Tag Archives: social media

Hey, Mr. POTUS, DOJ is on our side

So sad that the Department of “Justice” and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress. An embarrassment to our country!

I’ll give you just one guess where that statement came from. Time’s up! It came from Donald J. Trump, via Twitter — of course!

Have you or any of us ever seen a president of the United States of America disparage our federal law enforcement community in such a manner? Have any of us seen a president show such utter disregard for the professionals who toil in the trenches or who make command decisions on behalf of the country they all take an oath to protect?

He keeps disparaging Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He continues to undermine the field agents of the FBI, as well as their bosses at the Hoover FBI Building. He torpedoes the work of career prosecutors who work for the Justice Department.

He does so using social media, which if you consider the way he is using it to proclaim his distrust and distaste over policy matters, ought to be renamed. There’s nothing “social” about the way Trump uses — and abuses — this particular medium.

I’m tellin’ ya, the man is a disgrace to his office.

Donald Trump: Coward in Chief

You might not believe this, but it pains me to suggest the following.

The president of the United States is a coward. He is afraid to confront people who displease him. Thus, he relies on long-distance communications techniques to tell them, “You’re fired!”

I’m sure you remember now Donald J. Trump made “You’re fired” a phrase that took off throughout popular culture. He even developed that snake-like strike gesture with his hand in telling those on “Celebrity Apprentice” that they didn’t make the grade.

How does the man who now has become president handle these duties? He does it through other means.

He fired off a tweet announcing the firing of FBI Director James Comey while Comey was in California preparing to speak to law enforcement officials; he fired off another tweet to give Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the boot; he used the same medium to inform White House chief of staff Reince Priebus that he was out; most recently, he did the same thing while firing national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

What kind of CEO — which the president is — does such a thing?

I’ve always thought the boss summoned someone to his or her office, read the underling the riot act and then dismissed them summarily to their face. That would be a boss who’s worth a damn, someone who has the courage of his or convictions to speak candidly to someone who doesn’t do what the boss expects.

Trump doesn’t seem to operate this way. Now we’re hearing disputes over whether Shulkin resigned or was fired as VA secretary. Shulkin says he was canned; the White House contends he was resigned.

Of course, some politicians are weighing in. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told “Meet the Press” that “It’s not the way I’d do it,” referring to the manner that Trump used to dismiss Shulkin.

I guess Sen. Johnson believes Shulkin’s account of his departure from the VA.

Johnson, moreover, believes Trump’s childish and callous termination methods will affect recruitment of future administration officials. “I think the president does need to understand the effect it has on attracting other people,” Johnson said.

Gee! Do ya think?

Trump will continue to delude himself into thinking he’s running a tight ship, that he’s got everything — and everyone — under control.

He is wrong! He also is a coward!

In this corner, the former vice president …

It has come down to this.

A former vice president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, spoke to a Miami conference and said if Donald J. Trump and he were in the same high school, he would “beat the hell out of him.” The issue on the table dealt with the treatment of women by men.

So, what does the president of the United States do? He responds via Twitter (naturally, yes?) that “Crazy Joe” lacks emotional and physical strength and that he — Trump, of course — would take him out. Here is Trump’s tweet: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

I do not know which is worse: the former VP saying out loud that he would beat up the president or the head of state responding via social media with a “so’s your mama!” retort.

This is the kind of stuff one usually sees occurring between middle-schoolers. It’s a close call, but I’ll give the “raspberry” in this exchange to the president.

He is the one who occupies the office that, in an earlier time, used to command decorum, dignity and discipline. The former vice president is known to be a bit loose of lip at times; but this is the first time I’ve ever heard Biden actually state a desire to do physical harm to another public figure.

Trump, though, actually has extolled the virtue of beating someone up, such as what he has said about demonstrators who showed up at his political rallies. That, however, occurred before he won the election and took the presidential oath of office.

Donald Trump promised many times he would be “more presidential” once he took that oath.

Well, so much for promises.

What about actual policy, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump has said repeatedly that Twitter is his preferred method of communicating with Americans. He calls it an unfiltered channel through which he can make statements about this and/or that issue of the day.

Lately, and by that I mean for the past several weeks, all we seem to hear from the president of the United States are tirades about special counsel Robert Mueller, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and assorted boasts about how well his administration is operating. He has yapped about firing the secretary of state and has labeled as “fake news” reports of continued chaos in the administration.

I keep waiting for actual policy pronouncements. What about, oh, health care? How about defense spending? Do you have any legislative proposals to offer Congress, Mr. President?

