Core-PHP vs FrameWorks-in-PHP

PHP can be considered more as a revolution in the web development arena. Beginning with scripting of simple web pages, PHP today has evolved into a language that powers almost 60% of the web. Well, it has been extensively modified to develop frameworks and content management systems to ease the tasks of developers. Essentially, frameworks have some pre-coded functionalities that developers require on a regular basis and content management systems are built with the end user in mind.
We assume that Core PHP means solving a Mathematical problem by using paper and pen. Frame work means solving Mathematical problem by using a calculator.

Core PHP-Solving Mathematical Problem

Only some students can achieve results by using paper and pen as same as in PHP. Only a few of the developers can write the code in an easy way and reliable format.
Core PHP uses the PHP script in its purest form. A developer needs to know the language thoroughly in order to write a clear and concise code using core PHP. Only the experts can write flawless and reliable code using its core form.

Framework – Solving Mathematical problem

Everyone can achieve the result by using the calculator as same as in PHP. Even beginners can write the code in easy way and reliable format.
Frameworks are basically time savers. They have a rich set of functionalities available so that the developer does not have to embed the same code again and again. These frameworks generally have a fixed set of rules and hence the code can be passed on from one developer to another without any hassles. 
In core PHP one developer may not be able to read another developer’s code that easily. Frameworks on the other hand provide consistency in the code and are big time savers when the project needs to be handled by several developers at the same time. Frameworks rarely allow you to write bad code. This ensures less time in debugging and helps you deliver your project faster.
Frameworks Advantages:
  • Framework introduces an extra layer to wrap your business code which in turn provides better manageability and easily workability in teams. If you take an example of any MVC( Model-View-Controller)framework; you can understand that the teams can separately work on Model, Views and controller part. ORM (Object-relational mapping) provides easy scalability.
  • A framework gives you some tools and function to make it easier for yourself. For example the database seeds, the form request classes, the migrations, and so on.
  • In framework everything come as set of predefined codes, helpers, libraries. So, you don’t have to write your own pagination, security code or integrate someone else’s pagination, security scripts. Framework follow specific standard which makes the codes more organized. Besides, frameworks have organized MVC pattern that separate your code into 3 categories, excluding the probability of code.
  • Framework is better because almost everything is provided, you need to write less code and there is less to worry about.
  • Frameworks usually have security classes in the core. Some methods of Input class have flags to clean XSS from _POST or other global array.

Disadvantages:
  • You need to learn more as there is a specific learning curve for specific frameworks.
  • Frameworks are slower than core PHP code.

Core PHP code Advantages:
  • Core PHP offers you a lot of freedom a lot of space for imagination and invention.
  • If code is small; going with procedural PHP/Core PHP is good idea.

Disadvantages:
  • You need to write lots of code that may already be written.
  • There is more to consider about, like security (SQL Injection, XSS), organization of code, separation of business logic, view etc., (that frameworks already do it for you).
Enhance Projects
Everyone wants to move into sophisticated technologies. If any website or web applications have developed in Core PHP, it is difficult to enhance the website components, but if website or web applications has developed in Frame Work PHP, it is very easy to enhance the features.
Lets see some of the widely used PHP Frameworks:

1.Laravel

According to Sitepoint’s recent online survey it is the most popular framework among developers. Laravel has a huge ecosystem with an instant hosting and deployment platform, and its official website offers many screencast tutorials called Laracasts.
Laravel has many features that make rapid application development possible. Laravel has its own light-weight templating engine called “Blade”, elegant syntax that facilitates tasks you frequently need to do, such as authentication, sessions, queueing, caching and RESTful routing. Laravel also includes a local development environment called Homestead that is a packaged Vagrant box.

2.Symfony 

Symfony is a flexible, scalable yet powerful PHP frameworks for MVC application. There are plenty of reusable PHP components that can can be used like Security, Templating, Translation, Validator, Form Config and more. Like Laravel, it’s alss modularize with Composer. Its goal is to make your web application creation and maintenance faster with less repetitive coding.

3.CodeIgniter 

CodeIgniter is a lightweight PHP framework that is initially released in 2006. CodeIgniter has a very straightforward installation process that requires only a minimal configuration, so it can save you a lot of hassle. It’s also an ideal choice if you want to avoid PHP version conflict, as it works nicely on almost all shared and dedicated hosting platforms.
CodeIgniter is not strictly based on the MVC development pattern. Using Controller classes is a must, but Models and Views are optional, and you can use your own coding and naming conventions, evidence that CodeIgniter gives great freedom to developers. If you download it, you’ll see it’s only about 2MB, so it’s a lean framework, but it allows you to add third-party plugins if you need more complicated functionalities.

