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May. 25th, 2015

09:15 am - Inspection- Feeding the Monster: A Short Cautionary Tale

 Here's a short, short story I have written, and rewritten, many times. After all who died in our wars this reminds us there are other ways to lose what they felt they were fighting for. So, somehow, I imagine this story well suited to present to you, my readers, this Memorial Day...

Feeding the Monster
by Ken Carman

  Once there was a land where a tale was told of a monster who stole away freedom, ate it up like other fables told of creatures who ate children, trolls who lived under bridges who did unspeakable things to those who dared to pass over those bridges. One might argue "the monster who stole away freedom" was the lead monster: he who helped all the others commit their horrible acts.
  The people were rightfully afraid of the monster, and were kept so by those who warned others not to hold on too tightly to too many rights or they would not be able to protect them from the monster. They pointed here, there, saying, "See, he's close, just around the corner, over here, over there. You need to give us enough power to protect you."
  So they kept giving them their rights so they could be protected. But it seemed the more they gave, the worse the danger became.
  Soon the monster was all too real, and freedom was no more. People who objected disappeared, people the monster didn't like were not allowed to defend themselves, the innocent were found guilty, the all to convenient guilty weren't prosecuted, people had no privacy. Tyranny ruled the land.
  As the people suffered, they cried out, "Who gave you the right?"
  The monster smirked and said, "Why, you did," then ate all those who complained.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

May. 21st, 2015

02:50 pm - Inspection- No, the World is NOT "Safer Without Saddam Hussein"

  We should well remember how freedom would supposedly "ring" if we took down Saddam. How, if we didn't, we'd have a mushroom cloud. The future leader of Israel even claimed taking out Saddam would do amazing, wonderful, miraculous things for the Mideast.
  And still we listen to such "wisdom?"
  Obviously Saddam and "freedom" were not even close to synonyms. I would type "antonyms," except it's becoming increasingly obvious what will replace what replaced him will be the real "antonym." And what the previous administration set up might have been marginally better than Saddam, but possibly less competent than the results of Vietnamization.
  It shouldn't even have to be typed out on my keyboard that damn near no one liked Saddam, or that it's obvious he was, for years, considered by Republican, and Democratic, leaders of this country to be, "An a-hole, but OUR a-hole."
  "Hey, let's sell him poison gas and shake his hand, there's a 'good' idea!"
  The fact I have to keep typing these caveats to "protect" myself from sneering jerks shows just how partisan-ly sick we are becoming, and why we can't have civilized discussion in this country.
  People accuse others a lot of demanding political correctness, of trying to make everything political. "Funny" thing is those who do the accusing seem to demand political correctness the most, do more politicizing of everything than those they accuse.
  How dare Barack Obama mention a black child looks like he could be his child because, well, he's black! He should shut the hell up! Be... essentially... more... "politically correct."
  How we talk about Saddam is a prime example. You can't even write or talk honestly without having to use all these caveats regarding what any idiot knows: Saddam was a bad man. Duh.
  But if you don't every conversation turns into pure mock.
  No, the world is not "safer without Saddam." If it had been, basically, ice cream, candy and rainbows after, as promised... or if the whole Mideast vastly improved as a certain war monger in Israel promised years ago, OK. But it didn't. Not even close. And many of us said it wouldn't, knew it wouldn't. We were mocked back then. Now we've been proven right they just shift how they mock.
 Dontcha just "love" political correctness lectures from those who insist on, indeed demand, their brand of it damn near at the same time?
  And what has made it all worse is how far down the less freedom, hellish, rabbit hole, the same mockers have taken us since then.
  None of this made Saddam "nice," or someone I would prefer leading Iraq.
  See? I'm still offering caveats, running over old news, having to reinforce what people should know, should remember. That's how strong lies that are repeated over and over are. How strong "he wouldn't let the inspectors in," followed up by strange counter intuitive, contradicting, claim, "he kicked them out" was.
  Goebbels' metaphorical progeny thrive in America.
  If there had been any massive nuclear program that would have been paraded past the world's cameras by now. Ditto about all that massive amount of WMD. The only "parading of proof" has been about an old shell with some very dated remnants of mustard gas Saddam told us about.
  You know this to be true. No one would seriously claim those who pushed this war were ever shy about "catapulting the propaganda." Hell, their propaganda in chief wasn't "shy" about letting that phrase slip out, or about mocking the soldiers searching for WMD, and dying.
  Not surprised he said it. Not at all. I'm sure sometimes the actual truth must have slipped out of Goebbels' piehole occasionally too.
  And the results of the changes to our country due to this dishonest misadventure have been horrific. Our very sense of what freedom is has morphed from it's OK to throw suspected combatants into concentration camps, to taking an accused American citizen from an airport, torturing him and turn him into a vegetable... then convict someone unable to defend themselves from not being a bionic glow worm from the planet Grogspit. And, finally, it has "taken us" to where a potential candidate for president, one Lindsey Olin Graham, can suggest he'll run on a platform where if any citizen even thinks of joining ISIS: no judge, no jury, his house should be droned. No mention of protecting any children or spouse inside. No mention of proving he, or she, was "thinking of joining the "evildoers."
 "Run" and the mainstream media yawns. No one in his party publicly says, "Now wait a minute..."
  We love freedom so much we're willing to murder anyone we can claim might have been thinking of such things? And their spouse? And their children?
  It's so damn obvious the world isn't "safer" without Saddam. If not for our foolish adventure there would be no ISIS. Al Qaeda would not have become like a colony of termites getting wood over finding a fresh wood feast called "Iraq."
  No, the world is not more free, or "safer," without Saddam.
  Not even close.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