I get that the president has talked via Twitter about gun-violence-related issues. He has flipped and flopped all over the place on any number of proposals. As with other compelling issues, I am waiting for something solid, declarative and final in his pitch to seek a solution to gun violence.

Long ago I quit lamenting the president’s use of Twitter. I get that he prefers that particular social medium as a way to express himself. I would prefer to hear something constructive, something proactive and perhaps even a conciliatory word or two to those — such as yours truly — who oppose his world view.

For that matter, how about using Twitter — or other social media platforms, for that matter — to offer an olive branch to those of us who oppose his occupying the presidency in the first place?

I can declare categorically that I would be open to softening my opposition to Trump if such a gesture were forthcoming from the president. Really! I am not kidding about that! Honest! I would!

Boorishness, like bias, a matter of perception

A High Plains Blogger critic has called me out — again!

He doesn’t like the way I referred to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as “young lady.” He thinks I sound “boorish,” “offensive” and condescending when I refer to her in that context.

He and I have exchanged a few words over that item on social media, but I feel compelled to offer this brief blog post to set the record straight on a thing or two.

I am 68 years and 3 months of age. Sanders is 35 years of age; she is nearly nine years younger than the younger of my two sons.

When I refer to a public official as a “young lady” or a “young man,” I do not do so with boorishness in my heart. I don’t perceive myself to be a boor. Any offense I deliver through these commentaries are taken that way by those who disagree with my world view, or whatever perspective I present.

I consider a criticism that I am being boorish in the same light as I take the term “biased.” Someone who accuses me of “bias” always — without failure — is someone who takes a different viewpoint. And I admit the same when I read “bias” in commentary with which I disagree.

One man’s bias is another man’s profound wisdom.

The same can be said of “boorishness,” although boorishness can rise — or sink — to levels that reach universal agreement. An example might be, oh let’s see, Donald Trump telling “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 that his celebrity status entitles him to grab women by their private parts.

OK, maybe that’s a stretch. Trump, after all, got elected president of the United States even after those remarks were made public. What the heck, it was worth bringing up in any event.

I’ll accept the criticism that comes with writing this blog. As for my use of the term “young” preceding “lady” or “man,” I’ll continue to do so whenever I see fit.

Growing old allows it.

So there.

Hoping these students stay involved

I am privileged to have a number of sharp, insightful friends and acquaintances on my social media networks.

One of them, a retired Amarillo physician, took note of a blog item I posted about Amarillo students who are joining a nationwide “March For Our Lives” in response to gun violence in our schools.

He wrote this: Let’s hope that this generation of young adults can sustain a movement better than the millennials have, who turned out to be just another “me” generation with no real impact. Yes, AMM, I mean you.

“AMM” stands for the Amarillo Millennial Movement.

OK, what’s the relevance here? AMM came forward in the summer and fall of 2015 to pitch in favor of the city’s multipurpose event venue. AMM wanted it built because it would help entice millennials to remain in Amarillo. The city had an election in November 2015 and the MPEV was approved. Construction on the project has begun and in April 2019, the city will welcome a new AA minor-league baseball franchise that will play in a brand new ballpark.

What happened to AMM? It vaporized. It’s nowhere to be found. Well, that’s not quite true. Its founder, a young woman who carried the water on behalf of AMM, moved to Fort Worth shortly after the November election. Ironic, don’t you think? She implored millennial residents to remain at home if the city approved the MPEV; voters said “yes” to the MPEV, but AMM’s primary spokeswoman left town.

The March For Our Lives movement has many more members getting involved. On March 24, Amarillo-area students are going to march from Ellwood Park to the Potter County Courthouse to call attention the scourge of school-related gun violence. The movement came about as a result of the Parkland, Fla., massacre that killed 17 people, most of whom were students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

I have a strongly held suspicion that March For Our Lives — given the life-and-death stakes that are involved — will be far more than a mere flash in the pan.

Trump tweets only prove others’ points about him

Ricky Ricardo had a saying that applies to this latest bit of pique from the president of the United States.

Aye, aye, aye, aye, aye …

Me? I’m just slapping my forehead.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. picked up his tweeting device and lambasted actor/comedian Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the president. He tweeted this, in part: “Alec Baldwin, whose dying mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing me was agony. Alec, it was agony for those who were forced to watch.” 

Yep. The commander in chief of the world’s greatest military, the head of state of the nation that stands for freedom and liberty, the leader of the executive branch of government of that very same nation is criticizing a comic’s impersonation of him.

Does it get any weirder than this? Yeah, it will. But this ongoing Twitter nonsense is getting oh, so very nonsensical.