4.CakePHP 

CakePHP is a PHP framework that support version 4 and above. It is easy to learn with fast and flexible templating. The integrated CRUD (create, read, update and delete) is a handy feature in CakePHP for your database interaction. It also has various built-in feature for security, email, session, cookie and request handling.

5.Yii 2

Yii is a generic Web programming framework, meaning that it can be used for developing all kinds of Web applications using PHP. Because of its component-based architecture and sophisticated caching support, it is especially suitable for developing large-scale applications such as portals, forums, content management systems (CMS), e-commerce projects, RESTful Web services, and so on.
Yii is a full-stack framework providing many proven and ready-to-use features: query builders and ActiveRecord for both relational and NoSQL databases; RESTful API development support; multi-tier caching support; and more.

5. Phalcon

The Phalcon framework was released in 2012, and it quickly gained popularity among PHP developers. Phalcon is said to be fast as a falcon, because it was written in C and C++ to reach the highest level of performance optimization possible. Good news is that you don’t have to learn the C language, as the functionality is exposed as PHP classes that are ready to use for any application.
As Phalcon is delivered as a C-extension, its architecture is optimized at low levels which significantly reduces the overhead typical of MVC-based apps. Phalcon not only boosts execution speeds, but also decreases resource usage. Phalcon is also packed with many cool features such as a universal auto-loader, asset management, security, translation, caching, and many others. As it’s a well-documented and easy-to-use framework.

6.Slim

Slim is a lightweight micro-framework for PHP inspired by Sinatra, a Ruby framework. It has a tiny size without overkill learning curve. It’s built with incredible routing system and focuses on RESTful API with all HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) supports. To use it, you need at least has a PHP version of 5.2+.

7.Zend

Zend Framework is a scalable and full featured object-oriented PHP framework.It has an online training and certification which make it popular and used by plenty of enterprise organizations. With its OOP (object-oriented programming) and design patterns consistency, you can easily extend custom classes and use only what you need.

8.Nette

The Nette Framework is another player in the world of php web application frameworks – but like most others, it has its right to be here. It comes with great and powerful features, and makes life easier for web developers. Nette uses revolutionary technology that eliminates security holes and their misuse, such as XSS, CSRF, session hijacking, session fixation, etc.
Nette is modern php framework which supports  AJAX / AJAJ, Dependency Injection, SEO, DRY, KISS , MVC, Web 2.0, cool URL

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50 PictoGrams By FreePik for Our ReaDers!

Pictograms are icons that depict anything under the sun in no context whatsoever – which makes it the perfect type of icon for any kind of use. The most common pictogram we all probably know by heart is the lavatory sign for men and women. But freebie release designed by Freepik for our readers extends into situations in a much wider variety.
From cleaning and baking, to construction work and mountain climbing, this set of 50 pictograms cover the many things that people do, in icon form. It’s fascinating to see how easy it is to depict a necktie, a baker’s hat, a safety vest or an oven, in just black and white (in this case, green) as shown by these pictograms.
To download the whole set follow the download link. All pictograms are available in SVG and PNG format. You can share, modify or use these pictograms for commercial or personal use but do give credit where credit is due.

.button { background-color:white; border-radius: 4px; border: 2px solid #D24D57; color: #D24D57; text-align: center; font-size: 28px; padding: 20px; width: 200px; transition: all 0.5s; cursor: pointer; margin: 5px; } .button span { cursor: pointer; display: inline-block; position: relative; transition: 0.5s; } .button span:after { content: ‘0bb’; position: absolute; opacity: 0; top: 0; right: -20px; transition: 0.5s; } .button:hover{ color:white;background-color: #D24D57;} .button:hover span { padding-right: 25px; } .button:hover span:after { opacity: 1; right: 0; }

The GOP Tax Bill Rammed Through Congress on Tuesday Paves the Way to Defund and Dismantle Federal Government

Financial experts call it unworkable—and that’s what many Republicans want.

As the GOP tax bill raced through both chambers of Congress Tuesday, hurtling like a runaway train toward President Trump’s desk, Americans should see this GOP effort for what it is in the sweep of history—the Republican dismantling of federal government.

