Fixing wp-cli broken alias on and other hosts

wp-cliGood on for two things:

1 – working to update millions of old wordpress sites to modern standards for security reasons.

2 – making wp-cli available by default to everyone using a command shell (including me)

Unfortunately, I went to use wp-cli yesterday and ran into a problem. It turns out that wordpress v4.4 broke earlier versions of wp-cli, and the most recent version is necessary to continue using it.

This took a while to figure out, and there doesn’t seem to be any bluehost-specific info via google as yet. Other shared hosts are also making wp-cli available and may have the same issues.

Here is an outline of what I did to get it working:

  1. Install wp-cli in a local directory. Make sure your install directory is outside of your wordpress install, and outside any apache-servable directories such as ~/public_html. This is easy enough to do, as documented on
  2. The tricky part was to recognize that bluehost (and other hosts?) set up a global alias for ‘wp’ that points to their now-outdated-and-broken version.After the sufficient amount of hair pulling, I discovered that at first what looked like some kind of php version mismatch was rather an alias I didn’t really want anymore.
  3. To discover the alias your host is using, “#alias wp”.  Copy the result to your  ~/.bash_profile. Edit the part that points to the wp executable to point to your new install. In the case of the bluehost alias, that is the last part of the command. Finally,  put the new alias into effect by “#source ~/.bash_profile”.After that, all worked fine for me.
Read the rest

Rural Economics and Network Infrastructure Policies

Today, on facebook, the topic of policies that are so fundamental to our existing economy that we can’t even see them for what they are came up in a since-deleted thread. Rather than revisit the topic directly on facebook, I am going to write here, and then link this to my fb page and see how that goes.

The initial rant, which was truly off-topic for the group and so the deletion was justified, was a common one heard in the streets, literal and virtual here in Porterville, California: That “Obama phones” aka “free phones” are unfair, they are luxuries, and others shouldn’t be forced to pay for them.

There are so many ways to counter this argument. Before I go into my main position today, I want to note for readers that our City is one of the poorest per capita in the country, and people who are complaining are generally at or barely above the poverty line themselves. That’s all I’ll say on that today, but maybe in a future post, I’ll explore that dynamic further.

There was surprising amount of pushback on the thread for these parts, presumably from those who benefit directly or indirectly from the program. But most of it from both sides was of the finger pointing variety by the time I arrived.

I decided to take a different tack. I pointed out that it has been telecommunications policy for over a century that rural areas would have subsidized telephone lines. And that the reason for that was because the nature of network economics is that there would not be any incentive at all to invest in rural areas when profits accrue in areas with dense network connectivity and costs are incurred in supporting a non-dense network as would happen in the vast rural areas of our country.… Read the rest

Spanish as a job requirement in Porterville…thoughts?

This is from a since-deleted facebook thread. A college educated woman in Porterville is frustrated at not getting jobs because she doesn’t speak spanish. This is only part of the thread, but all that survives. the long parts are from me, the quoted parts from her.

I am curious what people’s views are on the issues.


> It is total bullshit that I can’t get a job because I don’t speak Spanish.

You can’t get any job, or you can’t get some particular job? I think the latter might be true, , but are you saying there are no jobs that you re qualified for without speaking Spanish?

> If I moved to another country I would have to learn the language in order to get a job, not the other way around

that is the point I was making earlier – this is NOT true. I have worked with translators in probably at least 30 languages, I have worked in countries as foreign as Japan personally, and I can assure you there is no requirement anywhere that keeps English-only speakers from working in very good jobs. Maybe not every job, but English is definitely seen as s desirable skill, and accommodations are made for not speaking the local language if you are otherwise qualified for something.

> I may be very liberal when it comes to people’s rights, etc., but this is one thing that irritates the crap out of me.

I can see it irritates you. I have heard it from plenty of people before. My point is, what evidence is there that, for example, Spanish speaking immigrants don’t learn English and assimilate at the same, if not faster rates than prior generations of immigrants, or other current immigrants of other ethnicities?

I have almost always dated in immigrant families of various ethnicities, including currently, and my observation in those communities is that this pattern across generations pretty much repeats itself every time.… Read the rest

Porterville LGBT Group Launched to Oppose Rescinding City’s First Ever Pro-Equality Proclamation

First pride month, Porterville CA First Pride Month Proclaimed June 4, 2013 By Porterville City Council, political efforts to rescind immediately follow[/caption]

Porterville, CA – Residents have launched Porterville Equality and Fairness For All (PEFA), a coalition of local LGBT organizations and allies, opposing the efforts of some city councilmembers to rescind a historic proclamation declaring June “LGBT Pride Month” in the city. The proclamation was issued on June 4th by Mayor Virginia Gurrola recognizing the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville.

