The Eye of the Storm

THIS is how it begins. Someone takes a STAND. One soul brings forth from the ether, a vision of something not seen before. How or where it comes from… religions are established to investigate such thoughts! But once it appears, it brings joy and excitement, and an unstoppable passion to give it LIFE, to share that joy with all who will listen.

I never considered that it was possible to do such things for the benefit of my country, as opposed to creating the merely decorative or aesthetic. Being a writer and composer is similar to that of someone who earns their degree in the History of English Literature… That’s great, but what do you DO for a living? Every artist is in search of their fifteen minuets of fame… but now, the artist realizes the very canvas upon which he creates, is threatened by what we see.

That which was unimaginable just a handful of years ago, feels closer than ever before. What once was brewing “over there”, now comes ashore, imported and repackaged, FOR SALE here in our own backyard. The HISTORY of those who fled, seeking SAFE HARBOR on our shores, now gives pause to their grandchildren, forcing them to consider doing the SAME…

 

As the Light of Liberty has begun to turn against them.

 

Our HISTORY has not changed, yet it is being rewritten as we speak. The lessons we have learned from our great- and grand-parents, flies in the face of “truths” being sold to us today. Wrapping them in the flag, embracing ideals espoused by regimes who have, in the past… done exactly the same.

Illegal actions undertaken by ONE MAN can be corrected, they can be forgiven. They can be seen as an example, taught to others as a lesson of what we should not do. Once those actions become certified, given approval and allowed ascent by the highest legislative body in the land, they will become CANON.

Through active affirmation… OR passive SILENCE.

Let our arguments STAND or FALL on their merits! No one’s position is so strong that it should not be challenged in open debate. An innocent man does not FEAR the facts… he EMBRACES them. He DEMANDS them. And he is outraged when he is denied them.

 

There is NO HONOR in SILENCE.

 

 

The hard part has already been done, over 200 years ago. So that their children may have the right to study painting, poetry, and music. TODAY it is entrusted to us. Shall we do the SAME… or will ours be the LAST?

CAST ASIDE ALL DOUBT! Let the principles of our forefathers guide us now. In these days of historical gravity we must walk with sure footing, as we will surely leave precedent-setting steps. What will we leave behind? Will they remember, IN HONOR, our words and our deeds? Or will they be remembered in disgrace… will they even be remembered at all?

 

If not for ourselves, if not for our children and those of others, then for whom? As we make our STAND here inside the eye, we can find the answers within the CALM… as we brace for the inevitable conclusion of this STORM.

 

Will our actions stand to honor THEM?

Would our decisions in this moment, ever be seen as so honorable they could be remembered in the same LIGHT as theirs?

 

Is ours a future of Liberty or of Oppression? Will this be a Nation of Justice or of SILENCE? The Politics of FEAR and DIVISION must end if we are to succeed! In-congress, incongruent, yet indivisible, we STAND… these, the UNITED States.

 

… with Liberty and justice for ALL.

 

The eyes of the Nation focus on our Senate. The Nations of the World STAND and listen. In the balance we are, being weighed against ALL TIME. At stake is nothing short of the LIGHT for which our Liberty STANDS…

 

The HOPE and PROMISE of Equal Justice Under Law.

 

It is not OURS to do with as we wish… nor should we ever be so ignorant to believe that we could.

It is for THE PEOPLE. May it be so for all time.

 

JC

“The Case Against the President, Part 6: The Tortoise and the Hare”

 
… he didn’t get there by himself.
STAND UP for the Rule of Law.

#EndTheElectoralCollege

 

 

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#2. Our Right to Bear Arms

Every Now and Again

 

When you strip away all the nonsense, and get to the point of it all… I believe we’re NOT as far apart as it might seem. Or rather, as divided as they would WANT us to believe…

 

I find it disturbing to see Americans openly carry Arms in peaceful protest against gun safety laws, especially at events organized by PARENTS who have lost CHILDREN due to gun violence. Those parents are not the problem, and intimidating grieving parents and school children to exercise your Constitutional Rights does not help SOLVE this problem.

