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kencarman

Jan. 4th, 2017

07:49 pm - Inspection- They Wish They ALL Could Be California Votes

In my head I can hear the remake of the old Beach Boys song as I type...
 You must have heard the talking point already, some variant on, "Those are all California votes." You know the 2.8 million votes Emperor to be Trump wants to dismiss as all illegal voters, with absolutely no proof?
 Horse pucky. Why? Stay tuned.
 At least we should be entertained the next few years: excuses, constant bragging and talking points that would insult any 10 year old able to think their way out a bag made of toilet paper. How long? Well, who knows. To quote their fav phrase: as long as they insist on, "shoving this down our throats." It's been such an amusing comment when shoved in our faces: kind of like the guy in a park with a trench coat, by those offended by the very concept of same sex couples. Why, it's as if something about it secretly turns them on.
 But the California talking point shows either an extreme lack of knowledge about election tallies or, more likely, simply another strawman way to distract from how badly they lost the popular vote. You see if Dems had won only California, point made. Since that's not true, those votes certainly didn't just come from California.
 As per usual such BS-based talking points, they then dig further down the Idiocracy rabbit hole with, "If we were to remove California votes..."
 Seriously? What if we were to remove Texas votes, or Florida, or better yet the three crucial states where Republicans had strict control over who votes, when they vote, how they vote, how the vote is counted, what ID they use, whether they get to vote or fake-provisional vote, or they simply can't vote because they have a name similar to someone in a state that's far away.
 Oh, I guess I understand the hatred for California, though the amount of intended promotion of ignorance among their shills amazes me sometimes. Despite having spawned the political careers of Schwarzenegger, Nixon, Ronald Reagan and other rightward icons, California voters do tend to collectively vote more left than right. Hence the sneer-based phrase: "left coast."
 Thank the Lords of Kobol they never got lost in a forest. Is this anything like the lack of directional common sense that kept the kids in Blair Witch Project so lost, not even having enough common sense to follow the stream?
 Talk about being directionally challenged. Indeed so directionally challenged they lost the popular vote by the largest margin ever. And they had to bring it down to 3 states where they had control over who voted, when, where and how.
 But, if we're going to do these "what ifs," what if we remove all that unequal protection-based game playing with voter's rights and have one standard across the nation that doesn't purge voters out of political convenience, or cage them? If equal protection is a good enough way to skew an election one way, why not to straighten it out? What if it is made illegal to appoint to, or have anyone run for, any office that has any control over the vote who is a partisan? What if we have a bipartisan office of election integrity in this country that oversees all elections? With all the noise their candidate made about election integrity...
 Oh, wait, I forgot which "radical and aggressive" party owns both houses and, in a few weeks, the presidency, then the Supreme Court. While even their own candidate claimed there was something wrong in the election process, now it doesn't matter. Why? Well, because it' certainly not to their advantage to really "straighten" anything out and make it fair for all. It certainly is to their advantage to make the road more crooked, more difficult, asnd skew it in favor of those who vote in predetermined politically correct ways. If you think they have the advantage now, "You ain't seen nothin yet."
 And, as I started to polish off this edition, on Facebook I saw what just might be the next "let's push ignorance" talking point, "There's no solid proof Hillary won the popular vote." No, none at all, except all the news sources who have listed the popular vote and the collective efforts of all of those involved in counting. And there certainly seems no interest in doing anything to assure there's even more "solid proof." You know, like getting rid of the damage Help America Vote did and have actual,physical, votes not determined, or affected, in anyway by proprietary software?
 So I guess, for now, we're stuck just being entertained by talking points that are very much like what comes out of the south end of a moose headed north.

                                                                 -30-
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 2017
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserve
d

07:46 pm - Inspection- Why I Hope Space Aliens NEVER Invade

 This is my 2016/2017 New Year’s wish…
  May we never have aliens come to our planet to conquer us. We are too ripe for the picking. Far too often our very nature is poison fruit. Humanity is toxic to other lifeforms sometimes, but even more so to itself.
   The usual SciFi formula is aliens come to our planet and just mow us down, try to terraform us out of existence, release some virus, and humanity wins the fight because they join together for the greater good. I think War of the Worlds may have had that formula down better than most. Defeat would more likely come by their own miscalculation than humanity’s efforts. After all, maybe Russians can effectively hack us…or not, but does anyone sincerely think some Jeff Goldblum-like guy can hack into their computers, or those computers are even remotely like ours? It took us years to get Mac and Micro somewhat compatible. And, being advanced, what if they happen to hack into our computers and find an advance copy of MicoShaft 2099 XE: the Planet Executioner’s Edition and we’re all immediately deleted?
   But, more likely, they’d have no need of our programs, they’d have something far more advance that would greet Jeff’s attempt with some snarky alien speak that might translate into…

   “We’re sorry, Mr. Goldblum, Ugly Alien 98-456 does not support your program.”