“Mayor Gurrola took a brave stand against discrimination by supporting a proclamation acknowledging the significant contributions of the LGBT community in Porterville, and for that we thank her,” said Barry Caplan, Coordinator of PEFA. “Now, some on the council find it necessary to rescind the proclamation, thereby rescinding acknowledgment of the city’s LGBT residents.”

June is celebrated as LGBT Month nation and statewide. On June 4th, Mayor Virginia Gurrola issued a Proclamation honoring the LGBT community for its longstanding volunteer work in mental health and other areas that has benefited the entire community.

Despite the routine of all councilmembers signing proclamations recognizing community members, every member of the council, except for Mayor Gurrola refused to follow standard protocol. They refused to shake the hands of the recipients and refused to sign the proclamation.

Council Members Brian Ward and Greg Shelton have agendized revisiting the Proclamation at the upcoming council meeting on June 18. Shelton aims to discuss the “process” of the Proclamation, despite Porterville’s process being the same or substantially the same as every other City in California. Ward proposes to rescind the Proclamation mid-month, and to replace it with a Resolution declaring “A Month Of Community Charity and Goodwill For All in Porterville”.

Porterville and its Council has a long history of anti-LGBT activism. In 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign, Ward offered a Resolution in favor of Prop 8, urging locals to vote to remove rights from themselves in order to harm a disfavored minority.… Read the rest

Establishment Clause and Faith-based Platforms and Policies

In my view, your religious beliefs and mine (should you or I have any such beliefs, which is not a given) should not be encoded into civil law at all. This is of course the raison de etre of the First Amendment: We are free to worship as we wish without government interference.

And as it was well known even at the time of the Constitutional Convention that various religions had opposing views on such matters,and also that some people hold no religious views at all, it was considered necessary that the State itself not take ANY religious matters under consideration for the purposes of any governance.

For example, in the modern era… Read the rest

Business model options for small local daily papers

Claudia Elliot, ex-Editor of the Porterville Recorder, our local paper, and current Editor and General Manager at Tehachapi News joined a facebook discussion on the Recorder’s page today. The discussion is regarding the usefulness, appropriateness, and value of online news delivery of news vs. sticking with traditional print distribution and she asked the insightful question:

Have to wonder, what would a person be willing to pay for such a service — people who go out and gather news and take photos and develop and maintain an infrastructure for others to be able to access? What would most people be willing to pay?

I responded:

One that has not been asked here before!

My own sense is that there are a couple of suppositions in that question that should be considered:

1) Do people in Porterville read local news at all? Clearly many don’t. That’s kind of a shame. I (and probably you) wish it was 100%. But it isn’t, and there are a lot of socio-econoimic reasons for that mostly beyond the control of the paper.

2) Whether people read local news or not, they increasingly get their news online, and the demographic of folks still wedded to the print edition are probably older and so it won’t last forever.

3) The idea that people have paid for “news” in the past is an open question in the industry, as you might know. Some posit that people paid for the ads, the gossip, the entertainment, the comics, the puzzles, and that the news was incidental. At least after say ~120 years ago when comics and modern advertising were invented.

4) So it may well be that adverting as a sustaining source of revenue may not ever support a news-only site. And as for those other categories of information online, it is already clear people won’t be looking ot newspaper sites for them in any appreciable amount.… Read the rest

In other words, Tulare would be Porterville

Man speaks with reporters about Tulare, competing with Visalia:

“It’s bad enough they tried to steal our outlet mall 10 years ago. If they had succeeded we wouldn’t have that sales-tax money, or a movie theater. We’d be a city with a Target, a Walmart, dollar stores and screaming sirens, and that would be sad. I want us to be more than that,” he added.

In other words, it would be Porterville.… Read the rest

Kickstarting Porterville Nightlife….

Here is one solution to the lack of nightlife in Porterville, and it is an organic one – Sonny Sell, a local promoter is on a good track noticing the otherwise underused park across from City Hall.

One likely doesn’t need permits if one simply shows up and starts playing music -e.g. busking.

Let some of the many fine musicians in Porterville practice and gather inspiration under the music mural and statue of Buck Shaffer on the Clock.

When word gets out that there are musicians there, people will come to listen.

When there are enough musicians around the park, people will stroll and wander.

And when the musicians get the attention, they will stay late.

All of this under the First Amendment.

Let it happen every night, with more fun on weekends, Fri, Sat for example.

