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Aug. 22nd, 2016

10:08 am - Inspection- Loki Cokie Roberts

Is Ms. Roberts actually Loki in disguise? You know, Loki: legendary troublemaker and bad advice giver? Or maybe one of the Bad Idea Bears from Avenue Q who tell you to do what you shouldn't?
 Wouldn't be the first public figure who leans rightward to take on that role, Rush Limbaugh being one of the most famous. Why anyone would take advice from someone determined to sabotage you I have no idea.
 If you Google you'll quickly find many people on the left who think she's a right winger, many on the right who think she's a leftie, very Hillary friendly. As to the last, not from what I've heard.
 For various reasons I've taken to listening to NPR's Morning Edition before my guilty comedic pleasure: Stephanie Miller, chuckles me even more awake via my XM radio. I'm half awake listening to ME, often typing on this laptop. The show provides mostly background noise.
 Yes, and I'm well aware that NPR has been more than just tilting right over the past 16 years. Seems the trend started when Bush put a, now long gone, right winger at the helm. "Long gone," but I suspect Bush achieved the desired results considering just this morning's report included so many tiresome reruns of any supposed scandal the right, and some leftward purists, keep trying to pump regarding the Clintons. They've become like wayward Jehovah Witnesses who refuse to stop banging on your door and arguing with you.
 I am at the point of prove it, prosecute it, or shut the hell up. And no anything goes prosecuting, ala' I'm embarrassed to have the same first name Starr. Otherwise it's just more BS.
 Meanwhile the segment about Trump during this morning's brainstorm session, that included Ms. Roberts, was puff piece-ish. In other words they mostly managed to gush about how the public may be wrong about the current beloved of racists, women haters and Hispanic bashers. Why, perhaps Trump might be as cuddly as a teddy bear! Well, they didn't actually say that, but I swear Cokie was so coked up on her obvious partisan skew she wanted to say that.
 Then Ms. Roberts dropped a bombshell. Well, it seemed a pretty big boom to me when it comes to obvious bad advice. Really, what are you putting up your nose, Ms? You really think it such a great idea for the Clintons to simply obliterate the Clinton Foundation? Never you mind all the good it does. I know righties, if they could, would love to send the needy off to concentration... um, reeducation... um, "somewhere else but anywhere near us..." if they could.
 Damn political correctness.
 So, just for the convenience of discussion, let's just skip the fact that many righties don't give a diuretic flying turtle damn about those the Foundation helps.
 But, despite that... in an election year, Cokie, do you really think it would good to take out the Foundation? You do know it would be perceived as an admission of guilt, right? You know, the kind of "guilt" that no one has proven should exist, but can kill a candidacy?
 Well, at least this Loki has a job, other than the usual one. Radio's a great way to cause trouble, as the Reich has found. I just always thought Loki was a he. But I'm in no way interested in making sure he is a she. No, Ms. Roberts, no matter much you beg I will not look under the dress to check the plumbing.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Aug. 16th, 2016

02:19 pm - Inspection- On Trump Inciting Murder

Now we're on to the next outrage. Anyone who has sat back and just observed the past 20 plus years knows the talk show format. Say something even more outrageous. Wait: let the rage build, double down... then shift to claiming it's a joke, sarcasm, misinterpreted by dullards, or that old right wing chestnut: the mythical "Liberal" media. Then say something else outrageous. But as far as all those "claims..."
  Hey wait. According to current conservative mythology, isn't it liberals who overdo nuance, excuse behavior with logic twisted explanations, over explain and argue about meaning of words like "is"?
 Well as least "is" is present tense-based, and hence that was truth-based. But moving on to dunking the political heretic was so much fun and always so damn convenient to the Reich wing's demand for their kind of political correctness.
 When being accused of lying, Trump hasn't even got "the meaning of 'is'" going for him given his take Hillary out comment. The ISIS/ISIL comment must seem safer ground, in comparison. He had his spinsters spinning his sentences into what they never, ever could have meant. Then he used a version of that playground fecal nugget used by a bully when he's caught, "I was KIDDING," in this case a very late, "It was SARCASM." Timing so bad in this case it fools no one except those who are in on the "joke:" keep trying to play those not really fooled as if they were fools.
 Most of what needs to be said has been said about what wasn't even close to mere dog whistle. Even if "sarcasm," it still qualifies as an open invite to assassination.
 Luckily this kind of rhetoric has made Donald's polls sink faster than a mob boss given cement shoes... for now. But this kind of rhetoric is no surprise, and not only because it's Donald Trump. The competition for pundits and pols to say the next, even more outrageous, thing has been longstanding... long before Trump stood up and started calling everyone names to work his way up towards being the name calling president in chief.

I know the military, I like the military, but the military didn't get all those new Gitmo prisoners to confess. Yous a buncha LOSERS! LOSERS! What LOSERS you are!"- what to expect from a President Trump, 2017.

Here is where we start looking under the rocks of a topic, looking at what no one seems to be discussing...
 When does free speech so endanger the rights of others it should no longer be legally acceptable? Where's the line? When does free speech actually negate freedom?
 Like when discussing guns, this is where I get myself in trouble with what should be a simple, common sense, premise: no right is absolute.
 You can't argue with irrational people is a given. Gun rights advocates usually respond to these kinds of questions with insults. Free speech absolutists usually respond to these kinds of questions with insults. I try to start a rational discussion by giving examples; admittedly extreme ones: like obviously we agree machine guns have no place in the hands of prisoners, or a defendant in court while on trial for murder, or no shouting fire in a crowded theater. They never, ever, have responded to those examples of limitations. They just offer more personal insults. Of course responding would have been easy: just point out these are extreme examples. They never do.
 I think they don't respond because I would follow up with, "That's my point. Absolute claims met with extremes prove absolute rules really don't work. There are exceptions to every rule." Then I would go to the more logical approach, "What those limitations should be is the real discussion. Arguing as if there are none is a non-starter, because obviously there are."
  Inciting others to commit murder, or threatening to do so... Well, at one time I thought both were illegal.
Actually they are, but you'd never know it sometimes. Enforcement seems highly selective, at best.
 You may notice when the rare times someone's prosecuted for threats it's only the little guy who get prosecuted, and usually it's threatening the president. Pundits and pols who threaten or incite? Well, it's supposedly all part of the game. At best they may, I repeat may just get a visit from the Service.
 Why is it I imagine the content of said meetings may go like this...

