Author Archives: Ken Carman

Inspection- Of MLK and Martyrs

by Ken Carman

 Another Martin Luther King Day has passed…
  Having lived in the South since 1978 for many years I’ve heard the “joke” calling Martin Luther King Day, “James Earl Ray Day.” Like most “humor” of that ilk it usually winds up punching the punch line right back at the supposed comedian. Eventually those folks usually try to pretend the person who has long since passed on was more like them, would now agree with them.
  Let’s be clear: there were problems in their marriage and problems in his life. Martin was no saint.
  Let’s be even more clear by asking, “Were any of the supposed saints actually pure saints all their lives?”
  Probably not.
  Now let’s go into hyper-clear mode. All those folks who claim these days MLK would be a Republican, or would be anything, are talking out of the wrong portal. You know: the one that makes noises no one wants to hear, or smell? Oh, sure, we can guess, but such guesses are almost always self serving.
 This is the football game we play every time someone dies from an assassination, after any high profile murder. I suspect the further away we get from such an event, the more likely that person wouldn’t recognize who we are talking about if they were to rise again. The image we have of any martyr always morphs, shifts and get hijacked. It’s what we do, as humans, all too damn well.
 Martin was a man of his time.
 JFK was a man of his time, as was Lincoln.
 Jesus was a man of his time.
 Declaring what they would say now is increasingly idiotic the more time slips away faster than a stubborn, terrorized, donkey coated with grease. Anyone who has an ounce of common sense would realize trying to grab only makes you the ass.
 When it comes to King I remember those days quite well. My father: an active conservative, argued that the marches and such were not the way to change what even he admitted needed to be changed. And, of course, some of the usual charges, though less that he was a communist, or a pinko, than a dupe. Though I don’t remember, I would guess my comments might have mirrored his. Read more

Inspection- The Puppeteers

by Ken Carman

 Like gas prices?
 Think it will last?
 Yup: of course not, fellow puppet, Mr. or Ms. Mutual Marionette.
  Part of my career, the majority of my life for about 25 years, has included puppets. I know bad puppetry when I see it, or the harsh jerk of marionette strings, and that’s exactly what I’ve seen over the years when it comes to gas prices.
 I’m not your usual entertainer: I pay my own gas bills, pump my own gas, drive my own rig: therefore get to see prices and trends. I’ve lived in a tour bus, a 14′ Jayco, slept in my truck and put up tents just to do what I do. All of which, in part, was a response to gas prices and trying to run a small, low budget, entertainer-based, business. But before that I traveled north and south frequently to see relatives, for vacations, transferring cars for a few years, taken street sweepers off to be serviced, spoke to various congregations. Before I became a full time entertainer I had many jobs: a lot of them involved driving as a natural part of the job. So I have been observing prices for a long time, over a wide area and many states.
 For years it was simple. Due to taxes: local, state and fed, gas in Atlanta area was very cheap, Connecticut was hideously expensive, Ohio was a bit more expensive than Tennessee and prices increased, overall, as I slanted through the Ohio. Each locale varied a bit, but consistently. I knew the stations that were less expensive, and when not to bother stopping my gas guzzling tour bus. This was Maine to Florida to Louisiana.
 Other than the brief, now laughable, “high prices” of the “gas crisis” during Carter, the real odd stuff started during the very end of the Clinton administration… then it went on steroids during Bush II. Read more

Inspection- Of Flying Monkeys and that %$#@! Little Brat

by Ken Carman

  That little brat in diapers had just killed off old man 2013. Was that him I heard with the potty mouth?
  Nah, despite having lost handily to the president again it’s the party that lost the presidency that decided to continue to talk trash. Having lost an election certainly didn’t mean they had to pay attention to the voter’s wishes, right? So the expected condescending lectures followed. Because treating a president as if he were a “boy” is the “adult” thing to do, right? Read more

Inspection- Paint Splatters

  Two Inspection columns arrive on your digital doorstep, one today, one tomorrow…

by Ken Carman

  Looking back: overall, was this a “good” year?
  Maybe not.
 As it seems is the norm for many folks, my mental vision seems fogged by the worst of the worst. Though there may have been a lot more good, the worst days continue to throb painfully like a thumb slammed by a hammer.
  Something bad always seems to happen around my birthday. So this year began with having to put my collie down. About 16: very old for a collie, with dementia, Alzheimer, severe back issues and then a flipped stomach: it was time. But that didn’t mean the decision was easy, or that everything that happened that day doesn’t still haunt me.
  Then, like seeing different patterns in mere paint splatter, it didn’t stop. My first girlfriend died from diabetes, Robin Williams killed himself, Joan Rivers, a freak accident took out a Beaver River local: Bill Brewer, and a fellow homebrewer, Mike Semich, had an aneurysm… leaving his new wife behind.
  That’s not all that happened, but it was too much even if that had been “all.” Read more

Inspection- Is Castro’s Cuba Convertible?

A brief, early, edition before the holiday break…

by Ken Carman

 So Mr. FOX, and before that some of his past tense rightward pre-curse-ors, have been cursing Cuba while slamming our heads into this same damn wall year after year. This has been going on since I was a kid in the early 60s. So when Barack Obama walks out of what some of their more racist commentators might sneer and say would be “the hood,” and says “what big lies we have been living, maybe we should try something else,…” they just show their fangs and say, “Better to eat you with.”
 I’m sure some might even emphasize the “red” in this Red Riding Hood allegory I am using.
  OK, I understand political one upmanship, but exactly what do they think would change if we kept the embargo in place, continued to treat them as a pariah? Why should we continue to do what hasn’t been working?
 As if on cue one right wing pundit claims it’s all the fault of the Democrats that it hasn’t. And how many years have we had of Republican presidents since Ike and John? How many Republican Houses, Senates? Do they sincerely want us to believe that the Dems have been so highly organized, goosesteppy and effective that they have thwarted republicans time and again? Read more

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