Tag Archives: High Plains Blogger

Try to imagine any other first lady in this pose

High Plains Blogger has sought to refrain from posting pictures such as this one, but in this instance, I cannot resist.

The woman on the right is Melania Knauss, who would become known to the world as Melania Trump. It was published by the New York Post, a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of Ms. Knauss’s future husband’s better friends and political allies. See the Post article here.

I am trying to fathom the reaction if we were to see pictures of, say, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, the late Barbara Bush or the late Nancy Reagan in this kind of context.

We live in a new era, dear reader.

That’s all. I’m out.

Happy to make this guy laugh

It should surprise no one that High Plains Blogger isn’t universally loved, admired, worshiped, glorified … whatever.

It has its critics. I heard from one of them this week. He lives in Amarillo, Texas. He is a Trumpkin/Trumpster/Trump-o-file.

He doesn’t like my continual barrage that this blog keeps leveling at the president of the United States, Donald John Trump Sr.. I once told him he was free to read others’ blogs, that he wasn’t obligated to read High Plains Blogger.

He acknowledged that and said he reads High Plains Blogger for the “humor” it provides.

Great! I am happy to put smiles on readers’ faces. I don’t know if he’s grinning when he reads my spewage.

This is no surprise, either: I have no intention of relenting on my criticism of the president. It goes with the territory. It goes with this blog’s territory … and … it goes with the president’s territory, too.

Except that the 45th president of the United States doesn’t like reading criticism, not that he sees these blog posts. I doubt he does. I’m just a little ol’ blogger out here in Flyover Country, far beyond the Beltway. Then again, maybe someone on his staff clips this stuff for him.

I once pledged to write positive blog posts when the president deserves them. I have done so, although I admit the positive musings have been few compared to the negativity that comes from High Plains Blogger as it pertains to Donald Trump.

I suppose I should lay down the predicate here and now for all who read this blog. I cannot in good faith demand that you read this blog if you disagree with yours truly’s world view.

I am glad that you do. I am glad that the fellow with whom I am vaguely acquainted does, too, even if it only makes him laugh.

Let’s hear it for Twitter!

OK, I’ve made fun of Twitter. I have criticized the president of the United States for his Twitter fetish.

I want to say a good word about it.

I recently posted my 19,000th message via Twitter. I don’t like using the verb “tweet,” given that it reminds me of Tweetie Bird, the Looney Tunes character whose voice came from the late Mel Blanc.

Whatever. I use Twitter extensively. It is one of the social media platforms I use to distribute this blog. I don’t have a gigantic Twitter audience. It hovers at just a bit less than 950 at the moment. I haven’t yet been able to crack the 1,000-follower threshold. I hope to get there someday. Maybe soon.

I do enjoy the tweets I get from those I do follow. Yes, I follow @realDonaldTrump, whose tweets show up continually on my Twitter feed. Do I “enjoy” the president’s blatherings? Not really. But they are instructive, to say the least.

My preference for using Twitter is to retweet items I see and then add a pithy comment along with the item that I am sending back out there.

Almost daily I do offer my own comments via Twitter. I also like sending earlier posts from High Plains Blogger back into cyberspace via that platform.

All of this brief post is to tell you that I have adopted this social medium for my own purposes. I am not in a position to use it to make public policy pronouncements. I do like to use it to comment on others who do use it for that purpose.

I’ll use this post to make another request. If you get these musings via Twitter, feel free to share them. I am not too high-falutin’ to ask for help in distributing these blog posts.

Therein lies the beauty of Twitter.

Twitter emerges as No. 1 purveyor of … everything?

Am I the only American who has becomeĀ  astonished, amazed and somewhat aghast at how Twitter has become the No. 1 purveyor of public policy?

Or, for that matter, damn near everything else?

Probably not.

I don’t know precisely when it achieved its preeminence. I have o believe it began with the presidency of Donald John Trump Sr.

He began using Twitter to make pronouncements, to hurl insults, to foment his many lies. Then he got elected. He has continued to tweet these messages at a dizzying pace — even though he promised (if that’s the correct verb) to curtail his tweet storms once he took the presidential oath.

A day doesn’t go by now where I don’t read something on my various news outlets about this or that public official tweeting some statement. They respond to others’ statements — which also are tweeted; they make grand pronouncements of their own; they make snarky comments; they tell jokes.

Oh, but them we hear from entertainment celebrities and literary giants, also via Twitter. They all have thoughts — deep or shallow — to share with the rest of the world.

And, yes … I use Twitter as a platform to share musings from High Plains Blogger. I am not alone in that regard, either. Other bloggers seek to increase their audience by distributing their pearls of wisdom via Twitter. Good for them! We’re a social media community.

