Category Archives: Uncategorized

This one is mind-blowing

Of all the revelations reported about the investigation into 1/6 and the circumstances that preceded the insurrection on that horrible day, none is more bizarre — to my way of thinking — than the report of fake electors being summoned to cast votes for the guy who lost the 2020 presidential election.

You know how it goes, right?

States that Joseph R. Biden won were being targeted by electors pledged to Donald J. Trump. They were being instructed to show up to cast their electoral votes for Trump. Yep, they would actually seek to reverse the results of a free and fair election and rig the result to suit the wishes of the guy who lost.

To think that Donald Trump is insisting that the results of the election were rigged against him. Good grief. He sought to actually rig the election in reverse!

So, the investigation into 1/6 proceeds.

The House select committee that is charged with finding the truth behind what happened is zeroing in on the principals involved in this elaborate plot to in effect stage a coup against the federal government.

They are issuing summons and making requests of people close to Trump to talk to committee members.

As I look at all these revelations, I sense a mountain of evidence building against former president of the United States. He clearly is an individual who would flout whatever law he could to keep a grip on power. Donald Trump’s lawlessness is unprecedented in an individual who took a sacred oath to uphold the law and defend the Constitution.

And still …

There are the cultists who insist the most recent presidential election is fraudulent; that their guy will be reinstated before the sun goes down; that they are the true “patriots”; that all the evidence we can see developing in real time is the result of “fake news.”

They conduct phony “audits” of statewide election returns and learn that Biden won by a handful more votes than originally reported.

They promote The Big Lie and their cultists believe it.

As for the phony electoral vote strategy that has been rooted out by the sleuths, I have to say it’s a doozy.

It also frightens the sh** out of me.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Defending the media

I cannot let go of the idiotic pronouncement that the “media are the enemy of the people.” I know I have commented on this already, but I want to lay one more thought on it for you … then I’ll move on — until the next time.

The idiocy came from Donald J. Trump. He keeps to this very day suggesting that the media peddle “fake news.” His cult followers have bought into it. I am actually acquainted with some of them in Texas, although my acquaintance is distant, through social media and so forth.

What I want to say once more with all the emphasis I can muster is that those who toil for media outlets do so out of their desire to tell the truth. And to make a difference. And to fulfill the unwritten — but clearly understood — tenets of good journalism: It is to be accurate and to treat all sides to an issue with fairness.

My days as a full-time print journalist are behind me now. I still am working on a freelance basis for two media outlets: a weekly newspaper in Collin County and a public radio station in Commerce, over yonder in Hunt County.

I can speak only for myself, but my story is identical to those still in the business of telling their communities’ stories. We do it out of love and respect for the communities we serve. I am one journalist who never during my whole time pursuing my craft deliberately told a falsehood in my reporting or in a commentary I wrote while I was writing for and editing opinion pages.

For those who suggest the media are peddling fake news, they insult all of us who love our craft to our core.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Conflict of interest … anyone?

What am I missing here? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenting vote on the high court that decided the National Archives must release hundreds of pages from Donald Trump’s files to the House select committee investigating the 1/6 insurrection.

Hmm. I thought about that dissent. I wasn’t surprised, given Justice Thomas’s rigid right-wing credentials.

Oh, but wait! Then came this bit of news. Ginni Thomas, the wife of the justice, is an ardent political activist who rails constantly against the 2020 presidential election. She is known to be a fervent supporter of the disgraced, twice-impeached former president. She just recently launched into a scathing attack on the 1/6 committee, challenging its legitimacy and its authority to look where it is looking.

So, then comes the decision from the highest court in the land. All the other justices, conservatives and liberals — including the three people nominated by Donald Trump — voted to require the documents to end up in the committee’s files.

Justice Thomas was the lone dissent. Is there a conflict of interest that the justice is ignoring?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Silly me … so much for offering a different view

Gosh, I guess I was more optimistic about my membership in a social media group than I should ever have been.

I joined a conservative group on Facebook several months ago. I joined to read what the other side is saying about issues of the day. My eyes have been opened, not because I am surprised, but by the various directions certain arguments are able to take from those seeking to make a point.

That’s all fine.

Then I chimed in this morning with a comment about former national security adviser Michael Flynn. A member of this group called Flynn an “honorable man.” Bear in mind that the retired Army lieutenant general set a dubious record by serving just 24 days before he was kicked out for lying to the FBI. I merely questioned the individual’s assertion that Flynn is honorable.

Then came the push back.

