Category Archives: Uncategorized

Follow the leader, Mr. Vice President

Dick Cheney needs to follow the lead of the man who has just left the presidency — and keep his mouth shut.

Cheney popped off recently about President Obama’s efforts to start a dialogue with Iran and perhaps some other rogue nations. He called Obama’s effort naive and short-sighted and some other negative terms.

The former president, meanwhile, has shown the proper decorum. He hasn’t been critical of his successor. The 43rd president merely wished No. 44 well and declared that he is pulling for hm to succeed. Bush is following the lead of his father who, when he left office in January 1993, vowed never to criticize his successor, Bill Clinton. “I’ve had my time on the stage,” Bush 41 would say.

Former Vice President Cheney, doesn’t seem so inclined. He sounded off in a interview. The effect well might be to undermine the new president and his administration’s efforts to make peace in this dangerous world.

Mr. Vice President, the new guys have enough on their plate without having to listen to cheap shots tossed at them from the peanut gallery.

Form letters to the editor

I know in my head and my heart that conservatives aren’t dumb. But I’m beginning to believe that conservative activists believe mainstream, rank-and-file conservatives cannot think for themselves. Doesn’t the term “Dittohead” suggest as much?

Every so often, I get mass mailings over local readers’ names. They are form letters, sent out generally by conservative think tanks/political activists. Here’s the latest one to be tossed through the transom.

I was outraged that Houston NBC affiliate KPRC accepted an ad from – a matchmaking website that caters exclusively to men and women seeking to cheat on their spouses – during this year’s Super Bowl, a program traditionally watched by millions of families with small children. Now Fox News is reporting that is looking to buy more ad time in Texas, and I, for one, will not stand for it.
Beyond the ads being sexually suggestive, the very idea of promoting a website that facilitates infidelity is outrageous! These ads do not belong on television – period. What kind of message does this send to children watching television? That the selfish pursuit of pleasure is more important than family or marriage vows? That character and personal integrity are less important than cheap and easy sex?
Broadcasters are granted a license to use the public airwaves for free, in exchange for serving the public interest. How does promoting marital infidelity serve the public interest? Broadcasters who fail to abide by community standards may face public opposition when their licenses are up for renewal.
Please do the right thing. Stand up for Texas’ families. Do not accept ads from

I’ve gotten about a dozen copies of this letter already over the names of Panhandle residents.

These submissions come to me in the form of “letters to the editor.” Now, I ask: Don’t these folks understand that when I get more than one identical letter that we aren’t going to publish the message? Newspaper editors recognize these for what they are: Form letters sent to people who subscribe to some Internet service. They’re asked to send to their local paper — hoping that the paper will publish this material as a letter to the editor.

It’s not going to happen.

I’ll take back the seemingly unkind words about conservatives when I see a liberal interest group use this tactic. I’m still waiting.

Waiting for no one

OK, let’s get right to it.

Amarillo has technology that it is not using the right way. I refer to street-light synchronization.

Exhibit A: The stop light on Coulter Street, at the Lowe’s parking lot. The light is meant to allow traffic coming out of the parking lot onto Coulter. However, I frequently drive north on Coulter well before the sun comes up — and well before anyone is leaving Lowe’s. But, by golly, I’ll get stopped at the red light. I am waiting for no one to drive onto Coulter.

Isn’t there a way for the city turn that into a blinking yellow light after hours and then, say, at 8 a.m., turn it to a traffic-activated signal that turns red on Coulter when someone wants to exit the Lowe’s parking lot onto the busy thoroughfare?

This isn’t the only spot in Amarillo where drivers wait needlessly.

We are not talking about Star Trek-era technology.

Introducing me, John Kanelis

My name is John Kanelis and I am joining the world of bloggers.

What will this blog feature? That will depend on my mood and what I see as I go through my day, and travel through Amarillo and the Panhandle.
My discussion topics will be mostly local, I predict, but not exclusively so. They’ll focus mostly on politics and policy. They’ll have an edge. They will invite comment and community discussion.
I’ve been in daily journalism for 32 years. I’ve watched the media change during that entire time, but never at the pace it is changing now. Thus, this entry into the Age of Blogging is an exciting venture for me.
With that, well, let’s talk.