   Zap.
   Upon dumping the trash our computers often ask, “Do you really want…” Their computer-like devices know better, and immediately obey. Any hesitation would be followed by some reaction far beyond any supposed Donald deplorableness, or possible Hillary nastiness.
   However, if these aliens are smart about it; and I think being able to think beyond the supposed limitations of multi-solar system space travel pretty much defines “incredibly smart,” instead they’ll use our over the top passions, our endless number of prejudices, our vast propensity for animosity, against us.
   No matter who you voted for, I think the 2016 election a great example of this. The very way we pick our most important leaders has come down to; not who might do the better job, but who can frame the other in the worst ways. Political office too often has become a prize won by encouraging the most hate. Too often these leaders remind me of the president in Mars Attacks: shallow, self serving. Indeed Jack played two roles in the flick with the same common human failing, the second being the kind of businessman who only sees the invasion as “opportunity” to scam others, despite, maybe even because, everything is falling apart and people are dying.
   Sometimes comedy all too often mimics reality all too well.
   I suspect they’d be wise enough to observe first, come to a more complete understanding than we have before jumping into some past wars. And many of our past wars might provide an obvious clue: the easiest path to defeat us would be to become our “friends” while pumping up inner conflict. Genocide, mass murder, slaughter becomes so much easier to ignore or marginalize when an ally does it, or encourages it. Think Stalin. Think selling gas to Saddam.
   When humanity goes to war, even if the “better” side wins, there’s a long historical precedent of the winner becoming more like the enemy, and as self destructive. Bombing the populace, torture, were once considered some of the worst war crimes. Then we have demonizing one group so as to make any action taken against them acceptable; no matter how horrific. This is one reason why Hitler’s regime is remembered as one of the greatest collective evils humanity has ever participated in. Yet, they’re not the only ones: and the Nazis have almost become the cover under which the old USSR, the Khmer Rouge, China and many other nations, and despots, have crawled under. Their atrocities: almost forgotten. Meanwhile it seems demonizing becomes an excuse to violate basic human decency.
   Though I would never suggest there’s never a group in any society that may seem like they invite demonization. I’m just not opening the floor for that discussion right now.
   (Note: why is it “open the floor?” Wouldn’t participants in any Robert’s rules-based meeting, discussion, just fall through?)
   In the first series of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game humanity joins together to defeat the Buggers, then Ender spends centuries at light speed atoning for how he contributed to humanity’s ultimate act of vengeance after that defeat: a failure to understand the enemy that led to genocide far worse than what they mistakenly did to us. In the sequels humanity struggles, and still fails, to understand the very nature of all the diverse sentient species spread across the galaxy.
   How much easier is it to hate, turn the other into less than human caricatures, then paint them as all evil. I see it all the time in Facebook memes where the left, or the right, is to blame for everything bad. I see it inner party when hate for one person, Hillary, Bernie, Donald, means accepting every accusation, every frame and destroying those closer to you is more important than working together. We become like dogs who chase and swallow themselves tail first while those working against us cheer, and egg, us on.
   Sometimes we’re like the extremely dysfunctional family where we believe the worst about those closer to us, but give undeserved breaks to those only interested in taking advantage.
   Sometimes we’re all to ready to believe some “truth” that’s actually not truth at all, just convenient to what we are desperate to keep believing
   Sometimes I wonder if they’re already here, we just don’t know it yet.
   No, humanity needs no help obliterating itself, but latching on to our worse nature would sure would be a logical way to do it.
   In Independence Day we only defeat alien conquerors once we understand who they are, their tech and how they think. All these heroic efforts require humanity working together. However, as of late, I’ve begin to question that Hollywood-based, puffy confection-like, story line.
   So may you have a happy New Year. Hopefully dangerous space aliens will never arrive on our planet, our politicians are dangerous enough. And, also, I wish this year that humanity might work to eliminate some of its own toxicity, drain some of the poison from our passion-based fruit. Otherwise the only thing left for humanity to bite will be the dust.

                                               -30-
   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

Dec. 31st, 2016

08:21 pm - Inspection- Be Careful: Humanity BITES (A New Year's Wish)

 This is my 2016/2017 New Year’s wish…
  May we never have aliens come to our planet to conquer us. We are too ripe for the picking. Far too often our very nature is poison fruit. Humanity is toxic to other lifeforms sometimes, but even more so to itself.
   The usual SciFi formula is aliens come to our planet and just mow us down, try to terraform us out of existence, release some virus, and humanity wins the fight because they join together for the greater good. I think War of the Worlds may have had that formula down better than most. Defeat would more likely come by their own miscalculation than humanity’s efforts. After all, maybe Russians can effectively hack us…or not, but does anyone sincerely think some Jeff Goldblum-like guy can hack into their computers, or those computers are even remotely like ours? It took us years to get Mac and Micro somewhat compatible. And, being advanced, what if they happen to hack into our computers and find an advance copy of MicoShaft 2099 XE: the Planet Executioner’s Edition and we’re all immediately deleted?
   But, more likely, they’d have no need of our programs, they’d have something far more advance that would greet Jeff’s attempt with some snarky alien speak that might translate into…

   “We’re sorry, Mr. Goldblum, Ugly Alien 98-456 does not support your program.”