May. 11th, 2015

02:43 pm - Inspection- Of Beer, Wine and Society

I've been pouring through Denny Conn's book on experimental brewing. We started homebrewing in 1979. Books on homebrewing these days are light years beyond what they used to be, but I'm not writing this to dis old home brewing books. Let's be honest: without them many of us early birds would have missed the worm.
  Hey, I'm experimental, but worms in beer? Ewe.
  One part of Denny's book was quite fascinating beyond homebrewing. Denny wrote about studies that offered wine tasters samples of wine, some from high priced, very well respected, wine bottles. Another had tasters comment on various samples of dark beer. The control being it was all the same wine, and all the same beer, some with food coloring added.
  Even professionals were fooled.
  Tasters offered descriptors one would expect for fine wine or dark beer. Roastiness and esters were found in beer samples that, in reality, weren't there. "Fine" wine presented that way was perceived as superior.
 Visual and mental cues easily deceive. I would argue dogma, political/social skews and preconceptions are like the food coloring, or the fine wine bottles, used to make some some pretty horrible opinions and policies palatable. As Jonestown proved years ago, some folks will prefer poison if it's presented in deceptive ways.
  As a beer judge I've noticed how easily opinion can be skewed. After the quiet time when two judges assess a beer, we'll discuss an entry. Often one judge will claim to have found something the other didn't find. What's the result? The other judge: the one who didn't "find," will reassess and far too often find what may not be there at all.

Visual cues contribute: "gushers," or those with a lot of sediment, or "floaters," are assumed to be infected, or have some defect. Even though the object is to use all senses: independently, before a conclusion is reached, like the tasters with the food coloring, or wine from a expensive bottle, one can be too easily led astray.
How does this apply to politics, to society?
 Accusation, framing and spin are like the food coloring, the cheap wine bottles, of life. But they work. Step back and think. Ever notice how many of the same accusations leveled at one administration are often leveled at the next administration? Doesn't seem to matter what party was voted in. One might assume they're all corrupt, but it's more likely all this framing is food coloring, poor wine in expensive bottles. Really, does anyone think Rush Limbaugh, or Rachael Maddow, are objective when it comes to packaging opinions on Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, atheists, agnostics or theists?
 How much are you willing to pay for the Brooklyn Bridge again?
  In my short 61 years I've noticed the number of well paid cheerleaders who are merely out to defend or accuse strictly according to political labels has increased. It's their job to put the food coloring in the beer, to put the fine wine in the cheap bottle. They poison the Kool Aid. And the more outrageous they get, the better paid they are, the more broadcasting time, or ink, digital space, they get..

It becomes all about who can deceive the best, the most. Who can "do your thinking for you."
 Although I find the claim too often becomes disingenuous, I understand the concept when people claim it's just "humor," or "entertainment." When Bill O'Reilly attacks a certain group, or person, is it all that surprising? I'm sure you could say the same about Ed Schultz. To me, using a wider camera lens, it seems this form of "entertainment" is not unlike a verbal form of the Roman games. Sometimes it can be just as bloody when people with problems take the demonizing to heart and try to solve it all with guns, knives or bombs.
 Backing off enough to see the "big picture," is this supposed form of "humor," this kind of entertainment, really good for society? I doubt it. Perhaps we need less spitballs from a distance, and more consensus? I admit: consensus is tough sometimes, even in judging beer.
 But that's one of the things I love about the best judging. Despite what we individually sense, or think, at the end we have to come to a consensus score within a certain number of points. The sheets can show just how different two or three people can be when judging any entry.
 Perhaps when pundits speak they should have warnings, like on cigarette packages, before and after they speak...

"The opinions and supposed 'facts' presented in this program may not be facts, or honest opinions, at all. They may be intentionally manipulative, even break any BS meter due to too high a reading."