"Oh please, pretty please, Mr. Trump, be little more careful. You make only going after the rabble harder."

Now, if Donald Trump was led away to be prosecuted maybe we might take our threats and inciting murder laws more seriously. Why has threatening the president often become the exception to this incredibly lax view of threatening the lives of others, or inciting? And even with the forementioned "rabble," why is it ex-husbands too often get the chance to murder their ex-wives after many threats, but a woman obviously standing her ground against a husband who threatened to kill her several times ends up in prison for endangering her children? WHO was endangering the children?"
 Notice even when the rabble catch a break it's men?
 Seems there's some tiered level of who must obey the law, and who slides.
 Oh, wait, I live in the US. Duh.
 Diving in deeper, is there some constituional right to this? Free speech makes enabling a murder OK?
 I think if people who threatened to murder someone became high profile targets of enforcement maybe we'd become a safer, more sane, more civil society.

 Of course this is where the insults come.

Go back a read your Constitution, stupid!

OK. Guilty as charged. I remember now. The Constitution is pro- murder. First amendment: "The right to incite or threaten to kill shall not be infringed." This being covered by free speech is not unlike how a violent prisoner's "right" to have a steady supply of submachine guns is covered.
Again: "no right is absolute."
 But for those who still insist on hanging on to their free speech/2nd Amendment constitutional claims, let's go here... someone threatening to commit murder, or encouraging others to, is threatening to deny life, liberty and the pursuit. That's pretty damn basic. We can either have threatening and inciting as exceptions, or not. But we don't even have that. Instead we enforce unequally.
 Once again...

"Seems there's some tiered level of who must obey the law, and who slides."
 "Oh, wait, I live in the US. Duh."

 Yes, there's is a constitutional phrase for this: unequal protection. As with all things there are always exceptions. But I vote for far, far less exceptions and far more enforcement. I vote for having a saner society where; no matter what one's racial, sex, social or economic status, when threatening the life of others, or encouraging others to commit murder, one gets prosecuted, assures, when convicted, they lose their freedom.
 And, since unequal protection in most cases negates any truely sane definition of freedom, we would be a more free society for it.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Aug. 7th, 2016

06:15 am - Inspection- The Base Based Politics of Ugly

  Old Forge, NY, library... I sit type... type... typing... this column, and then a gentleman strikes up a conversation with me: apparently one of our more extroverted neighborhood conspiracy theorists. We dive deep into Rothschild conspiracies, well... he does. I offer patience and a listening ear. Contradiction will get me nowhere. According to him if that... curse word deleted... Hillary... is elected the Rothschilds will rule the country, eventually the world. I've heard all this before: the Bilderberg conspiracy, how Obama/Bush will never leave office and become dictator for life, Birther claims and that alien cattle anal probes are actually the work of creatures from planet Ericcartman...
 Conspiracy theories always seem to flare up election time.
 I only contradict him when; promising to send me his book for review before publication, he asks...

"You're not a DEMOCRAT, ARE YOU????"

  He spits out "Democrat" as if it's an infected, rotted, tooth.

"Well, you'd probably consider me left of center."

 Before that he had asked me to review 800 pages of what I suspect would have been some version of publishing slush pile hell. Oh, golly, gee, now I guess this will be another missed opportunity? So sad.
 In comparison, that was a very civil conversation, unlike some during elections these days. Unlike the random ranter who just has to tell me; a stranger, how much he hates whomever, whatever. How about the Facebook poster who was so determined to convince me provisional ballots ARE counted, but only after it gets close, who insists on adding personal insults with his every comment? Does that make him think I'll change my mind? Or his insistence I should just bow down to his vast superior wealth of knowledge will alter my opinion while he tags it with the odd claim I don't even know basic math?
 Claiming they only, and always, count provisional ballots if the election is close isn't "basic math." It's a basic contradiction of the whole premise behind provisional ballots: not letting people vote because there's something supposedly questionable about their claim to that right. If the claim is they actually don't have that right, saying you might count it anyway is, basically, a placebo statement meant to make the potential voter go away, but go away "nicely."
 And who gets to decide when, and if, it's "close enough?" What standards are used? Is there any attempt to make that a bipartisan decision? No partisanship involved in the initial decision?
 In response to all these challenges his basic answer was some variant on...

 "I know better that you, you stupidhead idiot, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah."