   Zap.
   Upon dumping the trash our computers often ask, “Do you really want…” Their computer-like devices know better, and immediately obey. Any hesitation would be followed by some reaction far beyond any supposed Donald deplorable-ness, or possible Hillary nastiness.
   However, if these aliens are smart about it; and I think being able to think beyond the supposed limitations of multi-solar system space travel pretty much defines “incredibly smart,” instead they’ll use our over the top passions, our endless number of prejudices, our vast propensity for animosity, against us.
   No matter who you voted for, I think the 2016 election a great example of this. The very way we pick our most important leaders has come down to; not who might do the better job, but who can frame the other in the worst ways. Political office too often has become a prize won by encouraging the most hate. Too often these leaders remind me of the president in Mars Attacks: shallow, self serving. Indeed Jack played two roles in the flick with the same common human failing, the second being the kind of businessman who only sees the invasion as “opportunity” to scam others, despite, maybe even because, everything is falling apart and people are dying.
   Sometimes comedy all too often mimics reality all too well.
   I suspect they’d be wise enough to observe first, come to a more complete understanding than we have before jumping into some past wars. And many of our past wars might provide an obvious clue: the easiest path to defeat us would be to become our “friends” while pumping up inner conflict. Genocide, mass murder, slaughter becomes so much easier to ignore or marginalize when an ally does it, or encourages it. Think Stalin. Think selling gas to Saddam.
   When humanity goes to war, even if the “better” side wins, there’s a long historical precedent of the winner becoming more like the enemy, and as self destructive. Bombing the populace, torture, were once considered some of the worst war crimes. Then we have demonizing one group so as to make any action taken against them acceptable; no matter how horrific. This is one reason why Hitler’s regime is remembered as one of the greatest collective evils humanity has ever participated in. Yet, they’re not the only ones: and the Nazis have almost become the cover under which the old USSR, the Khmer Rouge, China and many other nations, and despots, have crawled under. Their atrocities: almost forgotten. Meanwhile it seems demonizing becomes an excuse to violate basic human decency.
   Though I would never suggest there’s never a group in any society that may seem like they invite demonization. I’m just not opening the floor for that discussion right now.
   (Note: why is it “open the floor?” Wouldn’t participants in any Robert’s rules-based meeting, discussion, just fall through?)
   In the first series of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game humanity joins together to defeat the Buggers, then Ender spends centuries at light speed atoning for how he contributed to humanity’s ultimate act of vengeance after that defeat: a failure to understand the enemy that led to genocide far worse than what they mistakenly did to us. In the sequels humanity struggles, and still fails, to understand the very nature of all the diverse sentient species spread across the galaxy.
   How much easier is it to hate, turn the other into less than human caricatures, then paint them as all evil. I see it all the time in Facebook memes where the left, or the right, is to blame for everything bad. I see it inner party when hate for one person, Hillary, Bernie, Donald, means accepting every accusation, every frame and destroying those closer to you is more important than working together. We become like dogs who chase and swallow themselves tail first while those working against us cheer, and egg, us on.
   Sometimes we’re like the extremely dysfunctional family where we believe the worst about those closer to us, but give undeserved breaks to those only interested in taking advantage.
   Sometimes we’re all to ready to believe some “truth” that’s actually not truth at all, just convenient to what we are desperate to keep believing
   Sometimes I wonder if they’re already here, we just don’t know it yet.
   No, humanity needs no help obliterating itself, but latching on to our worse nature would sure would be a logical way to do it.
   In Independence Day we only defeat alien conquerors once we understand who they are, their tech and how they think. All these heroic efforts require humanity working together. However, as of late, I’ve begin to question that Hollywood-based, puffy confection-like, story line.
   So may you have a happy New Year. Hopefully dangerous space aliens will never arrive on our planet, our politicians are dangerous enough. And, also, I wish this year that humanity might work to eliminate some of its own toxicity, drain some of the poison from our passion-based fruit. Otherwise the only thing left for humanity to bite will be the dust.

                               -30-
    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 rights reserved

Dec. 27th, 2016

08:58 pm - Inspection- An Answer for Your Right Wing, Electoral College, Loving Friends

Right on cue, as I polished off this column, late last week Bill O'Reilly repeated the very same talking points I challenge in this edition. Of course, as per usual O'Reilly "logic" he had it exactly backwards; claiming those who want to eliminate the Electoral College are playing race-based politics. No, Bill, it's those who are arguing for white superiority when it comes to the vote who are playing "race-based politics," and historically one of your talking points originated in race-based politics. By the way, Bill, like many of your usual tirades, why am I not surprised you would back a white supremacist-like view?

  The scene: a homebrew club event in Pensacola.
  The argument: why the Electoral College was more "fair" than the popular vote, and why we should rely on something like the College more when it comes to voting in general. Through this we see future plans to skew the vote in their favor.
 "Evidence" given that the Electoral College is "more fair:" colored map of U.S. showing vast tracts of land that's purple, or just red.
  My response: "Land doesn't vote."
  But this topic goes even deeper than that, or even deeper than what I stated next, "If you want to have more influence, then move." Yes, and that argument even has a tinge of neo-con to it that I hoped they'd get, as in, "If you want a job..." "If you'd rather not have the disadvantages of living in a..."
 Still not deep enough for this topic.
  Part of this can be explained by referring to a different topic, yet a similar ill-informed rightward argument. The topic: gay rights. For years the right has been arguing gays (LBGT) want "special rights." No, they want the same rights most people have: just like voters across the country want one vote whether they live in the country or a big city. And, if asked, I'm sure no one wants their vote to count less.
 If the right really likes the Electoral College so much, this specific talking point they use sucks.
  Yes, the right certainly seems to want to argue for having "special rights" when it comes to voting. Gee, they always seem so damn sure that any "formula" for adjusting admissions to a school is inherently unjust, but a formula that favors them and the few states they have locked down voting-wise? Better than fine and dandy.
 Anyone else think such a formula is ripe for abuse, politically? Why, there are many of us who think it already has been abused for political purposes. Depending on who is in power, anything but one vote per person is a ripe opportunity for screwing over the will of the people.
  Not like that has ever happened, I type with glee and gusto driven sarcasm.
 The argument continued to sink lower and lower into even worse talking points, like claiming that white people's votes were being "oppressed," or marginalized, because so many immigrants: non-whites who tend not to vote Republican, live in highly populated areas. I tried to be polite because telling people in a public event they were, apparently, advocates of white superiority when it comes to the vote gets one nowhere, influences nobody. But if you don't want to live in these metropolitan voting hot spots please don't demand compensation in the form of "special rights" election time to make you have more of a vote than they do.
  Should a voter from NYC have to be treated like 3/5ths of a voter? Gee, where have we heard that before? Does someone from Botulism, North Dakota deserve to be considered a super voter when the Electoral College over emphasizes his vote at 1.5 of a vote?
 There may be good reasons to keep the College: this isn't one of them.
 How well would this work in other applications? Let's say you live in Bundum, Nevada, outside a tiny community where mass transportation is little to none. Does the government owe you mass transportation equal to Pittsburgh? If you live Los Angeles, California does Dingledorf, Alaska, deserve to have as many interstates? "No," to both. Neither do residents of Atlanta or LA deserve sit in the back of the bus with limited seats available while Bundom and Dingleorf residents get more "seats" on the bus headed towards the presidency.
 It amazes me how those so opposed to affirmative action, when it comes to race, somehow wiggle and squirm philosophically; like a worm caught on logic's hook, to come up with excuses for special rights when it comes to the vote. Want more influence for your party, more votes, but don't want to move? Then pick candidates who appeal more to the areas where you have less support. To use a rightward refrain: "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." Why should the government do that for you?
  This brings us back to the Electoral College. As I have already mentioned, there may be good reasons to keep it, my argument here is simply to counter the "white people in rural areas deserve to have more of a say" nonsense.
  If you read Hamilton, and others, there were many reasons for the EC. One was they couldn't decide between an appointed president or elected. And despite protests from the right, yes, there was a concern that the popular vote alone would lead to a dangerous populist becoming president.
  Many of us find that sadly ironic right now.
 However there is one part of this argument that may make sense, historically. The "flyover" states back then, if there had been planes, would have been the slave states. So their argument is, essentially, areas with non-white voters should count each voter as 3/5th of a voter.
  So remind me again who's playing some "race card" here? Maybe those who think whites should have special rights when it comes to voting? Excuse me while I fake cry about all the centuries whites have been oppressed and denied basic rights. Boo de, hoo, de hoo. Go ahead. Please, right wing, continue to argue for favoritism. Continue to use a talking point that actually means all these non-white, very inconvenient, voters should be considered 3/5ths of a voter. You're only confirming the charges of racism, bigotry, and ethnocentricity coming from the left.