The tax bill’s specifics, with almost all of the benefits going to the very rich, confirm that the GOP’s lock on federal power is as bad as many predicted before the 2016 election. But the tax bill is also Republicans’ opening move to defund government—apart from national security, the military, infrastructure, and corporate welfare.

“The United States Senate should be doing more than providing 83 percent of the benefits in a tax bill to the top 1 percent,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said during the Senate debate Tuesday. “We cannot go home unless we address the very serious crises facing the working families and the middle class of this country.”

Sanders cited a long list of ignored crises—including some intentionally created by President Trump and the red-run Congress—that show the GOP is bent on destroying social safety nets. That unfinished business includes legalizing 800,000 Dreamers, or young people raised here who are the sons and daughters of non-citizens; funding community health centers that serve 27 million people; funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program serving 9 million children; real disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; fixing a multi-employer pension fund that has 1.5 million retirees at risk of losing 60 percent of their anticipated income; reforming student loan debt for 40 million people; addressing a nationwide opioid epidemic; filling 30,000 vacancies in the Veterans Administration; and funding the Social Security Administration (in 2016, 10,000 people with disabilities died while awaiting review of their benefit applications).  

“And on and on it goes,” Sanders said, without citing specifics from the tax bill, such as how its cost, triggering past legislation controlling spending, will cut Medicare’s budget by 4 percent. (Congress still has to pass a 2018 federal budget, which envisions cuts to social welfare programs, science and the environment.)

The thread that ties together this willful neglect is simple. Republicans want to devolve government back to the local level. That’s been the political right’s rallying cry ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt created Social Security in the 1930s and Lyndon B. Johnson created the Great Society’s health safety nets in the 1960s.  

The tax bill gives the GOP a way to do this. Most everybody knows the bill’s fiscal benefits accrue to the already rich. But the tax bill has also been called unworkable by academics specializing in tax law.

On Tuesday, before the House passed it, business reporters noted the bill was moving so fast that the IRS would not be able to implement it when it goes into effect. For example, employers won’t know how much to withhold from January payrolls. That “puts the onus on workers to make adjustments later in the year if too much or too little of their money is being withheld,” Patricia Cohen wrote in the New York Times. 

The New Yorker’s John Cassady noted the bill is likely to bring in less revenue than projected, because it will launch an avalanche of new loopholes to exploit.

“What isn’t yet fully appreciated is how porous and potentially unstable the rest of the tax code will be after the bill is passed,” he wrote. “With a corporate rate of just 20 percent, and a big new break for proprietors of unincorporated businesses and certain types of partnerships, the new code will contain enormous incentives for tax-driven restructurings, creative accounting, and outright fraud. Every tax adviser and scammer in the country will be looking for ways to reclassify regular salary income.”

Cassady noted these contortions are destined to undercut federal revenues, which many Republicans welcome as an avenue to shrinking the federal government.

“The shortfall in tax revenues could be enormous. Perhaps that is what Republicans want to happen,” Cassady said. “Undoubtedly, there are some in the Party who would like to see the tax base decimated, the I.R.S. crippled, and the federal government forced to slash spending on domestic programs, particularly entitlement programs. But, for anybody who believes in a properly functioning government, a rational, clearly defined tax system is essential. The Republican reform doesn’t meet that standard.”

But today’s Republican leadership doesn’t want a functioning government outside the security state, military and infrastructure that buoys corporate America.

It’s hard to know what they are thinking as one looks ahead to the 2018 elections. If the GOP doesn’t want to talk about character—which seems to be the ascendant issue, as seen by Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama and the widespread backlash against male predatory sexual behavior, driven by suburban women who are voting in droves this year—then all the Republicans can point to is their tax bill. While the GOP’s opponents will emphasize intentionally widening inequality, don’t be surprised if Republicans recast their only major legislative achievement in 2017 as a victory against the phantom enemy they love to hate: big government.

Unfortunately, as Sanders pointed out on the Senate floor Tuesday, millions of Americans are getting hurt and are going to be hurt by this needless legislation and similar moves that are sure to follow.  

 

Related Stories

  • Bannon Is Trying to Take Over the GOP Within 1 Election—Can He Pull It Off?
  • The Supreme Court Is Set to Determine if GOP Extremists Will Hold America Hostage for Years to Come
  • Here Comes the Next Big Right-Wing Attack on Our Voting Systems

JavaScript Interview Questions for Freshers


What is JavaScript, really ?

JavaScript (“JS” for short) is a full-fledged dynamic programming language that, when applied to an HTML document, can provide dynamic interactivity on websites. It was invented by Brendan Eich, co-founder of the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation, and the Mozilla Corporation.