 Of course I did try to tell him none of his comments proved his claim, or even mention I have worked at polls and with election folks too: and my take away was quite different. But, as always, it did make me think about how we got to this point, where people think that insult and claims: no proof, should convince anyone.
 Example: I mean, who the hell would be convinced by someone who uses the phrases "Crooked, cooked Hillary" over and over? Or for that matter constantly calling Trump a Nazi, or a narcissist?
 Apparently, a hell of a lot of people.
 Making claims then insisting that makes them facts seems the main method of discussion and debate these days. Oh, then followed up by some version of "idiot," as if that does anything but reflect poorly on the points being made.
 It's really no surprise. Our national discourse has been heading this way a long time. Once radio talk shows became the rage, taking over AM, increasingly using a kind of format we'd all recognize as insult-based, where we are today seems a logical progression. Did I type "logical?" Well, the progression is, content and concept... not so much.
 Another reason is the over reliance on the basest of base based politics. All that matters is serving your base. But politicians should represent all their constituents. Dictators, kings, emperors, despots... well, if they represent a good size base: by no means a "majority," they can usually stay in power. But that's not true representation in any sense of being a representative of a state, a county, a parish, a nation.
 And no way in hell is any of this good for our nation.
 It's become surreal. As one republican said, if the parent of a soldier gets up at the other convention and challenges your candidate due to the loss of that son or daughter during war; civility is the best answer. Making insulting insinuations about the nature of his wife and their marriage, their religion, is not. It's as simple as that. This is no "both parties do this" scenario. Yes, both parties use the unfair tactic of pulling at the nation's heart strings in a way to challenge the other side's candidate. And I suppose if Mr. Trump had simply challenged content without personal insult combined with insinuation I might have never typed what I'm typing now.
 But he can't resist. It's pretty much all he has when responding to those who challenge him.
 When did we pass the point where too many damn folks shrug at mocking those whose conditions make them stutter, have odd facial expressions and movements? When did we reach the point when lying about doing that doesn't matter? This is different compared to claiming to land under fire in a war zone where, yes, there was lots of "firing" going on... elsewhere. As humans we tend to embellish and remember things wrong. But to outright try to humiliate a grieving father or mother for political purposes... that's beyond non-presidential behavior. That's something we punish misbehaving children for.
 Was it when it became acceptable for Bill O'Reilly to constantly interrupt, talk over and call people pinheads? Was it when Limbaugh spent days basically calling Ms. Fluke a whore, a slut and worse? Maybe it was Michael Moore getting himself invited to Heston's place and rudely wandering around private property to get his "story" that helped start us down the path of outright rudeness? I only chose that to show I am not claiming "only one side does it," though since the right is king of talk these days and aggressive rhetoric, and has been for a while, they certainly have helped lead the charge into this horrific abyss.
 We need to decide as a nation if bullying people is proper, if the victim of bullying is always to blame: or even if that matters. We desperately need to get out of this rhetorical pit from hell we've dug so deeply.
 There's something desperately wrong with a portion of the electorate, and I believe it has to do with how we view each other. Those who disagree are perceived as the enemy, to be mercilessly defeated, humiliated, conquered, destroyed.
 Our politics of base based ugly is truly reaching out towards 1930s Germany-like territory where there was enough hate driven politics to create one of the worst societies ever to exist in modern times. And there are too many people out there who would have little problem with that kind of leader ruling a nation.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Jul. 24th, 2016

06:47 am - Inspection- Giving the Finger to Bernie Supporters

  Hillary, what the hell were you, or your advisors thinking? Or were you thinking at all? It’s not like you’ve never had to apologize, or say “it was a mistake” before. If this was a mistake it’s a giant one. I’m not all that convinced it's just some mistake. Sure seems an intentional obscene gesture to me.
 Some of us who voted Bernie have been in a very difficult position. At times I'm purists claimed I was a Hillary supporter in bad true believer clothing because I don't think buying into every stupid, or half assed, Hillary conspiracy theory is wise.
I don't believe villain-ization serves Democrats well, or Bernie well. Who it does serve is a party that has continued to skew into more torture, less personal rights: except for those with a lot of money or part of big corporations whose interest is to oppress small ones.
 I could go one; but not my main point here.
 The recent release of inner party E-mails by WikiLeaks is disgusting, and exactly what I would expect. Unlike Hillary, these folks rely on being very private and staying in the shadows. I do find, however, with more public folks, it pays to ask why they would do A or B when it obviously will be seen, and obviously not help a candidacy. It’s kind of a rational approach to recognizing we have those who claim to be believers, followers and supporters, but really aren’t. There’s a long history of this kind of punking.
 Which makes the selection of Tim Kaine worse than "puzzling." Does the Clinton organization, does Hillary, recognize that their biggest weakness with Sanders supporters is the image of them as fracking-loving corporatists?
 He's somewhat of a clean coal advocate? Really?
 An advocate of religious exemptions for employers who personally object to abortion, the pill, yada, yada… really?
 One of the biggest needs here is to heal the party and bring in those Sanders supporters who might reluctantly vote Clinton due to “the far worse candidate” politics. I am, by far no fan of this: but until we change the very nature of the system we have to elect our representatives, our president, it is what we have to deal with. Jill Stein isn’t going to win. Dem leaders have proved over, and over, again that having the presidency snatched away due, in part, to a third party never, ever educates them: because the set up is so skewed towards a duopoly. Run off voting and neutering the gerrymander are hardly on the horizon and will take a hell of a lot of organizing that would take us far beyond 2016, probably 2020 and 2024: if we even start heading that way.
 By the way, Republicans are just as guilty of non-response: see the autopsy of 2012 and the following double downing, just to provide two examples.
 But I can’t help but feel, after his great speech, that this is basically a middle finger in the face of Sanders and his supporters. Great way to confirm the arguments of Bernie or Busters, Hillary.
 Yes, I will not vote Trump. I will vote Hillary: despite. In my opinion the stakes are too big, and Christian Reconstructionist Pence only makes it more vital. Want to see women who get an abortion go to prison, a theocracy-based state and as bad, or worse, even more of a corporatist state with poverty wages, more prison labor instead of jobs? Vote Trump/Pence. The Donald has already indicated he’s interested in jetting around, keeping businesses going and, I suspect, posing for photo ops.
 Narcissicism is beyond just a “defining characteristic,” and he seems to have little interest in hands on. Welcome to what essentially would amount to a Pence presidency.
 Vote your conscience, as that great irritant, Cruz, said.
 But, Hillary, in my opinion, you didn’t just made it a hell of a lot harder for Bernie supporters to still make that a vote for you. You just shoved a middle finger into their faces.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Jul. 20th, 2016

02:58 pm - Inspection- The Political Cult-fication of America

  There’s a caveat I must begin with. “Cult” isn’t necessarily bad. For the times, Jesus was the leader of what would have been considered a “cult.” That “cult” was wrongfully considered by Roman and Jewish authorities to be dangerous.
 But I do believe our two party-based system has become too cult-like in the worst ways…

