Negotiating the mileage of razor wire

The shark's fin in the water

Negotiating the mileage of razor wire
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The deep state bioengineered Taylor Swift to influence elections after their original goal of “inventing a politician who is normal that people like” proved impossible.

I shared another story from ACWF the other day so check it out if you never read it. E-book versions of all my books – and all titles from OR Books – are 50% off until the end of January with code NEWSITE50. That's like $5 a book. Wow!

There’s a hole in the earth
This story appears in my collection A Creature Wanting Form. (E-book 50% off at OR Books through January with code: NEWSITE50) We were sitting in the sulfurous hot spring rubbing the mud they have there on our faces and going like look at me I’m a mud man I’

It goes in part like this:

Then the guy told me to be careful and not to get too close to the slope there because it was a steep drop and I looked over and for the first time realized how high up we were. I never wanted a parachute so badly before in my life. They should have given us all a parachute.

We should have all been born with wings. We were at one point but you know how the one guy ruined that.

It seemed like a person could fall for forever from this height.

All of a sudden nothing was beautiful anymore.

I thought about what would happen if a person fell into a pit that was deep enough that the bottom never arrived and if after a while you would adjust to the dropping and have time to reflect on how screwed you were or if instead your heart would give out after a minute or two of the falling.

If you would have phone reception and time to call everyone you loved.

Or what if we all fell into the hole as a group at the same time. Would one of us die first right there in midair next to everyone else in the descent? The living accelerating at the same horrible velocity as the dead and unable to ever leave any of them behind.

Screaming into the face of a corpse you once knew plummeting into the silvery chasm.

Alright let's get mad about the news now. Stick around down below for a brand new poem by me.

In May of last year an 18 year old from Guatemala named Virgilio Aguilar Méndez was sitting outside of the Super 8 motel in St. Augustine, Florida where he lives with three other farm workers when he was approached by a police officer.

That's already an American horror movie. It's already bad enough. We could stop right here.

The shark's fin in the water.

St. Johns County police Sergeant Michael Kunovich told dispatchers that he was responding to a "suspicious Hispanic male," according to an ABC News review of the body cam footage.

When Kunovich questioned the 5-foot-4 115 pounds Méndez the teen tried to explain that he did not speak English or Spanish. (Instead he speaks the Indigenous Mayan language Mam.) "Eating, eating" and "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" he said. You can probably imagine what happened next. Kunovich grabs him and Méndez panics and they struggle for a while and next thing two more officers arrive and he's thrown to the ground and held in a choke hold and tased multiple times. (The police footage can be seen here.)

They said he was wielding a knife and they would of course say that that's one of the main things they know how to say. But while he did have one on him – “para sandía” or “for watermelon” as he tried to explain – him using it as a weapon doesn't appear on the footage.

After Méndez had been handcuffed and placed in the back of the cop car Kunovich collapsed. He was transported to the hospital where he later died of a natural cardiac event from issues that predated the arrest according to an autopsy. Nevertheless Méndez was charged that night with murder. The charges were later dropped to aggravated manslaughter of an officer – which is still punishable by up to life in prison – and resisting an officer with violence. He's been held without bail ever since and was recently ruled incompetent to stand trial due to his inability to understand English or Spanish or grasp the charges and legal system he's become ensnared in The Florida Times-Union reported.

What a literal nightmare.

A petition calling for Méndez's release and for the charges against him to be dropped has gained over 550,000 signatures.

I guess this is the type of threat Joe Biden is trying to protect us from with his new plan (bi-partisan by the way) to shut down the border. Some fucking kid talking on the phone to his mother and eating on his down time before he goes to work picking our food for us.

Or maybe people like this other Guatemalan teen I wrote about the other day:

A poultry processing plant in Mississippi has been cited by OSHA for improper safety standards that resulted in the death of a 16 year old migrant from Guatemala named Duvan Perez. Perez – the second person to die in the Mar-Jac facility in Hattiesburg in the past two years – was sterilizing the deboning area when he was pulled into the gears of a machine and crushed.

The government agency has proposed a $212,646 fine.

"Following Perez's death, Mar-Jac Poultry denied knowing Perez was a minor until after the incident," USA Today reported.

I can't imagine this was the life that these human beings and many others like them dreamed of when they set off for the United States. Fleeing whatever other kind of suffering they were fleeing.

I almost want to tell them all to please not come but not in the way people usually mean when they say it.

You ever read this old Hell World:

I thought no one is going to believe me I have to somehow document this
I want you to know that I have loved you since the moment I met you
Then Dora picks up a tiny notebook and reads from it. “Blanca, I want you to know that I have loved you since the moment I met you,” it reads. “You know I love your beautiful eyes. They hypnotize me. I will belong to you forever.”

When someone arrived at the border they took that from Blanca and threw it in the trash.  

A lot of the women Dora came across with were trying to keep themselves looking good on a walk that they thought wouldn’t be all that long Dora says as she’s contemplating a collection of perfumes Kiefer has assembled.

Dora says her uncle would tease one of the women on her journey about having rollers in her hair. The woman would say “Well tomorrow I’m going to be in Los Angeles with my husband.”

She died in the desert.

