Tag Archives: Facebook

Let’s give this a try

I have just joined a Facebook public policy group that purports to lean to the conservative side of the great divide.

It came to me under the name “Michael Johns.” I joined, read the ground rules and now am awaiting final “approval” by a group “administrator.”

Johns describes himself as a national TEA Party co-founder and an analyst with the Heritage Foundation; he now works as a health care executive.

This could be fun, if they allow me to join. I did get the invitation from this group, so perhaps they want me as part of their group.

You see, I look at public policy from a different point of view. I consider myself a “good government progressive,” which is to say I believe in compromise as a way to further constructive legislation. I do tilt to the left, away from this group I have just joined.

They ask contributors to be “fact based” in their posts. That does give me a bit of pause. Why? Because one side’s “facts” might not comport with the other side’s version of the same term.

So if I post something I consider to be fact based, will the gurus on the other side see it in the same spirit as I have posted it? We’ll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I look forward to reading more conservative commentary. It likely won’t change my mind on the big, broad policy issues on which I stake my own political comments.

However, I am game … if they are, too.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pandemic ‘not over’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy today told us a horrifying truth. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, he told Fox News Sunday.

“We’re seeing increases in cases, particularly in parts of the country where the vaccination rates are low,” Dr. Murthy explained.

I’ll embellish a mere sigh with an anguished “arrrgghh!”

We now hear Facebook firing back at President Biden who blames social media platforms for spreading lies about the pandemic vaccines. I am going to stand with the president on this one.

There needs to be greater accountability among social media outlets and the disinformation they distribute. Such as the phony claims of danger posed by the vaccines. There can be no denying the link between the surge in cases and the fact that they are occurring in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low.

It ain’t happening in regions where vaccination rates exceed state and national averages.

Hmm. Is there a message to be learned? Uhh, yeah. Get vaccinated!

These aren’t my ‘friends’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have just finished chuckling  under my breath at a “friend” request I received on my Facebook page.

Why am I chuckling?

I admit that I probably spend too much time on Facebook. I use the social medium to distribute my blog; I have plenty of actual friends and even more than a smattering of Facebook “friends” with whom I have a casual relationship. Many of them are kind enough to share my blog posts with those on their networks. To them I say “thank you.”

What about these “friend” requests I keep getting?

They usually are from individuals who present themselves as attractive females. I delete them immediately for a number of reasons.

None of them provides me any background info on them. No places of birth; no work history; no relationship information; no educational background info.

A word to the wise: Do not bother to send me these requests if you decline to tell me anything about yourself.

One more aspect of these “friend” requests gives me pause. If they do not send me any background info, then I immediately grow suspicious that the individual whose picture appears on the request is actually, um, that person. Do you get my drift? Is the young woman in fact an overweight knuckle-dragger with half his teeth missing?

If you’re going to solicit me for my “friendship” on social media, at least prove to me that you are who you say you are … not that I will accept the request, mind you.

Are we clear? Good!

First Amendment vs. Facebook

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s take a look at the First Amendment, which has been revived as a talking point with regard to Facebook’s decision to keep Donald J. Trump off the platform for the time being.

Trumpkins keep yammering that Facebook is impinging on Trump’s First Amendment rights of free speech as a U.S. citizen.

Hold on.

The founders inscribed a fairly narrow guarantee when they wrote the First Amendment to our Constitution. They wrote:

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

The most important and salient words of that Amendment are the first five of them. “Congress shall make no law … ”

That means Congress is prohibited from interfering in all those freedoms guaranteed by the founders. It says nothing at all about what a private company can do to limit Americans’ expressions. Facebook is a for-profit organization. It has every right to ban whoever it wants from its platform. It chose to act after Donald Trump kept fomenting the Big Lie about the 2020 election, that it was stolen from him. He used Facebook to promote the Big Lie; Facebook gurus decided they would have no more of it.

Does this inhibit Trump’s First Amendment liberty? Not one bit. He can still make whatever statement he chooses, meaning he is free to lie his a** off!

I had many discussions over the years while working in daily journalism with those who challenged my authority as a newspaper editor to disallow them from expressing themselves on our pages. I would reject a submission if it dealt in falsehood. I would tell the author of that decision. The author would respond: “But the First Amendment allows me to say it.”