To be clear, it wasn’t vicious or malicious. It was, um, just pointed and it told me in clear terms that the folks who belong to this group are in no mood to hear from someone with my particular bias; they are interested only in hearing the bias expressed by those with whom they agree.

I suppose I need to recognize that liberal-leaning social media groups aren’t inclined to welcome thoughts from those on the right. There. I just did recognize that lefties’ bias is as intractable as those who oppose them.

The only criticism I heard that compels to respond directly came from someone who accused me of adhering to the “fake news” media outlets. I will say only that Donald J. Trump and his cabal of cultists are the masters of promoting “fake news.” Example? The Big Lie about the 2020 election being stolen and rigged. That is as “fake” as it gets!

Hey, I won’t take any of it personally. I’ll just be sharing my world view on this blog, which is open to anyone who wants to read it … even those who disagree with it.

If so, let me know what you think. I won’t bite back … I promise!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Missing the boat’ on terror?

At first, I wasn’t sure I heard correctly what a North Texas congresswoman said about President Biden’s responsibility for the terrorist attack on a Colleyville synagogue.

She said Biden is paying “too much attention” on “far-right domestic terrorists” and ignoring the threat from foreign terrorists. Biden is “missing the boat” on the terror threats, she said.

So said Beth Van Duyne, a Republican whose congressional district includes the Colleyville community that is home to the synagogue where a British citizen took four people hostage.

In a House floor speech, Van Duyne proposed a resolution citing the heroism of the rabbi who tossed a chair at the hostage-taker, giving himself and his three congregants a chance to escape. FBI agents then stormed the Congregation Beth Israel and shot the hostage-taker to death; Van Duyne wants to honor their heroism as well.

Yes, indeed, there is plenty of heroism to honor and I am glad Van Duyne wants to bestow that recognition.

However, I will not accept that President Biden is to blame for allegedly ignoring the threat of terrorists who come to this country to do us harm. My goodness, Biden responded quickly with a statement that declared the man’s threats in Colleyville to be a “terrorist act.”

I guess my question of the moment is: How in the world does one stop someone from doing what the lunatic did? He wasn’t on terrorist watch lists of which I am aware. He walked into the synagogue, shook hands with the rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, and then surprised everyone with demands that the Justice Department release a woman held in a federal prison on terror-related crimes.

Van Duyne said that the loon didn’t take hostages “at an Applebee’s,” that he targeted a synagogue because he intended to commit a hate crime.

I will point out, too, that FBI Director Christophe Wray — appointed to his post by Donald J. Trump — said in 2019 that domestic terror presented the gravest threat to our national security.

There’s a saying we hear in Washington from time to time about how officials are able to “walk and chew gum at the same time.” I believe President Biden is devoting ample attention to threats from all corners … be they foreign or domestic.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Truth in journalism’ still exists

Truth in journalism,” once a reporter’s credo, is now a relic of a bygone era.

Right there is a nugget of, um, faux wisdom from someone who has swilled the “fake news” Kool-Aid that Donald J. Trump and his cabal of kooks keep spreading about those of us who practice — or who have practiced — what I consider to be among the noblest of crafts.

“Truth in journalism” is alive and well. I am proud of the craft I pursued for nearly four decades and which I still am pursuing, albeit on a part-time freelance basis. I don’t comment on the issues I cover for a weekly newspaper in Collin County, Texas; I save my commentary for this blog, given that commentary and straight news reporting are different species altogether. More on that in a moment.

What was introduced into mainstream debate as a preposterous assertion by the former POTUS has become a sort of code for those who continue to buy into his lies, deception and hypocrisy. “The media are the enemy of the American people,” Trump continues to bellow, even though he no longer is president and — as I am hoping — never will be again.

The media are no one’s enemy. The media are full of dedicated professionals who do their job without prejudice or favor. They report the news and it then becomes up to the public to consume that news and make their own judgments on the accuracy and fairness of what they are consuming.

Too many of us, though, rely solely on those who don’t report the news, but who comment on it, providing their own spin on the same information that goes into the hearts and minds of everyone.

The individual who provided that nugget I delivered at the top of this blog post seems to be one of those types. This person has ingested the Donald Trump view that the media are the enemy, not to be trusted but to be hated. That saddens me greatly, because this person is far from alone in that view.

This individual is part of a society that has thrown aside information it receives from those who report the news with accuracy and fairness; this person relies on those who present their opinion on issues that comport with their own world view.

This person does not know — or has forgotten — the difference between news reporting and commentary.