They used to have something like that for discussion panels, "The opinions expressed here..."
 These days most discussion panels I've had the pleasure of turning off only seem to serve to feed flames of hate; all left, all right, or the worst: some marginally opposite panelist who gets run over by the rest, or their mic potted down level-wise compared to the rest.
 Again: is any of that, "...really good for society, considering? I doubt it."
  Whether beer, social and political issues, it also comes down to balance. Relying on watching, or listening to, only our own, personal, skewed rhetorical nirvanas is like a Stout with way too much roasted barley in the recipe: harsh... or a pale ale with tons of hops that were boiled for hours, and hours: bitter, astringent.
  And that's how I would define much of our social discourse these days: intentionally "harsh" and "bitter." "Harsh" and "bitter" may make a lot of money, but is it good for us? No, nor is the fact that real balanced: not some "fair and balanced" marketing phrase, social discourse has fallen out of favor. No coincidence: so has respect for anyone not perceived to be more like us.
  I find good judging an adventure where we learn from each other. We discover more than what one person's palate may perceive, and adjust as much as we can to our differences.
 If only we could find that in our social discourse.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Apr. 27th, 2015

02:48 pm - Inspection- President Jeb?

I really wish the left would stop under estimating the right. Yes, all things in the media being equal, Jeb and his family would be laughed out of even thinking someone from his family might get back into the White House.
  Taint gonna happen. They will think, they will try, and the media will most likely either swoon, or soft pedal the past at best.
  How many would have guessed that actually counting votes in 2000 would be so mocked? One of the not so sweet ironies here is while Gore was painted as being so unfair that his team only wanted certain favorable precincts completely counted, the Bush team wanted the same bloody thing, only places that would be in their favor. The MSM supposedly being that "damn liberal media," of course, skipped that point and just framed the Gore team as making that demand.
  Damn that "liberal" media.
  Bush golfing all the time and partying during Katrina? Who cares? Obama, well, he who should at best be carrying the clubs, how dare he?
  How many would have guessed that mocking soldiers searching for bin Laden would be so shrugged at by the MSM? Can you imagine if Obama had done that? We know exactly what would happen: like when W held a dog and saluted there was hardly a whisper, but holding a coffee cup and saluting?
  After George the First, the MSM pretty started playing into the rightward spin damn near every time when it comes to members of the Bush family when they run.
  By the way, where was the media when machines shut down in Ohio in 2004 and votes were shuffled off to a server in Tennessee? In a district in southwestern Ohio when the poll was shut early and only Republicans were allowed to count the vote? Hell, where were they when the supposedly "liberal" Times buried the lead that the final count would have given Gore the election?
  Did anyone else notice: despite Al Gore's response to the usual snotty, petulant, W, that "your brother doesn't decide the election," that Jeb did get to decide? "Decide" by tossing away voting rights for thousands and thousands of people who have names somewhat similar to a Texas list of ineligible voters? "Decide" by having his own partisan hack make the rules, Katharine Harris, and this worked so well Ken Blackwell repeat the performance in 2004?
  Where was the supposed MSM on that?

Anyone else remember when scrubbing the votes was attempted again, as Karl Rove insisted the election wasn't settled, who stopped it? Our "ever vigilant main stream media?" Outraged Democratic leaders?
  Hell, no. A group being framed as if they were terrorists by the MSM: Anonymous.
  You think they won't be ready if any group attempts to stop them again in 2016, especially if the younger brother runs?
  Silly you.

  You think, like they "stopped" Romney in 2012, those who dislike Jeb's supposed more "moderate" stands will stop him in favor of the more visually clownish occupants of what will probably become an increasingly crowded 2016 clown car?
  Silly you.
  We all know, when it's politically convenient, the partisans on the right who may object to some Jeb policies will goosestep. The only thing missing will be the salute.
  The Bush family through history have managed to help the Nazis, kept Neil out of prison, the Bush family has been close friends with the family, and the country, who funded and provided hijackers for 9/12. They fished their daughters, and their son's, tails out of the fry pan so many times George W.'s face resembles a catfish... sorry, looked that way from birth, I suspect. Coming down that canal must be like being squeezed through a waterboarder's idea of a water slide.
  With George the Elder being an exception, the Right has sucked up to over and over again. And the mainstream media have helped them damn near every time. You really think it's going to be different this time?
  Please, please, please do not under estimate a Bush again.

