9/11 brought devastation and profound loss, fear brought a new world, children new hope, a national soul brought endurance and a spirit to rebuild. Our grief made us thoughtful, our dilemma is that our sense of justice and freedom might not keep us safe but it will keep us American. Our hearts are with those that suffered and suffer still.
(9/11 by Kevin O'Kendley first appeared in Carbuncle Moon 9/11/13)
Please visit the 9/11 Memorial/180 Greenwich Street/ New York, New York, 10007
Happy 4th of July:
"To enslave ideas, ideals, idealism, to torture imagination, dissent, argument, to take the life of belief, hope, free will, begins with the, uh, imprisonment of free speech, the free pursuit of the truth, and the freedom to report the truth." (toon posted earlier)
"When freedom is intellectualized it can be mitigated by intellectual method; made less, and less, and less, and less... when understood by the heart, freedom is inviolable." (posted earlier)
I've authored this blog for five years: I'm going to let it rest for awhile...
All material is original unless otherwise noted.
7/5: My short story the Horse and the Cowboy was published by Greg McCartney and is in the June edition of The Honest Ulsterman. Photo by Caitlin O'Kendley, my daughter. Thanks Greg, and thanks to the people at the Honest Ulsterman; Londonderry -- Derry -- Northern Ireland.
Please give to the Paralyzed Veterans of America: 801 18th Street, NW/ Washington D.C. 20006/ 1-800-555-9140
Some stuff about John Kelly's statements on illegal aliens (edited 7/10):
originally posted on 5/12, deleted on 6/30, and re-posted on 6/30. (Edited: 5/13, 6/30, 7/4, 7/22.)
“ ‘The vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS-13,’ Kelly said in the interview. ‘But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people.
“ ’In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm,’ he continued. ‘They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing. ... They don't integrate well, they don't have skills.’ ” - quoted by Avery Anapol in The Hill from an interview on NPR’s, Morning Edition.
The reaction to Kelly’s comments have been, ah, passionate:
When I was young I worked with illegal immigrants, and Mexican Americans, Central Americans, from farm work to other physical labor, from the San Jacinto Valley to the Sacramento Valley. I was also locked up with some when I was a kid (I'm not a felon).
I found that most of the people I knew that were or likely illegals, worked with, spent time with were cordial, hard working, tough, decent, and that they might, outside of the barrios, have a tough time assimilating into some communities in California; that they spoke Spanish and not always English, that they were brown-skinned and not generally white; that they weren’t criminals -- not MS-13 -- that many were from rural communities in Mexico and further south. I found that some were so poor, had lived such tough lives, that a few days in jail might be an improvement in living conditions; clean sheets, enough food… Some might not have had much of an education but were bright, some did work that was rugged, unskilled, that a lot of folks didn’t want to do. It was a pleasure to have known many of these illegals…
As a child in Northern California some of my earliest friends were Mexican-American.
The Spanish were in California before the English, Mexicans before Americans, Spanish was spoken before English.
California was a Spanish possession until 1821 when it became part of an Independent Mexico, until the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846. For awhile California was an independent nation: The Republic of California. It became a state in 1850. - my memory of California's history was made more accurate by History.com and Wikipedia.
I understand why some folks have an issue with Kelly’s statements but in regards what was stated, or what was quoted above, I don’t.
As awful, as sad, as wrong as it is that families of illegal immigrants, children -- socio-economic refugees -- have been separated from their parents, to compare the counter productive policy predicated on law that was unable to regulate the humane treatment of children to the internment of Japanese Americans in World War ll -- families that lost their homes, land, properties, companies, jobs, that were rounded up as if they were our enemies and taken away and interned for the duration of the war -- seems unbelievable. (Many of the interned Japanese-Americans chose to fight in the Army's 442 Battalion against the Nazis. It was the most decorated battalion in American history.*) To compare our actions on the border to what the Nazis did in the systematic mass murder of 6 million Jews in World War ll is unfathomable.
The Mexicans have a proverb, which offers hospitality; food, friendship: Mi casa es su casa. My home is your home. I've known people who believe in this proverb; American, Norwegian -- Jewish, Unitarian, Muslim, Buddhist, Baptist, Catholic, Atheist -- Japanese, Irish, Mexican, Nigerian, etc.
Please give to UNICEF/ U.S. Fund, Children First/ 125 Maiden Lane/ New York, New York, 10038/ 800-367-5437
The first illegal immigrants.
(I've used a version of this toon before in this blog with an attachment asking that if the toon was like another to please let me know. Since then I've come to understand that this cartoon is like one that preceded it, a cartoon that might involve Christopher Columbus. My sincere apologies to the author whose name I don't know. However, this toon is different enough that I include it here, with the aforesaid explanation).
Please give to the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center: 1615 D Street, Sacramento, California 95821/ 916-441-5267/ John.Greholver@usw.salvationarmy.org
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."
Please give to the Sacramento SPCA: 6201 Florin Perkins Road/ Sacramento, California, 95828/ 916-383-7387 and:
The Pennsylvania SPCA/ 350 East Erie Avenue/ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19134/ 215-426-6300
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
Please give to the Wounded Warrior Project: P.O. Box 758517/ Topeka, Kansas 66675/ 855-448-3997
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
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.
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