Blog

“… in Common Cause”

 

Wyandotte County Lake

 

I find a lot of my inspiration when I’m lost in nature… always have. In high school, I would spend the two hour gap between classes and work exploring the coves lining the shore of Lake Olathe. On my days off, I would drive up to Shawnee Mission Lake and build a fire in the old limestone fire pit, cook up some hot dogs, and watch the sparks fly off into the night.

Being a space nerd, I would think random thoughts… like how amazing is it that Earth is the only body in the solar system that can sustain an open flame in its atmosphere; or what would wind sound like on the surface of another planet; or simply… fireflies. What evolutionary side-step caused THAT trait to be a success? AND… did you know, there are no fireflies in France?

(My step-dad’s niece came from France to visit him one summer. As we sat on the patio, enjoying the sunset on her first evening in Kansas, her expression suddenly changed to shock and disbelief as she was staring at a group of trees off in the distance. She said something to my step-father in French and he started laughing, “She’s never seen a lightning bug before!”)

 

As an artist and musician, I found the peace I needed to let my mind go. To explore the nooks and crannies of thought… to search for meaning, looking for that glimpse of something no one has ever seen. In the sprawling concrete and asphalt jungle of suburban Kansas City, these parks and lakes provide sanctuary for wildlife being pushed out of their natural habitats. More importantly, they are a gift given to us, providing the community a space to reconnect with nature, and share that beauty with our children.

 

 

fathers_day

Every Father’s Day I take the boys out to Wyandotte County Lake and feed the geese.

 

fathers_day_2

This is Garrett doing his best impression of a goose. (… he’s the one wearing a blue shirt.)

 

In recent days, I’ve spent time contemplating the task at hand. Searching for words to convey a message and create a vision of something… no one has ever seen. Instinctually, I’m drawn back to these familiar waters, once again searching the depths of my soul. I drive the loop around the lake, sometimes twice… allowing the day’s events to show me where I should look…

 

wyco_lake_10

 

 

Inspiration found at the water’s edge is a fairly new phenomenon here in the Great State of Kansas. Judging from the limestone cliffs… there hasn’t been this much shoreline here in a few million years! Even as recently as 100 years ago, in the Kansas that Eisenhower grew up in, the only significant shorelines were those of the untamed rivers, the Kaw, the Arkansas, and the Mighty Missouri.

 

The lakes and reservoirs of the Great State of Kansas were constructed out of necessity, to mitigate the damages caused by a changing climate in the face of historic drought. The vicious circle of economic disaster and climate change helped give rise to the Great Depression, and in order to solve those problems, the Roosevelt Administration put people to work modernizing our nation’s infrastructure.

 

 

Projects like the Grand Coulee Dam and Hoover Dam, electrifying rural communities, making sure every community had access to water… but most importantly, these projects made it possible for Americans to get back to WORK. By providing the FUNDING to get these projects off the ground, the Federal Government helped bring new opportunity to communities that desperately needed an economic boost.

 

Wyandotte County Lake is one of the many projects funded by the WPA.

 

 

 

 

Roosevelt didn’t envision the Marshall Creek Dam… he created the vehicle necessary for that project to take shape. He empowered Americans to envision what could BE, and then STOOD BEHIND THEM, confident because we work in common cause.

He didn’t work the levers of government just so he could say, “See what I have done!” He didn’t create the WPA for the benefit of the United States Government. He saw a way that he could direct our government toward helping THE PEOPLE… to help make the lives of EVERY AMERICAN better. Because more participation makes better outcomes for everyone.

 

I do not seek power for myself, I seek power so that I might give it away. Securing it in the hands of THE PEOPLE… its one true safeguard.

 

“No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.” – John F. Kennedy

“The President and the Press” (1961)

 

 

When we guarantee access to the ballot for ALL citizens of this nation, EVERY issue will gain CLARITY. The solutions to our nation’s problems will be realized once THE PEOPLE have UNIVERSAL ACCESS to the ballot.

