Tag Archives: social media

More critics, please

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I don’t get nearly enough feedback from critics of this blog.

Yes, I enjoy the affirmation I get from those happen to agree with the points of view High Plains Blogger expresses. I don’t want that to end.

However, I do want more critics to see these blog posts, to share them with their friends and associates in social media land, and to respond to me with constructive criticism.

One such critic lauded me for the way I express myself but then said it would be “boring” to hear only from those who agree with me. He is right. Indeed, I once commented on that very subject back when I was writing columns and editorials for the Amarillo Globe-News.

My comment, as I recall it, came in response from a reader in Perryton who chided me for my “liberal” views. I responded in a column that I sought to offer a dissenting view to the readers of the solidly Republican Texas Panhandle. I reminded this fellow that it, indeed, would be boring to receive only affirming comments.

I continue to enjoy writing this blog. It gives me energy. It keeps me engaged in some of the things that required me to stay alert, given that I once got paid to comment on issues of the day. These days I do all this commentary on my own. It’s a labor of love … you know?

My social media acquaintance makes an excellent point, though, about those who comment on my musings/spewage. He weighs in regularly. I appreciate his comments.

I appreciate them so much I want more criticism … as long as it’s constructive.

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!

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.”

In defense of newspapers

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Every so often I find myself answering the same question and I have refined my answer to a level I can explain with relative ease.

It came to me again this morning right here in Princeton, Texas. A young dental hygienist asked me what I did for a living. I told her I am retired but was a journalist for nearly four decades. I reported for newspapers, I told her, and then gravitated to opinion writing and editing.

She gave me the obligatory “I like holding a newspaper in my hands” while reading it and then asked: Do you think the reporting is unbiased?

Hmm. It is, I told her. I mentioned that many newspapers around the world — large, small and all sizes in between — continue to do first-rate reporting. They get to the facts, report them fairly and accurately.

What has changed, I told my new friend, is the audience. Consumers of news now seem to want more opinion, I said. I encourage her to look carefully at how large newspapers are covering events of the day.

I didn’t get a sense of her bias, although I reminded her that in my years working as a journalist I learned that “bias inherently is in the eyes of the consumer.” People ascribe bias to solid news reporting when it doesn’t comport with their own world view. Thus, the audience has changed its outlook.

Newspapers continue to do good work. The big folks — Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, you name ’em — keep churning out good work for readers to consume. Some newspaper publishers do look for ways to cover stories intending to embarrass certain people in high places. I have learned to look the other way when I see the names of certain news organizations plastered on stories that have that ring of sensationalism.

I admit freely — and I have done so repeatedly over the years — that I do not disguise my own bias. I have it. You have it. We all have our bias. However, I am able to disseminate hard, cold facts from what I call “advocacy journalism.”

Believe me, there remains plenty of great reporting of just the facts out there.

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.

Phrases that drive you nuts

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I belong to a social media group that comprises alumni from my high school in Portland, Ore.

Someone in that group posted the picture you see with this brief post. I responded with “at the end of the day.” The question posed has sparked a lively talk among fellow graduates of Parkrose High School.

I feel a need to explain why “at the end of the day” is No. 1 on my list of annoying phrases.

It is, to put it simply, a setup for what comes next from the person who says it. The phrase seems to come most often from politician who are in the middle of some monologue about a policy matter. They will tell you, “At the end of the day” and then mutter a phrase that — in their vacuous mind — is the most profound statement ever uttered.

It usually is just another platitude.

I suppose I could offer all the other annoying phrases with which I am familiar. I’ll spare you all of that.

Just know that if you tell me something that follows “at the end of the day,” I am likely to scream.

I’m out.

Rep./Dr. Jackson tweets his thoughts … who knew?

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My friends and former neighbors in the Texas Panhandle are getting a totally expected treat from their new congressman: a Twitter storm of statements, proclamations and, dare I say it, demagogic grenades.

Check out a tweet that came from Rep. Ronny Jackson, the newly elected congressman from the 13th Congressional District:

We must say NO to any mandated “vaccine passport.” This isn’t about “stopping the spread,” it’s about CONTROL and restricting our RIGHTS. Vaccine passports = TYRANNY!