  Compared to, let’s say, the Gnostic gospels, there’s a fairly recent alternative view of the events leading up to the crucifixion. Jesus was supposed to survive after being treated with healing herbs. In one thousands of years old Gnostic gospel Judas was a hero: doing what Jesus wanted, what needed to be done. Of course, after that, Jesus would return and offer up God’s wrath like some vengeful waitress at the Final Judgement Cafe. Locusts and brimstone would be available in the Serves You Right souvenir shop.
 Politics and religion were pretty much inseparable back then, though the Romans tried to keep them somewhat separate by cruelly punishing believers perceived to be challenging Roman rule. The cult-ish concept that made sacrificing even the truest of believers for the cause remains, and has become part of politics.
 I suppose some political cults we have today might be relatively tame, but I do consider the very concept of political movements turned cult rotten to the core: one that can undermine and destroy a free; truly representative, society. Sometimes a society has so many forceful special interests, demanding movements, that over reaction becomes the standard. For example: much like those who challenged Rome, or those who deposed Julius Caesar, we go beyond destroying the leader, but also family members and those politically incorrect souls who don’t go out of their way to demonize them. This has become common sport… destroying at all costs: even the common good. Anything that president proposes is also opposed, demonized. If we were Pompeii Republicans and Dems would be found at each others throats in the ashes rather than considering a common held desire to evacuate when proposed by only one side.
 People back then didn’t know better when it came to such predicable disasters and problems. We do, but so often would rather go down in flames than give a centimeter.
 I know in the days of Limbaugh and Surandon this may seem “quaint,” but having a system where politicians had to appeal to a wider base than “us vs. them” might help, I suppose.
 Are you becoming part of a political cult rather than a movement, or a party? The following 10 suggestions might help you tell the difference. Apologies if sometimes it’s a tad too Jeff Foxworthy-ish…
         1. Following a candidate means he, or she, isn’t perfect. They’re just who you consider the best “hire” for the job. If you think whomever you support is perfect you could be a cultist.
         2. Likening any candidate to holy men, or women, could be a danger sign you’re involved in a cult.
         3. Other candidates aren’t necessarily evil. They’re just not the best choice… in your opinion.
         4. If your candidate isn’t chosen and they throw their support behind another they aren’t Judas, they haven’t “betrayed” you.
         5. If you are unable to respectfully, somewhat objectively, discuss an election with those who support other candidates you most likely are a cultist: no matter whom you support.
         6. You can vote for, support, whomever you wish… or not. But demanding others follow your lead means your stance is more cult-like than political.
         7. Supporters come in many flavors. Some will vote for that one candidate, no one else. Some will vote for someone else, but never their candidate’s main opponent. Some will never vote for those who haven’t a chance of winning, but will choose the least objectionable among the two left standing due to the system we have. All those choices are yours to make. No single one is the only appropriate one for all.
         8. Accusation and guilt are not the same. Often accusation is the man made fog of political warfare. If you eager to ready to accept any accusation, yet reject all that apply to your candidate, you may be a cultist.
         9. Assaulting anyone considered “not one of us” means you may be a cultist. This includes constant ad hominem-based verbal assaults absent any content other than name calling.
         10. You find even considering these suggestions offensive means you could be a cultist.
  OK, excuse me for a second…. blabobbbbbzzzzzzzzzzzbeep…. There, I just shook off being possessed by the sometimes annoying spirit of Mr. Foxworthy. Now he can go back to making equally annoying ads for that great foodie icon that enables obesity so well: Golden Corral.
  I am curious what’s going to happen the next few weeks during what could be considered the biggest political cult gatherings in the country: conventions. With all the serious dump on Trump rhetoric in his own party, will 99% line up to drink the Kool Aid, or not? The same question applies for the Dems, especially after some of the anti-Hillary rhetoric from a few Bernie supporters.
 I must admit, I have mixed feelings. I have no desire to witness implosion, but I also find partisans suddenly turning into support the party no matter what zombies equally disturbing. Guess I’m no fan of that political delicacy of extreme compromise: eating your own brains.
 We stand at a rather odd intersection in America where the left may swing equally radical to counter the ever shifting rightward Republicans. It’s refreshing, in a way, but is it good for a two party nation to leave those more in the middle far behind unless they buy everything cult A, or cult B, has to sell? Is it really best to leave every square peg in the partisan dust strewn by the biggest round a-holes in each movement who demand political purity?
 In the end, cults: political or not, usually specialize in elevating themselves and demonizing all others
  We desperately need something like run off voting so we’re no longer stuck, not just voting for twiddly dee, or twiddly dumber, but far worse; those who only have little more than hate, fear and supposed political purity to sell. It’s no way to run a free nation, or any nation for that matter. And it does qualify as some of the worst cult-like behavior.                 