I also find it disturbing to see public support has GROWN for ending our Right to Bear Arms. But at this moment, considering the inaction of our elected officials, can you blame them? In the eyes of many, when you weight the costs vs. the benefits… how many lives have been SAVED because of our Second Amendment?

 

Right now, those parents only have PROOF of the lives that were NOT.

 

In this Modern Era of Digital Entanglement, of KNOWLEDGE gaining ground over FEAR and OPPRESSION, I began to question if it were even possible for another country to successfully mount an invasion of the United States. Consider the international outrage that would come before a single shot had been fired, or landing craft deployed.

In the YEARS following the school shooting at Sandy Hook, I found myself questioning if we should. The inaction of legislators had put me in such a negative state of mind, every time I saw the flag flying at half-mast due to ANOTHER mass shooting, I would ask, “WHY? Does it even MATTER?” We all knew the inevitable routine:

Thoughts and prayers… not while emotions are still raw… the Right to Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed.

Speaker Ryan had it down to a science.

 

 

… but that was BEFORE 2016.

 

That was BEFORE the Active Measures Campaign was carried out by the Russian Government in our elections. And now, we see the seeds that were sown in the years preceding the Second World War… being planted again TODAY.

It seems that every now and again, we need a little reminder of how important our Right to Bear Arms truly is, and how convenient it would be for a foreign adversary to impose THEIR will upon us… if only we were all UNARMED.

 

 

 

But as I said, I do not believe we are that far apart! We have to strip it down and simplify it to find the answer. WE MUST! There are eyes upon us RIGHT NOW watching, waiting… wanting us to FAIL. Stoking our emotions around an already emotional subject, creating a divisive narrative that pits our Health and Safety AGAINST our National Security.

That is a losing strategy.

 

Any laws or legislation we decide to enact must PAIR our Health and Safety WITH our National Security, as both are necessary if our Union is to survive.

Any requirements we enact beyond those of license, registration, and insurance, must not serve to create a financial burden for gun ownership; but MONEY should not decide what is or is not in our best interests.

Any punishments or preventative measures deemed necessary by the courts to prevent imminent harm, must have a CLEARLY DEFINED PATH for the Restoration of Rights; but we must accept that some crimes are worthy of losing the Right to Bear Arms.

A ‘three strikes’ policy is unacceptable when LIVES are lost or PERSONAL SANCTITY is VIOLATED by force. The Right to Bear Arms should not violate my Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It should SECURE these Rights for EVERYONE… equally.

 

 

I was raised to believe that our Right to Bear Arms is a vital piece of securing our nation against an attack from a hostile foreign adversary… this article seems to call that conclusion into question.

 

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How the NRA Rewrote The Second Amendment (05-20-2014)

(Quotes are from the article above)

 

“From 1888, when law review articles first were indexed, through 1959, every single one on the Second Amendment concluded it did not guarantee an individual right to a gun. The first to argue otherwise, written by a William and Mary law student named Stuart R. Hays, appeared in 1960. He began by citing an article in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine and argued that the amendment enforced a “right of revolution,” of which the Southern states availed themselves during what the author called “The War Between the States.”

 

“At first, only a few articles echoed that view. Then, starting in the late 1970s, a squad of attorneys and professors began to churn out law review submissions, dozens of them, at a prodigious rate. Funds—much of them from the NRA—flowed freely. An essay contest, grants to write book reviews, the creation of “Academics for the Second Amendment,” all followed. In 2003, the NRA Foundation provided $1 million to endow the Patrick Henry professorship in constitutional law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University Law School.

This fusillade of scholarship and pseudo-scholarship insisted that the traditional view—shared by courts and historians—was wrong. There had been a colossal constitutional mistake. Two centuries of legal consensus, they argued, must be overturned.”

 

The National Rifle Association’s long crusade to bring its interpretation of the Constitution into the mainstream teaches… Constitutional change is the product of public argument and political maneuvering.

 

 

Minute Men, carrying long rifles and charging into battle against the Red Coats… that is the image of Patriotism that springs to my mind when I think of our Right to Bear Arms. Well trained militias… CITIZENS, defending our Country against those who seek to undo what has been created.

