Tag Archives: social media

This impeachment debate is getting personal … and graphic

I just performed a rare — for me, at least — social media act.

I severed a social media relationship based on something this individual posted. I don’t like admitting it, but I am doing so now.

Here’s my side of the story.

The impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s conduct as president has drawn some amazing commentary on both sides of the great divide among Americans. It has stormed onto social media in ways I did not expect.

This evening on Facebook, I got a message from someone I know — although not well — that made me wretch. It contained an encrypted picture that had a note that it contained a graphic image; I had to click on a link to view it, so I did.

It turned my stomach. It showed a terrible image of what was described as a U.S. envoy being tortured; juxtaposed with that image was a picture of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch with a caption that said she had her “feelings hurt” by Donald Trump.

I put the encryption back on the picture and then “unfriended” the person who posted it from my Facebook network.

Yes, this is the kind of anger that the Donald Trump Era of Politics has brought us. I do not like it. Not in the least.

Although I have to say that the debate over Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as president and the inquiry into whether he should be impeached is revealing a lot about people I thought I knew. I am finding that some of my many acquaintances harbor some pretty nasty tendencies, such as the picture that one of those individuals posted on a social media platform.

I have lived through two serious presidential crises. The first one involved President Nixon and the Watergate scandal; the second one concerned President Clinton and the White House intern scandal. Nixon was on the way to getting impeached, but he resigned the presidency; the House impeached Clinton but he was acquitted by the Senate at trial.

In neither of those crises do I remember the intensity being exhibited by partisans on both sides of that divide. However, the image I looked at today — yes, I saw the warning, but looked anyway — goes so far beyond the pale that I parted company with someone who I thought was better than that.

I am afraid this tumult is going to damage a lot more relationships.

‘Boomer’ becomes a negative term?

Social media have this way of injecting curious judgments into everyday terms and phrases.

Those who use social media, for example, have suddenly decided that the term “Boomer” — as in “Baby Boomer” — is a negative term.

I guess some of the younger among us think that “Boomers” are too old to be relevant in contemporary issues debates and discussions. I saw a video of a New Zealand member of parliament put down an elderly heckler with an “OK Boomer” response. The video went viral and has become something of a talking point throughout social media.

Well … pardon me!

I am proud to be a Boomer. I have been referring to myself as a Boomer since I first heard the term. I cannot remember when that occurred, but that doesn’t matter to anything.

I was born in 1949, which puts me near the front end of the Baby Boom Generation. Dad returned home from World War II in late 1945. He was one of about 16 million Americans who suited up to save the world from tyranny. He and Mom got married in August 1946. They got busy right away producing a family. They delivered a baby boy in 1947, but he died shortly after being born.

Then in December 1949, I came along. I’m about to hit 70 years of age. I am proud to be a Boomer. I also am proud to declare that I have most of my marbles, I enjoy relatively good physical health (a few annoying aches notwithstanding), I am fully engaged in issues of the day and — my sons might not believe this entirely — I do seek to embrace 21st-century technology. That last item does get me a bit confused at times, given that I am not entirely fluent in what I call “techno-speak.”

Still, “Boomer” ain’t a pejorative term in our house.

POTUS opens himself up to ridicule

Oh, brother. This showed up on my social media feed a little while ago. It speaks directly to the kind of idiocy we see so very often from the “leader” of the world’s mightiest nation.

I have next to nothing to add to these Twitter messages.

I am wondering, though, about this possible outcome.

Is it possible if the House of Representatives impeaches Donald Trump, can House members come up with something related to the incoherence and incompetence communicated from the White House in these Twitter messages?

Might there be a “high crime and misdemeanor” contained in this incessant and relentless denigration of the nation’s highest office?

About to set a blogging record

I am going to boast for a moment or two about this blog. Forgive me if I sound a bit self-serving.

Probably in the next 24 hours or so High Plains Blogger is going to set a record for page views and unique visitors for a single calendar year. What makes this bit of news boast worthy is that we still have two months left in this calendar year.

