Tag Archives: Twitter

More and more from President-elect Tweet


Tempting as it is, I believe I will refrain from engaging one of my baser instincts.

I won’t mess with the name of the next president of the United States.

His name is Trump … Donald J. Trump.

He relies heavily — perhaps too much so — on one social media platform, Twitter, to put out pithy and often inaccurate messages.

The temptation is this: Do I refer to him henceforth as President Tweet?

I am leaning against doing such a thing. President Obama’s name has been turned into unrecognizable versions of his given moniker. Truth be told, I have been subjected to a kind of bastardization of my own last name. When I was a kid, my runnin’ buddies would twist my name into, oh, “Cantaloupe,” or “Ka-knuckles.”

Trump himself has attached pejorative descriptions to his foes’ names: Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, Low Energy Jeb. They’re all real knee-slappers, yes? Does the president-elect, therefore, deserve a healthy dose of his own medicine?


Then again, if he continues to rely on Twitter as a primary source of communication with the nation he is about to lead, the president-elect just might tempt me beyond my strength.

Total strangers become foes, even enemies


One of the downsides — and there aren’t many of them — of writing a blog is that I might be guilty of turning total strangers into enemies.

I post these musings on my High Plains Blogger website. I then transmit them via several social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. My aim, of course, it to maximize exposure for this blog with the hope of getting those with whom I’m connected on all those sites to share these messages with their friends and social media acquaintances.

That’s straightforward enough, don’t you think?

But then something happens. My friends/”friends” on Facebook start tangling with each other. They read what is circulated on that social medium and respond to it. Then someone else reads the response and responds to that; it’s quite often — if not mostly — a negative response. That draws a rebuttal, which then attracts another reply.

On and on it goes, too often to no good end.

I do not like getting ensnared in this back-and-forth. I prefer to stay — if you’ll pardon the high-minded tone — “above the fray.”

I put the stuff out there, having stated my piece. Then I let others have at it.

Now, if someone asks me a direct question that requires a direct answer, I’m inclined to answer it. But I don’t always respond. I also might respond to an insult, which I do get occasionally.

The upshot of this is that while I (more or less) regret the hard feelings that erupt on occasion from those who respond to my blog spewage, I won’t back off from sending this stuff out there.

It provides great therapy, even if it comes on occasion with a bit of angst over the anger that boils up.


I made what some might consider to be a strange reference in this blog post. I describe my Facebook contacts thusly: friends/”friends.”

I do that to delineate between actual friends and those who I know only through Facebook. I have a number of folks out there who I consider to be — if not friends in the classic sense — friendly acquaintances. Truth be told, my actual friends amount to a tiny fraction of those with whom I have a friendly relationship.

There are others I know only because we’ve connected on social media. Those are the “friends” to whom I refer.

So, there you have it. To my many friends/”friends,” I say: Peace be with you.

Cyber bullying must stop … no kidding!


Melania Trump said what?

She wants to make cyber bullying the top priority of her potential first ladyship?

Oh, the irony. The lack of spousal awareness. This is amazing!

Trump’s major solo speech today highlighted what she wants to do in case her husband Donald gets elected president next week.

Cyber bullying is her target. It’s got to end, she said.


OK, she can start at home. With her husband.

Donald Trump has used his Twitter account to call broadcast journalist Megyn Kelly a “bimbo.” He has used it also to allege the existence of “sex tapes” involving former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, about whom he has said many other unflattering things … also on social media.

She said this, among other things: “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” Trump said Thursday afternoon in Pennsylvania.

Melania Trump, quite naturally, made no mention of her husband’s cyber-bullying history.

Trust me on this: The irony cannot possibly be lost on many of us who understand just how much her husband has contributed to the coarsening of political discourse.

Obscene tweet a ‘breaking point’? If only …


Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s obscene tweet about Hillary Rodham Clinton is the “breaking point” for at least one Texas voter.

Is it for others who have been entrenched in the Donald J. Trump camp since the zillionaire business mogul announced his Republican presidential candidacy?

Do not take it to the bank.


A tweet that went out under Miller’s name referred to Clinton as the “c-word.” It’s too vulgar to repeat. As Jacquielyne Floyd of the Dallas Morning News writes in her blog, Miller came up with a package of lame excuses: a staffer did it; someone hacked his account.

Miller said he didn’t do such a thing. The tweet was pulled down right away, which I guess is saying something about the commissioner.

Then again, this guy has been making a spectacle of himself ever since he took over the TDA office from fellow Republican Todd Staples in 2015. I wish Staples was still on the job, frankly.

Miller has emerged as Trump’s chief Texas cheerleader.

Floyd writes: “My weary, overworked outrage meter is idling in low gear, like persistent background static on the radio. I can only summon a tired wonder that Miller, whose newest contretemps is perhaps the most egregious but far from being the first rodeo of disgrace and embarrassment he has attended, is the kind of damage Texas keeps inflicting on itself.”

