Tag Archives: High Plains Blogger

Calling all comments

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As many of you know already, I love to write this blog. It gives me great relief, allowing me to vent on this and that, to provide my admittedly biased perspective on world events and news of the day.

However, it does provide me with a frustration. Really, it’s just one for now.

I post these items on WordPress, a platform designed for this kind of cyber activity. I also distribute it along several social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Each blog entry on WordPress contains a tab that allows readers to offer comment.

My frustration? So few readers of this blog actually take a moment to comment. One gentleman comments regularly. That’s it! No one else weighs in. Well, mostly no one.

High Plains Blogger, I am proud to declare, is read around the world. The vast majority of visitors to the blog, of course, reside in the United States. But a healthy minority of them also reside in Ireland, in Ghana, Australia, Germany.

It reaches tens of thousands of people each year. I enjoy the worldwide impact this blog might be having; I cannot confirm any impact, because I cannot be sure whose blood might be boiling or who might want to offer me an atta boy.

Occasionally I hear from a critic. They weigh in, offer a comment or two telling me I’m a dumbass. I usually respond to them, often with a touch of snark. Hey, it goes with the territory.

This blog post seeks to solicit more comments. I want there to be some honest discussion. Moreover, be advised that I never have rejected a comment because it disagrees with the brilliant observation I offer.

The invitation is out there.

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.

On a roll that keeps on rolling

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, everyone! I’m on a roll.

A while ago I posted an item on this blog about my approaching 600 consecutive days of posting. Well, I am now at 618 consecutive days … and counting.

I won’t go on and on about this feat. I just want to boast a bit that my volume isn’t abating. Not one bit.

The truth is I am blessed with a phenomenon that bloggers and other commentators occasionally find most rewarding. It is that I have a wealth of topics on which to comment. The cool aspect — one of the many such aspects — of running my own blog is that I work for no one but myself. That means the universe is open to me. So I get to write about it.

I admit that I don’t hit home runs every trip to the plate. I whiff on occasion. Hell, I might be whiffing with this brief comment.

But that’s OK. I am able to keep my streak alive for as long as I can.

Technical difficulties at times nearly get in the way of maintaining this consecutive streak. I had a close call just a few weeks ago. High Plains Blogger’s consecutive streak stayed alive.

So, with that I’ll keep on going. Thanks in advance for reading. You are most welcome to share this spewage whenever the spirit moves you to do so.

Feeling ‘liberated’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The thought occurs to me that I have been liberated from the tumult that marked the four years of Donald Trump’s term as president of the United States.

I have been invigorated in a way by being able to focus on other issues, villains and heroes. It’s not that High Plains Blogger will lack the ability to reap a generous harvest from a target-rich environment. The field is full of villains and heroes. Donald Trump will occupy far less of my attention than he did while running for president and then actually being president.

He’s gone now. Sure, he still wants to be a player. I doubt seriously that he will be able to resurrect his political fortunes. State and local prosecutors are busy examining the many criminal cases involving Trump, his family and his myriad business involvements. There well might be plenty of opportunities that arise if prosecutors in New York, or Georgia or Florida produce indictments. I’ll bide my time.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep this blog busy with commentary on active politicians, on current issues of the day, on the heroes who work to make our lives better and, yes, while still chronicling the retirement journey my wife and I continue to enjoy.

This liberation feels mighty good.

Blog about to reach new milestone

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Once long ago I read that it is good for bloggers to write about their blog. So that’s what I’ll do with this brief post.

High Plains Blogger is about to reach a milestone of sorts. That would be 600 consecutive days of fresh posts. Why brag about that?

Well, let’s just say that I am so darn happy to be able to write about things that are near and perhaps not so dear to me. I enjoy venting. Ranting is good, too. So is handing out bouquets on occasion.

I enjoy sharing my life’s journey with you, along with tales of our adorable puppy, Toby, who we refer to as Puppy.