                                    -30-
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

Dec. 17th, 2016

09:58 am - Inspection- Post Election Notes for Bernie and Hillary Supporters

 There are some hard lessons to learn in 2016. And few Hillary supporters, or Bernie purists, will really want to read about them. As a community: and I use "community" in the loosest terms possible, we keep wanting to go back to Bernie the spoiler, Hillary was a horrible candidate, dynamic. (And damn near Satan incarnate, if you read some comments on Facecrack.)
 But your humble columnist is here to serve up this plate of, "Get over yourself and face the real problems," humble pie, anyway.
 You're welcome.
 This hasn't been about who was more experienced, better, or more pure; and it hasn't been for a long time. Democrats could have nominated Jesus and they would have been "Trump-ed." What makes it even more fun for ReThugs is they know Dems always insist on starting up the circular firing squad afterwards. Internet sock puppets love to make that even more contentious.
  Elections have become a battle between suppressing more and more of the vote and a push to get out even increasing number of voters. There comes a time when you could "get out" as much as you can but a clogged pipe simply won't allow much to pass through. To expand on my plumbing metaphor, the pressure won't blow out the pipe because the efforts include shutting off the pressure at the source: communities that tend to vote Democratic.
 The blame rests with the Democratic Party that has refused to address election issues and therefore enabled their own demise. With the amount of control Republicans have gathered, forget a new party rising from the ashes for a long time. The same limitations keeping Democrats back will be at least as limiting for any other party.
 Election fraud has been the Russian roulette revolver up to up to our heads since at least 2000.Meanwhile, where are the pictures of all those buses carrying millions of illegal immigrants to polling stations? Voter fraud? Bah, bull pucky.
 How ironic is it that actual Russian hacking may have helped pull the trigger on the loaded chamber this time?
 Republicans have gotten better and better at corralling the vote down to states where they have utter and complete control over who votes, when they vote, how the votes are counted, when they can vote, if they can vote, what forms of ID are allowable, and if highly partisan appointees control the process. I have no doubt they have this down to a formula. By the next election they might have it down to 4 states, then 5 states, then...
 Anyone else hear the deathly Dem silence surrounding abominations like Crosscheck?
 Gun up to the head, pull trigger.
 I am glad to hear the way too damn late to the party anger over hacking. The key here may be, "way too damn late."
 Gun up to the head, pull trigger.
 Crosscheck eliminating the right to vote for Lincoln R. Jefferson in Wisconsin, Lincoln A. Jefferson in Florida and Lincoln K. Jefferson in Ohio. Party leader's response: silence.
 Gun up to the head, pull trigger.
 Placebo votes belonging overwhelmingly to Dem voters rarely, if ever counted. Oh, wait, they're called, "provisional," Dem leaders: silent.
 Gun up to the head, pull trigger.
 As far as I'm concerned the leaders who planned strategy over the past 20 years (at least) might as well join Robin Williams and hang themselves from their closet doors. At least with Robin's condition, I understand. Dem leaders have no excuse, whatsoever.
 People who think we lost only because we had a "bad" candidate are missing the big picture. As bad as any of our candidates have been, theirs have been as bad, or worse. No, we're losing on national and local levels because election fraud has become the norm, to be expected.
  Anyone else think it will get far worse? I do. The purge of EPA scientists will be the start. Expect something like another Help America's Vote Get Hacked act. The voter purge will continue. Purging anything that prevents us from having rigged elections will increase. Considering the pettiness of the new hatemonger-in-chief the purging of the politically incorrect will go nuclear, though at first I think t will be kept quiet: like the actual nature of the "resettlement" of the Jews was.
 What to do. What to do.
 I think, since our leaders have failed us again and again, we need to find new ones; especially those who would back a nationwide, inclusive, lawsuit where those denied the vote become part of that lawsuit. This will be damn expensive, and one hopes a "house" built on representing actual consent of the voters can be rebuilt. It's a good question. We need to hit them legally on all fronts: provisionals, caging, hacking, limiting times and places to vote, bad voting machines in Dem areas, proprietary software voting machines...
 If ever there was a case for "unequal protection" this is it. If it's good enough for a spoiled brat nitwit from Texas and his gang of far smarter bullies, it's good enough for us.
 I see no other way out. And we better do it soon. They've been packing the courts.
 Otherwise the one party-based nation fascist freight train is on the tracks and headed towards us. Should we continue to stand mid tracks and argue among ourselves while not even attempting to do whatever we must to derail it?