These militias were the product of a world of civic duty and governmental compulsion utterly alien to us today. Every white man age 16 to 60 was enrolled. He was actually required to own—and bring—a musket or other military weapon.

This idea is not alien to the brave men and women who have served this nation in uniform, or the families they were brought up in. It is not alien to the communities across the nation that SUPPORT the families of service members as they serve their country abroad. Nor is it alien in a city like Leavenworth, KS, where military life and civilian life co-exist daily.

 

In 1959, according to a Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans favored banning handguns; that dropped to 41 percent by 1975 and 24 percent in 2012. By early 2008, according to Gallup, 73 percent of Americans believed the Second Amendment “guaranteed the rights of Americans to own guns” outside the militia.

 

Any observant person will note that I’ve omitted something. Our Right to Bear Arms serves to protect us from ALL enemies… both foreign and domestic. Some would say they fear an overreaching Federal Government, and our Founders did bear witness to the abuses that come from a tyrannical leader. Our Rule of Law is structured in such a way that it makes it almost impossible for our military to be deployed on OUR CITY STREETS. The checks and balances of our Legislatures and Judicial Branch, makes it almost impossible to target CITIZENS en masse and seize their property or incarcerate them on trumped-up charges.

During the first year of the Trump Administration, we were sailing adrift at sea. Still unable to fully understand how government WORKED, he was flailing about, unable to make any real changes happen. FAST-FORWARD two more years and now he’s learned how to take people out by DRONE…

What happens in FOUR MORE YEARS.

 

Before 2016, I would have said that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for our government to be used in such a way… Before 2016, I did not KNOW how easy it was to manipulate it. The perception of THE PEOPLE, the manipulation of the LEGISLATORS, the manipulation of the JUDGES… all secured by those who can AFFORD IT… $$$.

 

There was the ringing declaration from Patrick Henry: “The great object is, that every man be armed.”

The quote has been plucked from Henry’s speech at Virginia’s ratifying convention for the Constitution in 1788. But if you look at the full text, he was complaining about the cost of both the federal government and the state arming the militia. (“The great object is, that every man be armed,” he said. “At a very great cost, we shall be doubly armed.”) In other words: Sure, let every man be armed, but only once! Far from a ringing statement of individual gun-toting freedom,

It was an early American example of a local politician complaining about government waste.”

 

 

 

AT THIS MOMENT, we are all being manipulated… the left AND the right. VAST amounts of MONEY have been spent over DECADES to shape public opinion, prey on our FEARS, and motivate us to SPEND MONEY. In order to make us VOTE a certain way. To make us believe that our enemy is our NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR, and since the Federal Government is horribly mismanaged and unable to protect us… we should BUY MORE GUNS.

Our enemy THRIVES when we are fighting amongst OURSELVES, and not focused on the legislators who run successful campaigns CORRUPTED by DARK MONEY. Funded by SuperPACs. Political organizations that are funded by wealthy individuals, who have profited from the sale of MORE GUNS and NO REGULATIONS.

Safety is EXPENSIVE! and it chips away at the BOTTOM LINE. In the eyes of a gun manufacturer, it’s better for business to spend a few MILLION DOLLARS on a handful of political campaigns, than it would be to spend HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS on new technology and manufacturing equipment to make their products SAFER.

 

Our enemy in this fight is not the government, it’s the CORRUPT influence of MONEY on legislators within our government.

 

 

 

US Department of State- Foreign Service employees: 13,000
Civil Service employees: 11,000
Local employees: 45,000

US DOJ- Number of employees: 113,114

US Armed Forces- Active personnel: 1,380,895
Reserve personnel: 845,600
Deployed personnel: 210,000

CIA- Number of employees: 21,575 (estimate)

 

Who FILLS these posts? Who is appointed to LEAD them? Who carries out the WORK and shoulders the burden each and every day… we do, THE PEOPLE. Administrations come, and Administrations go, meanwhile the agenda of The United States carries on.

 

Though ill-informed it may be, it is now the opinion of the MAJORITY of this nation that our Right to Bear Arms is for EVERYONE and shall not be infringed. If we are to continue to support this Originalist Interpretation, we must RESURRECT the full intent of the Law.