Yes, I also enjoy keeping up with current political trends. Brother, we have had ’em over the past few years, yes? I get worked up over things I see occurring that displease me. As we enter a new presidential era with the departure of No. 45, I look forward to offering commentary — positive and negative — on policies enacted by No. 46. I will admit that my criticism likely won’t be as visceral as it was during the previous presidential administration, but what the hell … that’s just me.

I’ll reach 600 consecutive blog-post days sometime next week. I might acknowledge it in the moment. If I forget, I’ll get to it eventually.

Meantime, I want to thank you in advance for reading this blog and sharing it with your friends and loved ones. It keeps me going.

Vowing to hear all sides

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is time for your friendly blogger to make a solemn, sincere and honest vow.

I hereby pledge to read more political commentary with which I disagree. The Age of Trump has given way to the Age of Biden. The change in political tone and tenor in Washington thrills me greatly.

However, I need to make a confession. I didn’t listen to as many arguments that favored the tone that Donald Trump set during his term as president as I should have done.

Now that Trump has holed up in his glitzy south Florida resort, I intend to examine more carefully the conservative antidote to the surprisingly progressive tone that President Biden is striking as he seeks to take control of the crises that awaited him.

I look at a number of Internet sites each day. The one that provides the widest range of views is RealClearPolitics.com, which I scan daily. The RCP site is chock full of progressive, centrist and conservative thought. They’re all reputable and I now intend to examine those views that differ from my own bias.

RealClearPolitics – Live Opinion, News, Analysis, Video and Polls

Do I expect to “come out” as a born-again conservative? Hardly. I just believe I should practice what I occasionally preach to those who take time to read my rants on High Plains Blogger. One of my occasional rant topics deals with narrow-mindedness.

As my dear mother used to say, “That guy is so narrow-minded, he can look through a keyhole with both eyes.”

I don’t intend to be “that guy.”

Time to toughen up

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This blog is anticipating a bit of an identity crisis.

Readers of High Plains Blogger grew accustomed, I shall presume, that it would be critical of anything the immediate past president would say or do. I get that it might have become too predictable. I won’t apologize, though, for the tone it took while commenting on Donald Trump’s tenure as president.

Now we have a new guy in power. President Biden has planted himself behind the Resolute Desk and has been issuing executive orders left and right, up and down.

I intend to look as critically at Joe Biden as I did at Donald Trump. That does not mean I intend to be as critical of the current president as I was on the former president. It does mean that I will speak critically when the needs arise, when the issues warrant it, when I get a bur under my saddle.

That’s what bloggers ought to do.

I am going to make a vow, which is that I won’t flinch when President Biden makes an error. No one is perfect, correct? I have long believed that humankind contained only one perfect person, but he was crucified because the rest of us are born sinners.

As for the new president, he so far presents a refreshing change from what we have endured over the past four years. He isn’t tweeting his brains out; he isn’t scolding our allies and snuggling with our foes; he has put his staffers on notice, that if they mistreat anyone that he will fire them “on the spot.”

I want him to be fair and to deal forthrightly with Americans. I also want President Biden to retain the conscious belief that he works for us and that voters are the ultimate bosses in determining the direction our government takes.

I intend to keep my eyes and ears open.

Thank you, Mr. POTUS

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It occurs to me that I owe Donald John Trump a debt of thanks.

Not a huge debt, but one nevertheless that compels me to mention it here. So I will.

Trump will be president for just two more days. He has for more than four years given High Plains Blogger ample grist on which to comment. For that, I am saying “thank you” to Donald Trump.

I’ll be candid. Once we get past this man’s shenanigans and chicanery I might find myself hard-pressed to keep the blog going at the pace it has kept up during Trump’s term in office. I will do my level best.

To be sure, I am not done with Trump just yer. He will be out of office, but he will undergo that Senate trial after being impeached by the House for the second time. That in itself is a record. What’s more, he is set to issue more pardons on his last full day in office; that will occur Tuesday, reportedly, and my gut tells me we will get to witness in real time once again this individual’s venality.