JavaScript is incredibly versatile. You can start small, with carousels, image galleries, fluctuating layouts, and responses to button clicks. With more experience, you’ll be able to create games, animated 2D and 3D graphics, comprehensive database-driven apps, and much more!

*For online documentation on JavaScript , refer the doc of creators – mdn

**For the best class-room training on JavaScript at Mumbai connect with Rocky Sir

Leaving out the very simple and basic Interview Questions, at what questions do the fresh web developers get stuck ?  Here is a list :

1. Before-the-first-Round-of-JavaScript-Interview-Questions

      download a short and sweet PDF


2. 10-common-JavaScript-interview-questions (Click on the Question for viewing the answer)


3. Step-by-step solution for step counting using recursion

step counting _sctpl

For example, if you wanted to climb 4 steps, you can take the following distinct number of steps:

1) 1, 1, 1, 1
2) 1, 1, 2
3) 1, 2, 1
4) 2, 1, 1
5) 2, 2
So there are 5 distinct ways to climb 4 steps. We want to write a function, using recursion, that will produce the answer for any number of steps
answer-to-step-counting-using-recursion

4. Determine overlapping numbers in ranges

You will be given an array with 5 numbers. The first 2 numbers represent a range, and the next two numbers represent another range. The final number in the array is X. The goal of your program is to determine if both ranges overlap by at least X numbers. For example, in the array [4, 10, 2, 6, 3] the ranges 4 to 10 and 2 to 6 overlap by at least 3 numbers (4, 5, 6), so your program should return true.
answer-to-determine-overlapping-numbers-in-ranges 



5. Find all duplicates in an array



This is a common interview question where you need to write a program to find all duplicates in an array. The elements in the array have no restrictions, but in this algorithm we’ll work specifically with integers. Finding duplicates in an array can be solved in linear time by using a hash table to store each element as we pass through the array. The general algorithm is: 


(1) Loop through the array
(2) At each element check if it exists in the hash table, which has a lookup of O(1) time
(3) If the element exists in the hash table then it is a duplicate, if it doesn’t exist, insert it into the hash table, also O(1)

for-complete-solution-to-finding-all-duplicates-in-an-array


6Two sum problem


The two sum problem is a common interview question, and it is a variation of the subset sum problem. There is a popular dynamic programming solution for the subset sum problem, but for the two sum problem we can actually write an algorithm that runs in O(n) time.

The challenge is to find all the pairs of two integers in an unsorted array that sum up to a given S. For example, if the array is [3, 5, 2, -4, 8, 11] and the sum is 7, your program should return [[11, -4], [2, 5]] because 11 + -4 = 7 and 2 + 5 = 7.

for-complete-solution-to-Two-sum-problem

7. Stock maximum profit

You will be given a list of stock prices for a given day and your goal is to return the maximum profit that could have been made by buying a stock at the given price and then selling the stock later on. For example if the input is: [45, 24, 35, 31, 40, 38, 11] then your program should return 16 because if you bought the stock at $24 and sold it at $40, a profit of $16 was made and this is the largest profit that could be made. If no profit could have been made, return -1.


for-complete-solution-to-Stock-maximum-profit


Google is now prioritizing mobile sites to provide better results for mobile devices

best facts apps

We all saw this coming. All the way back in November 2016, Google said it would begin prioritizing websites that have a mobile-friendly, responsive design in favor of traditional desktop online websites. Google is following through on that promise as it’s now implementing this new prioritization method for a “handful of sites.” Quite frankly, the move makes sense given that an ever-increasing amount of people are searching constantly from their phones. Especially when you aren’t at a computer, it’s easier to just pull out the phone that’s in your pocket to search for something.

See also

We’ve all been there, searching for something on Google, when we finally find the information we need, when *gasp*, it’s a desktop site. The change to mobile-first indexing will ensure that this doesn’t happen as often.

Traditionally, Google’s crawling and ranking systems only looked at the standard desktop layout of a website. This is no longer going to be the case.