We must demand personal responsibility on a level equal to that required of our Service Members. ANNUAL proficiency and safety evaluations; license and insurance requirements for all gun owners; title and registration for all legally purchased guns; and yearly mental health evaluations, conducted by a mental health professional, for all gun owners, paid for by the United States Government. We should not straddle working class families with more financial burdens, but no price should be seen as to high when it comes to preventing loss of LIFE.

 

Being in the interest of the Nation as a whole, these mental health evaluations must happen. We must ensure that they DO. IF every man be ARMED, then we will make SURE they are MENTALLY STABLE as well.

 

If not for OURSELVES… then for our CHILDREN.

 

JC

 

 

Conviction

I believe for every US soldier currently serving abroad, we should send TWO State Department Diplomats. No, make it THREE. President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you,” and then he proceeded to ENGAGE with the world, through projects of prosperity and co-operation. Because he knew what WAR looked like.

Because he knew how war BEGINS… and he knew how to PREVENT it.

It’s foolish to believe that PEACE can be found at the point of a SWORD… when we know it’s so much easier to achieve when we simply extend our HAND.

 

What STOPS a WAR?

 

tank_man

 

 

Compassion. Connection. Understanding.

 

I join in Prime Minister Trudeau’s call for Accountability and Justice, and we must accept the fact that our FREE and FAIR elections have given RISE to this toxic fog of war.

 

So now, let the call go forth from OUR generation. One tempered by the horrors of WAR, both on the battlefield and in the classroom; disciplined by a hard and bitter TRUTH, longing for a Restoration of Justice; and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of seventy-five years of established order, that has given rise to PEACE and PROSPERITY, the likes of which the world has never known.

The safety and security of the world is assured when the safety and security of the United States is assured. When the United States STANDS divided, and our citizens are targeting each other… the safety and security of our ENEMIES becomes REALITY. When the United States is no longer an active participant on the World Stage and seeks an isolationist position, we become subject to the agendas of other nations, who prefer to be in the LEAD.

When we judge OTHERS based NOT on the content of their character, we invite that inevitable fate that has befallen EVERY oppressive leader, of EVERY nation throughout history… upon OURSELVES.

Judge NOT, lest ye be Judged.

Do unto OTHERS, as you would have them do unto YOU.

All Mankind is created EQUAL.

Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights… THESE are OUR COMMANDMENTS. THESE are the values we hold SACRED. When they are withheld from ONE, it should be seen as an outrage to us ALL. And they only continue to exist, because BRAVE men and women have given of themselves to ensure it remains so…

 

To be SILENT is to be COMPLICIT.

 

We’ve learned these lessons. We must not learn them AGAIN! When ANY nation rattles the Saber of WAR, every American gives PAUSE, and thinks back to where this all began… 20 YEARS AGO. The price we’ve now PAID can only be measured in lives. Let us CHANGE that outcome, and remember WHY…

So it may NEVER happen again.

 

The oppression of the MINORITY by the MAJORITY was feared by the Framers of our Constitution. And because of that, they sought to ensure that the VOICE of dissent would always be seen as patriotic and necessary to the health of our democracy. If you are so CONFIDENT in your ideas, they should be able to STAND UP to rigorous debate. Even IF they prove to be in-error, either in part or in total, they may STILL prove to be important by informing the NEXT decision… helping us to avoid causing real harm.

 

Should my ideas prove to be in-error, I welcome the chance to be EDUCATED. Should my position prove to be unacceptable to THE PEOPLE, then they will know better than I what they want in a leader. I’m STANDING UP and offering my OPINION. Offering my assistance… because I believe in the INSTITUTIONS that countless souls have fought and died for… simply for the CHANCE to create them.

 

Democracy DIES in Darkness… the only cure for that is SUNLIGHT. NO VOICE is so small that it should not be heard, and no opinions so outlandish that they should not STAND as our guardrails. That’s why we VOTE in the SUNLIGHT. To avoid causing harm to OTHERS, that are by LAW… our EQUALS.