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Apr. 15th, 2015

02:25 pm - Inspection-Of Hillary, Hyperbole and Melodrama

 The election carnival was over, the eight year presidential carnival was about to start. It's closing in on 16 years since Bush II got up on the platform and the ritual, yet limited, dunking began...
  It has to be as pleasurable conundrum. After 8 years mostly in power and some very limited dunkings, now almost 8 somewhat out, they've been having so much more fun! Despite the Affordable Care Act... OK: "Obamacare" or "Romneycare..." whatever way we wish to spin it... they absolutely have managed, for the most part, to do exactly what they have always wanted: make damn sure government does nothing.
  Hillary's the most fun they've had since, well, Obama, then Bill. Not even the quadzillionth Benghazi hearing will as much fun as Hillary, but you can be damn sure they'll hold it, just like they'll keep wringing their hands, creaming their diapers, over Hillary having a personal server: which she had every right to have, or not being their bitch and retroactively realizing she should save every personal E she's ever made just so they can increase the pitch of the vitriol during the inevitable dunkings.
  You do know any, "Visited the grave of Socks the Cat today," E will fertilize more conspiracy talk, right? Which side was it that claimed Nixon should have just torched the tapes, again?
  Have the Clintons learned anything? One hopes. I doubt.
 Even more than most of the other political nonsense going on these days, the right thrives on, only seems to survive via, all too convenient framing, nutso conspiracies and the boogeyman syndrome. Day after day, week after week, another regurgitated Vince Foster "scandal"-like farce. It's all so carnival barker-like. Listen to Paul! Hear the plots multiply!
 All oddly bouncing off the only one ever proven beyond a doubt: Watergate.
  OK, well, maybe "Monicagate," though perhaps better referred to as Consensual Suckgate. (Why do they call it "Blow," when really it's more "suck?")
  Why would they want to give all that up for the left being "benched?" Despite the very apt "who has the ball now," politics really isn't football. These days it's more the political equivalent of the Brits marching in formation and the colonists firing from behind the trees, no matter who has been sidelined.
  Yet, like any crack addict, the perception of having so much more power must be so tempting.
  A bad sign from the beginning, and let's not kid ourselves it is "the beginning," is their attempts to turn the country their way via stoking some supposed universal, like-minded, national form of Obama hate, Obama exhaustion, that have pretty much fallen flat. With the figures showing the economy improving, unemployment lessening, access to health insurance better; regardless of any actual truth of such perceptions, they're stuck looking like tinfoil hoodie wearing thugs trying to beat us into submission with reframing and spinning out beyond absurd conspiracy theories.
  To provide one example: the cry goes out that unemployment stats are fake because Obama doesn't include long term unemployment. Why, yes, they are. And they have been since Reagan started that nonsense.
  I've been thinking about this...
  Perhaps the Republicans would be better spending a few more years building these perceptions, embedding them deeper into the citizenry. After all: I seriously doubt Hillary, if she is the candidate that will win, will get much accomplished. Expect the caucus room conspiracy to be renewed and put on a even more toxic, steroid-like, level.
 Perhaps Hillary might remember and change how Clintons approach the other side after all that happened to her husband... be more liberal than her husband ever was. Could happen.
 I really, really, really doubt it.
 Despite "all that happened," I'm guessing she's still as much a corporatist, as willing to compromise, as Bill was. This is who they are. And the one thing Republicans have been brilliant at is taking such and moving the goal post even further to the right, and Hillary will follow as much as she politically can.
  The best of both worlds: the nation still moves to the right and any blame, like with Obama, can be heaped on the administration. Hell, like teammates all tackling the guy with the ball, blame will be piled high, even if they're the ones holding the ball.
 Why? Because this is what we do politically these days instead of discussion, and compromise. They're just damn good at it.
  No matter what happens in 2016, expect more of the same old, same old, we're tired of. Like most of the country, I'm tired of this same old, same old. Hillary wins, Cruz wins, I simply don't see all the stupid, fake, drama stopping.
  But Republicans, wouldn't it be better, more fun, to have Hillary in that dunking booth?
  Well, fun for ya'll...
  ...the rest of us have long since grown so damn tired of all this back and forth, whiny, smarmy, all too convenient framing, conspiracy laden, hyperbole drenched nonsense


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

Apr. 4th, 2015

01:48 am - Inspection- GAG

  Who do some "free enterprise" folks think they're kidding? Of course the constant spin is if that damn gov-vern-ment would just get out of the way the market would regulate itself so well puppies would never die, Jesus would be uncrucified, rain, snow, sleet would turn into peaches and cream that conveniently plops into single serve bowls.
  Yeah, that was sarcasm.
  Look, if frackers insist on fracking, or bad boys of agriculture think it's perfectly OK to feed pigs their own progeny, then why do they insist their bought and paid for pols make it illegal to disclose these actions? Yes, in many states now it's illegal to reveal illegal, immoral and outright dangerous corporate misbehavior. Whistleblowers mostly being a threat to them if they want to hide what they shouldn't be doing anyway.
 I understand there could be bad whistleblowers, just like there are bad corporate actors.
 So if the frackers and the ag folks wanted to grease the wheels for counter lawsuits, defamation, slander: with caveat that if whistleblowers lose, and the companies can prove the charges false, in addition what would have just been the cost of losing, whistleblowers would also pay all previous court expenses, I would understand. While whisteblowers provide a necessary service to society, fraudulent whistleblowers provide the opposite.
 (By the way, in my opinion, if corporations lose these hypothetical cases the penalties should be far, far worse than if they hadn't pursued any supposedly "malicious" whistleblower. And prison time for CEOs. Let's make the price of maliciously pursuing a whistleblower bad too.)
  Instead, state by state, corporations have pushed for, continue to push for, that abomination to true freedom: the gag law, like ag gag and frack (you) gag bills. Yup, nip whistleblowing in the front end so companies can do any damn thing they want. Essentially a fascistic response to free speech.
  That's neither "free speech," nor "free enterprise." It's not free anything.
  It's corporations buying politicians, then politicians shutting down a vital form of free speech in return.
  It's quid pro quo.
  It's an example of one of the worst economic models ever created when it comes to nurturing true freedom and representation: the state and corporations goosestepping hand in hand over the bodies of the citizenry.
  And it's bad business.
  If you really believe in in a free society, even just "free enterprise," National Socialism offers the opposite: government protection for preferred corporations and squat for anyone else, or any other corporation, who won't participate in this dog on dog like process. Corporate bought and paid for pols, and pols servicing them with gag laws, is akin to not just the worst elements of prostitution, but also supports the biggest, meanest, most powerful, dogs on the block. "Assists" them in their desire to sniff what dogs always sniff on other dogs. This being more a case of "sniff" and perpetually "lick" what can never be licked clean.
  It's not only disgusting.
  It's enough to make you... GAG