 

JC

 

 

A Scout is Kind

Screenshot (71)

Screenshot (72)

“Boy Scouts of America files for Bankruptcy”– Washington Post (02-18-2020)

I am heartbroken after hearing about the bankruptcy filing of the Boy Scouts of America. As an Eagle Scout, I know my life would not be the same without the lessons and experiences I had as a Scout. While I am hopeful that the storied tradition and mission of Scouting will be around for another 100 years, how this situation is handled will determine if that is possible.

HEALING the damage that has occurred and preventing future harm, should be the FIRST PRIORITY.

If that means this organization must come to an end, sadly… that is the way it must be. If they choose to operate in a way that protects or promotes criminal sexual abuse of any form, I would PROUDLY hand my Eagle Scout Badge BACK to the BSA before I would support them, and I believe EVERY Eagle Scout would do the SAME.

We must remember… the ABUSED are not the criminals here, the ABUSERS are. There should be NO TIME LIMIT against coming forward. Their stories help us PREVENT future abuse and we should welcome their stories. We must be focused on making sure it cannot happen again.

 

My Boy Scout Troop dealt with an experience of sexual abuse while I was an active Scout. During one of our monthly camping trips, our newly elected Scout Leader subjected a group of first year Scouts to an “underwear check”. I didn’t attend that camp out… I can’t remember why. I know at the time it was an important reason, but the events of that weekend seem to have overshadowed everything else around it.

As a youth organization, I believe the BSA must address two issues in order to prevent future abuse:

1.) Why did those boys not know that that situation was unacceptable and should have SPOKEN OUT about it immediately?

2.) Why did that boy believe it was possible for him to subject those Scouts to a situation like that without accountability?

 

Preventing sexual abuse requires SPEAKING about sexual abuse, which naturally means educating kids about what IS and IS NOT acceptable. At such a pivotal point in their development, the BSA should take a more active role in educating Scouts about these things, and clearly define expectations to actively promote a safe environment for all members… parents, volunteers, and Scouts.

Everyone must feel SAFE, and the BSA must create an atmosphere where Scouts feel comfortable SPEAKING OUT when they are not. The experiences of the Boy Scouts are not an isolated incident. Many organizations are beginning to open their eyes to abuse within their ranks, and we are learning that many lives have been affected. Many people live their entire lives without speaking of it… and some are affected by it everyday.

SILENCE will not fix the problem in the future, and it will not help victims heal.

If the goal truly is to protect CHILDREN, then we must give them the TOOLS necessary to someday do so for themselves… they need KNOWLEDGE.

What better group is there to provide that knowledge than the BSA?

 

JC

Resolve

It all started with wanting to right a wrong.

 

The day AFTER the 2016 election, just like the MAJORITY of this nation did, I started asking the questions… CAN we end the Electoral College? Why do we NEED the Electoral College? If we were to end it, what would we want to replace it WITH?

Understanding why we need the Electoral College is the first step in figuring out if we can END it. The words written in “The Federalist Papers” clearly lay out the reason for creating the Electoral College.

 

“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?” –Federalist #68

 

Any other conclusions about its purpose have been informed by their essays, but our modern understanding of the Electoral College’s reason for existing, was never stated by the Founders.

The Electoral College, according to the words of the founders themselves as written in “The Federalist Papers”, was to guard against foreign influence in our elections. To prevent a BAD ACTOR, backed by a hostile foreign adversary, from ascending to the Office of the Presidency. IF one day someone were able to deceive a MAJORITY of this nation using the FUNDING of another country, the Electors would be our LAST DEFENSE.

They could weigh the evidence and make an informed decision to cast their vote against the BAD ACTOR. It was never written by the Founders that the Electoral College was conceived out of a mistrust of the people to choose their President. But they do express their fear of a TYRANT securing ascent to the Office, and subjugating the citizens of this Republic.

 

When viewed in this light, we can see the security system envisioned to protect us from foreign interference in our elections, has a FATAL FLAW….

The susceptibility to corruption possessed by the men charged with carrying it out.

Corrupted by political leanings. Corrupted by self-interest… corrupted by COLD HARD CASH.

 

Over the course of 2017, I continued to find more reasons to end the Electoral College than to keep it. Every argument in favor of the Electoral College seems to be based in factual error, assuming it was originally intended to protect minority opinions or the Rights of the States. We must apply the original intentions of the Founders to the question:

“Does the Electoral College protect our elections from the outside influence of a hostile foreign adversary?”

