Author Archives: Ken Carman

Inspection- What the Hell is Wrong With George Zimmerman?

by Ken Carman

 Maybe what’s wrong with George is the same thing “wrong” with a certain sociopathic, paranoid, portion of America public who wants attention, to always be in the limelight, no matter how bad that attention is? And who thinks every government agency is out to get them? Maybe part of the problem is right wing talkers keep pumping up such paranoia?
  Look, it would be great if we could start with pushing to one side: for the sake of debate, what happened with Trayvon. Just agree everything he claimed happened did happen that way. I certainly don’t think so, but I would be willing to move forward on that basis just to make the point I need to make.
  But which version of “true” do we accept? The one where he was dragged out of his vehicle by Trayvon, which he recanted? The one where he testified he didn’t have enough money for his own defense, but had to recant that too and was cited for that claim by the judge? The version where he said he was attacked for no reason and was checking street signs and was suddenly attacked? Or where Trayvon did try to walk away but came back as he still pursued?
  OK, let’s just move on: not because these aren’t valid points to be made, but because if this was a singular incident it wouldn’t address the wider question I’m asking, which is: “What the hell is wrong with George Zimmerman?”
  So let’s review before we get to the final: most recent, example of baffling behavior. Read more

Inspection- Forgotten Folks We Thought We Knew

This column was inspired, in part, by Mart Allen’s 2013 book: Adirondack Character and his portrait of Frank and Jessie Ritz. I never met Frank Ritz, but I lived with Jessie Ritz: or “Grandma Ritz” as we all referred to her, for about 2 1/2 years. Many afternoons and evenings I sat with her in that back bedroom at Ritz house next to the Nutty Putty: Main Street, Old Forge and discussed life. She was so incredibly wise and able to connect with me by saying so little. I have to chuckle: last time we talked I brought my first fiance: Debbie, by and introduced her. “Are you sure she’s the right one, Ken?” I said,”Yes.” Then she got real quiet and just looked at me. That should have been all I needed to realize the relationship was doomed.
Adirondack Character filled in some of the gaps in the life of a person I cared for who I only knew as a wise grandmother at the end of her life.
 We think we know folks: especially public figures, entertainers, sports stars, so well. Yet, like Jessie Ritz, there’s so much we don’t know.

by Ken Carman

  On this stage called life: filled with so many props built out of assumptions and insults, we think we know that liberals are… conservatives are… Yet all, and each, assumption is at best a distorted shadow of who we are. More often an unforgiving, mostly false, cliche': less valid than “Scots are all thrifty,” “Jews are all great bookkeepers” or “all blacks are ‘lazy’ but have great rhythm.”
  I recently saw this dynamic play out at a debate site I visit frequently: volconvo.com, when a poster submitted a thread about how the left has prejudged cops over and over in various shootings, meanwhile in that same thread prejudging all those who question said shootings, and prejudging the dead boy as guilty, prejudging him and his friends as all thugs, and prejudging all those concerned about what what happened with the usual insults tossed out by the right: insisting they all claim the boy was a “saint.”.
  Does the left do the same sometimes? Read more

Inspection- “Everyone I Know is Going Away”

by Ken Carman

 Isn’t it odd how some of what parents, friends and former lovers say to us slips away: becomes almost invisible, silent… yet some seeps deep into our souls and never lets us go.
 I don’t have an eidetic memory, but when it comes to long term memory: close. And, as with all Inspection columns, there are political, social even religious points to be made here. Hold on. I’ll get there.
 My father once said to me, “Everyone I know is going away,” long before he died. So I don’t have the excuse for that phrase being embedded into my soul I do when he said, “You know, I won’t be here forever,” the year before he died. I understood what he said less then than I do now. Read more

Inspection- Living on the Edge

by Ken Carman

 Life, if we’re honest, is all about living on the edge, spreading your wings and taking flight…
 Life worth living is defined by risk.
  Because there was a local emergency here: near Beaver River, a local owner asked me if I could take a vehicle down to the barge and tell them they would have to wait. It’s about 7 miles of sometimes rough dirt road. I have been driving since I was 13: on private roads, and used to drive all over the southeast delivering Porsches, Audis and Mazdas, an occasional Mercedes, Volvo. Mid that fun job I also drove a high profile truck with a street sweeper engine in the back bed down an ice coated, curve filled, road from Ashville, North Carolina to Charlotte, with my wife Millie in panic mode. I couldn’t blame her: I was scared too. My tour bus, an elderly motorhome really, used to have all bias tires. As the mechanic asked me once, “How the hell do you drive that thing? You can’t predict where it will go!”
  “You learn.”
  “You learn.”
  Back to my trip to the barge for a moment, then I will get to my point… Read more

Inspection- Benedict McCain?

by Ken Carman

  So unfair… to Benedict.
  Yes, Benedict became a traitor, but after being passed over, ignored and marginalized despite a sterling record commanding troops, and fighting, for his country. But Republicans these days have none of that. They have spent many years in power: having the presidency and controlling several branches of government. Yet they act like any insurgency that had never was allowed to have any influence at all, therefore was willing to do anything to win. Mao, Castro or Washington? Well the making of the frame: no matter how absurd or offensive, is up to each framer, isn’t it?
  Instead being the loyal opposition, or principled stands, instead all they have tactics: like meeting when Barack Obama was being inaugurated and plotting to block anything and everything that might reflect favorably on him. Even if they agree with it, even would save lives, even if was good for the country, even if people would die otherwise.
  Doesn’t matter: as long as it makes Obama look bad.
  Well, one would have thought after 2012: the plot obviously not having made him one term president, they would have changed tactics. Read more

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