Who, then, is the real “enemy of the people,” those who report the news or those who misconstrue it?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Encounter proves a point

I am going to tell you about a brief — and fairly unpleasant — encounter I had with someone who believes retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is “an honorable man.”

This person delivered a bit of proof I sought to make in an earlier blog post.

It was a social media encounter. This person and I belong to the same Facebook group that features conservative commentary. She wrote something about Flynn being an honorable man. I responded that I don’t think he’s honorable. I said he lied to the FBI, he sought to persuade Donald Trump to declare “martial law” to keep his job after losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden and he led the “lock her up!” chant at the GOP convention in 2016, wanting Hillary Clinton to be jailed over the email matter.

My foe said Flynn had been “exonerated” on all the charges brought against him. Thus, according to my acquaintance, he is honorable.

Her final response to me was that I am a “Democrat” and I adhere to the “fake news” being peddled by progressives. I am “involved with their ideology.”

I had made a point in an earlier blog post about the impossibility of discussing policy matters with those who adhere to Trump’s Big Lie. I believe my latest foe has proved my point. I will engage this person any longer. I did think it was useful to make this point in another post on this blog.

Debate is impossible | High Plains Blogger

It’s not that I believe I am a brilliant thinker. It’s just that every now and again individuals rise to the occasion to make me seem a lot smarter than I actually am.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

SCOTUS deals blow to ex-POTUS

Part of me wishes I could have been in whatever room Donald Trump was in when he got word that the Supreme Court had delivered a potentially fatal blow to his cover-up efforts relating to the 1/6 insurrection.

More to the point, that same part of me wishes I could have heard his response when he learned that all three justices he nominated for the court voted with the majority in squashing the effort.

You see, Donald Trump expects the judges he nominates to be loyal to him, not to the law or to the Constitution.

The court ruled 8 to 1 to require the National Archives to turn over records to the House committee examining the insurrection. The only dissent came from Justice Clarence Thomas. As for Trump’s nominees — Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — well, they stuck with the law.

That’s how it should be.

According to NPR.org: The court’s order paves the way for the release of records from the National Archives. The records could shed light on the events that led to the riot by Trump supporters protesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.

The high court said lower courts had determined that Trump could not claim “executive privilege” in hiding those records.

“Because the Court of Appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former President necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision,” the court said in its order.

Lifetime appointments to federal courts do have this way of freeing judges from a good bit of political pressure. That, too, is in keeping with what the founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. They were wise men.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Incursion = invasion

How about we cease the rhetorical pussyfooting regarding whether a nation stages an “incursion” into another nation’s territory, rather than a full-scale “invasion?”

I see no difference.

At issue is what Russian troops might be ordered to do now that they are massed along the country’s border with Ukraine. We hear about the 100,000 armed forces who reportedly are staging for some sort of military action against Ukraine forces on the other side of the border.

President Biden seemed to suggest that a mere “incursion” would result in a less-severe reaction from the United States than an invasion.

This is nonsense. I wish the president would cease seeking to make a distinction between the actions.

The first time I remember hearing the term “incursion” was in 1970 when U.S. troops moved into Cambodia during the Vietnam War. I had just returned from that conflict, and I was horrified then at the thought of our troops marching into another country to wage battle against Viet Cong and North Vietnamese military forces.

My dog-eared American Heritage Dictionary defines incursion as “a raid or an invasion.” I guess, therefore, that the terms are interchangeable.

Whatever our response is to what the Russians do shouldn’t depend on the nature or the scope of their military action against another sovereign nation. My hope is that Joe Biden will establish that whatever economic sanction we level against Russia will be severe … no matter the level of the Russians’ military action.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hold it together, ERCOT

It has gotten cold in North Texas, which by itself is no great shakes, except that our memories are fresh from what happened a year ago when the mercury fell to, um, really hideous levels.

The electrical grid failed. So did our water supply.

We aren’t nearly as cold in this third week of January 2022 as we were in the middle of February 2021, so I am not sitting on pins and needles … just yet.

Gov. Greg Abbott has promised that the lights will “stay on” this winter. So has the head of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Ditto for the folks who run the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency that manages our state’s power grid.

All I can say at this moment is: It had better hold up! Or else!

I don’t what the “or else” would produce. I just know that we’re still less than halfway through the winter season. Last year was a serious downer. None of us wants a repeat of the disaster that befell the state.

The pols who are responsible for ensuring we stay warm and watered don’t want it, either.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com