 

Based on the DATA we have now… the answer is NO.

It’s done a damn good job for the most part, but it has now outlived its usefulness. Like a lock that’s already been picked… it’s simply a matter of TIME before it happens again.

 

By the fall of 2017, I was convinced that ending the Electoral College was the right thing to do. I did not know how I would, or IF I could… but I knew there’s only ONE PERSON who could oversee such an immense task, and shepherd the necessary resources of both TIME and TALENT to bring such a grand idea to fruition.

The Junior Senator from the Great State of Kansas wouldn’t be able to do it.

A newly elected Representative from the Kansas 3rd District couldn’t pull it off either.

If it were to have any chance of success, Constitutional change of this magnitude would have to be overseen by the President.

 

“When YOU grow up, you could be elected President of the United States.”

 

Is that TRUE? In theory it is, in practice…??

MORE than that… could I become President?

 

The mental inventory taking began… Who did I owe money to? What Laws have I broken… what Laws have I broken that I’ve gotten away with? Who have I harmed in my life? Is there anyone I have not made amends with yet, and would that disqualify me from being worthy of the Office if it were to come to light?  (Had I anticipated pursuing a position as an elected official, I might have lived my life a little differently!)

What WOULD stand as sufficient to disqualify someone from being President? In the beginning of my campaign, it was easy to compare myself to the current occupant of the Office, but I knew that would not be sufficient. I want what EVERYONE wants… a return to NORMALCY. That means judging myself against the very BEST of our nation’s history, looking to their lives for guidance on whether or not I could even attempt it.

 

In October 2017, Senator John McCain spoke after receiving the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center:

 

“The Land that repairs and re-invents itself. The Land where a person can escape the consequences of a self-centered youth, and know the satisfaction of sacrificing for an ideal. The Land where you can go from aimless rebellion to a noble cause… and from the bottom of your class, to your party’s nomination for President.” -Senator John McCain

 

Screenshot (65)

 

As I had been weighing my misdeeds and judging my actions, I forgot… NONE of us are perfect, and none of us could ever serve as President if that were a requirement. It is, ultimately, a judgement I cannot make… I am who I am, and I can only present myself OPENLY and HONESTLY, and let the PEOPLE decide.

 

I cannot change who I was then… but I can decide who I will BE in the future.

 

 

In January 2018, I decided I would make my final decision sometime in March, after I had a chance to speak with our tax man. I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything to jeopardize my family’s financial integrity, by mishandling funds collected by my campaign, or misfiling required declarations, etc… you know, methodical. Do it right the FIRST TIME. Begin the process slowly

 

 

My decision to run for President was made on February 17, 2018, three days after the shooting at MSDHS in Parkland, Florida. On the 14th, as news headlines started rolling out… I tuned OUT. Frustrated once again by the INACTION that was sure to follow… as it had done countless times before.

After Sandy Hook… After Columbine… After Olathe North. I’m surprised Paul Ryan didn’t have campaign bumper stickers that read “Thoughts & Prayers”…

 

On the morning of February 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke on Morning Joe about the situation:

 

[ VIDEO UNAVAILABLE ]

 

 

 

 

After an HOUR of searching… there is NO VIDEO to be found. According to the internet, I’m not even quite sure he was a guest that day. But that would make sense though, considering the fact that he spoke of the UNSPEAKABLE. He reminded us of the reason that Gun Safety Legislation would NOT pass in the United States House of Representatives… the reason it would not even be called for a VOTE on the floor…

 

That legislation would never see the light of day because of THE HASTERT RULE.

 

He said it as if it were an after thought, tacked on at the end of a sentence. Dismissed SILENTLY as just a given… treated like a subject all of them took for granted.

 

I’m sure my mouth was agape, because I was stunned. It was like hearing a song you haven’t heard in a decade, but you INSTANTLY remember every word. I remember thinking, “Is that still a thing? I thought they got rid of that?”

… and that is the point of the SILENCE.

 

I instantly made the connection between the tactics employed by a serial abuser, and the tactics being employed in the House of Representatives. It made sense finally, why a MAJORITY of Americans wanted Gun Safety Legislation but nothing was ever DEBATED on the floor.

