Tag Archives: Twitter

Command decision: no-politics policy to be lifted …

trump and carson

… The day after Christmas.

I’ve made a call on the immediate future of High Plains Blogger. I can do that, because it’s my blog.

I had pondered whether to maintain the “no-politics zone” policy on the blog through the entire holiday season. I stated it publicly here. My hope initially was to keep presidential political commentary out of this blog through Christmas and through the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

I no longer can maintain my silence in this forum for that long.

We’ve only got 15 more days until Christmas. I believe I have the intestinal fortitude to keep presidential political commentary out of High Plains Blogger through Christmas.

After that? No can do.

There’s too much material out there. Too much low-hanging fruit. Too many fish in that barrel. Too many targets of opportunity. The environment is just too damn target-rich.

I won’t name names. You know who  I’m talking about.

For now, I’ll leave it at that.

I’ll keep offering brief commentary via Twitter, which feeds to my Facebook news feed.

High Plains Blogger, though, will remain a no-politics zone.

For now …


Entering the ‘no politics zone,’ more or less


Bill O’Reilly is fond of telling viewers to his talk show on Fox News that they’re entering the “no spin zone.”

Well, of course he’s wrong. He spins the news to his point of view every single night.

That’s his right to do so.

Accordingly, High Plains Blogger is entering — if only for the holiday season — what I’ll call a “no politics zone.” I’ll be truthful, though, on this point: I might not be totally faithful to that pledge.

My plan is to stay away from the presidential campaign at least through Christmas. I will give it my best possible shot to stay away from it through New Year’s Day. I cannot guarantee success.

Where might I fall short on my no politics pledge? A candidate running for the highest office in the land just might say something so outrageous, so beyond the pale, so ridiculous that I might be compelled to comment.

I’ll resist that temptation with every fiber of my being. I can promise that.

However, this bears repeating because some of my social media contacts didn’t get it the first time I announced this hiatus from politics: I will continue to write snarky comments on my Twitter account, which then will be fed automatically to my Facebook account.

It’s High Plains Blogger that’s taking the break. Got it, y’all?

The blog will continue to provide commentary on issues of the day. There is quite a lot going on out there that has little — if anything — to do with raw politics. My intent is to keep my eyes and ears open.

I am just tired of the sniping, lying, demagoguery, fear-mongering, name-calling, reputation-impugning, mud-slinging and whatever other negative term you want to hang on the nature of this campaign.

I do not expect any of it to cease during the holiday season. I’m just planning at this moment to tune most of it out while I celebrate (a) Thanksgiving and (b) Christmas with my family.

The way I look at it now, a rest from most of that bad political behavior I going to allow me to rest up for when the real campaign gets going after the first of the year.

I’ll need some good karma, though, to help me resist the temptation to weigh in.

I’m asking for it here. My true intention really is to maintain a no politics zone.

Meantime, let’s all enjoy the season that’s upon us.




Time to suspend politics


The business card I have been handing out for some time now talks about High Plains Blogger’s intent, which is to comment on “politics, current events and life experience.”

Well, dear reader, I’ve made a command decision regarding this blog.

I am suspending the “politics” part of this blog’s mission effective on Thanksgiving Day. My intention is to stay out of the political dialogue through Christmas. Heck, I might be inclined to wait until New Year’s Day before re-entering the fray.

Why the change?

I am weary of the anger and the nonsense that’s coming out of the mouths of all the presidential candidates … in both major political parties. What’s more — and this is even more to the point — I am weary of the back-and-forth that has ensued, not just among the candidates but also among their legions of supporters and opponents.

I’ve at times entered the fray with my own commentary, only to be sniped at by those who disagree with me. I don’t mind the disagreement. I’ve merely had it up to here with the anger that such commentary — not just from me — has engendered in partisans on both side of the aisle.

So, High Plains Blogger is going to take a breather from all of that.

Will this blog comment on current events as they occur? Certainly. It will not, though, engage in the political discourse that emanates from those events. And by all means the blog will comment on life experience, both personal and of things the author — that would be me — observes on his journey.

Rest assured on this point: I am not giving up totally on politics cold turkey. I will continue to comment on politics through my Twitter and Facebook feeds.

I do not intend to use this blog as a forum to state my own political bias. The way I figure it, Twitter only gives me 140 characters to make a statement. That’s efficient and doesn’t require too much emotional energy on my part; plus, my tweets are posted automatically to my Facebook feed, so — pow! just like that — I’m able to perform a two-fer.

