Tag Archives: High Plains Blogger

Needing a blog boost

Honest to goodness, I don’t like writing about my blog, so I’ll be brief with this timid call for a little help.

High Plains Blogger’s readership is dropping off, or so it appears. I distribute it through a number of social media platforms and I will do so with this brief post.

I just want to get the word out that your friendly blogger — that’s me, of course — is still in the game and is still commenting on matters of assorted and eclectic interests.

High Plains Blogger is mainly a political blog. I have my critics; others read it and offer me the proverbial high five.

I’m just not getting the volume of hits I used to get. I hope I am not boring readers. I’ll do better to keep it lively. Meantime, if you’re so inclined, I will thank you in advance for sharing these musings.

With that, I bid you good night.


Take the man’s money, play by his rules

A friend and former newspaper colleague once told me after I left daily journalism and got my blog going full blast that my blog proved something about me he suspected from the day I began working with him at the Amarillo Globe-News.

It was that “you didn’t believe half the stuff you wrote for the newspaper,” my friend said.

Well, my friend — who’s also out of the daily journalism grind — is every bit as astute as I knew him to be when we first met in early 1995.

I make no apologies for writing editorials and for editing pages for a newspaper, the Amarillo Globe-News, with a strong conservative tradition. My friend was right, that I didn’t adhere to much of what I wrote on behalf of the publisher, to whom I reported directly.

I told my then-boss that there were some lines I could not cross. They dealt with capital punishment, gun control and abortion. The newspaper opposed gun legislation, it favored capital punishment and was anti-choice on the issue of abortion; I tilted in the opposite direction on all three issues.

He hired me anyway and for that I am grateful.

I made a brief return to daily journalism at the end of 2021. The Dallas Morning News hired me as a temporary, part-time editorial writer. To his great credit, the editorial page editor for whom I worked told me he “never would ask” me to submit an editorial with which I disagreed in principle.

I am grateful also for the leeway he extended.

This is all part of what I have known since another ex-colleague and still-friend told me years ago. “If you take the man’s money,” he said, “then you have to play by the man’s rules.” 

Fair point. I now work for myself writing on High Plains Blogger, although my freelance work for the weekly Farmersville Times and for KETR-FM public radio allows to go back to what I learned how to do at the beginning of my journalism career. Which is to write straight news stories.

I learned that skill a long time ago. I also have learned that one never loses one’s touch.

And so … this gig keeps on producing more fun than I ever thought was possible.


A citizen of the world …

It just occurred to me — and I mean that quite literally — that this blog of mine has filled me with an appreciation I didn’t quite expect when I started it all those years ago.

I feel more like a citizen of the world writing on High Plains Blogger.

I now shall explain.

Each day I post items on this blog. Some days are busier than others. Almost without exception, though, I get readers — or at least those who take a quick look at an entry — from all over the world. Yes, the entire planet is reading High Plains Blogger.

In addition to the United States, I get frequent hits from places like Ireland, Germany and The Netherlands. I believe I know why those countries show up on my daily blog log sheet: I have friends in Germany and The Netherlands; as for Ireland, one of my sons has many friends there and I suspect they are reading what my boy’s old man is thinking, given that he shares practically everything I post on the blog with his social media network.

Other frequent hits come from unexpected locations: Vietnam is one; Kenya is, too; Ecuador, France, Chile and Japan show up frequently.

All of this seems to give me a greater sense of connection to the rest of the world. I’m just a chump blogger with opinions on a whole array of matters large and small, but the blog gives me a chance to share my musings with a world that seems to be getting smaller all the time.


I hereby offer an apology

An apology is a rare thing to receive on a blog, but I am about to offer one now. I made a pledge — maybe more than once — to move on from Donald J. Trump and to concentrate exclusively on the here and now and to look only at pols I consider to be relevant.

I am sorry for failing to make good on that promise.

It’s not entirely my fault. You see, Trump keeps injecting himself into the news. Since this blog is about the news, public policy, politics and at times the individuals who make news, well, it becomes imperative for your friendly High Plains Blogger to comment on it.

Trust me when I say this, because it is the truth: I want Donald Trump to disappear. I want him gone from the public stage. I want him removed from the nation’s conscience.

He won’t honor my request and simply vanish. Poof! Be gone, Donald!

Where do we go from here? I won’t make any more promises I likely cannot keep. So I’ll keep commenting on The Donald’s comings, goings and musings as long he keeps retaining some viability in the nation’s political process.

I won’t comment on every single thing that flies out of the liar’s pie hole. I can make that pledge. So there.

Please accept my apology … and keep reading and sharing my thoughts. I appreciate those who do.


Streak goes on

Allow me to boast about the blog you are reading at this moment.

I just posted an item for the 200th consecutive day of posts on High Plains Blogger. I like writing frequently. I have declared myself to be an expert on next to nothing, but I do have opinions on damn near everything.

When something piques my fancy, I like writing about it.

My current streak is now 200 days in length. I am far from finished.

The Ukraine War is keeping me fueled up. So is the 1/5 House select committee investigation on the insurrection.