                                    -30-
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

Dec. 8th, 2016

09:19 pm - Inspection- Let's Talk About It: Elections (Or There Goes the Election Killing Train Again)

As of now the recount has been stopped by a judge who says Stein hasn't a chance of winning. True, but that shouldn’t be the point. In fact Stein's recount misses many points that need to be addressed, and "solutions;" like Help America Vote, have only made it worse, added more ways how the vote can be corrupted. After I wrote this I heard about one senator has suggested doing what I am about to recommend, but only regarding Russian hacking. That's a mistake, and will solve nothing, for the most part because it only addresses one partisan issue with voting and will be seen as such. We need to do far more than this. Far more.
 So now, once again, we start to return to our impenetrable fortresses after all sides have made all kinds of claims, accusations and provided little to no proof. The media's not going to help. They're either too afraid to do their jobs, or too invested in supporting one side or another. So, once again, despite both sides having problems with how we vote, there's a big push to ignore all that and move on. Of course moving on is always temporary. The bitching train will arrive again in 2018, then 2020... each time it may just run over us again. But, meanwhile, eventually the topic of integrity of the vote will be dropped like a stone left in an oven for many days. We won’t talk about it, or do much about it.
 My mother died of cancer. During that time there was a lot of in family discussions cut short by, "We don't talk about it." There were so many clues, like an argument with a doctor that led to the cancer spreading. Then relatives wondered why she wasn't getting certain tests, treatments. My mother, very religious, during this time always seemed to be trying to pray it away. Meanwhile, my father was turning into a skeptic and an agnostic, at best.
 You can be damn sure there's something going on we should be dealing with when people say, "We don't talk about it," or "Let's move on."
 Just like you can tell there's something else going on when pols and their supporters make a lot of claims about rigging and fraud, but after the election the winning side no longer wants to talk about it, many in the losing side want to move on. Post every election since 2000 I swore I've heard some version of those words again...

"We don't talk about it."

 Going back, for a moment, to my more personal side to this topic, some of this was repeated with my wife's family, some I admit I'm guilty of. Once, when I mentioned some what looks like an approaching serious situation, I was told I was just imagining it. Another time I was told it wasn't that bad. With my own brother-in-law's risky behavior I too simply ignored the approaching freight train. So I claim no purity here. Far from it.
 Each one of these situations led to someone's death, just like not talking about my father's increasing problems with diabetes ended his life.
 As I think of the past election and the recount I sense the broom about to sweep again, I hear the demands that we stop talking about it, the sharp criticisms of anyone who dares to think any of this should be looked into are certainly plentiful. The death of a person is a lot like the death of representative governance. If you listen sometimes you can hear the freight train approaching. Representative governance is stuck between the tracks of different visions, different accusations, and about to be maimed by that damn train that returns every two years. Soon, if we don't address all the issues we won't have a representative leg, or arm, to hold ourselves up with. All due to...

"We don't talk about that."

 Here is what we would be sweeping under the rug out of mere political convenience. I don’t agree with all of these, but not the point. Each of these could contribute to destroying the "free" in a "free society..."
1. The right, and Donald Trump, claim millions of voters are voting twice and/or voting illegally.
2. The left has a long litany of accusations, actual quotes from Republicans, and Crosscheck efforts that eliminate voters with similar names in different states with no proof they are the same person, millions of votes not counted, miscounted. This also included active attempts to hide ballots, proprietary electronic machines that flip who you vote for, can't be verified, or verified well... there's one hell of a list here, not limited to what I've already listed.
3. Provisional ballots. Are they ever counted, or do people just claim they will be? If they are counted, who decides when and why? Are they just placebo ballots that do a walk around the voter who might sue, or organizations who might sue, for wrongfully denying someone the right to vote? Is it only people who bring no ID who get provisional ballots? What about those challenged by highly partisan poll watchers? If the voter’s right to vote is questionable should they be given anyany ballot? Are there any consistent standards here, nationwide? If not, is this a case of unequal protection?
4. It has been declared by at least one justice there is no right to vote. Is that true? If so citizens need to know, and if they wish to push for that amendment that should be their right and know for sure they need to.
5. Gerrymandering amounting to severe caging.
6. Hacking; especially, but not limited to, another country
 So many of us believe our concerns are righteous, the other concerns bogus. It doesn't matter. Until we look into it all: together, until we give a fair and respectful hearing to all, until everyone is allowed to place their cards on the table: prove their case, the vote is like a guy stuck on the tracks. Every two years the train further maims representative governance. Soon it won't have a leg to stand on, or an arm to pull itself up with.
 If only one side is doing the "rigging" it will continue.
 If both sides are doing the "rigging" it will continue.
 If the system is just screwed up, without consensus regarding how to fix it, it will only get worse.
 I see no other way out of this maze without all sides trying to make it better by respectfully looking into it all. What I am about to suggest here most likely wouldn't change a damn thing regarding the 2016 results. In South Africa they examined their past without the push for revenge. I think when it comes to the vote we need something like that.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants illegal aliens voting, or dead people, or voting more than once.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants people to lose the right to vote because they belong to some group inconvenient to one side.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants voting machines that break down, or not enough voting machines in some politically inconvenient precincts, or machines that flip the vote, or machines with proprietary software that can't be verified.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants people being told the wrong day or precinct, or be denied the vote due to caging.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants gerrymandering so radical it guts the votes that go to one side.
 No one who truly respects representative governance wants other countries to hack our elections, or anyone for that matter.
 Anyone who would want any of this is flying their agenda into the towers labeled representation and freedom. They are supporters of tyranny. They are anti-American. Their intellectual brethren flew the planes into New York and Washington on 9/11.
 I suggest we have a nationwide event where we examine all of this: together, put our cards on the table, prove what we can, and if we can't prove it yet, well maybe there should be a permanent bipartisan commission who has the ability to rule and enforce that citizens can bring their concerns to. One with more power than any commission we may have now. When there are questions they have the power to investigate, to regulate and to enforce. Representative governance is worth it, and certainly a hell of a lot better than many of the other options.
  Otherwise we have reached a point where no one trusts elections anymore. We need to stop what has become the norm: two sides pointing and blaming it on everyone but themselves. This why soon we may not have nice things: like real representative governance. It's why we may eventually slip into any of the various forms of "isms" that no free person would want to live under.
 All the sweeping under the rug until the next election and "we don't talk" doesn't work, makes it worse. And frankly I'd rather throw the damn rug away and let the light shine on it all. Let's examine and fix what's wrong with how we vote in America.