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Jul. 6th, 2016

08:33 pm - Inspection- Misdirecting the Masses

  Lately Senator Sanders has been slammed with scandals, like his "glaring neglect" of veteran concerns during the 2014 VA scandal. Or his corrupt misuse of campaign funds. And we have the never ending saga of Sanders' cabbage doll fetish where he bankrupted Vermont treasury saving these long past their prime toys from being tossed in the fireplaces, flushed down toilets and crucified for having no souls.
  These, among the never ending list of...
 OK, I have to stop typing crap now, because I'm overwhelmed by an odd mix of mirth and what seems to be my all too common, never ending, feeling of being annoyed at how we carry on public discourse these days.
 Getting older can mean you grow skeptical of claims, even when it may be a pol you're not fond of, to be polite. Like I was beyond annoyed by all the people in Jimmy Kimmel's street interview who claimed to believe and have heard specifics about fictional E-mails Hillary wrote. Then there's Trump claims: like that all too frequently posted fictional quote where it's claimed Donald said it's easy play Republicans for fools.
  Some things simply don't pass the sniff test, even if they might be serve our own opinions.
  You've also lived long enough to observe reoccurring patterns and trends that are disturbing, like "the scandal scam."
 The scandal scam is what one might call the past 30 years trend of creating phony, hyperbolic, over wrought "issues" to keep us from serious, in-depth, discussions of important ones. The scandal scam helps us to stop discussing the candidate's different plans, visions, for our country's future. The scandal scam makes the John McCain's "illegitimate" black baby lie more important than truth, that "Hillary's about to be indicted" seem inevitable, while abandoning discussing what we want for policies as a nation, where we need to go.
 There can be little doubt the intense focus on unproven scandals can't help but affect outcomes. It skews investigations. And it is one of the main reasons we end up voting for "the lesser of two evils."
 Instead of vision and plans of candidates being important topics; because the media loves scandal like a John "loves" women hanging out on street corners, we are all being dragged by our groins into paying attention to their fav substitutions, like...
         1. "What did he/she know. When did he/she know it?"
          2."If only she/he would release absolutely everything!"
          3."If only she/he would apologize."
  These questions, these claims, are specifically designed to never really be answered completely, never proven or disproved. It's assumed that there's always something hidden, unreleased and some evil, calculated, motive behind it all. More fuel for the perpetual scandal-powered motion machine. And because of constant scandal mongering we keep picking between two perceived evils. A two party system with so much power in the hands of two parties not only makes votes outside that system worse than useless, it skews the vote in favor of the greater evil.
 Remember: where there's smoke sometimes there are a lot of grinning partisans with smoke machines. Here are four guidelines that may help you discern smoke machines pumping out haze from actual fire, or what's more smoke than fire...
         A. Who does the accusation serve the most?
         B. Why would the target of the accusations intentionally do something that would cause more damage than good?
         C. Who has the most to gain, even if it's just to divide people?
         D. Questionable investigations usually mean you don't get just aninvestigation, especially if the results don't serve the purposes of partisans. You get an investigation of the investigation, sometimes an investigation or the investigation, of the investigation, of the...
  Obviously there are real scandals. Perhaps the biggest crime here is that sometimes real scandal gets washed away by all the garbage.
 What else is obvious? Well it's obvious that our incredible system of mass communication combined with the abandonment of objective reporting is the perfect hot house environment for continual scandal mongering.
 So our national dialogue isn't what any candidate might do for the nation, where we need to head as a nation. Instead we continue to jump from scandal after scandal: Bill Clinton's conversation on a plane, to Trump's use of an anti-Semitic star, to...
 Is it any accident that the two candidates are also the two most likely to feed the scandal machine? Is it any accident that other candidates received far less attention?
 Even though candidates who offer substance might fill stadiums again and again with supporters, they don't have much of a chance these days. And if Donald Trump has done anything people on both sides might accept as good it's been to reveal just how bad, how ambulance chasing lawyer-like, our media has become.
 Great magicians excel at the art of misdirection. Our media, pundits and pols attempt misdirection: offering us bright objects embedded with BS. Politics has become the art of distraction gone bad.
 This reminds me of a Marshall McLuhan quote. Maybe sometimes "the medium" really "is the message." We can focus our thoughts, our attention on what's on the TV, or the TV itself. So maybe, instead of what they want to put their spotlight on: the scandals, demand the spotlight focus in on the scandal making machine that so dominates politics.
 If that ever becomes reality expect the most self serving roaches to scatter. Just be aware: they'll return just as soon as the lights go out.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Jun. 14th, 2016

07:23 pm - Inspection- If/Then and Now

Orlando, Trump, Hillary, Bernie... anyone else overwhelmed, while also being more than a tad tired of it all? It's all so predictable: radicalized anti-gay loner shoots up club, Obama speaks, "He's going to take our guns!" Trump tweets how right he was. Another guy caught with guns heading towards a club is stopped... little said about who he is, or why.
 Let's take a break! Hey, as with most editions ofInspection, I will still touch upon, "What's Goin On," to quote Marvin.

Last Sunday, on the way the Nashville off Broadway performance of If/Then, Millie and I had a flat tire. Hot, scorching sun, thick humidity; luckily we found some shade.
 Me; with my right arm damaged by surgery and barely workable...
 Her; without the strength to jack...
 Together, somehow, we managed to change the tire, take quick showers at the gym, and arrive on time.
 So many minor decisions led up to that sequence of events.
 In case you're unfamiliar, the musical If/Then starts with Elizabeth, having just left a dying marriage in Phoenix, arriving back in her native NYC. Then what may have seemed at first to be a less significant choice ends up making major changes in her life. The musical lets the results of both choices play out, and my wife and I even agreed there was at least a third alternate timeline, maybe four.
  How many decisions have there been in our lives where each and every one of us may have asked after, "But what if?"
 She meets and falls in love with a soldier who goes back to war after they have children.
 She becomes a childless, lonely, business woman.
 She gets pregnant and has an abortion.
 She becomes a single mother with a gay couple helping her.
 All this revolves around a choice: "going with Lukas" to a protest or, "stay here with Kate." No option she chooses is perfect. One leads to angst between former lovers, years after, when he finds out she had an abortion. Another choice left few dry eyes in the audience.
 The concept is grand, though the execution is just a tad flawed. Sometimes it's hard to tell which reality you're watching. There's a lot of choreography: sometimes too much... detracting from the intensity of the lyrics, the emotion of the moment. The music is strong, well written, but fails to correct either flaw: leaving a little too much dance-driven distraction, and a confused audience trying to figure out which timeline is which.
  Neither is a fatal flaw in any sense... far from it.
  Like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, 2000, 2008, once again we have reached a split in time. Time is always splitting, to be honest, as If/Then reveals: minor decisions might make major changes. But major decisions are what we usually think of. Could a President Gore administration have somehow escaped 9/11, or made it worse? Maybe just some different: equally horrifying, result?
 Careful how you answer that: we all judge these things by what we think we know now. But what we know now rarely indicates everything that may alter a timeline once we've taken a different path. Some things are obvious and unlikely to change, like there would have been those who would have declared Bush would have been better at avoiding 9/11, even if only one tower fell. Certainly there would have been the same critique if somehow the Bush administration had saved all but one tower.
 These are big decisions. But minor decisions may make as many major changes as big decisions. How many decided not to go to that club in Orlando that night? What if someone hadn't seen a second guy with guns headed to create murder and mayhem? If certain people at the club had had guns would it have made it worse... better?
 What if John Parker hadn't left his post, or a better guard had been chosen, the night of Lincoln's assassination? What if the Secret Service had convinced Kennedy to put the convertible top up in Dallas? Seemingly minor decisions, yes, but crucial when it came to complicating a shooter's aim, or an assassin's plans.
 So much goes into the answer to any of these questions anyone who claims they absolutely know is either naive, or playing the role of fool.
 Ah, yes, but it certainly can be fun and entertaining to guess. So many books have been written with this theme, one of my favorite sub genres. What if Lindy, who was thinking of running, won against FDR and kept us out of WWII? (The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth )... President Joe Kennedy meets an aging Hitler in the early 60s. (Fatherland, by Robert Harris). The movie The Butterfly Effect has multiple endings, many attempts to fix time; showing just how hard it may be. About Time is a sweet/bitter story of a boy who changes time to find the love of his life. My own book, Autocide offers a sub plot where Joe Biden leaves and, after Obama was assassinated, President Hillary loses the next campaign. A car company benefits from these changes.
  But even though I have written speculative, time altering, history, I must admit I have little faith in such predictions. As I have argued so many times: we really can't know. We assume influences in our timeline would stay the same, but that's beyond doubtful. Small changes that seem minor can sheer us off in unexpected directions.
  In the end If/Then may offer a cheat, in one sense. The most loving life Elizabeth had, one lost in tragedy, is offered to another version of herself who avoided that timeline when she went with Lukas to the protest. I suspect such "happy" second chances are rare, for one reason because we never knew what we missed. The logic we used that headed us off down a different path may still remain and keep us from what might have been. Time itself, due to so much happening, can close doors rather firmly.
  The irony this election year is whichever of the two major party candidates might win may win mostly because of who they are running against. And the one thing no one's talking about, no matter who wins, is none of this bodes well for the winner or the loser... unless they become a tyrant.
  Impossible? After all the changes post the 2000 election I have learned not to say that. Just when we think we know what's next... the unexpected occurs.
  Like Elizabeth's small decision, what too many people think of as less significant: their vote, really isn't insignificant at all. Aside from very close elections, often we don't realize just how much our very presence influences people. And there's a lot of time between now and November. That factor alone creates many changes, and changes minds. Time itself is a variable that may make all the difference.
 But come November, once again, we will have a choice: show up and have as much influence as we can, or let whatever might happen, happen. We are now, and will be, like Elizabeth who showed up at a protest and led a different life from when she decided to stay with Kate.
 Either way, may the choices made be the best they can be, for what follows may not be all we expect. Personally, though there were problems with her choice, as there usually are with any choice, I will go with Lukas. I am foolish enough to think I can make a difference, no matter how slight.
 This November, I ask you only do one thing. Do whatever you think is best.