Google will now use content from mobile sites to create and rank listings, which will allow for more relevant results for mobile users. Google is “evaluating sites independently on their readiness for mobile-first indexing,” and the shift is “closely being monitored by the search team.” If your website is already mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t have to do anything. However, Google does have some guidelines for site owners:

  • Make sure the mobile version of the site also has the important, high-quality content. This includes text, images (with alt-attributes), and videos – in the usual crawlable and indexable formats.
  • Structured data is important for indexing and search features that users love: it should be both on the mobile and desktop version of the site. Ensure URLs within the structured data are updated to the mobile version on the mobile pages.
  • Metadata should be present on both versions of the site. It provides hints about the content on a page for indexing and serving. For example, make sure that titles and meta descriptions are equivalent across both versions of all pages on the site.
  • No changes are necessary for interlinking with separate mobile URLs (m.-dot sites). For sites using separate mobile URLs, keep the existing link rel=canonical and link rel=alternate elements between these versions.
  • Check hreflang links on separate mobile URLs. When using link rel=hreflang elements for internationalization, link between mobile and desktop URLs separately. Your mobile URLs’ hreflang should point to the other language/region versions on other mobile URLs, and similarly link desktop with other desktop URLs using hreflang link elements there.
  • Ensure the servers hosting the site have enough capacity to handle potentially increased crawl rate. This doesn’t affect sites that use responsive web design and dynamic serving, only sites where the mobile version is on a separate host, such as m.example.com.

Thoughts on this change?

Installing Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is Adobe’s photo editing, image creation and graphic design software.

The software provides many image editing features for raster (pixel-based) images as well as vector graphics. It uses a layer-based editing system that enables image creation and altering with multiple overlays that support transparency. Layers can also act as masks or filters, altering underlying colors. Shadows and other effects can be added to the layers. Photoshop actions include automation features to reduce the need for repetitive tasks. An option known as Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) allows users to work on content from any computer.

Photoshop been the industry standard image manipulation program for so long that its name has become a verb: It is common parlance to say that an image has been “photoshopped” or even just “shopped.” Shopped, in this context, is synonymous with edited, manipulated or faked —  often regardless of the software actually used. 

Photoshop is used by photographers, graphic designers, video game artists, advertising and meme designers. The software is available for a monthly fee, at this writing between $9.99 and $49.99 depending on the user’s requirements and options selected. Photoshop CC is compatible with Intel-based Mac computers and Windows PCs. 

Installation 

Method 1 : ( Downloading Online Installer for Adobe Photoshop CC )

Download Photoshop CC

Welcome to Photoshop CC! Whether you purchased a Complete, a Photography, or a Single-App plan, the process is the same. Simply download Photoshop from the adobe.com website and install it on your desktop.

Step 1 :

Go to the Creative Cloud apps catalog. Locate Photoshop, and click Download.
If you are not signed in, you will be asked to sign in with your Adobe ID and password. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Desktop apps catalog

NOTE :
Your app begins to download.
At the same time, the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app appears, and it will manage the rest of the installation process. Check your download progress in the status bar next to the app’s name.

Step 2 :
Find the Photoshop icon in the Apps panel and click Try.
After Installing to launch your new app, you can click Open to run the app.
You can also launch Photoshop as you normally launch any app on your computer. Photoshop is installed in the same location where your applications are normally installed, such as the Program Files folder (Windows) or the Applications folder (Mac OS).
Open Photoshop




Method 2 : ( Installing Photoshop using Offline Installer )


Step 1 :
Download offline installer from below link 
Install Photoshop !

Step 2 :
After Downloading Open the Folder, double click on setup.exe.

Step 3 :
Click on Try ( Unless u have paid for License ).





Step 4 :
Installation will ask you to Sign in to your Adobe Profile. Sign in if you have one. Else you can Turn off Internet and Skip this step.





Step 5 :
Accept the License Agreement.




Step 6 :
Click  Install.




Step 7 :
After installation completes it will ask you to Launch Now.
Click and Launch the Program.




Step 8 :
Again Sign in for Adobe ID will be required
   1. Sign In if u have an adobe ID
   2. Else you can choose Sign In Later.



Step 10 :
Click on “License Now” if you have License Key OR on “Start Trial” if you dont have license key.

Note : Your Adobe Photoshop is Installed. You can start it from Program file in start menu.

Want to Learn how to create brand Recognition ?

7th Continent First Impressions

Only 3 days to go on the 7th Continent Kickstarter rerun and I finally managed to actually play the game to confirm if it is really as good as evertybody says. Good news: It is! Furthermore it turns out to be one of those rare board games that are ideally played with your significant other, which is exactly what I have been looking for. A “game” of 7th continent can last 15 hours+, but there is a very fast “save” mechanic which allows you to play in a series of short sessions. That would be difficult to pull off with friends you don’t see every day, but works great for me and my wife.