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Mar. 10th, 2015

08:15 pm - Inspection- Big Brother and The Hound: 2015

  I've been sidelined for a while due to an operation: unable to walk, or move much. So, TV and internet it is. I keep waking up, after sleeping in one chair, my feet propped up in front of late night TV. At one point I couldn't sleep and the only thing on was NewsMax and what was supposed to be archival clips of Hitler.
  Yes, I know what "NewsMax" is. But it was very, very early morning: about 3am, and I figured this was filler programming. Besides, what could one do to archive footage?
  How wrong I was.
  Having worked with sound as much as I have I readily recognized someone had used different programs in an attempt to make the voiceovers sound authentic for the era: mic modeling essentially combined with probable EQ adjust and environment simulation... except they skipped an all important point. Logically, the voiceovers should have included a script written in the present tense, not as if they're narrating something that happened long ago. And referencing conservative talking points being used now, as if they were phrased exactly that way back then, or even in the 60s when I was a conservative? Bad idea. Very revealing.
 It was, essentially, a con job. Both meanings intended. A con job that failed because it was trying to frame the past using present rhetorical talking points. But I understand: after the Clinton nonsense it's been pretty damn obvious too many partisans suffer from a horrible affliction called, "Is-itis," where they have no idea what tense "is is:" or pretend not to understand when it serves their political narrative.
  There are many controversies we can present to show just how broken our national narrative is. Here are two...
  In the recent E-mail snafu it was made obvious the law that requires someone like Hillary to require those E-mails had a non-personal address went into effect after these Es were sent. That should have ended much of the panty twisting the media and the pundits continue torment our news cycle with.
  But that fact isn't convenient to the narrative they want.
  When George Bush was questioned over his service the fact was brought out that, according to the secretary who handled the original, that this was not the original document... but the information was correct.
  But the fact the information was correct wasn't convenient to the narrative the pundits and the media wanted.
  You know there was a time we could go from admitting to such basic facts, then honestly debate and discuss the issues of the day. We simply don't do that anymore. Instead we even go to such lengths that the present tense "is" becomes "perjury" because there once "was" a relationship.
  But back to our NewsMax pretend Hitler "documentary..." better referred to as a "propagandatary."
  Beyond the obvious re-narrated script was that that script was obviously intended to portray 1930s Germany as being the victim of some leftward, "liberal," cult. One portion of the script even pushed the old "socialism" lie. If you're unfamiliar with this lie that's been pushed for many years it's a talking point that claims, because "national socialism" has the term "socialism" in it, Nazis were actually traditional socialists.
  Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed it's just the opposite.
  But no surprise. Apparently, like present and past tense, important modifiers like "well regulated," or "national," are beyond the comprehension of some folks. Except, I suspect, they do understand. They simply don't care. If truth is inconvenient you simply push lies. We knew exactly where the weapons were in Iraq. Saddam never let the inspectors in, then minutes latter claiming he kicked them out of Iraq. "Mission accomplished!"
  Please, if you think pointing to examples where the left fudges on the truth allows anyone from sneaking away from the table of responsibility, it sure as hell shouldn't. The issue here is what we are doing to ourselves as a nation, and what the end result will be if we don't stop this nonsense.
  The NewMax Nazi manipulation reminded me of the memory hole in 1984, the burning of books and mechanical dogs in Fahrenheit 451, and "We have always been at war with..."
  To paraphrase, and rephrase, something our last president reportedly said, "Pushing the propaganda is the only thing that matters."
  No wonder 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 have been banned and burned for so many years. Today they just fund propaganda machines so big, make money speech and corporations people helping Big Brother and the Hound increasingly be more non-fiction than fiction.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Mar. 1st, 2015

