"A dewy dawn swept by, quietly floating westward, changing the world from desert night to day, from shadows and dark pools to valleys of light. He found a rutted dirt road going north or thereabouts. He stopped, listening, drank some water from his canteen but did so sparingly. The water and the dark tasted good, the desert air was clean, fresh: he knew its smell.”
"He walked on for about another fifteen minutes. It grew lighter --
"What was that? Over there? Birds? Crows cawing and taking flight. And? In the light of early morning the road ended in a pile of what? Garbage? Plastic bags?
"As he neared, it was the smell that defined what he saw. Oh god --"
“There was furtive movement to his right. He ducked down behind an outcropping of rock. But, it was just coyotes. There were two, maybe, three of the critters. They were skinny runts but smart and hungry. He picked up a couple of good throwing rocks."
“He moved off the road taking a parallel course to his target. He edged closer to the garbage piles, eventually to look down on the sight from a slight scrub-covered rise.
“The dead people were piled in a heap. Maybe they’d been pushed from a truck, dumped? There were plastic bags, too. Some were torn open. Clothing?
"Shit, wetbacks by description, by the fact that they were dead in the desert -- in a pile. There were no cars or trucks in sight --
"Just the dead people.
"And the coyotes.
"And the circling carrion birds.
"He ripped open a plastic bag with clothes showing and immediately found a good coat that fit. It was better than what he had. It smelled better too.
"He took the coat. ‘Thank you,’ he said, softly to the dead people. He said this very slowly but did not look them."
"His curiosity compelled, he looked more closely: there were six or seven Mexicans.
"There were fat winter flies on mouths and eyes and noses and ears. The little girl was a toddler in almost-new clothing. He could see her small dark eyes, sunken, with no life in them. She looked sad, weary, broken-hearted --
“They’d been dumped in the desert --
"Got to go --
“Marshall stood with his new coat clutched in one hand --
"It wasn’t stealing.
"It was a trade.
"He put the new coat on -- it fit -- he looked around:
"The coyotes were just over a knoll and watching, waiting patiently. Marshall heard a bird shriek, not a crow, something else. A vulture? Out of sight there was a flapping of huge wings. He flinched, crouched instinctively, felt vulnerable.
"He studied the human beings on the ground, again:
"The bodies with nobody in them.
"There was no blood that he could see. Maybe the people had smothered in the heat, died in the back of a truck, maybe a U-Haul or something? He’d heard of such things. Then, the human coyotes, the men that brought them across the border dumped them -- got rid of the evidence.
"Maybe that was it?
"God: the risks the wetbacks took to cross the border.
"To get to America.
"To get to California.” - from The Desert by Kevin O'Kendley
Please give to Farmworker Justice: 1126 16th Street NW #270/ Washington DC 20036/ 202-293-5420
Posted on 8/27/2015, edited 6/19/18*:
Bernie Sanders has a working class heart: he supports a fifteen-buck national minimum wage (Rolling Stone Magazine). A minimum wage that permits life is predicated on an ethical and a moral belief more than a financial formula.
Donald Trump’s effect on the dynamic of the presidential race is based on many shared worries, values, perceptions, with other Americans. He pounds, attacks, the status quo, and creates the interaction of ideas, ideals, debate. His presence brings and will bring out what is important in the other candidates, and the dynamic of the presidential race.
Beyond the obvious benefits of a fence running the length of our shared border with Mexico securing the border is a wider, more detailed, more in-depth issue; it is economic, cultural, social. The market of illegal drugs in the U.S. is a primary engine that impacts illegal immigration at the border as the drug cartels are so much a part of the smuggling of all things, including illegal immigrants.
Some years ago (1990s), approximately 75% (35-40% a few years ago*) of the cartels financial pie was predicated on the sale of marijuana in the U.S. Legalize marijuana in the U.S. and take away the bulk of the cartels financial will to do harm in the U.S and Mexico.