      ...somewhere I'm the president with plans that never fail
      And somewhere I'm a rebel king
      And somewhere I'm in jail
      I didn't chase my glory days long after they were done
      I found myself a woman or a man and had a son

      Some other me is a rock star
      Some other me is still cool
      Some other me does not feel like some tired old fool
      And you and I are strangers, or we're lovers, or we're not
      The other mes live with what they've got

      Look down each road left untaken
      Trace every turn and twist
      The lives that we just let go by
      The dreams we might have missed
      Now we're old enough to know that
      One road ends where one begins
      The moment where the "what might bes"
      Turn into "might have beens"

                                                              -Some Other Me, from If/Then

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Jun. 8th, 2016

07:32 pm - Inspection- Ms. Hillary

 As she spread her arms to welcome the Tuesday's results I must admit, I kept thinking, "What the hell are you wearing and why would anyone keep choosing this look?" If someone chooses for her they need to be assigned another task.
 I understand how that comment may seem sexist, but this Chairman Mao look just undercuts all she says. It would be like Bernie sporting a Hitler mustache: a visual oxymoron. And she seems to have so many blouses, overcoats or... whatever the heck they are, like that.
 Let's get the obvious out of the way. It's about damn time we got to at least a woman as one of two candidates in a two party system. How many nations already have had a women to lead their country? How many have we had make it even this close? 0. And let's add that Ms. Clinton; and I mean this in a very positive way, is the ultimate whack-o-mole combined with energizer bunny. And maybe that's what it had to take for a woman to get this far. To keep pursuing despite, maybe even sometimes because of, so much loud, hyperbole-based, opposition, is an achievement. Her ability to shift, shuffle and adjust is legendary, which of course brings us to some of the reasons I voted for Bernie Sanders here in Tennessee.
 I understand very well how there has been a 30 year jihad against her and her husband. Those who supported Barack Obama should understand by now it was far less about either Bill or Barack than tactics to either bring down any Dem who ascends to that office, or at least keep them from achieving anything. From the Arkansas Project, when Bill was governor, to Hillarycare (sound familiar, Obama supporters?), to dragging out multiple investigations up until election time for obvious partisan purposes, The Hunting of the Clintons, to paraphrase a 90s book's title, has been far less about them than a rabid, hate filled, anything goes, element in the Republican Party.
 But, then again, one reason, of many, I voted Bernie is that Hillary is such an easy target.
 Also her reaction, like her husband, to many of these things is bothersome to me. The constant use of caveats like, "I made a mistake," and how she knows better now, was fooled before...all this brings into question her judgment. Then there's who has backed her candidacy, where and who paid her to speak, who she has befriended: all these are valid concerns. Do we really expect her to crack down on banks, bad trade deals, those who push for war, corrupt corporations?
 Doubtful at best.
 Yes, all these might be part of some honest "only Nixon could go to China" turn around on her part. But I'm certainly not holding my breath.
 Yes, all this is how politics have been run for many years. Hillary is no exception, or even worse than most. But maybe that's the point: we really do need what Barack promised, but in some ways didn't deliver: change.
 I have more, but I'll head on to my last point.
  I understand, and appreciate, those who feel I should vote my conscience rather than serve that inapt hyperbolic phrase: voting for "the lesser of two evils." But this is the system we have. I wish the hell it wasn't. I'm a big believer in a system based run off voting where we rank candidates as to who we want the most to who we absolutely don't want. But that's what we don't have. A 3rd party candidate in a two party system supported by the media hasn't got a chance in hell. And that dynamic has only gotten far worse with rulings like Citizens United.
 I refuse to do anything that might contribute to Republicans getting the White House back. If you honestly review just how bad their rule had become historically, starting from Nixon to Bush II, I think you might understand.
 While Nixon might have wanted to torture, he never would have argued in public for it. Reagan's administration was corrupt, but hiring companies, like one connected to the VP, over and over again that electrocuted soldiers in faulty showers, failed to deliver water in a desert theater, or a team of mercenaries who randomly slaughtered black citizens in New Orleans, and innocents on streets in Iraq?
 At least not as out in the open and pushing for even worse than that.
 As many problems as I have with Hillary, she won't bring back torture, or make it worse. Trump will, and his party will eagerly support him.
 As many problems as I have with Hillary, she won't want to have pregnant women and doctors put in prison for a very hard decision. Trump has already said he will.
 Women and minorities won't be a personal target for her if they dare to not support anything she desires to do. Trump has already proven he will do this in the vilest ways.
 I have a lot more, but point made.
 What Bernie has done is incredible. I'm glad he's planning on bringing it all to the convention.
 My readers, and those who share many Facebook pages with me, know what I'm going to do. But am I going to insist you hold your nose and vote Hillary, or call you stupid for not doing so?
 Hell, no.
 Besides, punishing those who take a different path, who we disagree with, using name calling, threats and vile, obscene, accusations...
 Gee, how "Trump" is that?

