Inspection- Four Shorts

This week I decided to start practicing my editing skills. Long columns can be a challenge, but it’s far too easy to lose readers in excessive hot air; no matter how interesting or relevant the blow may be.

Inspection- When “Change” is More of the Same
by Ken Carman

I don’t blame President Obama. Really. I don’t. But if he doesn’t publicly address this problem loudly, firmly: I will.

KBR just “won” another rather large contract.

“Won” is wrong.

“Chosen” is better.

Now I’m sure President Obama doesn’t personally choose which companies gain such contracts. But anyone with slightly toasted marshmallows for brains knows there have been problems with Halliburton and their fake… not really a separate entity; Blazing Saddles-like corporation: KBR. “Fake” in the sense of the imitation village the bad guys shot up. Or the toll booth in the middle of the desert.

So we, as a nation, award a new electrical contract to a “company” who is under investigation for such shoddy work that their work may have electrocuted soldiers?

If this had happened under the Bush regime I would challenge any Cons to defend the awarding of the contract. But it didn’t. It happened under President Obama. So I challenge him as of now…

Barack, did you really mean change? Or is what KBR is accused of just an odd form of barbecue we should all accept as the norm?

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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 2009
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

Inspection: Airheads
by Ken Carman

1. Threats of “you’ll have to pry the microphone out of my mouth…”

2. Screams and moans about “Nazis.”

3. “Let free enterprise work.”

Yup, it’s time to talk about some version of the fairness doctrine again.

1. No one’s trying to pry anything away from anyone; except those who want to keep Lefties off the air by any means. Plus, only stupid people put microphones into their mouth and little kiddies who don’t know better. Unless you want to boost the bass and some of the mid range too much: back off! (Less than dynamic mics may not need apply… as much.)

2. Nazis had one form of radio they allowed: Nazi radio. (Do we really want to hear the PSAs and station promos for that one? Did they advertise skin soft lampshades?) The closer we come to a deliberately skewed system of programming any one form of talk radio… I repeat any one form; the more Nazi-like we are. If you’re honest, and how can I even bother to type that sentence when it comes to the vast majority of Righties these days I don’t know, you will admit which one we’re closer to. And it ain’t “Left.”

3. Free enterprise isn’t working. This has absolutely nothing to do with “free enterprise.” Under “free enterprise” anyone who can gain enough advertisers to their programming through ratings: have enough listeners when compared with other stations in the same market, should be able to contribute to the market. That’s not what we have in America today. What we have; just to provide one example, is fundamentalistic religious interests running around: spending massive amounts of cash; buying out stations just to eliminate Left radio. Strangle it in the cradle. If getting bought out is more financial advantageous than owning a station: and radio has never been a biz you get rich being an owner in: unless you own many of them rather than one, then any business person in biz for profit will sell.

Essentially “free speech” is being sold out to the highest bidder. That’s neither “American” or “free speech.”

Rush on three or four stations in one market isn’t “free enterprise.” The ratings for some would normally make the others seriously consider changing formats: unless they’re on some theological or political agenda that trumps common sense and free enterprise. When it comes to Arbitron-like ratings, Left radio has, and can, do well. Limbaugh has been beat in many markets by the likes of, for example, Thom Hartmann.

Of course we do have conglomerates like right wing Clear Channel who has had such an interest in making money that they have reluctantly attempted to program Left: on very low watt stations. The only logical reason to do that is to hope that this timid effort might slaughter the goose and devour the golden egg so they can say, “See, only Right programming works!

Not interested in programming competition for your own stations? Who cares what sells? Kill the competitor in the crib.

The baby barely breathes; but he still lives. How do we provide life support to a child being deliberately being strangled by Taliban like fanatics?

Make sure at least a small portion of the airwaves are available for “other.”

Unlike the Left programming, however, Clear Channel put Rush on stations with high wattage all over the country before he was a proven powerhouse; and suffered losses in the ratings, and advertisers, for years… until he built up a base.