I have chronicled fairly thoroughly over the course of his first campaign for the president, during the Trump presidency and his failed bid for re-election why I believe he is profoundly unfit for public office of any sort … let alone for president of the United States.

This blog features commentary on public policy and politics. Therefore, it is imperative that I maintain that focus given that Trump occupied the most visible and revered office in the land. He will surrender that office to Joseph R. Biden Jr. in just two days (thank God in heaven!).

At one level I look forward to commenting on policies put forth by the new president. I also am going to miss — maybe for just a little while — the opportunity to spill my guts over the idiocy, lunacy, chaos, confusion and controversy that Trump relishes.

I hope to get past my Trump-dumping soon.

Donald Trump issued many new eras into the American political scene. One of  them is how his presence poisoned so many relationships among Americans. I regret that differences of opinion over Trump’s conduct have ruined some of my friendships. I am happy to report, though, that many longtime friendships have survived the tumult.

I am even happier to report that I still love my family members who voted for Trump and who stuck with him through it all; I hope they still love me. I’ll have to ask them.

So, with that I am looking forward to heralding in a new  era. It’s all yours, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

As for Donald Trump, thank you, Mr. President, for giving me so much material with which to work.

Now … get the hell out of my sight!

What does a ‘Biden fan’ look like?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Forgive me for revisiting briefly a blog item I posted about a message I received from someone who doesn’t like the fact that I, as a former Amarillo resident, continues to write about matters related to the Texas Panhandle.

This individual, who shall remain unidentified, wrote this:  Your writings about the Sod Poodles is (sic) trash. You don’t live here so you can stop writing about stuff here. I figured by the way you look you would be a Biden fan.

‘Trash,’ you say? Why, I never … | High Plains Blogger

I already have commented on the Sod Poodles reference in this guy’s note. However, he says that he “figured” I am a Joe Biden fan because of the way I “look.”

I’m trying to wrap my noggin around that one. One of my sons figures the guy was objecting mainly to my political leanings and used the Sod Poodles angle as a way to lend it some form of relevance. Hmm. Not a bad analysis. Hey, if my son is right, that means the guy reads the blog regularly. To which I should say “thanks for reading.” There. I just did.

I feel compelled to ask: What does a “Biden fan” look like? Do we all look the same? Are the 81 million-plus Bidenistas out there who voted for the president-elect wearing the same brand of clothes? Do we all drive the same kind of vehicle? FYI, I happen to drive a monster Dodge Ram pickup, three-quarter ton brute.

My correspondent stepped in it, if you want to know my opinion about that. It’s OK. I don’t know him and he damn sure doesn’t know me. I promise I’ll refrain from generalizing about someone who would write something so utterly pointless.

I just wanted to toss this little item out there. Maybe he’ll see it. Oh, dude … keep reading the blog.

Time to brag about blog

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Every now and then I like to bust out a boast about this blog I’ve been writing since The Flood.

So … here goes.

I am about to set an all time monthly record for page views and unique visitors. High Plains Blogger almost set a daily record earlier this month. Even though it fell short by just a bit, the run came in the middle of a sustained surge in viewer traffic, for which I am grateful.

It looks as though the annual record set in 2019 will stand. High Plains Blogger is going to fall just a bit short of that high-viewer mark. Still, I am proud of the monthly record that will fall in a day or tow … or perhaps three. What’s more, there will be several days remaining in this hideous Old Year before we can turn the page and start over in 2021.

Traffic on the blog had kind of plateaued over the course of the past several months. I don’t know if readers are growing bored with my topics, or whether they’ve just moved on to other pursuits, seeking other versions of the truth that comes from yours truly.

Whatever the case, I have enjoyed a strong finish to an otherwise miserable year. Of course, the misery that came this year has nothing to do with the blog, at least not for me.

So, with that I’ll go now. I just add to brag a bit. I’m entitled, since this is my blog … you know?