Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

We enter Ken’s balderdash and baffling day after years of bombing and increasing troop strength in order to at least lessen terrorism, to find the evildoers and to end all evil in general.

But now there’s change. It’s arrived upon our doorsteps. We can read about it in our papers, see it in the depressed looks upon FOX no-news anchors who look like they really want to suck upon a shotgun, hear it in the whine of the radio talk show host. The end is near! The end is near! If we treat Gitmo detainees with a modicum of due process they’re going to suitcase nuke our bathrooms! …have sex with our baby gerbils! And turn America into (gasp!) the United States Socialist Republic.

Though lessening, we can still see and hear from a few bloggers; the pens and mouths of some of the Left; post election… look there! The sun is coming up! Tweety and Sylvester are buds. Boris and Natasha are planning on sending Valentine flowers to Moose n’ Squirrel. Jack on 24 is about to change tactics and hug his various suspected villains into submission.

Tis a new day.

Or is all this mostly just balderdash?


The inspiration for this column slapped me like wet fish instead of rain falling from the sky as I considered many equally nonsensical events. The pinnacle event: the source of my inspiration; though small and insignificant in itself, was in a Super Dollar General Store. If you don’t have one locally it’s kind of like a smaller version of Super Wally-mart, only cheaper. I was wasting minutes because for the first time in my life I had ordered Ethiopian food to go. By the time I finish editing this edition of Inspection I’ll tell you how good or how bad it was; and how it fit into the day.

There… up on a shelf. No. Not even those who designed the Edsel or came up with the Dominos Noid had an idea this bad. What idiot decided to design a coffee maker combined with a toaster? OK, I understand, the somewhat annoying hosts at Mythbusters have “proven” it’s damn hard to kill yourself by dropping a toaster into a tub. But what moron decided it was a good idea to put two devices that for very good reasons should be kept apart in one single unit? Maybe this is why it’s at Dollar General?


That morning I had spent my early AM; those, oh so “special,” “I can’t sleep” hours, responding to a reader who decided he didn’t like the blurb at the end of Inspection because his Pro-Writing Prof didn’t like passive sentences. It’s a general description of the column. It’s not even the column. But since it describes the column and its origins; what the purpose and intent is, it’s best written in a passive voice. And if you happen to be reading this, if you are so bloody concerned, get your own damn friggin column.

The reader wasn’t satisfied with commenting once, he decided to comment over and over again on various editions; never commenting on content… just the blurb. OK, the reader and I disagree. But to just continue to leave personal insults about our disagreement?

Some days I feel like I’m being pursued by a gaggle of noisy, baffling, immature puppies who are purveyors of balderdash. I wrote back that perhaps he could find a site run by Don Rickles where that behavior is more appropriate. Wonder if he even knows whom I was referring to?

Why would any one reader decide he had to go only some personal jihad regarding such an insignificant item?


That very same morning I was commenting on a debate site I love to visit about a legal case regarding a father paying child support. Apparently a mother was pushing for even more child support and less visitation due to her decision to move far away. She probably would have had child support, uncontested, for as long as it was required, but the father enraged by her new demands, by her insensitivity and his own long held suspicions; demanded a DNA test. All this time: not his child. Still the judge granted her request. I said; unless there’s further information we don’t know, that’s outrageous and…


It’s always interesting when in life you so quickly observe the flip of the coin; the opposite situation.

I spent a few hours later baffled by a certain hardship case my wife and I have been helping, because he’s related. Ah, the things we do for relatives that we would never do for others. If anyone else even asked we’d leave the room giggling in their face and raising an appropriate finger.

For years he found jobs; quickly lost jobs… moved around, and didn’t contact child support about his new jobs or his moves. Avoided child support is the operative term. But, as they will, child support kept catching up with him. He’d mark letters return to send or “no one here by that name.” He’d toss them in the trash. He refuses to fill out their forms.

I’m sure even the ghost of my father who cared a lot for him is shaking his head right now and asking, “Why bother, Ken?”

Well, after many years and many attempts in a digital world to disappear; be invisible… the money was extracted slowly; more painfully than it would have been in a responsible person’s case… his ex-wife “says” she’s been paid all the support she needs and was promised, and his boy is now a man: past the age for child support. Of course; since he spent so much time trying to avoid paying, New York State has sanctioned him again and again; many, many years.

Now: up front… this is all out of his mouth. I do wonder if I asked the other side: whom I have never met, what I would learn. I suspect a lot, because I told him; just before I wrote this, that the reason they keep pulling money out of his check is probably because he’s been sanctioned so many damn times and those sanctions: those fines, have built up.

I tried to explain this when he asked why this keeps happening and he said…

“I understand that. But who do I owe this money to?”

I repeated what I just said, simply adding, “You owe it to New York State.”

“I understand that. I’ve been sanction and that’s ‘all well and good.’ But who do I owe this money to?”

Slowly back away from a conversation I cannot possibly win.

Has this guy never gotten a ticket or had to pay a fine? If he were to be stopped for going through a stop sign and fined, would he also say, “Who do I owe this money to?”

Just how many fathers; and some mothers too I suspect, still don’t get that there are consequences for their actions and what they don’t do? How many believe their own balderdash? How can they?

I’m baffled. They are too; but for no good reason. It’s like asking why your nose twitches when a big old horsefly is on it, and you invited him to land there.

That brings us to President Obama’s recent decision regarding Gitmo, and those screaming morons who think Osama is going to encourage giant, evil, mosquitoes to fly into buildings killing our loved ones with splattered anthrax-laced bug juice… if we don’t torture or if we offer a modicum of due process. If you lock up what could be innocent people without due process and torment some there are going to be consequences. So these consequences mean we should continue the behavior that got us to this point?

Obvious balderdash.

Gitmo is painted as holding the worst of the worst. If we’re so damn sure of that we should be able to prove it and lock them away for a very long time, or even execute them. If not, we’ve gone from baffling policy to balderdash of the worst kind.

I understand what Barack is facing when it comes to arguing with those whose logic is baffling. But I also understand that Obama; like a rhetorical and policy filled baloney sandwich, isn’t totally baffle or balderdash free.

So we leave Ken’s balderdash day having found out that “change” in part means that plans are afoot to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan and bomb our way into lessening terrorism. We launched a drone bomb to prove our intent. The Pakistanis were furious.

Oh, and that Ethiopian food; much like balderdash and things that baffle me, left my stomach more than a little queasy. Plus, why would anyone eat this bland, tasteless, stuff? Why did they give us what we didn’t order in one case? And why would I even bother going back when the end result of “tasteless;” like some relatives, turned vile and came back up for a few return visits at 2 in the morning?

If only the previous day could have been expelled as well. Maybe I could have observed the more odd parts and make some damn sense of it all.

Instead I’m left baffled and pondering what might be balderdash.

That was my day.

How was yours?


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

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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