06:31 pm - Inspection- Setting Us Up for the Another 9/11

The alarm goes off, Barack Obama looks at the clock radio, and realizes it's Groundhog Day again...
  Each day, every week, month after month, the character assassination continues. Anything he does serves that purpose. The topic hardly matters anymore. Whether Benghazi, the Affordable Care Act, or even saluting with a cup of coffee in the other hand; the singular intent here is to distract the nation: distract so nothing important gets done. Everything couched in Watergate rhetoric: what did he know, when did he know it...
  But this isn't unusual. This isn't Barack Obama specific, though both the left and the right act like it is. We've been here before.
  The alarm goes off, Bill Clinton looks at the clock radio, and realizes it's Groundhog Day again...
 Each day, every week, Whitewater, to supposedly "suspicious" mail for Socks the Cat, to what was inappropriately framed as, "the bimbo parade..." Everything couched in Watergate rhetoric: what did he know, when did he know it.
  Like Republicans themselves framed it during the caucus room conspiracy, the most important thing in 2008 was basically the same in the 90s: anything to bring a president down, oh, and to distract the nation so important things don't get done. Doesn't matter how. Don't like the conclusion your own prosecutor comes to? Fire him, and hire the highly conflicted Ken Starr who obviously had decided "must be guilty of something." Give him carte blanche': investigate anything, everything, that might bring a president down, damage his family, distract the nation... all at public expense.
  Just ask Jim McDougal. No, wait, you can't. He's dead, despite signing and saying anything they asked. Why is he dead? Well, because he was refused life giving medication in prison until his wife did the same. Ask Susan: they were willing to kill, to destroy lives, take away freedom, try to force her to sign fictional confessions that they wrote that implicated the president...
  Again: whatever it took.
  All the time bin Laden was plotting "the most important thing," according to Republican leaders, was investigating Bill and family, and mocking his attempt to get bin Laden.
 Previous to that, a Republican administration funded and trained rebels in Afghanistan: including Osama and his cohorts. Flash forward to the Bush administration... who funded the Taliban just before 9/11? Well, us... just a few months before. Oh, and our "dear" friends, the Saudis, who funded 9/11 and supplied most of the hijackers. Yes, the Saudis, whom W consistently couldn't wait to kiss and hug: financially, literally and figuratively.
 Now flash forward to the Obama administration: all this time, while trying to make sure nothing was achieved by the president, or the few achievements were taken away, John McCain did make sure ISIS was funded. Then he ran home and blamed Obama.
 Anyone else see a pattern here?
 They learned one lesson from all this: the more trouble they stir up, the more they distract, the more they accuse: no matter how bogus, the more power they get. And if they distract, delay and smear enough: do pretty much nothing else but that, eventually we will get hit. Eventually our tough guy ways will get others so pissed off heads will literally roll. Then they can use all that to get even more power, to destroy anyone who stands in their way.
 Osama and ISIS are the best friends they've ever had, politically.
 Let's defund Homeland Security! Again: Anyone else see a pattern here? Partisan showdowns are so much more important than the safety of the damn country, aren't they?
 And these folks consider themselves, "Patriots?"
 At least the movie version of Groundhog's Day was funny. This is more like the most extreme of the extreme Right laughing while trying to put a bullet in the brain of anyone in power who dares to disagree with them. Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, FOX, and such, cheer the traitors on.
  Despite repeating the same help fund the terrorist "mistake," and doing anything to continue the caucus room conspiracy's goal of blocking anything Obama, you do know, no matter what Obama does, it's already being framed as "not enough," right? Or, if he does something he's a tyrant, a dictator... he "just doesn't love America." His Kenyan roots are to blame. He has severe mental issues. He hates whites.
  Please note: I would never claim "all Republicans," even though party discipline, and Tea Party demands, keeps skewing the Republican electorate deeper and deeper into "whatever it takes" territory.
  Meanwhile another Bush says he may be running in 2016, another Bush who certainly would blame anything that goes wrong on the previous administration his party blocked at every move.
  From Clinton, to the Caucus Room Conspiracy, to now, it's pretty damn obvious that this is all well orchestrated. The biggest mistake would be to not consider that there's no long term goal to all this. Now, as 2016 approaches, the Groundhog's Day-like crazy factor is increasing again.
  One must ask...
  ...are we being set up for another 9/11?


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

Feb. 24th, 2015

02:18 pm - Inspection- "Hulk SMASH!"