2019 will turn into 2020 soon. By the time it does, this blog will have shattered to smithereens the record it posted in 2018, which beat the mark it set in 2017, which was greater than the readership it had in 2016.

That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news (I refuse to call it “bad) is that I will have set the bar extremely high for the next record to be broken by the time 2021 rolls around.

My hope is that 2020 proves to be a banner year, too, for High Plains Blogger. I enjoy writing it. I thoroughly enjoy being able to spend the time that full-time retirement allows me to spend.

I am likely to have just a tiny bit less time over the next year. I have taken on a freelance writing gig for a local newspaper group. I will continue to write for KETR-FM, the public radio station based at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

My interest in maintaining my personal blog remains high.

I had two stupendous months earlier this year, in January and again in March, that enabled me to set this record. I cannot predict what events will transpire during the remainder of this year or next year that might send blog traffic through the roof.

I’m just proud of the record I am about set. I am hoping to maintain interest in this blog.

What’s left now is merely to offer a word of thanks to those who read these words and those who find them worth sharing with their own social media network of friends and acquaintances.

As for what’s ahead, well … let me at ’em.

How long will Trump criticism last? For as long as it takes!

Critics of this blog ask me from time to time: How much more criticism of Donald Trump must we endure from you?

My answer: I will keep it up for as long as this man is in public office. It might even go on after he no longer is president, depending on how loudly he might continue to bitch and moan about the state of play.

I make no apologies for my intense loathing of the notion that Donald Trump got elected president of the United States. It is visceral. It’s personal. It has little to do with policy, given that Donald Trump doesn’t have any core values on which he bases his policy pronouncements.

I’ve offered a good word or two on occasion; come to think of it, I believe that’s all he has earned from High Plains Blogger … a good word or two.

I intend fully to keep hammering away at this individual.

It’s not as if he sees the comments regularly. I doubt he does. He’s got a zillion Twitter followers; I have, shall we say, significantly fewer of them. I do include the president’s Twitter address on items that I post on this blog and distribute through that social medium.

So, I am trying to get Trump’s attention.

Trump won the 2016 election and thus made himself a sitting duck for critics. It goes with the territory associated with being elected to the highest office in the land. Every single man who’s held the office has accepted that fundamental truth … until Trump came along.

Sure, the president has his supporters. They are entitled to express themselves, too.

As for me and the negativity about Trump that this blog presents, I just consider myself as contributing to the vast marketplace of ideas and opinions about the world’s most important politician.

Social media climbing all over POTUS … and rightfully so!

Donald Trump’s crass response to the death of legendary journalist Cokie Roberts has turned into a social media feeding frenzy.

Twitter, for instance, is awash in criticism of the president for his statement that Roberts “was never really nice to me … but I respect her as a professional.”

You see, this response and its seemingly callous nature plays right into the president’s playbook. Much of the country is now talking about him and not necessarily about the accomplishments of the journalist who gave so much of her professional life to furthering the cause of the craft she pursued with dignity and honor.

Here we are, yapping and yammering about Donald Trump. I admit to being part of the crowd that is disgusted beyond measure at this man’s continuing lack of empathy.

Astonishing.

Spare us the ‘I don’t care’ mantra, Mr. POTUS

Whatever you do, Mr. President, please spare the nation the empty blathering about how you “don’t care” about the Democratic joint appearance featuring the top 10 contenders seeking to beat your brains out in the November 2020 election.

We all know you’ll be camped in front of a TV set tonight while the Democrats stand on that stage in Houston. You’ll have your texting device at the ready. You’ll be firing off Twitter messages every few minutes. You’ll be fixated on what these folks have to say about each other, but mostly about you.

Hey, I no longer begrudge you for your (over)use of Twitter. I have become accustomed to it, now that you’ve been a politician for the past four years. Your introduction of Twitter as a policy pronouncement forum admittedly caught me by surprise. Now that you’ve been in office, though, it’s the “new normal” not only for you, but for all politicians/public figures of every possible stripe.