I defend the practice. This is how you build a following and programing, whether it be talk or entertainment. Yet Rush and much of Right talk are exceptions to the rule. Hollywood, the entertainment industry and radio programmers often have the same standard a cheap whore would have: fast is best. If not: move on to the next “client.”

The Right has a Taliban-like approach to owning and running stations. It’s no accident that Republican Pete Sessions recently claimed Republicans use tactics they have learned from the Taliban. In reality the far Right has more in common with the Taliban than anything remotely resembling free speech when it comes to attempting to destroy access to any speech but their kind.

That’s because they know Left talk can work.

If you don’t do everything you can to exterminate it.

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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 2009
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

Inspection- Speech!
by Ken Carman

To paraphrase…

“What if you gave a great speech and no one was listening?”

“If someone gives a great, intelligent, speech in a forest filled with Republicans, ‘is’ they listening yet?”

Barack is right. A “stimulus” bill is a spending bill. We should know that after eight years plus… I’m counting a few of Clinton’s acts too… of stimulating only the rich and big business; “stimulation” that has mostly allowed them to grab the gold and run.

To Hell with that.

I was not the biggest of Barack supporters. I tend to hold my nose and vote 99.9% of the time anyway; so I did vote for him. If we had run off voting I’m still not sure if he would have been my first choice. But jury’s still out: way out. Give a pundit a break, it’s only been two weeks. I’m hoping he’s not more flash in the long run than the kind of substance we will need to storm the tax cuts for the rich castle so we can stimulate where we should.

So far? More promising than I expected, but not quite as much “promise” as I hoped for.

Now Bill Clinton knew something about stimulating, and that’s not just a dirty joke given his success at putting America’s books back in the black. OK, Bill and Monica were an item… not “is” as some claimed at the time… but Neo Con’s prefer to “stimulate” by sucking away the future of America: plundering and economically raping a country.

That’s one mighty big pistol you got there Mister. But I can see it’s shrinking: fast.

Want to bet it actually gets them off?

If you give money to people who have to spend it they do: and stimulate the economy. Rich people and large corporations usually don’t have to spend it. That’s beyond obvious “economics” or “theory.” That’s so damn obvious a third grader would understand. Everyone; anyone, could understand.

Except Reaganautic economic comet seekers.

They really believe if we kill our economy while chasing some mythical trickle down comet we’ll all live in Nirvana. More like a hellish la, la land.

We should know.

We’re starting to pass by the tax cut for the rich depot right now.

Time to ignore the Republicans and not allow them to pull the “stop the train” chord.

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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 2009
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

Inspection- Fill with Bluster
by Ken Carman

Friday the 13th ads swamp our TV screens. I don’t know if it’s a re-release, or a “new” version. I don’t care. Blood and guts as horror isn’t “horror,” it’s just playing ketchup with special effects.

The same is true with filibusters with no bluster. For over 12 years every time Republicans mention filibuster, ninny; Dem leaders, act like brainless teenage girls on dates with their “beloved” abusive boyfriends. They cringe, bury their whimpering faces in their Republican boyfriend’s greaser jackets while the boyfriends say, “Shut up, I’m watching the movie. Now service me, bitch!”

They’d rather wimp out than fight; or even demand others do if they really do intend to fill time with bluster.

“Oh, you’re going to filibuster? well, never mind.”

Make them do it, damn it.

At least when Republicans were in power they demanded an up or down vote. I didn’t agree; I believe in filibusters. It protects us from the tyranny of the majority, giving slight minorities a weak tool to at least have some power. But they do know how to get on message and fight.

Now Republicans demand a different kind of up and down, and Dem leaders afraid they might lose an abusive boyfriend; or a vote or two, willingly accept the slap; proving they really suck at what they do.

Filibusters should be filled with actual bluster. They haven’t been. Republicans should have to prove they’re willing to carry out and win their thuggish threats.

Note to our Dem leaders; “Grow up little girls.”

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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 2009
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved