The Hidden History of Guns and the 2nd Amendment Book Tour Is Coming...

Thursday, June 6: NEW YORK, NY 7:30pm

Location: The Strand (2nd floor), 828 Broadway, NYC

Monday, June 10: WASHINGTON, DC 6:30pm

Location: Busboys and Poets, 450 K St NW, Washington, DC

Wednesday, June 12: PORTLAND, OR 7:30pm

Location: Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside St., Portland

Sunday, June 23: SEATTLE, WA 7:30pm

Location: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle (West Entrance) w/Elliott Bay Book Company

Tuesday, June 25: SAN FRANCISCO, CA 7:00pm

Location: First Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley w/The Booksmith

Friday, June 28: CHICAGO, IL 7:00pm

Location: Frugal Muse, 7511 Lemont Rd. #146 (Chestnut Court Shopping Center), Darien

Saturday, June 29: MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7:00pm

Location: Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave, St. Paul

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Can't blame you.

Can't blame you at all.

So what are you going to do about it?

"I'll fix them. I'll let the Republicans win..."

I sympathize. I was an Anderson voter, back when Carter gave me the creeps, and Reagan represented a movement I knew all too well... a movement I personally knew for a fact had become corrupt due to religious fanatics pouring in money.

I did not vote for Ronald Reagan. But if voting for Anderson may have contributed to the start of the madness, I plead guilty.

If only teaching Dem leaders a lesson would work. Has it ever worked? Politicians always say what you want, or at least hint at their eagerness to do what's right, pre-election. Notice how quickly that changes after? George Bush goes from promising "compassionate Conservatism," to promising he would do nothing to stop the final days to religious groups a bit too eager for the end times. And what about Gitmo? Or Barack going from promising change regarding war against terrorism excesses to having his lawyers defend excesses in court. And defending "don't ask/don't tell?"

Rewrite the script... pre-election:

"Oh, yeah, now all I just told you is crap. Here's what I'm really going to do."

Can you imagine either saying that, during the debates, on the stump? Not a chance in hell. And as long as we have a two party system with the kind of exclusivity, the kind of power and benefits that comes with being part of that kind of system, that kind of duplicity will continue.

To quote a poster at

Conclusion: You have 2 completely tasteless political entities, and an unscrupulous media, leading a bunch of terrified lemmings off a cliff...again... well done.


"Well done" if you're the candidates and we're the lemmings.

Seems they have us in a box, don't they?

And it hardly matters what side of the political spectrum you're on: this is the nature of any two party system as restrictive as ours: vote for the marginally not quite as bad, or let the horrid win hoping we'll survive as a species until the next election simply starts the shell game again.

Every time we punish our Democratic leaders, anyone notice how they respond? They get more compliant: less likely to fight back. But pissed off Dems, this election, really need to ask themselves a question...

How's all that "punish them" stuff been working for you?

If history should teach any lesson it's not we should punish some marginally less horrid party by allowing power to be handed over to the worse party. It's like pumping steroids into the most horrific tendencies of both parties: encouraging them to drive faster and farther into Crazyland.

After all, the leadership of the Democratic Party already have this handled. Lose, it's because we didn't compromise enough, we weren't "DLC" enough. Win and those interested in reshaping Dems more and more into Neo Con light will claim it was because they're successfully herding the party in, literally, the "right" direction.

Recent history teaches something else: no matter how obnoxious or ignorant you may think they may be, teabagger-type organizing has results when it comes to getting a party to select candidates. Winning elections on a large scale? No so much, though the upcoming election could redefine that.

If they lose big, then the meme will be it's because the party wasn't teabag enough. Win and they're headed in the right direction. Where have I read this before? Oh, yeah, I just typed it regarding the Dems.

Unlike reactions to unorganized, fruitless "punish the damn Dem" tactics, Republican leaders are doing all they can to pacify and please the Baggers: despite the fact that their actual record of getting people elected so far is somewhat of a joke.

The diff? Baggers have organized themselves into a force; as silly as they may seem, that demands attention. If only we could get even those kinds of results! If only we had that kind of dedication. ...taken that seriously by our own party.

To quote the man that for the past two years has said the opposite far too often...

"Yes, we can."

Notice the teabagger's main focus is not actually Palin, or O'Donnell, or... Unlike us the focus is not on Dems, or Repubs. No, they have found an issue or two: taxes, deficit spending, as a rallying point. They take that to the streets. Their pols must at least preach that message to get their vote. Live up to it? Well, not as much.

I'm not a fan of the movement, I just think they're on to something that we don't seem to get: yet. You cannot change the discussion, the parties, the candidates, by making it about them. Instead, find something a lot of people would like to change. Then organize, organize, organize... get in, and stay in, the face of the party most likely to move your way: even if it's only marginally so. But with an identity: a name for the movement, a purpose and a clear message.

How about election reform?

Real election reform that makes the parties actually work for your vote, and work more honestly for your vote. Election reform that cuts the heart out of the monopoly a marginally "two" party system creates. If the leaders of both parties knew you, Mr. or Ms. Voter, really had some other place else to go, maybe you might spend a little less pissed off?

Proposed: a movement. Working title only for now: Freedom Fighters for True Representation, (FFTR). Here are some of the possible agendas...

  • Legally limiting the political season.
  • No corporate money, no corporate ads, no anonymous anything.
  • Run off voting to give other parties than "2" more of a chance.
  • Publicly financed elections.
  • No electronic voting. No rush to count votes. To do this right if voting day needs to be voting week: then so be it. If we need to wait a month or more to count it right: we wait a month or more. The correct: uncorrupted, tally is the only goal.
  • All candidates issue position papers, have websites: printed at our expense and public access free; advertised by all media sources at no cost. This would be part of their pay back for the right to use our airwaves, the servers the government started the internet with, tax breaks they get.
  • No party conventions that select candidates. We vote in a primary. Top four go to the top of the ballot: campaigns fully funded. Locations on ballots are randomly selected.

I'm sure I missed other changes and some certainly can be modified, added, subtracted from; or even deleted.

Meanwhile, vote tomorrow. Not voting achieves nothing. Voting at least allows you to guess who might be the most interested in changing. Don't worry if you guess wrong.

Post tomorrow's election is when the real work begins. When we can start the movement that pulls the rug out from underneath the game. Prepare to get in the face of both parties with such demands, take to the streets, agitate within the party for such changes, organize with the intent of changing the system: get their attention.

To get the kind of attention, and the kind of candidates selected that might support our cause, follow the lead of groups like the teabaggers, if we must. If dressing up in weird costumes gets attention: do it. If making weird statements works: do it. Start your own local organization, grass root group: hell, use the very corrupt system in place right now against those who helped corrupt it, and so eagerly abuse it.

It will be a long, hard, fight. But punishing parties will never achieve a damn thing. After all, post 2006 and 2008 how much did the Republicans learn? Word: squat. After 2000 and 2004, how much did the Democratic leadership learn? Word: squat. No one learns because the real power no longer rests with the voter.

Again: vote tomorrow, if you haven't voted yet.. vote for the marginally less vile, if you must. Those more likely to at least listen. Go ahead. Hold your nose and vote. Because if you simply don't vote, or vote for those with no chance of winning, you are doing the bidding of the little party hacks who protect the Wizards in their corporate built Oz-like facades.

"Go away."

Don't go away.

Organize. Stay in their face. Keep demanding they pay attention to the cause. Guerrilla style politics does work. And every time it does work, maybe then, and only then, will you begin to be a little less pissed off.

Isn't "less" better?


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 2010
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved


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