, ponders how leftie tactics can be used by the right too. He doesn’t mock the left. He reads their books about organizing and tries to learn from them. He probably knows more about leftie organizing than many lefties.

He thinks the right is losing the organizing battle, and explains why.

To flip this, perhaps the left can learn some things from the right. The right is way better at bot swarm attacks on social media and organized attacks against mainstream media, because the right inherently is more centralized – and focused on elections, not the streets.

You can find Hines on Twitter at @hradzka, where he welcomes all, just play nice, ok.

The Left is skilled at building protests and movements that start in the streets. This is in the DNA of the hard left. By contrast, the Right is almost comically inept at putting on street protests. Like calling a one million person rally in support of Trump in DC, getting 500, and being blown off the media stage by the Juggalos rally on the same day in DC.

That’s what movements are about: gaining power. Movements don’t just happen. And they’re not the product of orders from on high, or rent-a-protesters paid out of somebody’s checkbook. They’re the product of a lot of people doing a lot of hard work over a very long time.

Righties don’t want to believe that. Thus, the same old horseshit: “oh it’s all George Soros.” “Oh we don’t get turnout for protests because we all have jobs.” “Oh we’d win a Second Civil War in five minutes anyway because the Lefties are wusses and we’ve got all the guns.”

It can’t possibly be that there’s work we need to do, work that we’ve been neglecting because we don’t understand how it works and we’re lazy. That’s unthinkable.

Well, think it. Because it’s true.

A fascinating point. The left often wins the culture while the right wins elections.

Briefly put, the organized Left has power because it has lots of organized groups that

employ different approaches
communicate, negotiate, and cooperate
serve their side’s goals
show value
provide service to their community
The Right has groups focused on electoral power and getting out the vote, mainly.

This divergence has led us to the position we’re in: the Lefties are better at winning the culture, the Righties are better at winning elections, and neither political party is what you’d call responsive to its base.

Guns are an issue where the Right organizes locally and in general, is winning.

The only area where grassroots Righties have had actual measurable success in the last couple of decades is gun rights. And there’s a reason for that: literally everything about guns mandates local activism and involvement.

Both parties are fracturing

Conservatives and Republicans are fracturing over Trump. Neocons in particular loathe Trump and implacably oppose him. The Moore Senate race is speeding up the fracturing, splintering, and divisions within the Republican party. Woo-hoo you say, that’s great, can we have more please? Well, sure, except it’s happening with Democrats and lefties too.

The Hillary / Bernie split is now protracted low-intensity warfare. Some lefties and alt-lefties are almost comically becoming indistinguishable from Fox News, ranting that the Russia investigation is fake news and the FBI is part of the conspiracy. Welcome to the New Normal, where earlier alliances and agreements are fast getting destroyed while new alliances form. We’re living in Mr Robot. Yesterday’s ally may become today’s opponent. But that doesn’t stop the fight against the real enemy.

Trump gave a completely unhinged speech last night. The crowd, bless their hearts, chanted “lock her up” apparently unaware that four Trump staffers are facing felony charges. Twitter chatter which has been reliable in the past says many more indictments are coming. This explains why Trump and cohorts are getting so insane. They know the endgame is coming.

Trump will almost certainly not be able to fire Mueller because he would have to fire Rosenstein first, then appoint a replacement who would fire Mueller. The resultant firestorm would make Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre look like a placid tea party. Given that Trump himself has almost certainly been named in sealed indictments, he can’t issue pardons to anyone involved in what the indictment alleges. Mueller has put mob bosses in prison. Trump still thinks acting like a reality show host will allow him to bluff his way out. But he’s really just a toddler.

The end game is coming. Everything up until now has been prelude.

WordPress. Big changes coming

Co-founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg details in the video what’s coming in WordPress and what has been done recently. My impression is WordPress is about to get seriously pro, with lots of solid new features for developers, big sites, and small blogs, part of their mission of “democratizing publishing.” Gutenberg is the massive change coming in 2018. It will simplify WordPress “into one elegant concept: blocks,” which are code modules that everything will be built on.

Themes, plugins, admin, everything will be built using blocks, rather than the current situation, where things can be are built without much thought for how they interact with each other. Blocks should, among other benefits, eliminate the ongoing problem of rowdy plugins breaking something on the site – it can take hours to figure out where the problem is.

Blocks also mean old-style plugins and themes will slowly  become archaic and after a while may stop working. Yes, it’s a big, revolutionary change. It starts with the editor in WordPress 5.0 in about April 2018, which will be optional, at least for a while. They have a plugin, Classic Editor, for those who don’t want to use it yet.