“Saving” the 7th Continent is actually a strategic move by itself, because you don’t save the map you already explored. This represents time passing in the world while you sleep. If you were to backtrack after restoring the game, the basic geography remains the same, but you might get different events happening while exploring. In our first game we saved when we successfully left area I and reached area II, which involved removing the map of area I anyway, so the save didn’t change anything for us. Of course at home you could just decide to leave the game set up on the table instead of saving, if you have a dedicated game table.

*Spoiler alert*

Just like a YouTube gameplay video it is hardly possible to talk more about the game without revealing some of its contents, so don’t read on if you want to avoid spoilers!

We played the first “curse” of the 7th Continent, curses being basically scenarios that give your exploration a starting point and a win condition. The one recommended to start with is called Voracious Goddess. But don’t expect any major storyline connected to that. The 7th Continent is a survival/exploration game, the stories that happen are about what you decide to do and how that worked out, not some scripted storyline to follow.

The core mechanic of the game is that the tile you are on and the cards you already found give you various actions you can attempt. Each attempt consists of drawing a number of cards and counting the number of successes on these cards. Each action tells you how many cards to draw, and how many successes you need, but various rules and cards can modify those two numbers. If you succeed something positive happens, if you fail something negative happens. Often you are allowed to draw more cards if you want, which makes success easy. But the deck of cards also represents your life, so if you draw cards with reckless abandon you will run out of cards. And then you need to use the cards from the discard pile instead, and if you draw a curse you are dead and the game ends.

What you are supposed to do to survive is to find places where you can hunt and find food when you are getting low on cards. Food puts cards back from the discard pile into the action deck, which allows you to keep playing. It is all nicely balanced and doable. Some people do complain they die too often, but there are several solutions to that: Either you handle the loop of goin exploring and taking care of survival by hunting better. Or you change the rules, which is something that doesn’t come natural to board game enthusiasts. But really, the game already does have an official easy mode which starts you with card 777, which allows you to basically ignore your first death. It isn’t such a stretch to expand that to unlimited uses of that item and literally “cheat death”. Instead of “survive or die” the game then becomes one of minimizing the number of times you use the cheat item.

On the other hand I can also see the interest of starting over. The Voracious Goddess curse we are playing starts you off on a small island. As it gives you a rough map, we went more or less straight towards the way off the island. But it turned out that this way we missed an essential item and couldn’t use the submarine to get off the island. Instead we decided to use the costly alternative option of swimming, which ended us freezing on some beach. So our success on the starting island, area I, determined where exactly and under what initial conditions we get to tackle area II. If we restart and play area I again, we’d use a different strategy. Furthermore on the first exploration you end up doing things in which the success isn’t all that great, or not essential for progress. So the next time around you just skip the non-essential parts and thus get to the next area faster and with less of your cards used.

I really like the 7th Continent, and I am looking forward to playing this with my wife for a long time. If ever we find the survival part too harsh, we’ll just change the rules to a more casual version. The fun of this game really isn’t just about winning or losing.

The Right-Wing Backlash Against #MeToo Is Coming Sooner Than You Think

Conservatives are angry and scared. This can only end badly.

At first blush, the story about Texas associate deputy attorney general Andrew Leonie, who resigned hastily after making ugly comments about the #MeToo movement on Facebook, seems like another sign of a sea change happening in the United States when it comes to sexism. But for me, it only adds to the growing sense of dread that another shoe is lifting and that the big drop is coming soon, and it’s going to be a bad one.

Sexists are getting angry. They’re getting scared. They’re starting to lash out. I worry that it’s just a matter of time before some of their punches start landing.

Leonie, who identified as a man of “Christian faith” and father to “great kids” on his Facebook page, also took to Facebook at 2:40 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and wrote, “Aren’t you also tired of all the pathetic ‘me too’ victim claims? If every woman is a ‘victim,’ so is every man. If everyone is a victim, no one is. Victim means nothing anymore.”

It’s tempting to believe that a man who was making more than $150,000 a year representing the great state of Texas in court is merely another casualty who failed to follow the rule that there’s nothing worth saying on social media between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. But, as Noor Al-Sibai of Raw Story noted, Leonie had a habit of saying gross things on social media, including posting a cartoon calling the Women’s March protesters “cunts.”