Wrapped in the protection of the 1st Amendment, I STAND to fight for those without a VOICE. To ensure it is for EVERYONE. Because if we do not… it will be for NO ONE.

 

Let it be known, when it is written upon mine… that I STOOD UP and was not SILENT.

May it be so for 200 MORE, LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTION!

 

End the Electoral College.

 

JC

 

#1. ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE

As a representative government, the people give their consent to be governed by the elected at the ballot box. Any system that allows selective access to the ballot or relies on an intermediary interpretive process to determine the outcome of an election, is susceptible to CORRUPTION of its integrity. Does our current election system produce a CLEAR MANDATE from the people? If we created a NEW ELECTORAL SYSTEM, what would we want that system to BE…

 

A political system in which candidates run for office based solely on the merits of their ideas. An election system in which the winning candidate is decided by the people at EVERY step of the process, from the Primary to the General election. When you walk into the booth in November, you already know every candidate on the ballot because every candidate has already faced MULTIPLE statewide primary elections and they have been fully vetted… not by a group of wealthy individuals or entities who stand to profit off of a particular candidate, but by EVERY REGISTERED VOTER in EVERY STATE.

Right now, how do candidates for office make it on to the ballot? MONEY. And that effects EVERY aspect of our daily lives, in the form of the legislative agendas pursued by the winning candidates.

In our current Primary Election Process, KANSAS has just as much Electoral Power as CALIFORNIA… because neither of us are IOWA, or NEW HAMPSHIRE, or SOUTH CAROLINA. By the time the first handful of States have decided who they think should be on the ballot, the impression of being a “viable candidate” has been cast. Any candidate that doesn’t win in those first States, in the eyes of the voters, is irrelevant.

 

But, then again… it really doesn’t matter what the voters decide at the ballot box. ALL decisions are made at the convention by the DELEGATES. The long days, shaking hands, eating corn dogs, promising this and that… if the DELEGATES can’t agree, it’s all up for grabs.

 

The Constitution does not outline our current system. It’s a patchwork of precedent and legislative guardrails passed to prevent misdeeds from reoccurring, while ignoring wrongdoing that goes “undetected”, and failing to prevent future abuses of a largely unregulated system.

We should not stifle candidate’s voices or limit their possibilities, but we should more clearly define the parameters in which they are allowed to operate.

 

Every candidate’s message should be fully accessible to every voter INSTANTLY via a universally trusted source. Without the filter of the media. Without the filter of moneyed interests. If a question of substance arises during the campaign, a voter should have easy access in order to ask that question, and how the candidate chooses to address it will be seen by EVERY VOTER. On the FIRST DAY. On the LAST DAY. Every voter. Every candidate, regardless of party.

No legally binding limitations on candidates’ ability to engage in debate. The vision and direction of the campaign should be decided by the candidate and judged by the voters, not first judged by the FUNDRAISERS and THEN the voters. The current system gives rise to deception, in fact it is REQUIRED to be successful. Candidates are forced to run a campaign that appeals to a majority of HALF of the electorate FIRST, to display PARTY LOYALTY… in order to secure FUNDS.

 

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“The presidential contest — primaries and all — accounts for $2.4 billion of that total. The other $4 billion or so went to congressional races. The tally includes spending by campaigns, party committees and outside sources.”

– The Washington Post (04-14-2017)

 

… how much of that total is just waste and greed?

 

All Federal Elections should be 100% FUNDED by the TAX PAYERS. The candidate directs the message and creates the VISION, the PEOPLE fund its creation.

Yes… that is a lot of money. But just consider the amounts currently spent on advertising and appearances on media outlets. The United States can leverage a better deal when purchasing ad blocks for EVERY CANDIDATE and air-time for ALL EVENTS… equally. It unlocks multiple possibilities for SAVINGS, but also for GROWTH.

 

 

All of the effort dedicated to changing the way we choose our candidates would be wasted if we did not address the other side of this issue… who should be allowed to vote in our elections.

Voter suppression. Through threat of violence, through fear and intimidation. Through misinformation and misappropriation. MILLIONS of dollars are spent every year to stop people from casting a vote. To paint a picture in the minds of select groups of voters that says, ‘Your vote doesn’t count’ or ‘Send a message by NOT voting’… all while knowingly aiding their preferred candidate just by keeping people OUT of the process.