No, it doesn’t. It does give us all the opportunity to run their own publication and to allow whatever they want to appear on its pages.

So, the fight over the First Amendment continues as Donald Trump and his minions try to make an argument that is as hollow as the lies Trump keeps telling.

The nation’s founders got it right when they said “Congress shall make no law … “

Fire him for keeps, Facebook

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have an idea on how Facebook should resolve this matter with Donald J. Trump and whether he should ever return to the social medium.

Facebook just needs to ban him for keeps. Permanently. Never again should he be allowed to spew the ranting lies that fly out of his mouth and off his fingertips.

There. How’s that?

Facebook’s board of oversight has ruled that the social media giant should keep him off the platform but admonished the company for failing to set a definite timetable for his return, or declare that he is banned for keeps.

I say ban the ex-POTUS forever!

Facebook took his account down after the Jan. 6 insurrection/riot/terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. You remember that, yes? It was a hideous display of inciting violence by the then-president who continues to this very hour to promote the Big Lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through rampant vote fraud. Well, it wasn’t stolen. Joe Biden was elected president freely, fairly and legally.

Here’s my version of the threshold question: Do you trust Donald Trump to stop promoting the Big Lie and to speak responsibly on Facebook? Here is my answer: I do not!

Donald Trump is arguably the most untrustworthy U.S. politician to come along since, oh, I don’t know if anyone else ever has approached this clown’s level of deceit, dissembling and duplicity. He cannot tell the truth. He is … a liar! 

Facebook has six months to decide whether to lift the ban or impose it permanently. Its oversight board said an “indefinite” ban wasn’t in keeping with Facebooks own criteria. It needs to get specific.

So, ban him for life!

No First Amendment problem

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A word to the right-wing wackos who are going bonkers over Facebook’s decision to keep Donald Trump off the social medium … for now: settle down and take a deep breath!

The Trump cultists in Congress are bitching about so-called First Amendment infringements because Facebook, a privately held media company, has decided it cannot allow someone to use its platform to call for an insurrection against the U.S. government.

That is what Trump did on Jan. 6. So it banned the former president. It decided to make a firm decision later on the extent of Trump’s banishment.

As for Trump’s First Amendment free speech guarantee, it is still there. Trump can yap, yammer and yeowl all he wants about the 2020 election being “stolen.” Of course that is just so much bullsh**. Trump knows it. I certainly do. So do you as well.

The First Amendment allows Trump to spew such nonsense. It doesn’t prohibit a private firm from exercising its own policy-making ability on who gets to speak out and who faces the muzzle.

So, right-wing blowards? You need to pipe down.

Facebook makes right call

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This won’t surprise anyone in the least, but I happen to believe Facebook’s oversight board made the right call in keeping Donald Trump away from the social medium.

The board made its decision known this morning, citing Trump’s incitement of the insurrection on The Sixth of January, the one that sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election that chose Joe Biden to be president and threw Trump out of office.

Trump used Facebook as a method of stirring up the rioters who stormed the Capitol Building, killing four individuals — including a police officer — threatened to “Hang Mike Pence!” and sought to hunt down other elected officials.

It was an insurrection against the government and it sought to destroy the democratic process.

The decision carries some stipulations, according to the New York Times, which reported: But the board also said that Facebook’s penalty of an indefinite suspension was “not appropriate,” and that the company should apply a “defined penalty.” The board gave Facebook six months to make its final decision on Mr. Trump’s account status.

“Our sole job is to hold this extremely powerful organization, Facebook, to be held accountable,” Michael McConnell, co-chair of the Oversight Board, said on a call with reporters. The decision “did not meet these standards,” he said.

Facebook’s Ban of Trump Upheld by Oversight Board (msn.com)

I can hear the outcry building now. Conservatives are going to bitch about Facebook being too friendly to liberals, that the platform seeks to punish those who hold views that differ from their own. Baloney!

As I have followed this tempest, Facebook based its decision to ban Trump because the ex-POTUS keeps telling the Big Lie about the 2020 election being “stolen” from him and that his words had a demonstrable effect on the rioters who sought to pillage and plunder the seat of our federal government.