Let Porterville get a reputation as a place where creative musicians play and meet each other.

Other artists will come, locally, and from far away, and they will have things to share, and maybe services to sell for tips like the musicians.

Soon, people will want to make a night of it, and that means eating dinner or getting snacks to bring to the park. A restaurant or two will start to think about staying open to accommodate that, and maybe some pushcarts or food trucks will show up.

Maybe even the food trucks will start to offer the creative truck cuisine that other cities have leading nightlife efforts there…or other creative food places such as Crave Bakery on Main Street will step up!

Maybe some of the crowd will wander to the Brickhouse or Mecca, and vice versa, and those few blocks will start to show some human activity after 5PM.

Eventually, maybe the musicians and artists will want to start being here around each other because they are benefiting from the collaborations.… Read the rest

Newcomer Virgina Gurrola selected as Mayor

Cameron Hamilton and Brian Ward Bypassed for Leadership Roles

Porterville Recorder describes swearing in ceremony for new Council

Congratulations to new Mayor Gurrola and Vice Mayor McCracken.

Let’s let the rejection of the most divisive members of Council, who once may have been seen as “next in line” for these two positions, serve as a signal that the time for divisive policies of Council is past.

Let the new Council proclaim a New Day by rejecting the damaging and divisive 2008 Prop 8 Resolution, perhaps doping so indirectly by re-affirming the 2003 Patriot Act Resolution affirming the existing rights and the willingness to protect them against the intrusion all government bodies.

Porterville will be a thousand times better off for doing so as quickly as possible.… Read the rest

David Gong agitates Measure H, I respond

David Gong, recent City Council candidate posted on facebook tonight

It would appear I hit the nail on the head when it came to Measure H funds being spent inappropriately. I’m not the brightest guy in the world, but if the city had to pay back $60,000 on the consultant group….where does that money come from? The consultant group should pay the money back….not our city!

I responded, provocatively I suppose, as below…to me, the issue is that we are treating the kids as an afterthought with the hope they won’t make us spend additional money later in police services when they hit puberty and beyond. Talk about hope and a prayer!

Instead, it would be better to insist our volunteered tax dollars, a rarity anywhere, let alone here in Bible Belt/Tea Party California-land, be spend on teaching the kids to value learning and education for its own sake, more so than the teachers and the parents and the elders of the town.

That ain’t gonna happen, and neither will any measurement towards the stated goal of the taxation Measure H. Sadly some of these kids are going to die at the pointy end of a Porterville Police Department bullet if history is any guide.

See my facebook response after the jump….… Read the rest

What investors ought be looking at…

This is why you don’t finance high-risk high reward ventures on loans.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Friday that the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he placed part of the blame on Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee.–finance.html

It is also a great example as to why the management team is so important. There is never any mention of any management besides Schilling, who

Curt Schilling, 100% Management

made his money as a baseball player. Generally, a team is in place long before there is as much money invested as in this case.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Friday that the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he placed part of the blame on Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Which probably points out some inexperience with those who issued loans, be they banks, individuals, or Rhode Island itself…why didn’t they insist that a management team be put in place to maximize the chance of success?… Read the rest

Patriotic Cake – A Porterville Portrait

Dorothea Lange, Porterville, near the scene of Patrotic Cake, 2012

In which we attend City Council so you don’t have to – but we wish you did!

Curious that both Brian Ward and Greg Shelton were not at the public session of City Council’s meeting last night.

I know that Shelton was present at City Hall, as I was hanging around outside near where his distinctive truck was parked.

I don’t know for sure that Ward was there or not.

City Attorney Lew reported that action was taken on one item, I think she mentioned it was 3-0, but she seemed unsure as to how to report it.

It was announced that Ward and Shelton would not be present for the remainder as they were both “sick”.

This was interesting because this meeting was the one meeting of the year where it was critical to pass the budget, and you would think both men would want their votes attached to the results, as this is one of the most important votes of the whole year.

During public comments, it was requested that the vote be postponed until the men are present, but it went on anyway as there was a quorum, and McCracken asked for clarification from City Attorney Lew that the budget had to be passed by June 30th by the City Charter.

She affirmed that, and Hamilton indicated “we know how they feel anyway” and the vote was held.

Certainly other meetings have had items continued or otherwise procedurally postponed until a specially scheduled meeting only a week later.

Such a delayed meeting would have still brought the vote in before June 30th, and left all of the Councilman as being on the record as to their votes on the all-important Budget.

And there is already hardball being played with next years budget, as one of the other items last night involved broken negotiations with the lowest paid bargaining unit at City Hall.… Read the rest