Texas, though, seems bent on inflicting these wounds. We have sent a number of folks to Congress who keep spouting off without engaging what passes for their brains.

Now we have an agriculture commissioner — who ought to be focused primarily on promoting Texas farm and ranch products and helping them improve their harvest yields and getting the most money they can from the livestock they send to market.

The voter — Kathleen Lyle of Rowlett — who was offended beyond measure by the tweet, wrote a letter to Miller. According to Floyd: “Lyle demanded an apology for every woman and every schoolchild in the state of Texas: “‘You are obligated to behave decently in public once elected,’ she told him.”

Floyd continued: “It was a letter that summed up not only one woman’s frustration over one elected official’s outrageous violation, but spoke for countless Americans who are appalled by the ugliness, the unhinged vulgarity, the puerile bullying shoutdown to which the political conversation has devolved.”

The tweet that went out under Sid Miller’s name is just the latest example of all the above.

If only more of us would feel as outraged as Kathleen Lyle.

Trump muscles his way into Pence’s big moment


One more thought on what the nation witnessed Tuesday night … then I’ll move on.

Democratic nominee Tim Kaine and Republican nominee Mike Pence jousted vigorously at their vice-presidential “debate” in Farmville, Va.

They talked a lot about their presidential running mates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

But here’s the deal. Trump decided during the event to start “live tweeting” while his man Pence was on the stage.

I have to agree with the assertion made by media and political commentators about that back story. It was that Trump simply is not wired to stand aside and let his running mate do what was assigned to do. Trump just had to throw his own thoughts out there in real time while his No. 2 guy was talking on national television.

Some GOP strategists thought it only showed that Trump and Pence comprise a political “team” and that Trump merely was lending support to his running mate.

Sure thing.

It’s fair to wonder: What might Trump think of Pence doing that very thing during the upcoming Sunday night joint appearance with Hillary?

Compassion? Sympathy? Not when there’s politics in the air


Dwyane Wade’s family is grieving today.

A cousin of the pro basketball superstar was shot and killed in Chicago last night while she was walking her baby.

Now, how does an American politician respond to such news? Does he or she offer a word of condolence? A statement of horror at the event?

That depends. If that politician is Donald J. Trump, Republican nominee for president, he sends out a tweet that says in effect, “I told you so!”

That was how Trump reacted overnight to the death of Dwyane Wade’s cousin.

“Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

Trump’s been seeking to “appeal” to black voters by saying that they live in crime-ridden hell holes that aren’t as safe as some war zones where we’ve deployed troops to fight terrorists.

This tragedy, he said, proves the point he has sought to make.

Nothing at all, not even a family’s profound personal grief, can be off limits for this guy — Trump.

Many of the rest of us are left to shake our heads in utter disbelief.



Self-consciousness sets in


I am feeling a bit self-conscious these days.

Why is that? Well, I’ve been pretty active on Facebook for about five years or so. I’ve developed a pretty healthy list of “friends,” many of whom are actual friends; others of them are “friends” only according to Facebook parlance.

Of late, some of my friends have expressed concern — some of them outright anger — over the politicization of this particular social medium. They don’t like all the politics being spouted on what is supposed to be a place for people to connect, interact socially and exchange good tidings.

I use Facebook, though, as a vehicle on which to distribute my blog. Many folks who read High Plains Blogger’s musings/spewage/commentary do so on Facebook.

High Plains Blogger is meant to be a platform to talk about politics, public policy and what I call “life experience.” You get plenty of politics and policy, for sure. You also get a decent dose of life experience as I enjoy writing about upcoming retirement, and ownership of a rambunctious puppy.

In order to boost my blog traffic, I like using Facebook — along with Twitter, LinkedIn and Google — to spread whatever word I feel like spreading at the moment. Indeed, my Twitter feed is linked also to my Facebook feed. Therefore, when I tweet about this and/or that political event, it goes to Facebook, too.

I should add that I generally don’t post things exclusively on Facebook that deal with politics, although I do admit to “sharing” others’ political points of view.

The day might arrive when I get so much blog traffic that I no longer feel the need to use Facebook to transmit High Plains Blogger’s message — whatever it is.

My particular problem, though, might be in determining when I’ve gotten enough traffic, that I longer need to distribute it on other social media.

Perhaps that day will arrive when I’ve decided I’ve got enough money.

For now and perhaps for the foreseeable future, I guess you’ll have to bear with me.

In the meantime, I also will just have to deal with my self-consciousness.

Lt. Gov. deletes tweet, but the damage is done


Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has demonstrated for the world just how immediate social media posts can become and how indelible they are once they are posted.

Patrick decided in the early hours after the Orlando, Fla., massacre to post something on Twitter that enraged some folks. It was New Testament passage, from Galatians 6:7 that declares: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

Why the anger over the post?

Well, the massacre occurred at a night club called Pulse, which is a popular hangout for Orlando’s gay community. The madman/shooter killed 50 people before he was killed by the police.

Omar Mateen was an American who reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before committing the horrifying act of carnage.

However, Patrick’s tweet seemed aimed at the victims. Fifty innocent victims were gunned down and he chose that particular verse to post on social media.

He took it down shortly afterward.

However, the damage was done. That’s what happens with these social media posts. They get posted and then are sent around the world many times instantaneously. As a friend used to tell me, “You cannot unhonk a horn.” Same with these social media posts.

Patrick’s spokesman said the tweet had been planned this past week. Patrick posts comments from Twitter weekly, the spokesman said. The passage from Galatians had no relation to the tragedy at Pulse.

I don’t know what to believe here.


At minimum, we have a terrible coincidence at work. Patrick’s social media message just happened to sound to many folks like a crass criticism in the wake of a horrific national tragedy.

Talk about terrible timing.

I’m glad he took the message down. However, I think it would be best if the lieutenant governor himself — not through a spokesman — would stand before us to explain how it happened in the first place.


Right idea on council selection; just need more ‘vetting’

social-media two

Amarillo City Councilman Mark Nair is correct to favor a new way of filling vacancies on the body on which he serves.

It needs to be more open, more accessible to the public. Nair helped design the new process for filling those vacancies, which he said used to be done in secret.

The new process also requires a good bit of tinkering and tweaking to avoid the embarrassment that appears to have developed in the search for someone to replace Councilman Brian Eades, who’s leaving the council this summer.

At issue are weird Facebook comments attributed to Sandra McCartt, one of the finalists being considered for the Place 2 seat. There are some doozies out there. The council didn’t see them coming.

According to the Amarillo Globe-News: “’Nothing in the process said if someone said something goofy or bone-headed in the past,’ it would determine their worthiness,” (Nair) added.

“Nair said in the past, council would have appointed a candidate in a back room and none of the conversation would have been public. He said he designed the current process because he wanted the community to be a part of the conversation, and things such as McCartt’s — and other candidates — comments on social media will be part of the discussion.”

Social media platforms are everywhere. Facebook is just one of them. People have Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts. They are likely to say just about anything using any of these social media outlets.

This push for openness has created an opportunity for the City Council to work even harder to ensure they find the right people either to fill vacancies on the body, or select a city manager — which is another task awaiting the council.

Indeed, the city manager selection ought to include a thorough vetting of the men and women who make the list of finalists for that job.

The council said it was intent on invoking “change” in the way the city did business. That’s fine. The change, though, also seems to require a bit more care and attention to detail from the folks who are seeking to reform the way City Hall does its business.

A more thorough vetting of social media accounts is a reasonable place to start.

‘Shame,’ ’embarrassment’ become campaign themes


Oh, for shame!

The remaining men vying for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination appear to have become embarrassments to the very people whose support they will need this fall when one of them square off against the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

What in the world has become of the process that selects major-party nominees seeking to become the most powerful officeholder in the whole world?

It has become a sideshow, a circus act, a schoolyard fight, a proverbial food fight.

Voters should demand better of the candidates. Then again, perhaps they secretly like what they’re hearing and seeing.

The Republican side of this carnival act has been particularly disgraceful. And that is coming from Republicans who’ve watched it.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz asked viewers who watched one of the Republican debates, the one in Detroit, to summarize what they saw. The Washington Post reported: “Sophomoric,” “embarrassment,” “disappointing,” “shameful,” “despicable,” “angering” and “schoolyard brawl” were some of the responses he received during a broadcast on Fox News Channel.

As one Republican told the Post — and this guy is a Ted Cruz supporter — the candidates need to be talking about ISIS and the “loss of freedom.”

Instead, he noted, they were engaging in the kind of talk one hears on junior high school playgrounds.

Who and/or what is the culprit?

Have social media become the communications vehicle of choice for too many Americans? We appear to be relying on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts to learn things — most of it irrelevant to actual policy — about these candidates.

Have their been too many of these Republican and Democratic primary debates? It might be that the candidates have run out of creative ways to argue the fine points of policy and have been left to resort to the kind of shameful name-calling and ridicule we’ve been hearing.

Do the candidates themselves deserve blame? Pundits keep talking about Donald J. Trump’s lack of depth and his mastery of media manipulation. Then there’s the belief among many that he is a barely closeted sexist, xenophobe and racist. The response from Ted Cruz to Trump’s insults has been, well, less than stellar as well.

The campaign should have been dignified. It has been everything except that.

These individuals are seeking to become commander in chief of the world’s greatest military machine. They want to become head of state of what many of us believe is the greatest nation ever created. They seek to lead a nation of 300-plus million citizens into a still-uncertain future.

And this is what we’re getting?