 

LOWER participation in their eyes, means VICTORY on Election Day.

 

The War on Drugs has created a PERMANENT way to disenfranchise millions of voters through the legal process. Laws carrying punishments that take away voting rights, written by legislators that are BEHOLDEN to campaign DONORS, both of whom will never be targeted by such laws. Even if they were, they could easily afford the legal fees necessary to evade punishment.

Felony convictions, YEARS behind bars… for possession. MILLIONS of people who cannot vote while serving their sentence, and are unable to regain their right to vote once released. The requirements in some States are vague, unattainable,  or discretionary depending upon who stands before the governing body that decides their fate.

 

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– Orlando Weekly (10-31-2018)

 

Elected officials represent ALL of the people in their districts. Right now, prison populations are INCLUDED in Census numbers, deciding how much federal funding goes where.

 

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– The Huffington Post (02-08-2018)

 

For-profit legislators, beholden to for-profit organizations who FUND their campaign…

Sounds like an easy way to stack the deck.

 

 

 

 

 

Every prisoner should have the right to vote, while serving their sentence and after they are released. If the goal is rehabilitation and a successful transition back into society, then they should feel like they are a part of the system and have a say in their destiny.

 

At the very least, they should be able to hold their representatives accountable when they have failed to protect their interests:

 

 

 

 

What should be required to vote?

CITIZENSHIP.

 

That, and age.

 

The age of enfranchisement was lowered under President Nixon from 21 to 18. As the Vietnam War raged and the draft was sending citizens 18 years and older off to war, it made sense to give them a VOICE on who was making that decision. From another perspective, I would not want to send someone off to war without their having a say in the matter, just as I would not want a CHILD deciding my fate.

But our definition of the word “war” has evolved. Since that time, we’ve invaded a country unilaterally without evidence supporting our decision. We’ve declared a war on an “idea” that has no clearly defined objective, and we’re currently under attack in an undeclared VIRTUAL WAR where NO ONE can be charged with aiding and abetting our adversary.

 

In 2019, more CIVILIANS died in mass shootings than SOLDIERS were killed on the battlefield in the War on Terror.

 

 

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“The latest fatality brings the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20. There have also been three non-combat deaths in 2019. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year conflict.”

– military.com (12-23-2019)

 

 

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“In 46 weeks this year, there have been 45 school shootings. That’s nearly an average of one school shooting a week.

Of those, 32 of them were at facilities serving Kindergarten through 12th grade.”

– CNN (11-19-2019)

 

 

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“The GVA said there was a total of 15,381 gun deaths — including homicides, suicides and accidents — and 29,568 injuries in 2019.”

– CBS News (01-02-2020)

 

… and elected officials in the United States Senate still DO NOT ACT to SAVE LIVES.

 

At 16 we can get a job, drive a car, and PAY TAXES. The ability to participate in our society begins at 16.

Every United States citizen over the age of 16 should be guaranteed the Right to Vote. That should be the goal of the United States Election System.

 

-JC

CLARITY: A Series of Essays Outlining Campaign Policy Positions

While it is true that the President helps decide what legislation should be considered, it is NOT the decision of the President ALONE.

The House and the Senate have the task of crafting legislation that serves the needs of the people who elected them. Therefore, the agenda of the United States Government is decided by the VOTERS when they decide who will represent them in Congress. So any agenda I might want to pursue as President would only be possible if THE PEOPLE vote for Senators who support ACTION.

 

The legislative tactic of INACTION currently employed by the Senate has given rise to MANY of the societal issues we seek to eliminate… the solution to those issues seems to present itself immediately when viewed in that context.

Remember… before you VOTE, find out EXACTLY where the candidates STAND.

 

Remove the CORRUPTION. Restore HONOR in governance.

End The Electoral College.

 

As each essay is completed, I will post the link and description below.

 

 

 

 

image

“But, then again… it really doesn’t matter what the voters decide at the ballot box. ALL decisions are made at the convention by the DELEGATES. The long days, shaking hands, eating corn dogs, promising this and that… if the DELEGATES can’t agree, it’s all up for grabs.”