Is that really a partisan matter? No, it is not!

The overseers of Facebook have given the platform six months to decide on Trump’s status. Take all the time you need and have been given, Facebook. Donald John Trump is a menace, a disgrace and is the true “enemy of the people.”

No ‘Last Word Contests’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I wrote a brief message on Facebook five years ago that I want to share again today.

It went like this: I’m trying to decide if I want to get into a Last Word Contest with some of my Facebook friends/acquaintances who have this insatiable need to have the last word on every exchange … every single time. I’ll get back to y’all on that.

This ditty appeared in 2016. I am prepared to tell you at this moment that I am even less inclined now than I was then to engage in this kind of back and forth.

I celebrated my 71st birthday not long ago. The means I cherish my time more now than I did when I was a mere pup of 66 years of age, when I made that earlier post. Therefore, I remain wedded to the notion that my blogs should stand as my statement on whatever point I want to make.

It’s a further indication of a notion that I generally am in no mood to change my mind significantly.

For example: When I wrote many times that Donald J. Trump was “unfit” for the office of president, there would be no way on God’s good Earth that I would change my mind. Now and then, someone would respond with a “what about” retort, trying to say that Trump’s lies were no more egregious than what came from the mouths of his predecessors. Well, yes they were. No changing my mind there.

I also appreciate that the older I get the grayer issues get, that I tend to look at issues with a bit more nuance than when I was a young punk, fresh out of the Army, enrolled in college and full of piss and vinegar.

Still, I am not going to waste my time trying to persuade someone with a different world view that my view is correct and theirs is wrong. I’m too old for that.

And so … the blog marches on. I said I would “get back to y’all on that.” I just did.

Weird free-speech fight?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Maybe it’s just me, but I believe a Texas Senate bill that takes aim at social media platforms is really bizarre, weird and goofy defense of the First Amendment.

Senate Bill 12 seeks to ban social media companies — such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — from blocking points of view expressed by those that come from within the Texas borders.

Which makes me wonder … huh?

Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed the bill, saying that social media companies led by West Coast billionaires are taking unfair aim at conservative thoughts and thinkers.

The Texas Tribune reports: “They are controlling the flow of information — and sometimes denying the flow of information,” the Republican governor said at a press conference in Tyler. “And they are being in the position where they’re choosing which viewpoints are going to be allowed to be presented. Texas is taking a stand against big tech political censorship. We’re not going to allow it in the Lone Star State.”

Gov. Greg Abbott touts bill to stop Twitter, Facebook from banning Texans | The Texas Tribune

What gives this legislation its weird quality is that it seeks to protect conservative thoughts that come from this state. I am trying to figure out how you control or patrol the airwaves to limit thoughts that originate from a particular state. How does it affect conservatives who happen to live, say, in California, or New York, or New England?

I don’t get this one. Not at all.

Someone has to explain to me the selective enforcement aspect of this goofy legislation.

Social media reveal true friends

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It didn’t take me long to become swallowed up by the social media culture that seems so prevalent.

I am attached to many social media platforms, most of which I use primarily to circulate this blog. Facebook remains my No. 1 social media platform and I appreciate very much the attention that the outlet provides this blog of mine.

Social media, though, do have plenty of downsides. They become primary conveyers of falsehoods, conspiracy theories … those kinds of things. They also reveal to me who out there are our friends.

Here is where I want to make an admission. I have valued many friendships with individuals of varying political persuasions. Then came social media and and I admit to losing some of those friends because of our varying, um, political leanings. Dang, that just makes me want to spit … you know?

I am not proud to acknowledge that the end of those relationships means I’ve been suckered into placing far more value in them than the other party. One of them recently severed a social media relationship after being an actual friend for more than 30 years. He never told me why he was cutting me loose; he just did it. I am left to presume it was our different world views, as we had jousted in recent years about political matters.

Whatever. It’s done. I will continue to use social media to distribute this blog. I enjoy using the various media platforms. I reckon I need to view the relationships I have with others in a more critical light and avoid overvaluing them.

I’m a grownup. I know how these matters play out.