"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."
"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."
The Northern Ireland Effect:
The Harland and Wolf Shipyards built the Titanic and the RMS Britannic and was one of the most successful yards in the world. Catholics made up three percent or less of the workforce in the late 60s, though they represented more than a third of the population of Belfast. This socio-economic effect was representative of employment in the private sector in Belfast, a free enterprise system run primarily by the British, by Northern Ireland Protestants, an infrastructure of opportunity and oppression that evolved over hundreds of years.
The Catholics were primarily the descendants of the indigenous Irish population, the Protestants mostly from lowland Scot and English colonists. As each people evolved separately but together in Ireland -- and eventually what became Northern Ireland -- Catholic neighborhoods suffered greater unemployment, less opportunity, and so the dole: then greater poverty, a lesser education; poverty-driven alcohol abuse, violence, crime, rebellion, etc., generation after generation.
Though both people are white, the difference in evolution of the Catholics and Protestants was dramatic.
In America, the evolution of poverty, violence, in black neighborhoods (the descendants of slavery and Jim Crow laws); Hispanic barrios identified by language, color; Native American reservations, where many of the indigenous people of the United States live, contained (after hundreds of years of rebellion and war) in often-isolated poverty-stricken communities, and (by variation) rural whites in formerly coal-driven economies, in often-isolated areas of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, suffer from the Northern Ireland effect.
The Northern Ireland Effect wasn’t, isn’t ethnic, racial, generated by a lack of ambition or weak work ethic…
My mother’s paternal family were Protestants from Northern Ireland.
“If success is the, uh, tenth rung on a ladder, ah, whatever it might be, money, social status, what have you, a lot of people start at the first, the lowest rung. But, plenty start higher up, um, at seven, eight, or nine, and so their ascension isn’t really much to brag about. As time goes by the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The, ah, climb gets easier for the former and harder for the latter -- no pun intended.”
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
Happy Memorial Day to my father, Major Patrick O. Kendley, U.S.M.C. retired, who served as a decorated private in Korea and as a decorated lieutenant and captain in Vietnam.
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
Happy birthday Conor:
Printed originally on 7/10/2013:
Taken from real events the following is dramatized:
We climb in our new used truck. We close the doors. Sniff, sniff. Wow. There's a jagged cloying smell. P.U.
My son groans, “I can’t breathe dada.* I can’t breathe.”
I grab the offending deodorizer, which is hiding in plain sight and hanging from the rearview mirror, and I rips it down.
My son yells, “No dada it stinks in here! We need that artichoke-looking deodorizer thing!”
I calmly rebut, “No we don’t,” and instruct the lad in a wise and fatherly way: “Roll down the freakin window, son, we live in Maine.”
* The a in the first syllable of a central Maine word for father is pronounced like the a in dad. The second syllable in pronounced duh. Da-duh.
Passover 2020 begins on the evening of Wednesday, April 8, and ends on the evening of Thursday, April 16. - Google Feedback
Inside most cynics is a failed idealist just waiting to rise from the ashes, reborn.
Happy St. Paddy's Day:
"There is good in the world, simple, uh, complex, dysfunctional. I'm related to outlaws that lived in America during the 1930s, they were horse thieves, uh, not screws -- er, ah, Garda -- or priests and nuns like my family in Ireland. I like to believe that if the O'Brien boys had come across a Klan lynchin they would have risked all, includin their lives to have stopped it: Good isn’t perfect… Slainte.”
To friends and family:
“I'll drink to our coffins: may they be built from the wood of a hundred-year-old oak tree that I’ll plant tomorrow.” - author unknown
Please give to St. Baldrick’s Foundation: 1333 South Mayflower Avenue, Suite 400/ Monrovia, California 91016/ 888-899-2253/ email@example.com
March is Women's History Month:
By Kevin O’Kendley
Darlene McTavish jumped in a cab: her twenty-two-year-old Harley was in the shop, she’d dropped it on an icy corner a week earlier; fortunately she hadn’t been injured but the bike had been pounded.
When the taxi glided to a stop in front of FitzGerald’s Grocery Emporium the cabbie said, "Six smackeroos."
To Darlene's surprise the meter was double-jointed or two-faced showing separate prices for males and females. The fare for women was $6.00 and the ticket for guys, $4.62. Darlene grumbled, "What the? Where in the Constitution does it"--
“Ahem. Pardon me?” Inscrutable with hoodie eyes the cabbie then explained briskly, "That's just the way it's always been. Ask anyone, missy."
Missy? Darlene took a deep breath, a brilliant calming technique learned from her YWCA Lamaze lessons. Though mystified as to why it was cheaper for a man to ride in a cab than a woman Darlene still shelled out a fair tip: two bucks.
Inside Fitzy’s it was the same thing, the same inflammatory mystery lurked behind every price tag: milk was $4.00 for women and $3.08 for men, coffee $7.00 for women and $5.39 for men, and then the kicker, the final flipping insult, Tampons were $5.00 for women and $3.85 for men!
Despite being outraged -- her little clamshell ears were fire-engine red -- Darlene gently -- breathing in and out -- asked the mustachioed cashier with the pug-lumpy face, "What's going on? Y’know this is unfair -- un-American. It's flat out wrong."
The cashier shrugged, and said with no small kindness, "Sorry, ma'm, but on the average women make seventy-seven cents for every buck a man makes in this country -- you do the math." -end-
a short from 2013.
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- 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 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical help is provided by an evolving computer genius, my son, 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 a visual artist, my daughter, 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 address or use the contact form on the website.
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.
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