The blog is mostly political but occasionally it strays into slice of life matters, feel-good items, commentary about retirement, grandparenthood and even about our precious Toby the Puppy.

OK. Bragging is now over. I encourage you to read the blog and to share it whenever you feel moved to do so.

Thus, I will thank each of you in advance for reading this blog. It gives me reason to keep going.


War fatigue sets in

Allow me this brief admission, of which I am not proud, to be sure: I am suffering from early onset of “war fatigue.” Yes, the Ukraine-Russia war has worn me out.

Understand this, though. Our hearts are breaking over the suffering that Russia’s bombing and artillery attacks are inflicting on people who are simply trying to defend their homeland against an invading military force. It’s not that I am going to dismiss their suffering and wring my hands over having to watch it on TV.

It’s merely that the brave journalists who are reporting from the front have saturated me with news that is beginning to sound repetitive. Russians are escalating their attacks; they are hitting civilian targets; they are inflicting casualties among civilians, including defenseless children; those who die are being buried in mass graves; Vladimir Putin keeps shunning pleas to stop the invasion. Over and over again.

We had our granddaughter with us for a couple of nights. My wife made the decision to shield her from the news.

Does this mean that High Plains Blogger is taking a break from commenting on information that leaks into your blogger’s noggin? Hah! Hardly.

I am likely to end my news boycott soon, given that I happen to be addicted to the news. I’ll certainly divert my attention fully to this unfolding story when something significant happens. The war might expand into NATO nations; Putin might deploy chemical weapons; President Biden might decide to ratchet up sanctions even more.

Or, and this would be the best news, there could be a cease-fire that paves a clear path to a peace treaty.

Until any of that happens, I’m tuning out the war … for now.


Now he’s just ‘Donald’

I have made a command decision on my blog. Future references to Donald J. Trump are going to be limited to just use of his first name.

Yes, I will hereby make initial references to the former Liar in Chief using his first and last name; subsequent references will be simply “Trump” or “Donald.” I think I’ll stick with “Donald” most of the time.

Hey, I can make that decision regarding my blog. Because it is my blog.

I refused during his term in office to link the terms “President” and “Trump” consecutively; I have held true to that just now, if you get my drift.

Therefore, I am no longer going to use the term “former president,” or “ex-president,” or even “former POTUS” to describe Donald in the future. He doesn’t deserve any sort of respect. He won’t get it from me.

I hope to dial back the frequency of blog posts referring to Donald. I’ll do my best to be more selective.

Hang with me, OK? Thanks. Now … let’s go on down the road together.


The streak continues

I don’t write often these days about my blog, which I named High Plains Blogger when I set it up more than a decade ago. I’ll take a brief leap into self-congratulations.

My blog is in the midst of another pretty healthy streak. I have gone 141 consecutive days posting items about this and that. It’s mostly political, but I have branched out to talk about sports on occasion, about my retired (or shall I say semi-retired) life and also about my beloved family.

Oh, and then there’s Toby the Puppy, the pooch who makes my wife and me laugh every single day.

A few of my friends have said they “marvel” at the prolific nature of this blog. A couple of them are bloggers themselves. I admire their work, as it is generally a lot more thoughtful than my own submissions. I haven’t told them as much; I will make sure I do so in short order.

But my blog is part of who I am. I have been writing on High Plains Blogger since before I left my daily print journalism career in August 2012.

I will acknowledge that the current streak isn’t as long as a previous streak that got curtailed after more than 350 straight days by a technical glitch. I missed a day — or maybe it was two of them. I’m back at it now.

I intend to keep doing this for as long as I can string sentences together. It is a lead-pipe cinch I won’t run out of topics on which to comment.

Let the topics keep offering themselves to me. I am standing by.


Anger makes me angry

Anger is an emotion that fills me with — yep, that’s right — anger, lots of anger.

I get angry with myself for feeling as angry as I do at times, particularly over matters or individuals I cannot control. The current political climate swirling around us provides me with the latest example of how angry I have become.

I am angry at the politicians and their sycophants who continue to keep The Big Lie alive and kicking. The Big Lie, as you know, purports to suggest that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election. He didn’t. He lost it bigly.

He came to Texas this past weekend and proclaimed, among many falsehoods, that the “election system is corrupt.” Dammit to hell, anyway! It isn’t! When he says such a thing, he defames the good men and women associated with both major political parties who take an oath to do their jobs with integrity and honesty and then follow that oath to the letter.

That makes me angry as hell. However, I also get angry with myself because the only weapon I have is this blog in which I can express my anger. I want to make a difference. I want this anger to sink into the thick skulls of the individuals who ignite these hard feelings. It doesn’t. I feel as though I am talking to the chair on which I am sitting at this moment.

My anger is visceral these days in a way I have never experienced. I find myself using harsh language when referencing the ex-POTUS. So help me, I never have used this kind of language when referring to POTUSes who never got my vote.

I want the anger to pass. I fear that the only way that’ll happen will be for the man who lights the fuse to disappear. I just will have to deal with my anger and seek to avoid getting so damn angry at myself.


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.