Burke: In a few words Twitter delivers news, opinion, snark

It’s not meant to be one’s entire news diet, but tweets are good for spicing up the your info feed.

By Tom Burke / Herald columnist

I’m somewhat computer savvy; a total news junkie (and have been for 30 years); and have studiously avoided social media. I don’t post on Facebook, Tik-Tok, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, or for the longest time, Twitter.

But recently, I ventured a toe-in-the-water dip into the Twitterverse. And now I’ve done the complete deep dive. Mostly because most of the reporters I respect, news sources I trust, and news makers who are important post; and because they post earlier than most media outlets put up the relevant stories. They also post stuff not carried by the major outlets. (A good example: Zachary Petrizzo’s truckers convoy tweets provided a more-than-daily update at a time when that wasn’t much covered.)

So lately I’ve been accumulating a sampling of some of the most interesting, important, clever (to me) things I’ve read. I’d like to share a sampling of tweets. (Note 1: I’m not providing attribution, I have a word budget so I’d rather show what’s been said than who said it. Note 2: Only one mention of the Jan. 6 committee, there’s enough of that, everywhere, for now.)

Here we go with some tweets:

• Let’s face it, we‘re not living with covid, we’re just tolerating a lot of death.

• The only person who actually ran into the school in Uvalde to rescue kids was an unarmed woman. … Sometimes being a mom in America means you have to clock out early from work, resist arrest, escape handcuffs, jump fences, break into a locked down school, evade cops, defy federal agents and avoid active shooters just to pick up your kids.

• @YoungParikPatel, “Billion dollar idea: Chipotle but Indian Food.”

• A reply to @YoungParikPatel, “Nobody in the world likes Indian food.”

• Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney, replying to the comment: “Dude who can’t count to a billion.”

• If you’re upset with how much you pay for gas, remember that 203 House Republicans voted against the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act.

• Right-wing “militias” make drag queens look lazy when it comes to playing dress-up.

• Dillon Awes, a preacher in Fort Worth, Texas, just called for the mass execution of every gay American: “Every single homosexual in our country should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head. That’s what God teaches, that’s what the Bible says.”

• America, where the legal age to rent a car (25) is 7 YEARS OLDER than the legal age to buy a semi-automatic rifle which can shoot 45 exploding bullets per minute.

• New: 44% of Republicans say that Americans just “have to accept” mass shootings, according to a @cbsnews poll.

• President George Washington, in his prescient 1796 Farewell Address, cautioned that American democracy was fragile and warned that “Cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.”

• BREAKING: Seattle has been selected as one of 16 cities across North America to host FIFA men’s World Cup matches in 2026.

• 28 mass shootings in the 11 days since Uvalde. And nothing has been done.

• A helpful reminder: while the right tells Matthew McConaughey to “stick to acting”… the yam-tinted moron they just tried to overturn an election for was a reality TV game show host. So…

• Nobody has ever been more surprised than a husband hearing about his wife’s plans for the second time.

• Facts matter: Average domestic oil production under President Biden is now HIGHER than under Trump or any past president. Republicans who say gas prices are high because Biden somehow shut down American energy production are just plain LYING.

• Oil prices today: $115.83 a barrel; Gas prices today: $5.01 a gallon. Oil prices in April of 2008: $116.50 a barrel; Gas prices in April of 2008: $3.51 a gallon. Gas prices are $1.50 a gallon higher than they should be because of the greed of big oil. It’s time for a windfall profits tax.

• Why are grocery prices skyrocketing? Look at monopoly power: 4 companies control 90% of the baby formula market. 4 companies control 85% of the beef market. 1 company controls 79% of the soy milk market. 3 companies control 78% of the pasta market.

• Every senior in America should know that Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot in November.

• The American people have a clear choice this fall between democracy defenders or democracy deniers.

A word of caution: Besides the good “stuff” on Twitter there’s a lot of misinformation, and ads, and filler. So choose carefully who you follow and research what you read (don’t make Twitter your only news source).

And my only word (for now) about the Jan. 6 committee comes from conservative Judge Michael Luttig: “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Sláva Ukrayíni!

Tom Burke’s email address is t.burke.column@gmail.com.

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