WordPress introduced WYSIWYG editing twelve years ago. Matt says Gutenberg will be what they will build on for the next twelve years.

New improvements:

HackerOne: Report security bugs. Bounties paid and thanks given!

Tide: Automated testing against all plugins and themes on WordPress.org. Results will be on plugins page for all to view. The goal is to give developers information on how to improve their products.

Customizer: Can save drafts of theme changes, then schedule the changes to be published when you want. Draft changes have a private URL so clients can easily preview it. Customizer has autosaves and changes by multiple developers can’t be overwritten.

Coding: Now with syntax-highlighter, auto-complete, and linters that do error checking. The linters won’t let you publish the code if it’ll break the site. Yay!

REST API: Still a work in progress. The goal is to have WordPress Admin run entirely off the WordPress API.

WP-CLI: Command line for WordPress!

And finally, the biggie: Gutenberg.

As mentioned, Gutenberg rolls out using the editor as the first iteration. The Gutenberg editor is more powerful and easier to use. Drag and drop images into the post and it uploads it to Media Library. Images can easily have text added to them. Multiple columns are simple to create. So are Gallery images, which can be displayed in multiple ways with a couple of clicks. It’s quite a lot like the Medium or Facebook Notebook editor, but more powerful. With Gutenberg, posts and pages can be way visually attractive, with no HTML coding skills needed. However, as always, HTML code can be added. Also, blocks that you create in a post can be saved and reused in other posts, which is definitely a useful feature. (Blocks in a post are paragraphs, images, galleries, etc. – all the parts of a post.)

Blocks make everything easier. A paragraph block in a post can easily be given a background color. The theme designer can specify what the colors will be, so they match the theme, and the editor will only have those color to choose from.

The State of the Word is the annual keynote address at WordCamp US, presented by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. In this year’s address, Matt summarizes the highlights of 2017 — including the 4.8 and 4.9 releases — and previews what we can look forward to in 2018 ( spoiler: it’s Gutenberg 🙂 ).

Sam Seder got taken down the exact same way Milo did

MSNBC contributor Sam Seder had his contract cancelled after alt-right Mike Cernovich discovered a no doubt tasteless, obviously meant to be sarcastic tweet Seder made eight years ago. The tweet said “Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/ a great sense of mise en scene.”

There are several things happening here. First, tolerance for anything about sex and kids is now approaching zero. MSNBC may well have been genuinely repulsed by the tweet, which in the current climate is pretty much indefensible. Also, Seder was not a major player for them, so he was expendable.

Second, the internet never forgets. It matters not if the tweet was deleted. It exists in multiple archives.

Third, opposing political forces in this country now are essentially at war. Anything you say online can and will be used against you, if it can be.

Milo got destroyed by a deliberate hit campaign right before he was to make a big speech. The attack was planned and backed by considerable resources and money. It succeeded. That’s what just happened to Seder too.

As we move closer to the inevitable toppling of Trump, we can expect that such attacks will increase in number and ferocity, coming from all sides. So, get ready and be prepared. Things may well get much nastier.

Trump lies and evasion are dark comedy

It’s comical watching Trump and Co. make up absurd excuses why lying to the FBI isn’t a crime. Spoiler: It is a crime. This is why if FBI comes knocking at your door and says “Can we ask you some questions?”, the answer should always be “no.” Because then they can’t catch you in a lie, inadvertent or otherwise. (In Flynn’s case, I will go out on a limb and opine that he a lying, greedy weasel who got trapped by his own lies.)

Flynn had little choice when the FBI came calling. Talk to us or you and your son go to prison for a long time, they said. Flynn’s agreement says he can be prosecuted for other crimes if found to be insufficiently helpful. He has said he will testify against Trump. his kids, and White House admin. Now why would FBI agree to prosecute Flynn on a relatively minor charge contingent on him informing, if they thought he and Trumpsters had committed no crimes?

Yet that’s just what Trump is saying. Flynn committed no crime yet lied about it. And that Trump tweet where he stupidly admitted to obstruction of justice wasn’t a tweet from him, someone else wrote it, so he is absolved. Rubbish. The White House a while back said Trump tweets are official. No lawyer, even a Trump lawyer, would write something that incriminating about a client. Nor would they use “pled” rather that “pleaded.” I see that Kellyanne, bless her heart, is babbling about Dowd writing it then sending it to their “director of social media.” Yet Trump has not actually addressed the contents of the tweet directly.

This is like watching Nixon in his final days. All manner of foolish excuses, red herrings, and evasions that wouldn’t fool an eight year old.

Their kingdom is crumbling.