Blog

Insert Issue HERE ______ .

C942CAC5-C52C-4FC8-B600-05D674EDB408
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/11/26/kevin-strickland-gofundme-donations/

Is that not the embodiment of ALL our worst fears? There are few things that compare to false imprisonment… how can we call ours JUST, if this continues to happen. Is THIS what we’ve fought and died for… when it could be so much MORE…

Because I am SELFISH. I don’t want what happened to Mr. Strickland to happen to ME. Because I don’t want what happened, to happen to MY friends or MY family. Because I know… if we are SILENT, we could be next.

On this ideal we stand UNITED.

02D1299C-B71D-4430-80A0-2551FEFA7C00
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_flag

Railroaded. By those who were entrusted with AUTHORITY and POWER. The inkwell may have SPILLED all over this case, but how many others are sprinkled with the ink of their quills… how many lives were impacted by their office, in such ways that we’ll never know…

And this is just ONE case. In ONE city. In ONE STATE.

When we allow bias and prejudice against ONE, it leads to MORE. Based on race… based on gender… based on nation of origin… based on MONEY. Ideals that are not held by the MAJORITY thrive when we stand divided… chasing SHADOWS instead of establishing LAW.

Clarity. Before ALL ELSE… let us establish what it is we are striving FOR… is it for HATRED? Is it for EXCLUSION? Or is it for UNION… already established. Does anyone else worry we’re fighting amongst ourselves, while the other side doesn’t understand what it is their opponents are fighting FOR?

We’re just throwing around a bunch of pre-packaged political rhetoric that means NOTHING when exposed in the light of actual thought and conversation. It evokes within us a guttural response. Instead of asking QUESTIONS we simply rely on our preconceived notions… most of which were misinformed from the start.

6E308962-DC4B-43BD-8535-C6DB47773E9ACD0DD613-2972-457B-8744-8BBDD2E3B51B

https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-160551360299

4229DD6C-411A-41CA-8A5A-FBF2E9335745E6C6191F-F878-457B-9CCA-44361F3ECC69
https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/Is-shoplifting-forcing-Walgreens-to-cut-back-in-16536960.php

That was the solution for overcrowded prisons? Changing the dollar amount has the window-dressings of addressing a societal problem, but it does so at ARMS LENGTH. It doesn’t address the underlying issues that lead people to resort to such extreme measures.

2078C43D-49ED-48B1-BF08-9392AD6CED61
https://www.archdaily.com/972133/lehrer-architects-designs-new-tiny-home-villages-for-homeless-residents-in-los-angeles

… it’s not a permanent solution, but it is a good start.

The answers we seek already exist. We’re being presented with what’s leftover… only after it’s been approved of by the DONORS.

Explains why Democrats could only get HALF their agenda passed.

2D083148-5F04-436E-8728-1C3A1F458A59
https://nypost.com/2021/11/11/manchin-against-tax-credits-for-union-made-electric-vehicles/

EE7FAD91-5AF7-4271-879D-1782FCC080F8
https://www.axios.com/manchin-senate-spending-biden-87a445c2-cfdf-4bba-bc20-dd62db2a613a.html

412447AF-04F0-4692-A9A3-4475B75C0E6D
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/manchin-dems-2t-bill-faces-senate-gauntlet-81366189

FA235F61-1AAB-4500-8EB7-DC945D46A5FE
https://www.dailyposter.com/pharma-front-group-has-spent-1-2-million-backing-sinema/

Insert issue HERE _____.

The insanity generated by a vocal MINORITY on both sides is being amped up by BOTH political parties, in order to motivate people to DONATE. Legislators legislate based on MONEY and the pursuit thereof. Instead of solving problems, they FUNDRAISE… they can’t raise MONEY on a problem that’s already been SOLVED.

… and the struggle marches ON.

Because this has been going on for GENERATIONS… beyond my lifetime. I was born the year Kevin Strickland went to prison. My kids will be 18 in just a few years.

Will they be just as frustrated as I am today, attempting to teach their children the SAME LESSONS tomorrow… fighting the SAME FIGHTS for things that seem so close, yet just out of reach?

Kevin Strickland is PROOF they will not.
Ahmaud Arbery is PROOF they will not.

Laws have CHANGED. Knowledge has been codified. Acknowledging that, what once was believed to be Justified… is not. Changing the way we live our daily lives. A new understanding… lessons, learned the hard way.

DC450BF0-FB2C-4ED1-B2EA-762D7127ECB3

“An error doesn’t become a mistake, until we refuse to correct it.”
-John F. Kennedy

If we put aside the confusion and focus solely on the GOAL… the Mission Statement, the Ark of OUR Covenant. As She STANDS, with no biases to blind us… humility and compassion will guide us HOME.

