Author Archives: Ken Carman

Inspection- The Magic Store

by Ken Carman

 A brief summer’s break from politics and such.
 This week’s Inspection is a rerun of a favorite I thought had been lost because sites change names and owners. This edition uses dreams to explore how the mind works. Answers? No, this column provides more questions than any answers. Please feel free to offer either your analysis, or provide your own questions and dreams.

 She owns a very small magic shop in downtown Douglasville, Georgia. The shop is on a little rise in the center of town; tightly packed between more standard fare. There’s a small turn around at the intersection two doors down from The Magic Store. The name isn’t very creative at all, but step inside and you’ll see the store literally reeks of creativity: both in the eyes of the owner and the way the goods are racked.
 The parking is really quite horrible. So you have to be “creative” just to be able to walk in the door without also getting a ticket.
 In her early 70’s, the shopkeep is short, mostly gray hair down to her shoulders that once painted her head with a deep, dark chestnut brown. She’s well endowed, stocky, has a quick wit and lips that move at the speed of light into a smile. We usually get right down to business after discussing how we’ve both been since I last visited. I would swear she’s never had a bad day, although like any of us I’m sure she has. She knows her store better than her life away from the store which, by now, are pretty much one in the same. She is here more than anywhere else. Her smile lights up the room like the most beautiful Christmas tree you have ever seen. If she were a church, she’d be an old familiar hymn like Easter Lilly, Amazing Grace or Rock of Ages, but her off center; somewhat risqué sense of humor, would probably prevent her from wearing a hat and seriously claiming she was a steeple… though she’d willingly do it for laughs. She is, after all, a purveyor of whoopee cushions, magic tricks and Halloween knickknacks.
 But she doesn’t exist. Read more

A Long Story Short

Mart Allen, North Country weather guyA BIG welcome to Mart Allen. We’ve had a few snippets with links before, but as an old family friend I met Mart in Old Forge a few days ago and he approved publishing his whole columns here. Mr. Allen often writes from a more rightward perspective and that means he is especially welcome here. For we are ALL for more perspective here at OEN.- Ken Carman (Co-Editor)

Written by Mart Allen

More random thoughts

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the manner in which its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi is credited with that statement and it certainly has a lot of truth in it. Animals of all kinds have been a part of my life and I am proud to say I have tried to treat them the same as I do people, which is with whatever is right.

They have compromised our life and caused us a lot of angst, but so have our children. They get mentioned a great deal since they preclude many activities which we could join in if we did not have the responsibility of taking care of them. Both dogs and cats have shared our home over the years. We have two dogs at the present time, and like most of the others we have had, they love to accompany us everywhere. This raises a real problem in the summer months when temperatures can quickly rise if you have to park in the sun. It gets to the point where we have to ask ourselves is it worth the problems they cause if they come with us. It has reached the point where I have familiarized myself with the various shopping, health, restaurant and business locations that afford shady parking areas. The thought has even occurred to me that it may even pay a business to provide shady parking areas when you consider the number of people hauling dogs around with them.
Read more

Inspection- Be a Proud Tax and Spend Liberal

by Ken Carman

  To be clear: I don’t consider myself a “liberal.” Not because I have a problem with the term. Some of my opinions are more left, or liberal if you wish, some not. But I do have a problem with how terms shift in meaning over time. At one time I considered myself a proud Conservative when I thought the Bill Buckley brand: the more rational, intellectual, civil, side of that label, was the future. Now, the few times I find myself in agreement with my former more conservative self I still have a problem with that label too. The Savages, the Palins, the Bachmanns, the O’Reilly’s have ruined it for me.
  Besides these labels are generalizations: what’s inside may be quite different from person to person, but people treat you as a cliche’ ready to be ignored if you adopt such. How many times have I tried to argue with those who go on and on with, “But you think this, and this, and this…” all the framing talking points they have swallowed whole posed by their fav talking heads. And before I can get through to them I’m not not some cliche’ they’re already already attempting to combat strawmen instead of me.
  But if they did call me a “tax and spend liberal,” I say, “I’d be more proud to be called that than a ‘spend, spend, spend without paying back right wing ideologue.'” Read more

Inspection- Thoughtlessness

As with all my columns, yes: I will get to how this applies to society, politics….

by Ken Carman

  I was in Cincinnati, just having worked with after schoolers and then left to head north. My annual 4th of July gig was waiting for me. I was frustrated because it took 4 hours to go 5 miles, the loop around Cinci being messed up royally. My trailer and I had been shoved off into narrow road nowhere-land along with thousands of other pissed off drivers. Perhaps I had more of a reason to be frustrated. I was towing a medium size flat bed with a scooter, generator, beer for beer tasting at my annual Beaver River Beer Tasting and… well just say I had, well, a hell of a lot of stuff. The trailer probably almost 1½ the length of the Honda Element.
  I stopped at a Speedway to get coffee: one right on a busy intersection. When I went to leave I decide to pull left and find a turn around so I wouldn’t have to pull right into a busy intersection. Young kid pulls to the left of me, blocks my vision, and revs his engine, car rocking back and forth. I can’t pull left because I can’t see and I certainly can’t drive over him.
  So I said, “what the hell,” and decided to turn into the intersection like him. I looked up: light’s green. I step on the gas to go and he takes off passing a few inches in front of my hood: a quick stomp on my brakes prevent what was almost unavoidable. He stops in front of me as if waiting to get hit, then takes off. Traffic coming up fast but enough time to pull out, so I step on the gas again and… Read more

Inspection- John McCain Proves There IS No “Liberal Media”

by Ken Carman

 Let’s start with some former Dem candidates who lost: Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry; and then ask… how many of these folks have gotten anywhere near the coverage John McCain has?
  Answer: not one.
  Every time there’s a debatable issue the media needs to get expert opinion on, let’s say military related before Kerry replaced Hillary, do they go with the guy who was shot down and spent most of his time in prison, or the other war “hero?”
  Nope, they go with John McCain: damn near every time.
  Do they attempt to balance him out with someone from the left?
  Damn near never.
  Issues of State, do they go with the recently retired lady from the Obama administration?
  Nope, or anyone else for the most part. It’s like were stuck on some retirement home-only episode trashed by Matt Groening as unworthy to air, starring who? John McCain. Read more

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