The Hastert Rule is the legislative equivalent of serial abusers exerting power over their victims… and the only thing that allows it to continue is SILENCE.

On February 17, 2018, I realized that those kids in Parkland… THEIR struggle is OUR struggle. They faced the same horrors faced in EVERY STATE, over and over again… needlessly, due to the intentional inaction of legislators, who are BEHOLDEN to DARK MONEY DONORS for their reelection.

Thankfully, out of the wreckage of that tragedy, there was a resounding voice of HOPE, and I knew how I could help them make #NeverAgain a reality.

 

#EndTheHastertRule

 

 

If I was going to have even the slightest chance of being seen on a national level, I knew I would have to start right away. Two and a half years to pour out everything I could, and publish my thoughts in a PUBLIC way. For the first time, I established my presence on social media.

From the FIRST DAY, I approached my social media presence as an active digital archive of every policy position I would take if elected. My Twitter feed has stood as my active presence in the political social circles of Washington, DC, and my website has been my billboard. Over the course of two years… I’ve basically written a novel.

In this time, I’ve tweeted 22,000 times and have published 133 essays on my website. I’ve offered my thoughts and opinions on every subject that’s come to my attention, and will continue to do so. I’ve engaged with people who are opposed to my opinions and, even if I did not gain their support, in most instances I’ve earned their respect.

My Twitter feed PERMANENTLY documents my thoughts and positions, and when viewed in total, it shows how my ability as a politician has evolved. It publicly documents my errors and misjudgments. It also captures the errors and misjudgments of the elected officials I’ve engaged with… both CURRENT and FORMER.

 

 

When I started out, I did not know if I could make a difference simply by TWEETING. By the beginning of March 2018… I knew that I would.

 

Every Tweet sent out by an elected official, by ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States, is PUBLIC PROPERTY. Therefore, our First Amendment Right to FREE SPEECH applies to COMMENTS on those Tweets, and it is illegal to CENSOR THEM. Elected officials express their views, and it is our DUTY as citizens to SPEAK OUT when they are WRONG.

That is what I resolved to do. I dedicated myself to CALLING OUT the Speaker of the House every time he spoke about a lack of support for legislation, or how we shouldn’t act when emotions are raw, or how sad he felt for those effected by the tragedy… the tragedy his leadership allowed to happen.

The first time I replied to Speaker Ryan using the hashtag #EndTheHastertRule, he “flinched”. He did NOT want that message displayed on his Official Tweet, but he couldn’t delete it without bringing attention to what it was he wanted to HIDE… so they composed an identical Tweet. Most casual social media users won’t scroll back through timelines more than just a handful of Tweets.

The Speaker’s Office was attempting to SILENCE my opposition by ignoring my criticism and, in essence… attempting to cover up, or paper over the TRUTH.

In China, defamation of a political poster is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

 

 

It seems that Speaker Paul Ryan would have preferred it be that way HERE in the United States, when it comes to the topic of his FULL THROATED SUPPORT of The Hastert Rule. A strategy named for the person who established it, Former Speaker Dennis Hastert… convicted felon.

 

 

EVERY DAY starting in February 2018, I called out the hypocrisy of the Speaker TO HIS FACE, in full view of the public. I did not Tweet insults and anger randomly behind his back. I tagged his Official Tweets when I commented on them, and I would @ him whenever I spoke about his inaction in my Tweets. I made sure I was STANDING UP and SPEAKING OUT so everyone could see and hear exactly what I had to say.

 

Screenshot (70)

 

On April 11, 2018, Paul Ryan announced he would not be seeking reelection.

 

The events of February 14, 2018, and the actions taken by the SURVIVORS of that tragedy, sealed Paul Ryan’s fate, because it brought SUNLIGHT to the legislative inaction employed by the Speaker, and instead of defending himself… he chose SILENCE.

 

He could not defend the indefensible.

 

We should all be grateful for the bravery shown by the survivors of that day, because their efforts ensured February 14, 2018, would be forever known as the LAST DAY of the Speakership of Paul Ryan.

 

JC

 

When you STAND UP and SPEAK OUT… Paul Ryan goes back to Wisconsin.