Trump’s inability to curb his Twitter appetite, frankly, gives individuals such as yours truly plenty of grist on which to chew. To be candid, I no longer am disturbed that the president uses Twitter to communicate in this fashion. I merely am baffled about why he bothers to comment on entertainment figures.

He vowed he would be “presidential” once he took office. He said he would put his Twitter device away. He pledged to spend his waking hours trying to “make American great again.”

Good ever-lovin’ grief, man. Going after Alec Baldwin doesn’t make anything — or anyone — great again!

This insistence of going low against smaller targets does add validity to what many of us have believed all along. This man, the president, doesn’t know what he’s doing, doesn’t appreciate what his office means to rank-and-file Americans and loves operating in the midst of a climate of chaos and confusion.

Time to boast … just a little, or, maybe a lot

You know how much I love blogging full time. The picture above declares it.

You might not know for certain how much I love doing so when I smash, obliterate, pulverize previous records for page views and unique visitors.

It has happened in this month, which is about to conclude after just 28 days.

My daily record was smashed by a factor of more than four; my monthly total was wiped out by a roughly 50-percent cushion; I’m on track to smash another annual record for page views/unique visitors.

What in the world drove this month’s huge traffic? I posted an item the other day that called attention to Empower Texans, a far-right political action group that has been trashing West Texas lawmakers with bogus charges and outright lies.

Empower Texans: It’s hitting the fan

That one got someone’s attention. It has been distributed far and wide. The page view and visitor counts showed up on my Word Press analytic table — and simply blew me away as I watched the numbers explode.

This blog gives me great pleasure even during slow periods. When the traffic ratchets up to the level it has done in the past couple of days, well, that sends me into orbit.

For that I thank those who read this blog. I thank those who share these musings with their own friends and social media acquaintances. I also want to thank those who comment on the blog posts — even when they disagree with my words of, um, wisdom.

Parkland reveals disgraceful aspect of Internet

We’ve all known how the Internet reveals evil intent as well as producing positive impact.

I present to you the Parkland, Fla., massacre and the outrage it has produced among high school students in that community as well as around the country.

It appears some right-wing trolls are spreading lies about the students, calling them “actors” hired to present anti-Donald Trump rhetoric while standing up for the FBI.

I have insufficient knowledge of the English language to express my utter disgust at these Internet trolls.

A gunman opened fire on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 17 people: 14 students and three educators. Police arrested the gunman and he now is accused of 17 counts of premeditated murder. The shooter reportedly plans to plead guilty so that he can avoid a death sentence.

But what about the students who are rallying this week in Tallahassee, Fla., to lobby state lawmakers to take action on gun violence? Are they “actors”?

No. They are not. They are survivors of a hideous act of violence committed against them and their friends and mentors.

That didn’t prevent an aide to a Republican Florida legislator from fomenting the lie that they are “actors.” The legislator fired the aide on the spot. He’s not alone, though. Other disgraceful trolls have sought to undermine the public statements of these students by alleging that they are hired by political interests that favor stricter gun control laws.

I am reminded of what a letter writer told me once while I was editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News. I rejected the letter because it contained falsehoods. When I spoke to the writer over the phone to tell him why I was rejecting his letter, he answered that he knows its contents were true “because I read it on the Internet.”

I laughed out loud.

On this matter — regarding the lies being told about these grieving students — I would laugh, except that it’s not funny.

It is an utter disgrace.

Believe it! Texting becomes second nature!

I never in a zillion years thought I would write these next few words.

Texting has become a convenient and efficient mode of communication for, um, yours truly.

Oh … the humanity!

I continue to italicize the t-word when I use it on this blog as a verb. Why? Because I want to emphasize the way I verbalize it. I have to add a tone of derision whenever I express the term in the verb form.

Here’s the thing, though: I am finding it to be a useful form of communication.

I need to stipulate something in no uncertain terms. I do not “converse” via my cellular telephone, which has the texting app built into it. My exclusive use of this method of communication is to deliver information. Such as: “See you soon.” Or: “Got it.” Or: “I’ll call.”

I try to remain faithful to my six-word maximum limit on text messages. I have to break it on occasion, but if I do it’s only by just a little. Maybe three or four words. No more!

However, my entry into the 21st-century world of telecommunications has moved along quite nicely.

I am not yet totally comfortable texting messages when I would prefer just to call someone on the phone.

And make no mistake: I’ll continue to add that derisive tone in my voice when I refer to this communication method in its verb form. Please don’t lecture me about the tone in my voice. I’m old. and thus, I am entitled to use whatever inflection I feel like using.