                                              -30-
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

Dec. 2nd, 2016

04:32 pm - Inspection- The Next 9/11

 For a number of years I was good friends with Bartcop, internet political barfly, fellow wiseguy and pain in the digital buttskis of right wing cranks. His blog started as a rant about Limbaugh and expanded from there into bartcop.com. He would post my columns from time to time, we agreed a lot, and we would also argue from time to time; like about who screwed up more: Gore or Kerry. Not the results of said screw up after the fact, just who should have known better. It was always a respectable exchange, though I seriously doubt either of us changed the other.
 In case you're curious, my answer was Kerry: he who turned his swift boat around and ran despite his VP pick, Edwards, saying we should take the time necessary to count all the votes. Gore; as bungled as the effort may have been, took it to the Supremes when none of us knew in advance just how bad this damn son of... an ex-president... would be.
 How wrong so many of us were. But who was to predict 9/11, other than all the warnings they got we didn't know about before the crash?
 Bart had a saying he used often, and rephrased frequently to suit the topic. So I feel no guilt in rephrasing it again for my friend who passed on a few years ago. It kind of goes like this...

"Once a company (or politician) benefits from a 'mistake,' you know that 'mistake' will be made again."

9/11.
 Whether you buy the official story, or not, or only part of it, one thing is for damn sure: it was a 'mistake.' And, yes, that 'mistake' will be made again. In fact Donald Trump has already told us what the next 'mistake' might be: we're headed towards one hell of a big crash. I have little doubt, like an inconvenient person is sometimes 'suicided,' there are plans to make it happen. And you can bet your Rowan and Martin bippy Obama, the Democrats, liberals will be blamed: essentially anyone not part of this corporatist, far right, racist, clique.
  Yes, the Laugh In joke dates me. You want to make something of it?
 Think about it: 16 years ago an administration that lost the popular vote was openly mocked, then skyrocketed in popularity after the towers collapsed. Their very ambitious goals suddenly started to fly off the dusty shelves unpopularity had placed them on. And they knew as long as the public stayed desperate, frightened, their most perverse wet dreams could come true.
 It worked... for a while.
 If you look at who Trump is "hiring" there's no doubt their agenda here is also ambitious: turning public education over to corporations...

 Like Germany headed down the blood drenched path to genocide by registering all Jews, now the goal is to register all Muslims and/or deport them. Trump and company have even made noise about deporting citizens who displease them, or just tossing them in prison with hardly a hint of due process. Perhaps they'll find some way to ghetto-ize them, or load them on trains, or planes, and head them off for "resettlement?"
 They want a massive military build up..
 ...want to end Medicare and replace it with a... tax credit? Gee, how well will that work with poor people? Similar plans are forming for the ACA.

"OK, Mr. Surgeon. You say I need a heart transplant, how far will this voucher or tax credit get me? I earn under 10 grand a year and have several hungry mouths to feed."

 Fulfilling one pol's comment the right loathed, but was, oh, so accurate.

"Republican health care for the poor: just go ahead and... DIE."

 In the 30s experiments were performed on those who were deemed defective, kind of like Pence and friends have experimented on gays by trying to turn them straight. Trump's list of appointments is like a pit of Mengele vipers who loathe anyone not hetero.
 His defense appointment was as thirsty for war with Iran as Barnabas Collins was hungry for blood after being locked in a coffin for centuries. Just one more of the many Dark Shadows that Trump is mustering to make America... suck... again. OK, "suck" more.
 While another 9/11-like attack might create the environment to allow these sucky dreams to come true, why not have what worked so well for FDR? Instead of work programs why not have more war, blame all the people Donald mocked, and go after the VP's fav demons: gays? All thanks to The Greater Depression, the last "Great" one brought on by many of the economic policies this gang loathes. What could be more ironic? Use the same vehicle that brought us so many social programs, then blame the Greater Depression on all their enemies? And their biz buddies can get rich by taking on even more foreclosures. Why it could eventually be like when the streets were lined with jewish possessions, including teeth, as they moved on to the final solution. Only now it would be all those groups Trump loved to blame, mock and demonize.
 And, right on cue, the Donald is planning on appointing the guy who worked for the firm that helped bring on an economic crash. How grand it must be for "the Donald" to have the economic Hulk-like "expert," Steven Mnuchin, available?
 (To quote one of my previous columns a while back, "Hulk SMASH!")
 9/11 proved to be just the start. It taught the right the fastest way to achieve wet dreams was crash related. Now, instead of planes into towers, this kind of crash could last longer, make people so desperate they simply will support any damn near any "solution." And it won't end there, maybe for a long time. During the petulant little Shrub's term there was yattle about changing the two term rule. Anyone foolish enough to think this option might not be being considered, especially when they have all branches of government?
 And, right on cue, "the Donald" has been talking about this being the last election.
 Wild?
 Crazy?
 Irresponsible conspiracy talk?
 Really?
  The last time a president was... selected... could we ever have imagined how far they would go? Don't dismiss the possibility of Marshall law, a national emergency, an overly obedient Congress following his every lead, and the public mostly falling in line. Much of this happened, or was suggested, after W ignored warnings. He too blamed it on the previous administration, you know, the one that tried to warn him, among others?
 Never, ever, underestimate how far they might go. We already did that before and during Shrub, and again: before this election.
 Get ready for something like those multicolored alerts to come back! Hey, maybe they'll hook it all in with terrorism. As an additional plus they could add a new form of "terrorist" to the equation. Remember how Hillary and Barack supposedly created ISIS? Opposing, even just disagreeing, with the administration could become a traitorous act: the Alien and Sedition Acts on steroids, as he rallies his hate filled fans to go beyond what is already on the increase: schoolyard bullying, swastikas, cross burnings, anti semitic and anti Muslim vandalism. Meanwhile every convenient Alex Jones-like, and hate filled, conspiracy theory would be pumped through the media. You know, the same media who is already treating his media events like the blessed Fuhrer is shining his magnificence on us?
 And, right on cue, he proclaims there will be a lot of these 1930s like rallies to honor himself. Trump: the exalted Emperor who has no ethical clothes.
  Yes, a crash to rival the 30s could make the political benefits of 9/11 to the party in power seem paltry, at best.
 Well, as if on cue, before he even ascends, Mango Mussolini has predicted it may happen, just like he predicted the election will be "rigged."
 Much has been made of Trump lying. But what's even more frightening is that, so frequently, he's not lying. In both cases he damn well may have been honest. He just doesn't say who is really doing the rigging, or who is going to make damn sure the economy crashes.
 In the 30s two men used dire economic conditions to get what they want and to gain more power. I think you know who they were. And I bet you know who I think Trump and each of his cronies might be most like...
 ...and it's not anyone in the FDR administration.