“We were drinking cologne by the second day in the desert,” Dora says. “That saved our life too, that spiced cologne.”

Picking through a pile of blankets and cloth satchels Dora finds one that says "siempre te amare."

“I wonder if this person made it to the United States or if they stayed in the desert?” she asks.

Or this one:

Give us the money or we’ll kill your son
Making the arduous journey from El Salvador to the U.S.
I didn’t want to come over here. To go to another country. You know you have to walk, cross the river, sleep over in the woods in the night. You don’t even know what’s going to happen. But you got two choices, go over there, or stay here and let’s see what happens to you. You die.

Are you given the choice to join the gang?

Yeah, they give you the option to join to the gang. But ours was kind of different, they were asking for money. If you don’t give us the money we’re gonna kill all your sons. I wasn’t the kind of guy, I wasn’t going out with friends to the mall or to play soccer. I was just like from the house to the school, from the school to the house. I was like away from all this kind of stuff to join to the gang. But yeah some people they give you the choice to join the gangsters, or they’re gonna kill you. So, you gotta join, because if you don’t they're gonna kill you or someone in your family. And the first thing you gotta do when you join the gangsters is you gotta kill somebody.

In any case here's Biden's plan for the border.

All so he can get Republicans to agree to authorize more money for shipping weapons around the world.

Figuring out exactly how racist and xenophobic he has to be to win over zero conservative voters who think he’s a kid sacrificing pervert all while alienating a couple million of his own ostensible voters.

Negotiating the mileage of razor wire the suffering will have to crawl through down to the inch to find the perfect sweet spot that will make no one happy.

Trump and other Republicans are of course saying fuck you we will not give Joe Biden the win on this. Even if he's trying to do something we actually want.

Meanwhile Biden and his counterparts in other western nations have cut off aid to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees after a handful out of the many thousands of workers at the agency were accused by Israel of having been involved in the October 7 attacks. I imagine they got that information by detaining Palestinians and asking them nicely.

The UNRWA is the largest group providing food and water and shelter to the million plus displaced people in Gaza. Coincidentally the allegations from Israel came right on the heels of the International Court of Justice in the Hague finding that there are grounds to proceed with the case against them for committing genocide.

The Intercept reported:

“Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the court said. It also ordered Israel to halt and punish incitement to genocide, to preserve any evidence of violations of the Genocide Convention by its forces or personnel, and to submit a report on its compliance with the court’s orders within one month.Judge Donoghue read aloud several statements made by Israeli officials, which South Africa contended indicated “genocidal intent.”

Among these was the statement by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announcing there would be “no electricity, no food, no fuel” allowed into Gaza and saying, “We are fighting human animals.” She also read a statement from Israeli President Isaac Herzog saying of the people of Gaza, “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible.”

By the way look at this speech Biden gave the other day. It's just a remarkable document that captures so much of where we are in terms of farce and horror.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Genocide Joe, how many kids have you killed in Gaza?

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Go ahead, Mr. President. (Laughter.)

Be careful if you decide you want to go out and protest against this slaughter however because Nancy Pelosi might send the FBI after you for being a paid Russian agent (?)

I love how they always insist some evil outside force must be funding whatever protest it is they currently don't like. Last I checked walking out on the street and yelling is literally free. Maybe it's because politicians like this have never done anything without being bribed they think the rest of us are like that too? That we believe in nothing?


Back to the cops for a second though. You may remember this story I wrote about a few months back. It concerned a Seattle police officer who struck and killed a young woman named Jaahnavi Kandula while speeding on his way to a call. A second officer who arrived named Daniel Auderer – the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild – was caught on tape making crude jokes about the killing.

In the two minute conversation Auderer explained what had happened to SPOG president Mike Solan.

“He’s going 50… that’s not out of control, that’s not reckless for a trained driver,” he said. "I don’t think she was thrown 40 feet either,” he said getting the facts of the case wrong.

“But she is dead,” he said and then he cackles at an unheard joke from Solan. It is clear to anyone listening that Solan has said something extremely funny here.

“No it’s a regular person," Auderer said.

“Yeah just write a check,” he said before laughing again.

“$11,000. She was 26 anyway,” he said getting her age wrong.

“She had limited value.”

I guess in what counts as good news around here the Seattle police bosses have recommended termination for Auderer according to the Seattles Times.

The commanders issued a blistering disciplinary recommendation to police Chief Adrian Diaz on Friday, sweeping aside excuses that Officer Daniel Auderer’s comments about the death of 23-year-old graduate student Jaahnavi Kandula were private or police union business.

“Even crediting your explanation as true, that does not excuse the callousness of your comments,” the commanders wrote to Auderer in a memo The Seattle Times obtained from the Police Department. “Nor does it explain your full-bellied laughter” while discussing Kandula’s death in a South Lake Union crosswalk only hours earlier, the night of Jan. 23, 2023.

The leaders recommended Diaz punish Auderer with a minimum of 30 days off without pay — the most severe SPD discipline short of termination — or fire him.

So maybe that will happen. Maybe a cop fill face some kind of consequence for once. Probably not of course but... maybe?

That's all for today. Here's a new poem by me for the road.

Plus in other news there's a new Sunny Day Real Estate song.

"Hell yeah!"