#1- ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE (01-05-2020)

 

 

mw_template_2017

“When you strip away all the nonsense, and get to the point of it all… I believe we’re NOT as far apart as it might seem. Or rather, as divided as they would WANT us to believe…

It seems that every now and again, we need a little reminder of how important our Right to Bear Arms truly is, and how easy it would be for a foreign adversary to impose THEIR will upon us… if only we were all UNARMED.” 

#2- Our Right to Bear Arms (01-20-2020)

 

 

 

One of Ten

I drove up to Fort Leavenworth today… as I do whenever I’m in need of CONTEXT.

I rarely walk the rows of our most recently fallen service members as I don’t want to disturb grieving families, so I make a commitment to HONOR the memories of soldiers who most likely… no longer have someone around to remember their name.

 

As I read the stones, in my mind I say the names and ranks, in HONOR of their service. Some stones still “speak” and give a flash of LIFE… a unique characteristic, a nickname, a eulogy. A rebellious salute to the end of a life STAINED by WAR, made by an aged VETERAN who’s SPIRIT remained untarnished by the evils brought with it.

A majority are marked with the Cross of Christ, so the stones marked with a Star of David or the Star and Crescent reveal even more depth, and some stones mark the resting place of TWO souls…

The WOMEN who stood behind those heroes in LIFE, chose to rest beside them in death.

 

The oldest military grave at Fort Leavenworth Cemetery is that of Captain James Allen, who died in 1846, when our President was James K. Polk… 174 YEARS AGO.

Representatives from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI… fighting for the United States of America on HORSEBACK. Thousands of BRAVE men and women who’ve dedicated their lives to our Nation, over the course of CENTURIES…

 

The bitter wind blows through the oaks, rustling the crisp brown leaves and the clock chimes at the top of the hour. The sound echoes off the hillside, the SILENCE echoes throughout TIME.

 

I am humbled to think ‘WHAT CAUSE could rally so many people to give ALL of themselves, to ensure its continued existence… and could there ever be another seen as its EQUAL?’

As I pass the obelisk and crest the hill, the view of markers standing at attention rolls down and across the valley, and the scenery starts to change… WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq… Mounds of DIRT. Freshly laid flowers. THEN, just grass. A sprawling hillside with a couple saplings, the green contrasting sharply with its marble edging…

 

… I now know where I stand.

 

 

U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)

 

  • Length: 1092 feet (332.8 m)
  • Beam: 252 feet (76.8 m)
  • 2 Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors, generating 194 megawatts
  • Speed: 30+ knots
  • Range: UNLIMITED
  • Ship’s company: 3,200
  • Air wing: 2,480 carrying 90 aircraft

 

… and this is only one of TEN. This is the culmination of over 230 years of scientific achievement, born of our CAUSE, our dedication to Equal Justice Under Law.

But the “Big Stick” is only a HOLLOW SHELL without the men and women who makeup her LIFEBLOOD, without whom she does not SAIL.

 

I do not say these things to boast. I do not say this to intimidate. I am simply stating a FACT, bringing CLARITY to a situation we’ve ALL seen before.

 

Our Experience must guide us now.

 

Let us not speak of escalation, when we KNOW where that path LEADS. At the end of that road, we know what fate LIES.

 

FIRST it’s a tanker, then it’s a refinery. Then it’s a military DRONE. Now, LIVES. First its US, then it’s THEM… once upon a time it was the Gulf of Tonkin. And before THAT, it was the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and MANY years before… REVOLUTIONARIES. Dressed in a FALSE FLAG, wearing the clothes of NATIVES… drunkenly throwing TEA into a harbor…

 

We know where the path of escalation LEADS. A cost, measured in LIVES.

What GOOD is Experience if we do not LEARN from it? What will become of our collective KNOWLEDGE if we do not SHARE IT?

 

 

 

“The only winning move is: not to play.”

 

 

In so far as it is within my power… I will work toward ensuring that Kansas Hillside, stays forever GREEN.

 

JC