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

May. 23rd, 2016

03:17 am - Inspection- The Dangerous State of the Body Politic

 Facebook posters on the Hartmann and Miller pages are probably familiar with my occasional use of the terms "sock puppets" and "troll." Generally I try to never actually call any specific person either term because, well, I don't live in their heads. I have no real idea if they are, or aren't.
 That's a lot more respect than too many posters seem to have these days, and I'm not referring to just posters on the right.
 Ad hominem attacks are far too plentiful. Too many Facebook threads have become more dick offs than anything approaching actual discussion. The worst among these posters often remind me of Trump, even when the poster claims to be a "progressive."
 Facebook isn't a great venue for political discussions. It favors short, quick, snark over actual content, "You're an idiot," or, "ANY FOOL KNOWS THE MOON LANDING WAS FAKED, F-IN GOOGLE IT," over actual civil discussion. Facebook is a bully's paradise where circular reasoning-based smugness is too often used to shut down conversation.
 You know, like most talk shows and talking head programs? I must admit sometimes I really do feel like a "pinhead" when I tolerate this kind of shout over, yell at, pot down, insult-based drivel, even when I agree with the host.
 I have no doubt there's an ebb and flow across the partisan divide when it comes to outright nasty, boorish behavior. I think the closest I ever came to doing such myself was posting a self made meme that said, "If you accuse others of what you do you could be a troll." It was in response to a poster who seemed to be doing exactly that. But I usually avoid coming even that close to calling someone a troll, sock puppet, idiot, squirrel vomit or vampire puke, even though the last two are kind of funny, depending on the context and if you get any on you. For some reason I still can't get my glasses clean after one early morning when the vampires and squirrels ganged up on me.
 There are mixed feelings regarding all of this, as I will soon explain. I have no use for sock puppets. It's not just paying people for political acts, which is an old practice, yes. In the 80s my wife and I were paid advocates here in Nashville, mostly seeking donations via the phone from rich folks. We needed the money, the candidates needed the money, so we did it, despite neither of us being all that excited by the candidates. Well, maybe one excited us as far as a source for comedic gold. I mean how many jokes can be told by a guy named Boner who advertised with his name inside a big bone? Almost as many when the same pol was then discovered cheating on his wife of many years: caught boning a stripper.
  So in regards to people paid to pretend they're a Sanders or Clinton supporters, paid to cause trouble, paid to encourage inner party animosity? Such folks are boning America in the worst ways, in my opinion. Their goal is to prevent honest, civil, discussion, to turn honest disagreement dishonest, and to create as much hatred and animosity as possible. Other goals dangerous to the body politic are to encourage anyone they might disagree with not to vote, or to vote for the worst of the worst.
 If you hate Hillary, or are mad at Bernie, vote as you wish, or don't vote. But stop trying to humiliate or digitally shout and shame others into goosestepping behind you. If for for no other reason then because that's the opposite of "progressive," and more akin to being infected with extreme Brownshirt-itis.
 As much as I dislike folks who do these things, most of the time it's their right: threatening others with violence obviously one of the exceptions. But I consider the people who pay others to do these things to be the rhetorical terrorists attacking the body politic.
 But let's move forward to those who truly do back Hillary, or Bernie, with passion so extreme it includes all or nothing rhetoric, includes the nastiest of ad hominem-based comments.
 Increasingly, I find some of the Sanders advocates as aggressive, as in your face, as right wing nuts who truck in such. Most of that observation had been gathered from Mr, Hartmann's (blogger) page. But more recently, over on Stephanie Miller's fan FB page, I have started to see some supposed Hillary supporters using similar ad hominem-based tactics. Some posts could have been written by the same person, just fill in different names.
 Oh, joy. Meaningless, vitriol-based, bipartisan BS. Kind of like walking between cow corpses and stepping in all that's left behind: deep piles of po.
 Yet, again, I have mixed feelings here. For those who aren't faking it, or playing games, I am happy to see all the passion. I became politically active in the mid 60s and I don't think I've seen this intense level since Lyndon talked to reporters from his toilet throne. True story.
 I believe those who take no guff, won't shrink from a fight, won't just go silent, a welcome change... to a certain extent. I'm was a fan of the since sadly passed Bartcop of Bartcop.com fame. Bart, having named himself after one of my own fictional heroes from Blazing Saddles, used to lament about how he had become part of a party of weaklings who seemed to want to lose, couldn't argue their way out of a thin sheen of toilet paper placed over their face, and would rather keep losing than confront, or even contradict, others.
 Bart and I used to trade Es back and forth and my column, Inspection appeared on his page from time to time. We had a similar policy when it came to the bullies. When confronting them you don't back down. You may need to out bully them. Any boy who has had a gang of violent bullies chase them day after day know it's true. They will never respect you otherwise. The bullying will just get worse, more violent.
 As I stated, I love the passion, the take it to the streets and to the convention tude. This "in your face" response is something the party with a back bone made of soggy toast has been lacking for a long time.
 Many of the Bernie folks feel the system screwed Bernie, and I think they're right, though I don't truck in Hillary Clinton fixed the voting machines-like theories. Bernie is getting screwed because the system was screwy to begin with. This is not some supposed it's "all Hillary's doing," or "all Bernie" situation. I know all too well our system has been under the thumb of oligarchs and the very powerful at least since the stolen election of 2000 when the Supremes decided counting the votes should matter little, immediacy far more. "Immediate" especially when it suits certain justice's corrupt, mutual, political agenda.
 But let's get beyond the Bernie/Hillary vitriol because this column is about bigger issues. If all we have left is the loudest portion of both wings what of the rest of us? Who are we to trust for honest discussion? Caught between the histrionics, the hyperbole and the melodrama of the passionate, and political con artists wearing masks: pretending to be part of the crowd, who can we trust?
 No one.
  Calling someone an idiot, a thief, corrupt, a war witch, a bitch, nasty, evil, untrustworthy, without lots of context, really proves nothing. When examination of specifics, true give and take civil discussion, are mostly absent it's like debating a golem blown into existence using a blowhard's hot air. Even the most civil discussion becomes little more than, "Yes, she is," "No, she isn't," "Well then you must be a hillbot," "Yes, berniebro..."
 There! Now we've proved... nothing, except how to insult each other like kids on a playground. It has all the validity of Trump.
 My "favorite" blowhard-like tactic is when the those who pretty much just make accusations resort to using the ultimate non-proof: "Just Google it."
 Yes, you made an assertion so it becomes my responsibility to prove you right? Uh... no. If it's so damn obvious you provide proof. And the few times I have followed those marching orders and seen said "proof," I find page after page of partisan conspiracy sites, editorials, or articles promoted as "analysis," but written by those who could easily be dismissed as partisan hacks. Even "better:" sometimes it's "proof" provided by that always reliable guy, "Anonymous," who just happens to have been a former Clinton or Sanders campaign worker... or so they claim. Sometimes such assertions are easily proven wrong, like the claim Linda Tripp was immediately fired by Bill Clinton when he came into office.
 I can also see all this leading to increased violence, as it has in the past. Especially when we mix in the already way ahead on the violence side of this curve right wing. The ghost of Timothy McVeigh must have a hard on.
 I don't see this ending well. Once you combine the left and the right it seems like it would eventually result in a revolution more French or Russian- like than American. He who has the most weapons wins. The way this is heading is more "off with their heads" than "let's use our heads."
 Gee, wonder which side of the political divide that might be most like? I'll ask George Zimmerman: he might have an "objective" opinion.
 I am beginning to think Bart and I were wrong. Nasty met with bigger nasty seems to create even more potent nasty. Lies seem to create more lies, trolls more trolls, sock puppets inspire people to become sock puppets. Creating an environment where "off with his rhetorical head" passes for rational discourse in the body politic.
 No matter who becomes president, movements like Bernie's will continue to grow. Hillary won't just "go away." Reaction and counter reaction will increase. It will prove interesting how getting what Bart and I wished for pans out. But there's every reason to be leery as well.
 Thus the very appropriate curse certainly applies: may you live in interesting times.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