                                    -30-
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

Nov. 28th, 2016

02:29 pm - Inspection- Count the Provisional Ballots

 Since we are going to do this, why not count the provisional ballots?
 Please don't just dump them in with the other ballots. It would be best for the nation if we find out the difference between what was counted and what wasn't. It also would be important to find out why those voters were rejected for regular ballots. Did they have no ID, insufficient ID for whatever the local standard was? What is the "local standard?"
 I understand the job is big enough as it is, but for the good of the nation we need to find out just what the cost of rejecting voters for regular ballots is. And, of course, if they were counted, we need to know that too.
 Giving voters provisional ballots is odd, at best. If the claim is the voter isn't qualified to vote, or hasn't proven they are qualified to vote, then they simply shouldn't be allowed to vote. Instead they should be given a piece of paper showing why they weren't allowed to vote and be allowed to challenge that in court. It could make a lot of money for lawyers, yeah, maybe that's one downside.
  The upside is it might be a check on things like Crosscheck. Rejecting voters because they have a name similar to a voter in another state should be exposed and, to be honest, whomever insisted they be kicked off the rolls should have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, this is the same voter who voted in Florida, or Ohio. If the claim is they had insufficient ID, then what ID did they produce, if any? What is the standard and is it equally applied across all precincts? How does it compare to other states?
 Those who do the rejecting should have to prove, in court, this isn't unequal access. If it's good enough for George W. Bush it's damn well good enough for John or Mary Q who tries to vote and has the wrong "flavor" ID, when John or Mary P. sail through elsewhere with the same ID, or worse.
 If the provisional ballots were to be dumped in with regular ballots that would be unfair, I suspect. Despite claims they are counted if the election is close, I suspect they are never counted. And if they are counted, who makes that decision? How "unequal" is the process of making that decision? How partisan-ly convenient?
 If they were destroyed we need to know that too: by whom and why.
 I understand. This effort is expensive. But if provisional ballots are ignored you might as well stop right now, in my opinion. As both campaigns have said: Stein and Clinton, it's unlikely this will change anything, and I agree. But perhaps if we include provisional ballots, as I have suggested, we can at least assure voters their time hasn't been wasted: going to the polls, taking time off for work if they must. If the vote is sacred then their effort is sacred too. Or we can show there's a good reason why their provisional wasn't counted and they damn well better have some ID with them. Or we can show they may have been part of a scam intended to provide unequal access. Or we can show their votes have, essentially, just been thrown away.
 Doesn't an election where the "losing" candidate received over 2 million more votes qualify as close enough to count provisional ballots, even if just to show to the whole nation, and those who attempted to vote, what the difference might be? Or is the reason not to do this to make sure we don't know the difference because it might anger these voters and anger a nation? Maybe to protect those who want to have the right to deny the vote to others without proving due cause?
 Then we need to demand to know why voters are rejected, demand the lists, see how, and why, this decision to list them was made. There are those who believe it a scam to people likely to vote in politically incorrect ways from voting. Shouldn't we at least try to start clearing this up?
 Whatever the reason: we need to know. Left as is means maybe even millions cast some form of ballot that's worthless: a placebo ballot essentially. This could be a form election fraud that would do on a far more massive scale what it was claimed Jack Kennedy's peeps did: toss actual physical ballots into one of the great lakes. Or we can verify the claim a lot of people are trying to vote shouldn't even be trying.
 Shouldn't those who have taken upon themselves the "right" to deny the vote have to prove their reasons are sound and appropriate? If not shouldn't that at least be some part of these recounts? To quote the reasoning used so often to justify actions, "If they have done nothing wrong they should have nothing to fear."

                                                       -30-
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                            

Nov. 22nd, 2016

12:04 pm - Inspection- No One Has to "Get Over It"

I am blessed with a friend who enjoys my writing and quotes me more than most on social media. After writing a column for over 40 years I suppose it's not that unusual. He's been with me since the early days and we argued a lot. Over time my politics; like a gentle slide on ice skates, have slowly glided more his way; though it had little to do with anything he said to me.
 I posted a meme he had made that referred to the nastiness of the campaign this year. He used a picture of both Hillary and Donald and my quote. Under it another friend posted the comment, "Get over it, Ken. Hillary has."
 Of course I pointed out to him the meme feature pictures of both of them and it was meant as an overall comment about the nastiness of campaigns, not some piss-off-ed-ness over the election. Then I also pointed out I don't let Hillary decide how I feel and that I don't take orders from him, nor should he take orders from me.
 But, since he brought up the topic, let's examine it fairly, OK?
 Well, after the right "got over it" when Barack won: twice, obviously the left should...

 Except that load of droppings would make a guano drenched pool qualify as great brewing water. I can't count the number of "not MY president" comments on social media and in public. Then you have the Caucus Room conspiracy, the birther BS, "put the white back in the White House" and monkey-based insults.
 Short list.
 So did the right get over it?
 No way in hell. One side shouldn't have to play nice while another doesn't. That's no way to run anything even remotely resembling a free society. Methinks this demand: no matter what side tries to insist on it, may be one of the reasons God gave us middle fingers. Or, to quote "saint" Reagan, "No unilateral disarmament."