I suppose Twitter will retain its top ranking as a social media purveyor until something else comes along. I don’t know what that might be; I doubt you know what will emerge.

I do have difficulty using the verb “tweet,” however, to describe this method of communicating. The very sound of the word just kind of grates on me. I hear the word “tweet” and I think immediately of the Looney Tunes cartoon character Tweetie Bird.

Wherever he is, my guess is that the late Mel Blanc — Tweetie Bird’s voice — is laughing out loud.

I trust you get my drift.

Meanwhile, off we go, tweeting every single thought — big or small, profound or trivial — that pops into our noggin.

Blog spurs tension among strangers

As much as l enjoy — even love — writing this blog, it produces at least one uncomfortable side effect.

I distribute High Plains Blogger’s contents along several social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, to name three. It’s the Facebook distribution that results in something that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Blog supporters and critics read my entries. They respond to statements that come from the blog. Then someone else will respond to the individual who is commenting on the contents of the blog.

It doesn’t matter who starts the exchange. It can come from someone on either side. When it commences, though, it occasionally gets personal.

It’s an intriguing aspect of this community “discussion.” Strangers who have never looked each other in the eye presume to know the other person’s motives. For that matter, I have total strangers who read this blog regularly who presume to know my own motivations and they respond with some sort of faux knowledge. But … that’s OK with me. I let it slide.

When individuals start yammering at each other in response to High Plains Blogger, I find myself feeling badly when someone ascribes nefariousness to someone else’s point of view. Or, they accuse someone of ignorance.

I don’t intend to dissuade commenters from speaking out freely and passionately. It’s an American thing to do. I like that individuals get worked up. However, it does make me a bit queasy when the commenters get personal with their newfound foes over each other’s comments.

None of this will deter me from using this blog to speak out. It’s what I do these days now that I no longer am a working stiff.

I’ll just have to suck it up when readers of this blog — be they friend or foe — decide to go after those on the other side of the gaping political divide.

Stay tuned. Keep reading. And by all means, feel free to offer your own perspective. It’s a great country, yes?

It’s still the ‘people’s house’

I want to get something off my chest. The subject of this rant is the house in the background of a “selfie” we took with our niece and nephew.

My wife and I went to Washington, D.C., a year ago to see Andrea and Loren … and to take in some of the sights around the city. We took the train into town and walked all over creation on this hot day.

We stopped in front of the White House to snap this picture.

I want to make a quick point about the building and, oh yes, its current occupant.

This blog has been unrelenting in its criticism of Donald J. Trump, the president the president of the United States. I will continue to criticize him whenever I see fit. I’ll offer praise when he deserves it, too.

No matter the occupant, no matter his politics or his behavior or his demeanor, the White House on this day in June 2017 stood as a magnificent symbol of this great nation. It reminded me that the stature of the office of president transcends any individual who happens to occupy that office.

Later in the day, we were walking through Georgetown when we noticed the helicopter designated as Marine One as it flew past us toward the White House. I believe the president was returning at that moment from one of his getaways to Mar-a-Lago. The chopper was taking him back to the place he has derided as “a dump.” The comment offended me in the moment, as the current tenant was referring to “my” house, the “people’s house.”

Seeing Marine One fly overhead provided a treat as well, reminding me of just how cool it is to see the trappings of this great office up close in that manner.

I’m looking forward to the day when the president can treat this house with the dignity it deserves simply by carrying himself — or herself — in a dignified manner.

Do not misunderstand me. None of his has a single thing to do with the White House, the structure. It is to be admired and revered.

I am proud to be one of its owners.

Be careful of the ‘magic word’ in social media spats

It’s an acknowledged truism in baseball that when you get into an argument with an umpire, uttering the “magic word” will get you ejected from the playing field in a New York nano-second.

What, pretell, is that magic word? It is “you.”

That’s right. Shout the word “you” at the ump and he’ll toss you. As in “f*** you!” or “you son of a b****!” or “you blind b******!”

The profanities? No sweat. Just don’t attach “you” to the vilest epithet you can utter.

That rule of thumb ought to apply to social media spats. I quite frequently witness these arguments erupt along my social media networks, namely my Facebook news feed. They usually originate with an item from High Plains Blogger that I distribute to my Facebook “friends” and my actual friends, who also happen to read these musings on Facebook.

Two or more readers of the blog then will get involved in arguing back and forth about a point I seek to make in the blog. I usually stay out of it. I prefer to let them go at it, tooth and nail, hammer and tong.

I’ve been fortunate in this regard: Whenever I do exchange thoughts with critics of my blog, the folks on the other other end usually are civil enough to respond like ladies and gentlemen. I don’t have to invoke the Baseball Rhubarb Rule that gets activated whenever someone blurts out the magic word “you.”