Leonie was shown the door with haste, even though he’s in Texas and works for Attorney General Ken Paxton, a profoundly misogynistic politician who whined that Texas would become a “sanctuary state for abortions” if undocumented immigrants were legally allowed to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Despite many fears to the contrary, it does seem that the #MeToo movement is affecting Republican careers. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was pushed out after it was discovered that he tried to pay female aides to have babies for him. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, has agreed not to run again, and is getting increasing coverage for his alleged harassment of employees. Alabama Republican Roy Moore lost his Senate bid after multiple allegations that he chased high school girls in his 30s came out. Now this Texas lawyer has been pushed out simply for saying gross things about sexual harassment victims.

It’s heartening, but let’s be clear: The only reason this is happening is that conservatives haven’t yet figured out a narrative they can use to derail the #MeToo movement. Part of the problem is that for decades, conservatives have argued against feminism by embracing the “chivalry” narrative, framing women as inherently weaker and in need of male protection. So while they won’t accept feminist arguments about sexual harassment being a matter of sex discrimination, they can’t help but admit that there’s no part of “protecting women like delicate flowers” that involves groping, making lewd and bullying comments, or forcing yourself on women.

That also suggests that if conservatives do find some way to derail the #MeToo movement — which, unlike women themselves, is indeed a delicate flower that could easily be destroyed — they are going to take it.

Leonie’s Facebook post — which, in what I’m sure was a great coincidence, was posted about 40 minutes after the bars close in Austin, Texas — captures that grasping desire to come up with some reason, any reason, to tell all those women to sit down and shut up already about how they don’t like being sexually harassed and abused. It’s a Federalist piece by D.C. McAllister, who dumps a few thousand words attacking a straw man, by arguing, without a shred of evidence, that feminists are opposed to consensual flirting.

“Here’s a little secret we have to say out loud,” she writes. “Women love the sexual interplay they experience with men, and they relish men desiring their beauty.”

(I’m convinced every Federalist writer is out to personally dial down the amount of sex people are having, by the power of their overwrought prose alone. Those two sentences are like a pair of twin beds, but in writing.)

There’s a desperation here, both from McAllister in trying to air out this tedious “feminists are prudes” argument and from Leonie, posting it at the 2:40 a.m. Absolutely no one believes that women who encounter powerful men masturbating at them, groping them, or locking them in rooms are flattered by the attention.

These old arguments and strategies aren’t working, which shows the power that stories have to disrupt false stereotypes and narratives. But if there’s one thing the past couple years have shown, it’s that reactionaries are surprisingly flexible about their strategies. And they’re experimenting, tossing out new ideas about how to end #MeToo.

The first shot, of course, was outing Sen. Al Franken as a serial groper, in an effort to create the narrative that everyone does it so no one should be held accountable. That failed, because Democrats finally saw through it and pushed Franken out. The second attempt was to deliberately make false accusations, with James O’Keefe trying to sell a false accusation against Roy Moore and someone, likely Mike Cernovich, falsifying a document accusing Sen. Chuck Schumer of harassment. The obvious idea there is that by getting some fake accusations into the bloodstream, they can “prove” that fake accusations are all around us and cast doubt on the real ones. Luckily, that failed.

But all this shows that conservatives aren’t going to concede this without a massive fight. Conservatives grasp, even if many liberals don’t, that we’re on the verge of a true social breakthrough. People are beginning to realize it’s not enough to kick a few gross men out, but that this is a systemic problem, that women really are disempowered, that men really do have unfair advantages, and that something really needs to happen to change that.

All of these incidents demonstrate, in other words, that the widespread opinion on the right is that #MeToo is a menace, that it needs to be ended and that the only question right now is how to do it. Their first efforts have failed, but mark my words: They’re going to keep trying. They have money and numbers to keep coming up with random ideas and testing them on the public. It’s just a matter of time until they find a strategy that sticks.

 

 

 

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Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Reportedly Face New Financial Disclosures Lawsuit

The couple allegedly made significant omissions on their disclosure forms.

President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner were hit with a new lawsuit on Sunday alleging they made significant omissions on their federal financial disclosure forms.

Politico reported Sunday night that Washington lawyer Jeffrey Lovitky filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington alleging that the two White House aides neglected to share information about some 30 investment funds in which they are invested. They also are accused of hiding the value of two investment vehicles in which they’re involved as well as income derived from them.

A large number of the holdings Kushner did report, the complaint states, are not listed in full detail due to “prior confidentiality agreements.”

However, Lovitky’s complaint said these agreements do not apply under the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA).