You know, I just love the all-caps approach to driving home a point to the faithful. Actually … I don’t. Why not? It’s so, um, Trumpian!

I am thinking at this moment of Mac Thornberry, the actual lifetime resident of the congressional district whom Jackson succeeded when he got elected in 2020. My thought is that Twitter tirades are so not like Thornberry. He was not inclined to fire off Twitter bombs. Thornberry would do that Washington thing, you know … dictate a policy statement and then issue it through his press office. The Thornberry method was more professional and for me more likely to be taken seriously than a wild-eyed, mouth-frothing tweet!

It’s not that Rep. Jackson is a stupid man. He is, after all, a medical doctor who once served as physician to three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump and along the way rose to the rank of rear admiral in the Navy.

Now he’s a politician and has taken so very readily to the medium of choice for many blowhards on the left and the right.

I hope my former Texas Panhandle neighbors have a stronger stomach for the upcoming barrage of Twitter messages than I believe I would have were I still living there.

Time of My Life, Part 54: Technology advances

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My 8-year-old granddaughter might not know what to call this device. You know what it is. I surely do.

I started work at my first full-time reporting job in Oregon City, Ore., in the spring of 1977. Our suburban afternoon daily newspaper still operated with these gadgets.

Indeed, my favorite moment of a day publishing our newspaper occurred around noon when every one of our staff of six reporters was pounding away on their manual typewriters. I was named editor of that little — and now defunct — newspaper a couple of years after arriving there. I used to stand aside while watching the staff work feverishly to get the copy turned in on time.

We finally advanced to desk top devices that allowed us to type our copy onto floppy disks. The newsroom got significantly quieter at deadline time.

I moved in 1984 to a much larger newspaper in Beaumont, Texas, which had a significantly more advanced computer system. I stayed there nearly 11 years while the newspaper improved its publishing system along the way.

In 1995, I gravitated to my final stop in daily print journalism, moving to Amarillo, Texas, which had a publishing system named after the corporate owners: the Morris Publishing System. It was crappy. Morris Communications ditched that system to something much more workable.

My daily print career ended in the summer of 2012.

This is my way of chronicling all the changes I endured during nearly four decades in journalism. Typewriters to floppy disks to main frame computers to PCs. Now they’re taking pictures with smart phones in the field; they’re using Twitter, Instagram and assorted other media platforms to transmit the news.

It makes my head spin. Then again, my head spun plenty of times as I made my way through a craft I loved pursuing.

Today, I feel a bit like a dinosaur. I just don’t want to become extinct.

Hate the word ‘tweet’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I have developed a profound dislike of Twitter as a social medium that so many people in high places use for a number of dishonorable purposes.

Donald Trump made Twitter-use almost legendary during his campaign for the presidency and then during his term in the office.

Now he’s off, banished by the company that owns the medium. I hear he’s upset by his absence from the Twitterverse. Gosh … Mr. Ex-POTUS, cry me a river.

One of my sons is quite wise in determining the pluses and minuses of modern society. He and I today were talking about Twitter and he offered this bit of wisdom: You cannot formulate a complete policy statement in just the limited number of characters that Twitter allows.

His example: “If I say I oppose hate crime legislation, then people presume I am a racist because Twitter doesn’t allow me to explain myself in full context.” Point taken.

So, when I read these pronouncements from high-and-mighty pols on Twitter, I am left to make presumptions about what those pronouncements are intended to state. They may be incorrect.

Twitter has value. I use it to distribute this blog. Indeed, after I finish writing this post, I will publish it and it will go automatically on Twitter, where my followers can read it and send it along to whomever they wish. Beyond that? I am not sure about the value of trying to make a point using only 280 characters.

One more point …

When I read about politicians or celebrities sniping at each other via Twitter, I am reminded of some kind of schoolyard taunt, where folks don’t have the guts to tell someone they’re full of crap to their face. They sit at some comfortable distance and say it via this cyber platform.

And when I hear the word “tweet,” as in “So and so tweeted something” in response to someone else, I only can equate its verb-form use to the word “fart.

Is that really useful? No. It isn’t. There. Rant over.

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.