 One could claim this started under W., but that would be wrong. I remember "not my president" comments going back to Kennedy. I do think the nastiness, the unwillingness to work with others, or accept the results of an election, has gotten worse. And in an election where the popular vote is superseded by the College it would be unrealistic to expect no blowback, no matter which side lost. Indeed there was one presidential election where the House decided because even the College couldn't settle the election.
 Boy, I'll bet the losing side raised hell after that one. Totally expected.
 In fact, if things were "fair" I would think the left would be just as active, try to block just as much, do as much birther-like crap, as the right did.
 But it won't. Why? Because too many Dem leaders are stubborn, stupid and cowards.
 Let's examine it another way. If Democrats convinced enough electors to switch would the right just "get over it?" Should "just get over it?"
No...
 ...way
 ...in
HELL.
 Nor would I expect them to
.
 So spare me the mini lectures about playing nice, getting over it, because they're pure croc puke no matter which side pushes them. And my guess is those who try to sell that bile know it.
  


                                               -30-
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

Nov. 14th, 2016

01:33 pm - Inspection- An Open Letter to Trumpsters

Dear Trumpsters,

 Let's say roles were reversed, what would you support from the left? Would you get on Facebook and say everybody should be nice now? Funny, most of you didn't before, and certainly weren't "nice." What if the Senate and/or the House had gone the other way? Or Hillary had won. Or...
 Shall we play role reversal? Yup, we shall! For 500, let's have Caucus Room Conspiracy!
 Let's say on inauguration day Dem leaders meet and promise to block everything, and anything, President Trump tries to do: even if it's for the good of the nation and both sides want it. Promise not to allow any of it to even come up for a vote. Would you support their right to do that? You wouldn't call them traitors, take no action against them? Say, "Well, are they supposed to just bend over and take it?" like several cons have said to me regarding damn near anything Obama tried to achieve?
 I think not.
 Would you accept them challenging his citizenship? When documentation was provided would you have no problem with them demanding "better" documentation? Even when better documentation arrives would you mind if they continue to challenge that? If George Soros claimed to have investigators investigating and said, "You wouldn't BELIEVE what they're finding," but show squat when it comes to results, would you just shrug that off? Then let's say Soros could run for president, would you accept his evasions regarding those investigations, and finally him claiming he did Trump a favor, he actually cleared the president?
 You know the answer to that, and it's not "yes."
 How about Black Panthers carrying, "Put the Black back into the White House, not some racist," signs? Hey, freedom of speech, ya'll. I can just hear Billy O on TV saying, "These are the freedoms we fought for." I can hear it in my dreams... or would that be nightmares?
 How about Trump's every move, every word, being labeled racist, misogynist, being a dictator. OK, that's likely to happen, one might argue already happening, I suppose. But you haven't been accepted it, why would you now? Apparently name calling ("criminal," "corrupt") is OK as long as your side isn't the target?
 Get the parallel here yet?
 Recently a right winger posted on a debate site a clip with a short portion of Obama's response to a very poorly phrased question. The supposition made was his response meant he's for illegals voting. Except the interviewer called them "citizens:" citizens by definition being legal. She also cluttered up the question with a laundry list of words like "millennials," and these same "citizens" not voting because they thought voting might bring INS to their door to investigate the whole family. Barack's answer was right, "Since citizens have a right to vote, and the sanctity of the vote is protected..."
 Three observations...
1. The clip started mid question as if it really had been pulled out of context.
2. The question was so cluttered it took me a while to figure out what the hell she was asking.
3. The question asked was so cluttered it made me wonder if that was intentional so a clip could be pulled out of context in an attempt to make it what it wasn't. In this case a poor attempt, at best
 Is that OK when it comes to any interviews with Trump? OK, we already know it's not OK from all the talking heads and posters who suddenly find value in nuance, even when there doesn't seem to be any. Seriously, anyone meaning more than judges should be banned from judging only due to their ethnicity should stop saying over and over again the over simplistic phrase, "He's Mexican, I'm building a wall."
 So is it OK if some reporter interviews Trump with a question just as cluttered, just as edited in a suspicious way, and then claim words like "citizen" mean something they don't?
 We already know: not.
 Damn near a year before every presidential election should President Trump have to just give up and let the next president appoint? Come on, be honest, would you agree to that? Could you even honestly claim to see an ounce of anything to it but pure partisanship hackery and absolute neglect of duty?
 Be honest.
  Can you be honest? Understand in a less than partisan way? Sometimes I wonder if we need to get the Scooby Doo gang, or Where's Waldo, and see if we can find an ounce of honesty in the body politic these days.
 (Politics has "body?" Well, anywhosie...)
 If "libtards" and other names are acceptable then continuing and pushing the envelope on name calling is acceptable for the left, right? Maybe we should start suggesting assassination in ways that might inspire the mentally ill? Is that OK with you? If the Dems get one part of Congress next election, would starting impeachment proceedings be OK, investigating every and any claim, no matter how wild, or obviously partisan? Going back a tad further in history, would it be OK to assign a left wing special prosecutor, and if the results aren't what the left wants, assign someone more Michael Moore-like?
 This has been only a short review of the right's behavior over the past 8 years, even 20 years given the last question. I am in no way claiming the left is filled with saints, or pure in these matters. But... now the left supposed to be nice, kind, congenial, cooperative and respect "the people's" decision? "Respect" that decision even though right now the public either didn't overwhelmingly vote for him, or didn't even give him the popular vote? Don't you remember all your oddly phrased "shove it down our throats" or "bend over" comments?
Get the parallels here yet?
 You don't see even the slightest bit of asshole-ishness and hypocrisy in all this? Really? If not, I fear for our nation even more than I already do. For that kind of behavior, that kind of lack of rational thought, pretty much defines those throughout history who have demanded that everyone else to goose-step, or else.
 You wouldn't rebel against all that if you thought it was happening to you?
 Trick question: you have already have.

                                                      -30-
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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