The cartels’ current annual income is 64.34 billion dollars (Latin American Herald Tribune) -- according to the U.S. government, 19-29 billion in 2014 (NPR). The violent, brutal, effective, drug cartels have as much money, the technology, and opportunity to attack or defeat border security as we have to maintain it.
Posted (a version*) on Carbuncle Moon 7/15/15: Are the Central American children fleeing from the drug cartel/gang-infested and American-market-driven illegal-drug war zones refugees or illegal immigrants? When a firefighter puts out a fire does the firefighter concentrate on containing those fleeing the conflagration to first put out the blaze or is the fire put out and the survivors attended to simultaneously?
"Father Time is the mother of all action figures:
"Becoming a house husband can be a close second but not if you don't let it --
New to the job? Let it be known that if, uh, invited to a Tupperware Party you'll be wearin a hardhat and kilts. Real Scotsmen don't wear underwear under their kilts. If a real tough mother does invite you over she won't let you sit down anywhere or at least not on a white or light colored couch. My husband, uh, waited fifteen years for a Tupperware Party invitation. Guess what? You're right. He never got one. So, once you got that out of the way you can call yourself anything you want because this is America. One of the things he calls himself is: writer.
"Here's some other job descriptions you can use:
"If you're changin diapers: Waste Disposal Engineer. Ever write a check?: Property Manager. Brush the dog: Dog Groomer. Make toast: Electronics Engineer. Change the oil in your twenty-year-old car: Auto Mechanic. A week late on your taxes: Tax Resister. See where I'm going with this.
"You're not just a househusband, you're Captain of the Bridge, the fate of all civilization is in your hands. Really. You're helpin to raise a child or children that may never start a war, that might cure cancer, or, uh, become president, or someone that will be happy, know love, and live a full life.
"So, when you're in your Soccer Dad Car and you see a beautiful woman speed by on a Harley; you might forget about your plethora of job titles now and again -- you're only human -- but never forget that a father by any other name is still a father by any other name.
"Happy Father's Day:
"Pat, Dick, Jack, Billy, Jim, Steven, Jackie, Bret, Larry, Mathew, Bob, Merrill, Eric, Dean, and in memory of: Lloyd, Gary, Orlin, Dick G., Ralph, Bill, and Bernard."
Happy Flag Day:
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution that approved a national flag for America:
“‘Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation,’ it said.” - Zoe Szathmary/ Fox News
International Politics or the Frickin Canadians.
D-Day was 74 years ago on 6/6/18:
Originally posted on 6/6/2017:
“In the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, to liberate Europe from Hitler’s Germany.
“Nine allied nations, consisting of over 150,000 troops, assembled on the beach that day. They were met with heavy resistance from German troops, who were waiting on top of nearby cliffs.”
“By daylight, the beach was under Allied control.”
“Allied forces suffered nearly 10,000 casualties, and more than 4,000 were dead by the end of the battle.” – ABC News/ Justin Ryan Gomez
“Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces.” – Google/ D-Day Museum
Battle of Normandy: June 6, 1944 – August 25, 1944 - New World Encyclopedia
Please give to the Veteran's Assistance Foundation, Incorporated: 304 E. Veterans Street/ Tomah, Wisconsin 54660/ 608-372-1280.
From (posted): 8/30/2015
Americans have the human right of self-definition, to define being, to define perception, and the right to be:
We are equal to each other, not less than, not greater than, but equal.
We’re the same but different:
In our sameness we have a simpatico understanding of other people, of a common humanity; we have empathy for other human beings…
In our difference we are who we are -- we have a state of being -- we have a soul -- that which makes us unique...
Our human, civil, and Constitutional rights are inviolate...
Black Lives Matter might consider changing the entreaty, the statement of definition or their mission to Black Lives Matter Too (it’s likely others have suggested this). In this, they might challenge the argument that in suggesting Black Lives Matter they are mitigating the belief that All Lives Matter, but rather they are insisting, and want America to know, that Black Lives Matter Too.