Because that could be YOU… because that could be ME.

CE199395-DA91-4194-9742-EC9BC23FDF24F5B3E58B-8A7D-4A37-AE90-A09F841C68C7

https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/politics/2021/11/22/adam-johnson-photographed-capitol-riot-pelosi-lectern-pleads-guilty/8725500002/

9E053B45-195F-42F0-919B-1E322A22B3B0
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/30/us/police-killings-undercounted-study.html

B734D73E-2DAB-4593-90C8-B42DCE530DBE

1F757A42-AF8C-47E0-BC7F-2A1DE85BCC84

We are all but MEN, susceptible to fallacy and vice. We will find comfort in humility… because we find strength in numbers.

-JC

The Problem is Systemic… and it Must Change.

Is there any DOUBT? After this week… how can anyone NOT see it?

C05647AA-8F15-4DEF-BC9B-FADB4DE2E9D8
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/more-bubbas-no-black-pastors-attorney-man-accused-killing-arbery-n1284089

14BDD283-0458-41BF-8267-7A932981953C
https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/03/us/ahmaud-arbery-jury-what-we-know/index.html

2FAAD01A-4232-4664-83BA-32A2A1610200
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/17/nyregion/malcolm-x-killing-exonerated.html

The problem is SYSTEMIC. It permeates the entire Judicial System. From the way LAWS are created to the way they are enforced, to the way Justice is carried out… how much more PROOF do we need?

7CDE8525-0184-439B-B86F-8651E28B5A06
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/18/nyregion/christopher-belter-rape-sentence.html

09943F0F-08C5-4C5E-866A-D31A925EADD3
https://www.kcur.org/news/2021-06-03/missouri-governor-does-not-pardon-kevin-strickland-who-prosecutor-says-is-wrongfully-imprisoned

On January 15, 2021, James Comey was on The Beat w/ Ari Melber, talking about possible charges being brought in connection with the January 6th insurrection. While speaking about potential investigatory strategies that might be pursued by the FBI, Dir. Comey spoke about “prosecutorial discretion”.

C5D50049-83A9-4F9C-8F78-4CC0A8A24DE0

I tried to find the footage from that interview but… apparently it has fallen down the memory hole.

As an example of the potential unwarranted collateral damage the FBI could cause simply by bringing charges and issuing warrants for arrest, Dir. Comey suggested a hypothetical case of two parents being charged with drug trafficking.

IF there were multiple children in the home, prosecutorial discretion could be used and charges might only be brought against ONE parent instead of BOTH… for the well-being of the children.

Prosecutorial Discretion… boy, if that’s not a euphemism then I don’t know what is.

1AA0FF7F-D647-47F4-9C5C-623C781105A4

73BB4D4A-ADC0-4FB6-876B-744F8D47DD17

9D46180D-DB2C-4FEE-97EA-E7FD507169F8

When I was seventeen, I think it was the winter before my senior year in high school, me and three buddies all piled into Jason’s 86 Buick Skylark… alcohol may have DEFINITELY been involved.

We stopped at a brand new gas station that had just recently opened. It was fully automated. Back in 1997, this was something we’d never seen before. As soon as we realized there were no gas station attendants on-site… we decided to trash the place.

Window squeegees tossed, paper towels all thrown out, gas pump handles unholstered… I don’t know why, male stupidity fueled by Mad Dog 20/20 I suppose. In the moment, all four of us thought it was a GOOD IDEA.

Three days later when the COPS showed up at Jason’s house, we realized we’d messed up… apparently we forgot surveillance cameras exist.

After school that day, Jason’s Dad told us what happened. Since we only caused superficial damage, the owners of the gas station decided not to press charges… the Officers just wanted to let him know it was his son’s CAR they saw on the footage.

We spent the next three Saturdays raking leaves and doing odd jobs to “pay off our debts”… instead of being arrested.

And that’s just ONE example.


My roommate and I threw a party one night when I was living in my first apartment. As more alcohol was consumed we got louder. Some time after midnight, my roommate challenged one of his friends to some Greco-Roman-style wrestling (as he was known to do) in the living room of our
second floor apartment… and shortly after that, the COPS arrived.

They confiscated some questionable paraphernalia and poured out the bottles that were on the kitchen counter. After a search of the apartment and a promise that none of us were driving anywhere the rest of the evening, they issued us a citation for Minor In Possession of Alcohol and left…

Ignoring the THREE OUNCES of MARIJUANA I had sitting out on a pizza pan, lying on top of a pile of dirty clothes on the floor of my closet.