But I’m also thinking of scaling back significantly the political commentary on those two social media outlets. Nor am I going to argue any point.

So, those of you who spend a lot of time engaging others in political debate and name-calling on social media are welcome to knock yourselves out; I will not join you in that exercise in futility.

Here’s my final thought on all of this.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have. I am grateful beyond measure for the many blessings in my life. Christmas? Well, that is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. What more can I say about that?

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, I hereby refuse to be dragged into the emotional gutter by politicians whose mission is to distort the other guys’ world view.

Thanksgiving is almost here. High Plains Blogger will stay in the game for a little while longer.

After that? I’ll see you on the other side.


They may be right


Someone once told me years ago that the Bard of Baltimore, Henry Louis Mencken, used to end arguments by telling the other person, “You may be right.”

Then, I suppose, he and his foe would go on to something else.

Well, in this new age of social media, I think I’ve discovered a 21st-century version of that old dodge.

Every now and then — and it’s becoming quite a frequent occurrence these days — I get into these snits with Facebook “friends,” and actual friends with whom I have a relationship on the social medium.

I like using Facebook — along with Twitter, Google and LinkedIn — to share my blog posts. Some folks like getting these musings on Facebook. Others, I reckon, do not, to which I only would say: Don’t read ’em.

But the individuals with whom I argue on Facebook sometimes get pretty relentless in their attacks. They cling stubbornly to the idea that they must have the last word. I don’t mind ceding that honor to these folks. I generally don’t have the time, not to mention the patience or the intestinal fortitude, to keep going back and forth on a topic.

Quite often, we end up talking past each other, with the point of the initial post getting lost when folks take the discussion down some blind alley.

So, when that happens and I grow tired of engaging individuals on endless — and seemingly pointless — discussions, I simply hit the “Like” button on my Facebook news feed.

Look, I know I’m not going to change their minds. They won’t change mine.

What, then, is the point of continuing?

When I get tired of the back-and-forth, I’ll tell my “friend”/friend/foe that I “Like” what they’ve said.

Then I’ll move on.

Mr. Mencken, wherever you are, I hope to have made you proud.

Blog totals climbing … rapidly


I’ve had fun sharing the good news about the progress of this blog.

It remains a big-time blast to share my world view with those who are good enough to read it. I even appreciate the disagreements that flare on occasion. I know as well as anyone that the world is full of opinions that differ from each other. As much as I would want the world to agree with my view, I know it won’t happen … not ever.

So, I want to share a bit of cheer regarding this blog.

Here it is, only the 12th day of the seventh month of 2015 and the page views logged on High Plains Blogger have surpassed all of 2014.

We’ve got more than five months to go before the year’s end. My sincere hope is that the blog traffic will continue to grow.

I owe this to the impact that social media have on vehicles such as this. Blog posts get shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google.

My heartfelt thanks go to those who take the time at least to open the links they see. I hope many of you will take even more time to read what’s in them.

Onward we shall go.

Welcome to the Twitter-verse, Mr. President

Barack Obama wanted, I guess, to show the world how hip he has become.

So he opened a Twitter account and tweeted a message out there.

What follows below is a small sample of the “welcome” responses received by the president of the United States of America, leader of the Free World and the most well-known and easily recognized individual on Planet Earth:


Were there other messages like that? Oh, more than likely.

Racism lives on. Probably forever.

I won’t even summarize what’s contained in the messages shown on the link. Just seeing the operative word — let alone hearing it — makes me shudder.

Yes, the president did get some actual welcome messages. Indeed, as soon as I finish this brief post, I’m likely to send one myself.

But as the link notes, the president and his family are handling this display of hate: “If this doesn’t tell you that Barack Obama has handled the unprecedented disrespect and outright hatred directed at him from right-wing racists with the utmost grace and dignity, I don’t know what will.”



Take a bow, Toya Graham

One of the many curious aspects of social media is that it produces stars literally in an instant.

Someone snaps a picture or shoots a video on a cell phone, posts it on Twitter or Facebook, and the subject of the image becomes a star.

The latest national social media star is a young mother of a teenager who she spotted doing something quite wrong.

Toya Graham saw her son throwing objects at Baltimore police officers and then proceeded to smack her son upside his head. Repeatedly. She chased him, scolding him with some pretty rough language.


She’s received lots of praise on social media from those who believe she should speak for a lot of angry parents.