From now until November, I resolve to do the SAME.

 

#NeverAgain

 

Official Campaign Statement: “I Support the First Amendment.”

twain

 

There are more things that UNITE us than divide! We agree on so many fundamental ideals, yet we bicker and fight over minutiae and arithmetic. No one wants to see unnecessary loss of life, especially when it is caused by inaction or ignorance… that’s why we pull to the side when we see an ambulance in our rear-view mirror.

We don’t stop and question the political leanings of the guy inside, we just GET OUT OF THE WAY! Because ONE DAY, it will be me who needs that ride… and I’ll be damned if it’s MY actions that cause someone else to leave before their time.

I would expect the SAME courtesy from someone else.

 

The SAME Constitution that protects the Liberty of supporters canvassing for Donald Trump’s reelection, protects the right of a High School senior to graduate.

 

Screenshot (52)

“Man arrested after driving van into GOP registration tent” ABCNews (02-09-2020)

 

 

Screenshot (53)

“Teen told his dreadlocks violate school code…” ABCNews (02-06-2020)

 

The SAME Constitution that protects my right to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT against the actions of the Commander-in-Chief, ALSO protects the right of an athlete to protest injustice during the National Anthem.

 

Screenshot (56)Screenshot (58)

Colin Kaepernick’s old team is in the Super Bowl…” Washington Post (01-31-2020)

 

Screenshot (54)Screenshot (55)

“Video shows Trump conducting orchestra…” CBSNews (02-03-2020)

 

Our Constitution ensures the SAME RIGHTS for the fool AND the philosopher, the aristocrat AND the ass… the con AND the converted.

Our Constitution allows us to ask questions and DEMAND answers. It establishes our ability to DEBATE without fear of reprisal from the Government… The Constitution protects our right to be wrong.

How can we find what is RIGHT if we SILENCE dissent? How can we ensure our conclusions are sound if no one is allowed to object?

 

If it is NOT for everyone… then it is NOT for me.

 

As I watch the news and listen to the candidates, I hear the SILENCE born of political expediency. Russia is FAKE NEWS, and the subject is now TABOO… “Just look at the polls!”

Who won in IOWA…? Vladimir Putin. Who will win in New Hampshire? Once again…

 

 

Where is the URGENCY? Where’s the OUTRAGE? Where’s the PLAN that will ensure this can NEVER happen again? The bells & whistles are distracting us from what has been continuously happening all along… and it’s being carried out to HIS benefit. By his PUPPET and his HENCHMEN, the Leadership of the United States Senate.

 

Is there NOTHING we hold sacred anymore? Our Constitutionally guaranteed Right to Free Speech is taken for granted. What if it were taken from us? Would that not instantly remind us of what it is we are fighting FOR?

We need look no further than Russia for an example, and their government’s opinion of FREE SPEECH…

 

 

“Don’t it always seem to go,

That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone…”

-Joni Mitchell

 

WAKE UP! If not NOW… then when? Is the AMERICAN FREE PRESS the enemy of the people or is it SILENCE? Is dissent STILL the highest act of PATRIOTISM, or shall we BANISH citizens for SPEAKING OUT against an abusive government? An act that, if it fell unto ME, it would be my DUTY to SAY SOMETHING… and I would expect the SAME from EVERY AMERICAN.

These are the VALUES we were raised with… don’t run with the WRONG CROWD, avoid GUILT by association, BEWARE of the company you keep. STAND UP and SPEAK OUT! Because our SILENCE allows it to continue.

 

Screenshot (62)Screenshot (61)

“If Nancy Pelosi Succeeds in censoring…” Newsweek (02-09-2020)

 

Our SILENCE makes us COMPLICIT.

 

We may not be there NOW, but we are certainly on the PATH.

Mind the LEDGE… it’s a long way down.

 

JC

 

 

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

 

 

OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN VIDEO for the political organization
“Jack Charbonneau 2020: Political Revolution”

JackCharbonneau.com
@MrJLCharbonneau

Images and music are NOT MINE and this video does NOT express the opinions of their owners.

17 U.S.C. § 107
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:[6]
the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

#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.

 

Screenshot (36)

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