Please give to the A.L.S. Association-Lou Gehrig's Disease: 1275 K Street NW/ Suite 250/ Washington DC 20005/ 202-407-8580
It started as a disagreement over the novel Catch-22 at a book club meeting in Bangor, Maine.
a version of this toon was posted earlier on this website...
Please give to the March of Dimes: 1755 Creekside Oaks Drive #130/ Sacramento, California, 95833/ 916-922-1913
"There are no logical excuses not to keep human rights inviolable in this country -- only excuses…"
Please give to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America: 322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor/ New York, New York 10001/ 866-828-8484
Happy Memorial Day:
Sometimes you can't repay people for an act of kindness, loyalty, charity, sacrifice, or courage, but you can try -- sometimes life is in the effort...
"He did not understand the war --
He understood the blistering injustice of it; the stroke-like fear in the faraway sight of the raped as they blamed him for not being there; the accusing eyes of the children that leered from atop distended bellies even as they starved; the seeping lines of grief lacerated into the faces of fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives who had lost all they loved; the tortured and the maimed becoming in part or in whole separate from who they once were; and the Dali-draped carcasses of the dead…
The evil of the war bored into his heart, twisted with agony until he learned to ignore it --
Until he could ignore it no longer." - from The Invisible War aka The Forgotten War, a short story by Kevin O'Kendley
"He’d seen a lot of death in his life but it hadn’t inured him to the pain of it, the tragedy, the loss, the suffering. On the contrary, it had a cumulative effect; on darker days this effect swamped him in a Tsunami of emotion: after all the smaller waves passed, a big one threatened. He would watch it nearing shore with a rising dread…" - from Chandler's Bar, a novel by Kevin O'Kendley
Please give to The Paralyzed Veterans of America: VA Palo Alto Health Care System/
3801 Miranda Avenue/ Palo Alto, California 94304/ 650-858-3936/ And:
The Wounded Warrior Project: National Processing Center/ P.O. Box 75840/ Topeka, Kansas 66675/ 877-832-6997
“If an overdose of female is our poison, Jordan Peterson preaches a masculine cure.
“Toronto -- Jordan Peterson fills huge lecture halls and tells his audiences there’s no shame in looking backward to a model of how the world should be arranged. Look back to the 1950s, he says – and back even further. He is bringing them knowledge, he says, but it’s knowledge that they already know and feel in their bones. He casts this as ancient wisdom, delivered through religious allegories and fairy tales containing truth, he says, that modern society has forgotten.
“‘The masculine spirit is under assault,’ he told me. ‘It is obvious.’
“In Mr. Perterson’s world, order is masculine. Chaos is feminine. And if an overdose of female is our modern poison, Mr. Peterson knows the cure. Hence his new book‘s subtitle: ‘An Antidote to Chaos.’” - Nellie Bowles/ New York Times
6.4% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women. - Wikipedia 2017
Women make 80.5 cents per one dollar that a man makes. - Women’s Policy Research 2017
19.4 % of the 115th U.S. Congress is female. - Wikipedia 2018 51 % of America is female.
Nearly one out of five women and one out of seventy-one men are raped in the United States. - According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), as reported by Colorado’s Department of Health and Environment.
"Love teaches a man loyalty for a woman, not ownership."
(a version of the toon posted earlier)
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts. Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496/ and then my next address... email@example.com.
Technical help is provided by an evolving computer genius, Conor O'Kendley. A good kid with a great heart who can be reached at P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496.
Photography provided by visual artist Caitlin O'Kendley, a young woman with a beautiful soul.
If your nonprofit is advertised on this site and you wish to have it removed please contact me at the above listed snail-mail or email addresses.
If you download a blog, cartoon, a short story -- or for any other reason -- and wish to donate $ to this site, its author and technical support personnel, please send donations to above listed addresses payable to Kevin O'Kendley. My family and I could use the dinero.
All cartoons, blogs, and short stories are for sale.