I happen to be one of her admirers.

Toya Graham called herself a “no-tolerant mother.” She added, “Everybody that knows me knows I don’t play that.” She’s a single mother of six. She was captured on video reacting the way — I believe — most self-respecting parents would react if they saw their child committing a destructive act.

Graham’s son was taking part in a disturbance that erupted in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American man who died in police custody of a severed spine. The cops have yet to explain how that happened. They’d better step up — and soon — to account for this terrible incident.

None of that, though, justifies the mayhem that exploded in Baltimore. I am struck by what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. might say to all of this. He would be horrified. As someone noted, also on social media, Dr. King “changed the world without ever lighting a fire.”

Today, though, a single mom stands tall as a symbol for parents who need to get angry — as she did — when she witnessed one of her children doing something shameful.


Apology accepted, congressman; now promise: never again

Congressman Randy Weber has done the right thing by apologizing for a hideous reference to Adolf Hitler while criticizing President Obama’s absence from the unity rally in Paris.

The Republican who represents Southeast Texas in the House of Representatives had sent out a tweet that noted Hitler had gone to Paris in 1940 “for the wrong reasons” but Obama couldn’t go this past week “for the right reasons.”


It was a ghastly reference that has no bearing on anything other than to morph the president of the United States into some kind of comparison with the 20th century’s most despicable despot.

Oh, but Weber said that wasn’t his intention. He intended only to use the Hitler reference to illustrate the evil that lurks in today’s world.

OK, whatever.

I’m glad Weber apologized to “all those offended by my tweet.” Yep. That would be me, among many others.

His explanation of what he intended, though, seems a bit dubious.

It’s my hope that he and others who are inclined to toss Adolf Hitler’s name around to make some political points will cease doing so … forever.

Blogging is a blast … most of the time

Readers of this blog know — I hope — that I take great joy in expressing opinions on this or that subject.

I consider it a form of recreation, perhaps even therapy. I like sharing it on various social media. I post the blog entries to my Twitter feed, which goes automatically to my Facebook feed. They also post automatically to LinkedIn and Tumblr.

Sometimes, though, the Facebook feed results in some, shall we say, unfortunate reactions among a few of the hundreds of friends and “friends” who read this stuff on that social medium.

Some of my friends/”friends” react to the blog post. Their reaction draws a critical response from someone else on the feed. Then the initial responder respond to the response. Back and forth it goes. Then others enter the fray. Then it becomes a game of insults, a put-down contest, if you please.

Some of it is good-natured. Some of it isn’t. Then it gets out of hand.

I commented earlier today on Texas executing a young woman for the murder of a little boy. I stated my opposition capital punishment. Then the fusillade started among a few folks who had read the blog.

It got a bit crazy.

Sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake and sometimes I don’t recognize good humor when it’s hidden behind insults. Perhaps my friends — and these individuals are people I know well — were just kidding among themselves. They really didn’t mean to say all those nasty things to each other, or at least outsiders looking in — such as yours truly — shouldn’t interpret them as mean-spiritedness.

Forgive me, guys. I don’t get it.

I’ll keep spewing this stuff. Others can comment. They’re free to insult each other as long as they don’t use the magic word, which in baseball rhubarb parlance is “you.” By that I don’t want them saying, “You bleeping so-and-so!”

Let’s keep it clean.

Social media reveal racists among us

I’ve discovered an unexpected plus about the advent of social media on modern society.

They reveal individuals’ character or their lack of it while identifying who these individuals are to the rest of the world.

Consider the reaction to last night’s crowning of the new Miss America, who is a young woman named Nina Davuluri. She hails from New York. She’s the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss America. The reaction from some of her countrymen? Well, it was quite revealing.


The link attached here reveals the moronic attitudes of Americans toward people of certain ethnicities. I won’t detail here what some of the individuals said about Davuluri. You can access it by clicking on the link.

Suffice to say the young woman comes from a successful family. Her dad is a physician. Nina aspires to follow in his footsteps. She’s a young woman of considerable accomplishment. She is the latest in a long line of such women to own the title of Miss America.

As for social media’s influence on modern culture, we’re seeing by the reactions posted on Twitter to this event, there’s a certain value in allowing idiots to express themselves freely. They’ve exposed themselves to the rest of the world.

As an old friend once told me, it’s better to keep your enemy out front where you can see them rather than have them hiding in the bushes.