“The [Ethics in Government Act] does not allow a reporting individual to refuse to disclose the underlying assets of an investment vehicle, on the basis that such disclosure would violate a pre-existing confidentiality agreement. Nor does the EIGA allow a reporting individual to refuse to disclose the amount of income derived from any underlying asset of an investment vehicle, on the basis that such disclosure would violate a pre-existing confidentiality agreement,” said the suit.

Politico’s Josh Gerstein described Lovitky as “a health care finance lawyer who sometimes files civil rights cases.” He filed a similar suit against Pres. Trump himself earlier this year.

Kushner and Ms. Trump have been hit with repeated accusations of hiding information from federal regulators including charges that they failed to disclose millions of dollars of art in their possession. Kushner has had to revise his reports of meetings with foreign operatives and Russian banking officials multiple times, adding “more than 100 names” to the list last July.

Read the full report here.

 

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Rage of Demons: Session 2

In the previous session the group escaped from a prison of the drow in the Underdark. Now they were free, but more or less lost in an unfamiliar environment, with neither food nor drink, and limited equipment. And the drows were pursuing them. So apart from a few combat encounters this session was mostly about how to survive and travel in the Underdark.

A tabletop role-playing game always plays on two levels at once: The story level where the warrior chops off the head of the orc, and the game level, where a player rolls some dice. The art of Dungeon-mastering is to balance these two levels and to connect them. By treating travel and survival in the Underdark as a series of dice rolls, with modifiers based on player decisions, the players gain agency over the story. And unexpected dice rolls can add surprise to the story. The Out of the Abyss book, chapter 2, has some very good suggestions on how to handle travel and survival. I just needed to combine that with existing rules in the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide to a “loop” of rolls to do every day: A roll for navigation in order to avoid becoming lost, a random encounter roll for during the day, another random encounter roll for camp at night, and a roll for foraging.

The trick to make all of that a bit more interesting is the drow pursuit: Players can choose to travel slow, normal speed, or fast. Traveling fast makes them gain more distance from the pursuers, but prevents them from foraging, and increases the difficulty of navigation and perceiving enemies. Traveling slower increases the risk from the pursuit, but makes everything else easier. In this session we played through that loop for 7 game days, which with several days traveled at high speed meant the group went from the drow outpost Velkynvelve to the kuo-toa village of Sloobludop.

To give the group some means of orientation I used the previous encounter of the cleric with Juiblex to give him a level 1 madness which made his face wounds burn whenever he looked in the north-western direction from Velkynvelve (towards Blingdenstone to be exact, for reasons that will become obvious much later). That gave him advantage on navigation rolls, and the group used a second character to help with navigation when they were traveling at fast speed, so they never got lost. After the first day the cleric also switched spells to have Create Water, which solved their thirst problem.

As encounters we first had one attack at night by goblins, which weren’t too hard to beat and provided the ranger of the group with a short bow and arrows. It also turned out that the players weren’t the squeamish kind, and they filleted the goblins, cooked them over magical fire, cast Purify Food & Drink on the meat and ate it. Later in the session they encountered a bunch of gnolls, which are larger than goblins, and thus ended up with more than enough food for their journey (although I ruled that meat wouldn’t keep longer than 2 days, because otherwise the whole foraging thing would become useless).

Then they came to the Silken Paths, an area of spider webs crossing a large chasm, connecting stalagmites and stalactites. Two non-aggressive goblins had created a business guiding people across, and the group agreed to pay them for passage. On the web they found a large chest, which of course turned out to be a mimic (that still works with new players). Then they were attacked by darkmantles, which after killing them they used to make waterskins out of. In fact this group is the first one I see in 5th edition which makes use of crafting skills from their background. Once over the chasm, the group decreased their pursuit level by burning the webs they had crossed, although of course they couldn’t burn the whole giant web.

The gnolls they met in an encounter which was supposed to have them come upon a hunt, with the gnolls chasing a pair of hook horrors. But the group just cast a fog spell to hide from the monsters and then traveled on. Then they came upon the second half of the hunters, and killed them. The group decided to rest there, but of course the first group of hunters came back before they were rested and they had to fight gnolls again.

At the end of the session the group arrived near Sloobludop, and gained level 4 from the xp for survival and the various encounters. Just like in other campaign books of Wizards of the Coast, level increase is at least twice as fast as what you’d get if you just gave out xp for monsters. I decided that was okay, as nobody wants to be low level for too long. I might have to slow that down a bit if I feel that the group is becoming too powerful for a dark themed adventure.