I don’t like name-calling when dealing with just plain folks like myself. Yes, I’ve been known to attach a pejorative description or two to people in high places. The president of the United States, for example, has received his fair share of name-calling from me. But, hey, if he can dish it out … right?

I’ll continue to seek to stay above the nastiness that erupts occasionally along this particular social media network, but I won’t stand for anyone dropping the magic word on me as their way of impugning me.

Hey, everyone has their limit.

The blog isn’t going away

I feel the need to repeat this one more time.

I’ll type it slowly. So … read verrry carefully.

I intend to keep writing this blog until I no longer am able.

This restatement comes in the wake of some interesting responses to an earlier post that went out on High Plains Blogger. I wrote about the upcoming move my wife, Toby and Puppy and I are set to make to Fairview, Texas — a little village tucked neatly between Allen and McKinney, about 30 miles or so north of Dallas.

It’s in Collin County. It’s a bustling place, full of new things to do, places to see and explore.

Yes, the newness will be a joy to experience.

However, some things won’t change with the move from the Texas Panhandle to the Metroplex.

High Plains Blogger will remain alive and, hopefully, well. Some of the responses along my social media network come have asked whehter I’ll keep writing it.

Yes! A thousand times yes!

I don’t pretend to have an infinite wave of fans who hang on every word that comes from this blog. I have my share of critics and political foes. Many of them are actual friends, not just social media acquaintances who like to bitch at me.

One of the greatest joys of writing this blog is how many of my actual friends — those who disagree with my politics — remain my friends despite our world view differences.

The folks who have asked me whether I intend to keep writing the blog generally are those with whom I agree politically.

I intend to keep firing off these missives and musings for as long as I have most of my marbles. There are times when I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but I don’t think the butter has slipped off my noodle just yet.

I retired from full-time print journalism in August 2012. I kept my head in “the game” through some part-time work. I wrote feature stories for Panhandle PBS and NewsChannel 10 websites in Amarillo; I helped produce the weekly Quay County Sun in Tucumcari, N.M. They kept me active and engaged in the community I have called home for the past 23 years.

Some new digs and new experiences await my wife and me. Toby the Puppy will be just fine as long as we’re nearby.

One element of constancy remains intact. High Plains Blogger is here to stay for as long as I’ve got my wits about me.

It’s what I do.

Happy to report this friendship shows durability

A recent trip to the Golden Triangle produced a wonderful — but not surprising — acknowledgement from a friend whom I have known for more than three decades.

His name is Fred. He and my wife and I managed to catch up during our visit to the Beaumont area.

Fred reads this blog frequently. He is critical of my political point of view. He sees the blog mostly through Facebook, which is one of the social media platforms I use to distribute my musings about this and/or that political happenstance.

My old pal noted that his wife once questioned why he reads this blog, reminding him that he disagrees with my leanings so vehemently. “Hey, no problem,” he said to me. “It’s only politics. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”

There, dear reader, are the magic words.

I was heartened in the extreme to hear my friend say that to me. I wrote a blog post more than five years ago about that very thing and how this blog has cost me a friend or two along the way.

True friendships outlast politics

It just goes to show you that real friends don’t let politics get in the way of solid relationships … such as the one Fred and I have forged.

Thank you, my friend.

Facing a topic quandary for this blog

A relocation might be approaching more quickly than my wife and I thought. More on that at a later date.

As we prepare to detach ourselves eventually from the Texas Panhandle and relocate to the Metroplex region of North Texas, I am facing a bit of a quandary: how to transition from commenting on local matters that pertain to the Panhandle to our new surroundings.

High Plains Blogger will retain its title even after we relocate. I have made that “command decision.” I like the name. I’m comfortable with it. The blog title does pay a sort of tribute to one of my favorite actors, Clint Eastwood.

It comments heavily on national political matters. I also like commenting on local issues. Even though my wife and I departed the Golden Triangle more than two decades ago, I am even prone to offering a word or two about life in our former digs. along the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Our time in the Panhandle, though, is more than double than what we spent in what I affectionately call The Swamp. Thus, I likely will continue to keep an eye on goings-on in Amarillo and the Panhandle even after we depart for points southeast of here.

I do intend to familiarize myself with issues unique to the area north of Dallas where we’ll end up. I cannot pretend to know all the nuances that go into every issue. Heck, I am quite willing to acknowledge that I don’t know all there is to know about everything that happens in a community I called home for more than 23 years.

But … my Panhandle knowledge base is a good bit more informed than it will be when we relocate to the Dallas ‘burbs.

Oh well. It might be that I’ll refocus my attention on matters relating to national politics, government, public policy and, oh yes, a bit of life experience thrown in from time to time.

Heaven knows the president is keeping my quiver full of arrows.