7A80895E-980C-447B-8D9A-5A9125D3853E

https://www.aclu.org/gallery/marijuana-arrests-numbers

My roommate and his buddies liked to drink… a lot. I liked to smoke pot like it was going extinct… all of us were amazed that no one was arrested that night.

At the time we chalked it up to the idea that they were just looking for something else… harder drugs, people with warrants, etc. I don’t think the idea that we were a bunch of WHITE KIDS ever crossed our minds, it may not have even crossed those Officers’ minds. But I can’t help but think… would that night have turned out differently if we were BLACK?

Every piece of evidence I’ve seen over the last twenty-some years since that night tells me, yes… it would have been different.

While I am grateful for having been given the gift of a second chance, I feel guilty about the way in which it was given. How many of us can point to a particular point in TIME where compassion was shown; where if it had not, our lives wouldn’t have turned out the same? Traffic stops, speeding tickets, random encounters…

How many of us cannot?

372D8DF1-43B4-438C-9169-E3738C5C3296
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_while_black

I was GUILTY of possessing a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE… what crime did Philando Castile commit? What crime did Jacob Blake commit? Where is the BALANCE… the EQUITY in that?

I don’t want things to change because I believe more WHITE PEOPLE should be arrested and sent to jail. Things need to change because I believe EVERYONE should be treated with the same level of compassion and respect that I was shown…

Regardless of the color of your SKIN. Regardless of the clothes on your BACK. Regardless of the numbers in your BANK ACCOUNT.

It seems like a futile endeavor, attempting to establish EQUITY within a system that is inequitable at its heart. To ignore the fact that EQUALITY is absent and still continue to pursue EQUITY is like offering someone a BRIBE. A PAY-OFF… a SETTLEMENT.

Sorry the system screwed you and will continue to do so in the future… here’s some MONEY. Now we’re even.’

The system is UN-EQUAL. Why continue to work to lift up downtrodden parts of our society if the system continues to be UN-EQUAL in its operation? Without Equal Protection Under Law, any progress that is made will simply wash away with the passage of TIME… under a different Administration. During another chaotic period in time.

It seems like it would require more effort and resources to make an UN-EQUAL system more EQUITABLE, than it would if we were to simply ensure EQUALITY is what the system is based upon from the start. Once we’ve established a foundation of EQUALITY, then we can work to ensure it is equitable for EVERYONE.

The problem is SYSTEMIC and it must CHANGE. If it can happen to ONE of us… then it can happen to us ALL.

-JC

The Long Game

The simple act of driving a car demonstrates our ability to see the FUTURE. Two tons of steel, flying along at 70 miles an hour, just inches above a reinforced slab of concrete… with a huge degree of accuracy, we can state exactly what will happen 30 seconds into the future… 60 seconds into the future…

Much beyond that… too many variables can effect the outcome and our accuracy starts to fade. But we can reduce the number of potential outcomes if we apply the law of probability…

I probably won’t hit a DEER. 
I probably won’t drive off the BRIDGE.

A flat tire, a broken fan belt, a dead battery aside… if I’ve maintained the vehicle properly, the ENGINE probably won’t seize before the next exit. 

In so far as it is under my control, I probably won’t strike another vehicle.

It’s because of our INFLUENCE on the system… our ACTIONS make the difference. If we do not act, chaos rules.

 

 

Have we not had enough of all the bickering and fighting? Fighting amongst ourselves. Fighting endless battles abroad. Fighting over issues of LIFE and DEATH. Fighting over the mundane and trivial.

 

 

7A7D353E-DE4B-4BD0-9CB3-70B1C92BEEBF
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/11/08/ted-cruz-slaps-down-big-bird-for-vaccine-propaganda-and-gets-tarred-and-feathered/ 

 

 

Fighting fights instigated by others, over things on which all of us thought we had already found COMMON GROUND.

The only common ground we can seem to find now is, BOTH SIDES believe the other is out to get them… and that is extremely telling in and of itself.

 

 

DF5EC605-915E-4E7F-8072-5C4DF55EBE47
https://www.statnews.com/feature/prescription-politics/federal-full-data-set/ 

 

 

No, it’s not the Republicans who want to overthrow our elections. 
No, it’s not the Democrats who want to take away our Liberties. 
Neither side wants these things to happen.

 

 

 

 

Who does then… who stands to BENEFIT from our INACTION?

Who stands to profit when our Legislatures cannot find UNITY on TAXING BILLIONAIRES…

THE DONORS.