  I have been reading Blackwater, and Jeremy Scahill's book: perhaps without intent, confirms a view I have been developing ever since I left the right in the mid-70s.
  Listening, again, to Thom Hartmann on his Thursday show I heard him repeat over and over the meme' that the right's wretched behavior is due to them, "hating Obama so much." Now Thom and I have traded E-mails a few times over the years, so I'm sure he knows I don't always completely agree with him, and this is one of those cases. I think this very publicly expressed hate is a very thin, first, layer resting on top of what's really going on here.
  Indeed, I think if Hillary had won the presidency in 2008 we would be talking even more about how much they hate women, how much they hate Hillary and the Clintons. So they hate Obama, the Clintons, blacks and women? Well, I still believe, when it comes to the actual movers and shakers on the right for the past 20 years, this is as shallow as a small rain puddle in a desert.
  Barack Obama, Hillary: these are targets of convenience, with the added plus of rallying racists, jerking along knee jerk partisans and fanatics always willing to follow hate. Those folks are like puppy dogs following the very mean men giving out Milk Bones tainted with rhetorical toxin that poisons minds. "The very mean men" would be "the movers and shakers."
 So let's zoom out, see the wider perspective; encouraging this hate by over the top rhetoric is just to their advantage. Demonizing them simply serves the wider cause.
  So now, we must ask, what's the "agenda?" What is this "wider cause?"
  Simple: making problems worse, smashing anything that might help us, then using that politically to push for even worse "solutions." The "smash" is crucial, because it helps them frame government, and anyone to the left of them, as to blame. And it creates more fear.
  I think the scene in the book that really woke me up was when Blackwater's Prince was questioned in Congress about several incidents where innocents were slaughtered, he turned that around as "evidence" they needed more Blackwater, and more of the same. One was where they came to an intersection and all eyewitnesses say they just started firing, assuming anyone there must be a terrorist. They murdered fleeing women and children. Then Prince lied, claiming them all suspected terrorists.
  Results: more contracts.
  Please note: according to rules set up by Bremer and Congress Blackwater employees cannot be held responsible for anything. Period.
  OK, it's war, and I suppose since smashing things is a part of war, to a certain extent, all wars could be framed this way, though even that ignores the fact "solutions" provided, like giving over control corrupt warlords in Tora Bora, predictably always make all worse.
 Yet if "Hulk SMASH" was merely applied to war, none of this would be the overall agenda I am alluding to.
 Aging, cranky, baby boomers scared of black teens, some admittedly living in a culture that could lead, has led, to violence? Solution: education, a helping hand up, more services, counter the fear mongering? Nope! Open season on the teens via Stand Your Ground!
 Unhappy with the state of justice? Have judges elected so, instead of considering the law, specifics of the case, they have to run their courts so they will get reelected on public whim. Pump up fear and hatred so more judges will be elected who decide cases to be sure they get reelected.
  Public schools? Defund public schools while creating charter schools, offering vouchers for private schools: siphon off the best students. The result: public schools get worse, so offer more of the same, plus demonize teachers, and their unions. Result, it gets worse.
  Post office? Make a rule no business could survive: have benefits ready for employees that haven't been born yet. A formerly profitable entity stumbles? Must be their fault.
  The agenda is to smash our infrastructure, create more dangerous enemies, make the public so damn scared they will do anything the right wing wants, willing hand over control. The very end of a representative government is the goal: a dictatorship of the right with, at best, phony elections. There's even the corruptible electronic voting machines already in place to facilitate this.
  But for now, the real agenda is for the very, very rich to get richer, the poor and middle class poorer, and to use hatred and fear to herd the public like sheep.
 And the best way to achieve that?
  "Hulk smash!"

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all rights reserved

Feb. 14th, 2015

08:54 am - Inspection- Are You Anti-Vaccine?

