I’m back

I’ve resumed blogging at mitchwagner.com. You know that already because you’re reading this.

I like having an outpost on the public web, that I own and control, and where anybody can always find me.

And WordPress gives me something to swear at.

I’ll continue blogging at Facebook and Twitter. That’s where the people are. Tumblr and Google+ too, though those platforms are fading. Blogging on those platforms in addition to here doesn’t take much extra effort, at most a little cutting and pasting.

F. Lee Bailey’s fall

O.J.’s last defender — F. Lee Bailey — is broke, disbarred and working above a hair salon

Michael S. Rosenwald writing at The Washington Post:

Bailey joined Simpson’s defense team with a courtroom résumé that even Perry Mason would be jealous of. Bailey got neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard a new trial on charges he brutally killed his wife — and a not-guilty verdict. He defended fugitive newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, the “Boston Strangler” and scores of other accused murderers. He was rich, flew on private jets and even played himself in a movie.

Today he lives with a hairstylist in Maine. At 83, he works above her salon.

Bailey has tried to regain his law license and failed. He believes it’s the taint of helping get OJ acquitted. He now runs a consulting business.

Wolf trees

Jason Kottke:

I took this photo of a wolf tree over the weekend. When thick forests were cleared for pasture and farming by settlers to colonial America, single trees were sometimes left by design or accident. In the absence of competition for light and space, these trees were free to branch out and not just up. They grew tall and thick, providing shade for people & animals and some cover for predators like wolves. Being the lone tree in an area, wolf trees were often struck by lightning or afflicted by pests that had nowhere else to go, contributing to their grizzled appearance.

In some cases, they grew alone like this for hundreds of years. Then, as farming moved to other places in the country, the pastures slowly turned back into forests, the new trees growing tall and straight with an old survivor in their midst. Wolf trees often look like they’re dead or dying, partially because of their age and all the damage they’ve taken over the years but also because the newer trees are crowding them out, restricting their sunlight and space. But they still function as a vital part of the forest, providing a central spot and ample living space for forest animals, particularly birds.

More information and photo: Wolf trees

What’s next after Game of Thrones?

The creators of Game of Thrones’ next series will be set in an alternate history where the Confederacy won the Civil War.

James Hibbard, writing at Entertainment Weekly:

HBO has given a straight-to-series order to Confederate from Emmy-winning GoT creators, writers, and producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

The show “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

Inside The ‘Shakespearean Irony’ Of Trump And Bannon’s Relationship

Steve Bannon mobilized rootless white male gamers into an online alt-right army for Donald Trump.

Fresh Air with Terry Gross:

In August 2016, three months before the presidential election, Republican nominee Donald Trump was behind in the polls. Instead of staying on message, the candidate was engaged in a politically damaging fight with the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.

On Aug. 17, in an effort to change course, the Trump team appointed Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of the conservative Breitbart News, to lead the campaign. Journalist Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek says the switch would prove to be a turning point.

“[Trump] was headed toward a pretty serious loss, and Bannon brought his wealth of anti-Clinton knowledge into the campaign and managed to keep Trump focused on a target,” Green says.

Green argues that Bannon’s experiences with Breitbart gave him a framework for mobilizing disaffected young white male voters who were attracted to Trump. Without such guidance, Green says, “I don’t think that Donald Trump would have been elected president.”

Despite Bannon’s success in the campaign, Green says that the adviser’s nationalist vision remains largely unfulfilled. “The kind of tragic, Shakespearean irony of the Donald Trump-Steve Bannon relationship is that Bannon finally did find the vessel for his ideas who could get elected president … [but who] now doesn’t have the focus, the wherewithal, the self-control to even do the basic things that a president needs to do.”