I just implore you to keep your trap shut. Stop saying things you don’t mean, such as that you don’t care about what the Democrats are saying, or that their criticism of you doesn’t matter.

Of course it does! It’s why you keep up these idiotic Twitter barrages!

Social media taking aim at POTUS

If the president of the United States were a normal human being, he would feel chastened by social media’s pillorying, pummeling and pounding of him over that ridiculous Sharpie illustration on a map depicting the destructive path of Hurricane Dorian.

The president made some idiotic assertion that Alabama stood in the path of Dorian’s force. The National Weather Service said “no,” the state wasn’t threatened. Trump then produced that map with the Sharpie outline that included Alabama.

What has been social media’s response? It has been vicious. Images of Trump have shown up with Sharpie-drawn six-pack abs, of him standing “taller” than President Obama, of first lady Melania Trump grinning over her affection for Kim Jong Un … among many others.

Trump, though, doesn’t seem to be bothered by any of this. At least not outwardly. He goes about doing whatever it is he does as if nothing is wrong, as if he has said not a damn thing that the rest of us find idiotic.

His “base” of supporters don’t care, either. They continue to glom on to this individual’s word as if it is gospel. Do they know he is lying? Do they care if they know it?

This is what we get with a rewritten political playbook. Trump has tossed all the normal metrics that used to offend many of us into the crapper. How has he done that? By appealing, I reckon, to the base instincts of many Americans.

Trump challenges the National Weather Service assertions that his statements about Alabama were incorrect? Who cares?

Well, I happen to care. So do other Americans.

Technical issues create maximum frustration

There are times when I feel as if I’m speaking Martian, or times when the other person is speaking to me in Martian.

Technical difficulties occasionally get in the way of all the fun I have writing this blog.

They barreled into my fun time this morning. I don’t know if they’re fixed. At the moment the site that I use to write this blog is working. My most recent post has been distributed along the various social media I use to publicize these musings. Life is good … for the moment.

The frustration occurs when I call for technical support. I use an Internet hosting company. I’ll call them when things like this occur. I usually get a very young person on the other end of the line. I tell the youngster about the issue that’s plaguing me at the moment. He or she will respond with a rapid-fire sequence of sentences that usually involve lots of initials and acronyms.

I have more than once stopped the individual and reminded them that I am old man who isn’t fluent in the language they are speaking. I haven’t yet grasped all the nuances of Internet-speak.

Those who are kind will tell me that I have communicated my concern to them clearly. They say I can speak to them in their language better than I think I can. That’s all fine. I understand what customer service is all about: Their mission is to make me feel comfortable making a phone call.

Arguably the most astonishing aspect of this computer age is the vast array of entry points the “techs” can use to access this and/or that “tool” available to me. I don’t know where these access points can be found, so I rely on the experts to wander through the maze of options that only they know exist.

Blogging remains a lot of fun for me … when the computer system I use is working well. Which is most of the time.

When it’s not, well, I venture into a world with which I am totally unfamiliar. Maybe I will learn how to navigate through the darkness.

Or … maybe not.

Running out of ways to describe POTUS’s behavior

It’s more or less official: I have run out of words to describe the depths of despicability with which to refer to Donald J. Trump’s behavior.

His one-time pal Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in federal custody in a Manhattan jail cell over the weekend. The president then decided to retweet something posted by someone else that suggests that Bill and Hillary Clinton orchestrated Epstein’s murder.

Yep. That has come from the president of the United States.

Epstein was facing justice over an accusation that he engaged in human trafficking of underage girls, reportedly for sexual purposes. He used to be friends with Trump … and with Bill Clinton.

The president of the United States has decided — yet again! — to abuse a social media outlet to spew filth. He has done this in an unfathomable number of times over the years.

Without a scintilla of evidence, he has chosen to implicate by retweeting someone else’s message that a former president of the United States might have committed a terrible crime.

This isn’t just disgraceful. Or despicable. Or distasteful.

It is dangerous behavior!

This is how you “make America great again”? This is how “tell it like it is”? This is how you “put America first”?

Unbelievable.