This past week had a personal Facebook landmark, and an unfortunate one. I "unfriended" someone. Worse: it was a relative.
  Understand; I have theists, atheists, conservatives, liberals: just about anyone imaginable on my feed. I like it that way: that's why I had never "unfriended" someone...until now. But there are somethings one shouldn't tolerate. And the irony was I was actually agreeing with the "friend." He wouldn't take "yes, I agree" for an answer, but insisted on lecturing me.
  Now there's a family history here I'd rather not get into. If it had been this one incident I would probably have shrugged it off. Suffice it to say that any relationship requires a modicum of respect, an ability to listen and willingness to not treat someone as an inferior who must be lectured like a child for no damn good reason. Then there's making promises and not keeping them, but that's another, less related, story.
  Rather than a rant regarding any specific person, my main point is how we talk to each other, and what affect it has. To be clear: I claim no perfect moral high ground here.
  So let's take a topic. Indeed let's take the topic that served as the frame for this recent de-friend-ing.
  I am a big believer in vaccines. They are a necessity. We should get inoculated. We should make sure our children do too. Herd immunity: as bothersome as that animal-based phrase is esthetically, is crucial to the survival of humanity. That's whether you might have religious objections, or are concerned about interaction between multiple inoculations, or mercury used as a preservative. Unless you're a scientist, or high level researcher who works on the subject of vaccine safety, or medical expert, neither of us have enough information to do what would normally be the foolish thing: go against what the CDC, and the AMA, and so many experts say: get your inoculations and make sure your children do.
  Anything that brings the level of non-immunity up is beyond "problematic."
  And I have always felt this way.
  But, and you knew there was at least one "but" coming, right? we react to others who we think are headed in the wrong direction is important. Do you really feel lecturing them, insulting them, browbeating them, is going to have the desired effect? If so then your concept of human nature may, indeed, be quite flawed. Doing such things: being combative, even insulting, will simply make them double down.
  You want to make damn sure they don't get inoculated, and their children don't? Go ahead: insult them, mock them and use such phrases as "every study has shown..." with nothing to follow that statement. Unless you're able to actual name studies and results there's a problem with just demanding that be accepted by these folks.
  You may find that last statement curious, but the explanation is simple and obvious. Just claiming "all studies show" will be perceived as just unsubstantiated as claiming God condemns it, mercury in shots causes autism or multiple shots/combo vaccines are dangerous. That's regardless of science or God. You need to be able to cite case studies, experts and do so without "in your face" arrogance.
  Unless of course all you want is for the person to shut up, or stomp away, and not get inoculations, or inoculate their children.
 And there are some rational, intellectual and intelligent folks out there you might convince, or at least make them think twice. Bluster, however, usually convinces no one except to head the opposite direction.
  Yes, there are rational, intelligent, intellectual, thoughtful folks who have concerns about vaccines. They're not all drooling religious fanatics, despite the attempt to paint them all that way. I'm fairly familiar with some of the folks who have these concerns regarding vaccine safety. They too are not "anti-vaccine," though perhaps more so than I should ever be perceived to be.
  Once again: get those inoculations, no matter what your doubts.
  Usually these folks are concerned with mercury preservative known as "thimerosal," and/or and multiple inoculations with multiple vaccines/combination vaccines. I've seen the arguments: I ran a debate on this at years ago. We had researchers and scientists join the fray, and they weren't all pro-thimerosal, all unconcerned with multiple inoculations. The debate was rather heated.
  It might surprise you is they did come to a general agreement about the fact not all was known and that additional research needs to be done. In a small portion of the populace who have genetic markers (please forgive me if I don't have the exact term there) that might allow the body to do what usually isn't possible: break the normal placenta barrier, and also affect the minds of young children with that genetic makeup. They agreed that pretty much no research had been done regarding that.
  One side said the chances are pretty much nil, the other said, "How do we know unless we do the research?" They both agreed that research should be done, but also agreed that with limits on funding, and funding often coming from pharmaceutical companies, such research was unlikely in the near future.
  This was at least 4 years ago, probably more, and I have no idea what has happened since. Feel free to comment and mention any such studies.
  I became familiar with this because my physician assistant brother-in-law, Chris, and his wife, noticed a distinct change in their son from birth on. Chris took charge and found the vaccines without the mercury preservative in them, put him through controversial therapy to empty his body of the perceived poisons.
  Having met the son back when an open door was an invite to run wild into the street, focusing on lights, sounds and colors was so intense people hardly mattered: sometimes even parents... well, all I can say is: the improvement has been amazing.
  I do not suggest you do the same. Indeed, unless you get a lot of guidance from several professionals I would think attempting to do the same would border on crazy and homicidal. No: I suggest this... get those inoculations.
 Just before the deadline approached I had pretty much tied the column up here, made my conclusions. Then I heard Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on The Thom Hartmann Show talk about vaccine safety and mention a researcher (Dr. William Thompson) who in the author of one of two studies on thimerosal and vaccine safety. He is seeking whistleblower status, claiming he was forced to alter his results by the CDC to indicate thimerosal was safe. The irony here is, while I was glad to hear the other side, I also heard blanket, generalized, statements about thimerosal and its safety: just like those on pretty much every left leaning show are saying now, just indicating the opposite, as in "every legitimate study has shown..." But since I feel hearing both sides is important,
I will provide a link. Unlike those with an ax to grind, either way, I'll let you decide how you feel about counter claims.
 Please understand: no matter what side you're on, if you're not for vaccine safety, you're as bad, or worse, than those who would rather run the risk of losing herd immunity than inoculate. Our vaccines should be both safe and provide herd immunity. Both stances are the only logical ones, in my opinion.
 We have gotten so screwed up as a society we think framing anyone who dares to disagree in the worst ways is "discussion," or "debate," or even worse: will work.
 And lumping those who have concerns in with those who have religious, social, objections to getting inoculations at all is an act of ignorance and disrespect, in my opinion. There is a difference. Calling them "anti-vac-ers" too just shuts down the conversation.
 So the question is, if you really feel those who have such concerns are flat out wrong, what do you really want to do: convince people to do the right thing? If you really, really think just lecturing, belittling, mocking, and throwing statements without providing back up at someone like Chris is more important that doing what it may take to convince people, honestly, to do the right thing, I only have one question left for you...
  Why are you so anti-inoculation?


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 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 2015
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved

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