May. 10th, 2016

09:02 am - Inspection- Not So Ancient Trump Theorists

 Are there "Ancient Alien Theorist" college degrees? Is one of the courses "Alien Speculation 101?" Would your degree be a BA, or more likely... BS?
 If you've spent any time watching what some dare call "The History Channel," along with guys searching for antiques and other programs even less history oriented, you may have caught all the programs about aliens. Now how any of that qualifies as history I have no idea. Speculation; especially wild speculation, isn't history any more than adding up dots on tossed dice is advanced math, or a statue of Adam and Eve riding a dinosaur in some biblical park qualifies as "science."
 It's like that other specialty channel so bereft of actual SciFi they decided to both neuter it, lobotomize it, then rebrand it "Syfy."
 And why does all this remind me of a possible Donald Trump presidency?
 Imagine an asteroid heading towards Earth. A President Donald might spit out statements like, "What we're going to do is awesome. It's so awesome you'll be amazed. I have appointed the most awesome, smartest of the smartest to deal with this asteroid. They're so smart..."
 And his sheeple would believe, just like some people believe the title "ancient alien theorist" has any substance.
 Sleeping in a lounge chair due to a medical condition has its odd moments. Since the TV is right in front of me the tube:which of course no longer has "tubes," becomes my version of counting sheep, or soft, sleepy time, music. I choose programming that doesn't bother me, but I'm not all that interested in, and just leave it on. I find myself dozing in and out with amusing moments, like when I woke to a screen full of people staring at me and outright weird ones. '
 The night before I started typing this I woke in the middle of the night to all the alien programs that inevitably keep informing us what "ancient alien theorists" claim. Of course that's usually amounts to any wild speculation dressed up with some official sounding title that helps the ignorant assume these folks have gravitas. You know, like "ancient alien theorist?"
 Kind of like some accept the Donald's assertion that Mexico will just pay for some stupid wall. Similar to his assertion that Hispanics, blacks and women all love him despite his insulting, rude, nasty, cruel rhetoric. Or how he has so much respect for Ted Cruz after all the disrespect spewed back and forth: especially "forth" from Trump's piehole...
 The Donald publicly offers about as much substance as ancient alien theorists, only without the somewhat higher education vocabulary. And I'm sure, if elected, there will be Donald theorists who will justify his every insane utterance, every crazy decision, making those who justified no WMDs being found seem almost honest in comparison. After another Donald claimed they "knew" right where they were.
 Republican, or Democrat, many of our pundits and pols have always been way too high on the BS meter for me, and it has been getting worse. But the Donald offers is a new, worse than "ancient alien theorist..." level.
 And why is it when it comes to producing these apologists, as our nation trots even faster down the trail towards Idiocracy, I fear we're up to the task?

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

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