 

The WRITER, DIRECTOR, and PRODUCER of the legislative shit-show that’s playing out in our Congress today. If this wasn’t exactly what they wanted to see, why would they continue to DONATE to their re-election campaigns.

The allowing of unlimited amounts of MONEY in our elections by the Supreme Court has poisoned our Government. It can barely establish a functioning majority to simply keep the lights on.

 

 

54328C3F-D12C-4F7C-B781-8580010EA5F7
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/08/06/usps-dejoy-xpo-logistics/ 

 

 

Yet it can whip up the votes necessary to give a TRILLION DOLLARS to a myriad of corporations and entities in exchange for their continued SUPPORT NEXT ELECTION…

… next election. dammit man. How do you say that to George Floyd’s family… how do you say that to the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas… how do you say that to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary…

 

 

956B9647-D897-4374-A519-3A43C03F5D90
https://www.npr.org/2021/11/09/1049054141/a-secret-tape-made-after-columbine-shows-the-nras-evolution-on-school-shootings 

 

 

How do you say that to the Officers who stood in the BREACH on January 6th… how many ZEROS need to be on that check.

 

And even on that we can’t seem to find COMMON GROUND, except for the fact that those people were there with a purpose. Those people where there to force their Will upon the MAJORITY.

Because they said so… while President Trump sat SILENT. 
They carried HIS banner. They waved HIS flags.

Those who did carry the flag of this Nation on that day, used it as an implement of OPPRESSION… against Law Enforcement Officers. In their OWN HOME.

 

 

May God Bless every one of those Officers.
They are the reason OUR BANNER still flies today.

 

 

49E46113-AD89-4C42-A898-72A4D056E4C4
Damage from January 6th, still visible on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. (8/27/2021)

But we will make AMENDS.

 

We will seek to MAKE WHOLE that which was damaged, even as some scars will never fade. Every person who died because of the events of that day were AMERICAN CITIZENS… no different than YOU or I. 

What’s the difference. What paints the picture… what sets the STAGE.

 

 

In his pocket, he carried a five dollar Confederate note…

16E1EBCA-3EB2-4C3D-82B6-12ECD95C1603

I may not know all the WORDS. I might not even know all the NOTES…  but I know the TUNE. I can only do my BEST, to express what it is that I see, knowing that there are others out there who feel the same.

I believe we can achieve the impossible… because we’ve now witnessed it with our OWN EYES. Donald Trump brought to fruition concepts and agendas I never thought I would see in my lifetime, nor that of my children.

But it has happened. 

I believe in precedent. I also believe in the Rule of Law.

A159FD3D-1460-4640-A380-393A116A74CC
https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2021/01/07/woman-shot-and-killed-at-capitol-was-security-forces-airman-qanon-adherent/ 

4A637BFB-9B98-4C53-B0DC-0ED343D24E78https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/556030-trump-midterms-fuel-gops-squashing-jan-6-commission 

28CE4229-E037-4F3F-9C94-1F72C644C426

When you SEE something… SAY something.

Forgive me if this seems offensive, but this is what I was taught in my school. This is what I learned from MY elders. Every fiber of my being tells me THIS is that slippery slope… THIS is that path. We must remember the stories taught to us by our grandparents.

203DC158-EB8C-44A0-8D0F-5AA2FD72AF13https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/11/virginia-school-board-members-call-public-book-burning-gay-books/ 

When you defend the rights of others, you defend those rights for YOURSELF. Where will we draw the LINE? What PRICE are we willing to pay? We ALL lose when they start burning books.

If what we’ve pledged ourselves to defend has become corrupt and dirty, it is our DUTY to do what is necessary to restore its HONOR. It cannot be ignored. Complacency. Negligence. ROT. We have been warned… INACTION will be the death of our Democracy.

To be SILENT is to be COMPLICIT.

-JC

LEADERSHIP

(At 8:02 in the video) “Let me just say how important it is to have a RULE vote.”

Did you see it? If you BLINKED you might have missed it, because I’m sure everyone has at least ONE eye on the news these days.

“Let me just say how important it is to have a RULE vote. Once we have the RULE vote we have the path to the floor. People have to understand… this is the threshold.”

—Speaker Pelosi 

CAC2CC7D-562F-455D-81E9-F6A5A17E6F3B

 

 

If a majority of LEADERSHIP doesn’t support a particular piece of legislation, it doesn’t get a vote. The MINORITY decides the agenda for the MAJORITY… 


Their
agenda… not OURS.

 

Until Friday night Speaker Pelosi didn’t have the votes necessary to secure THE RULE. With 13 Republican Representatives hidden up her sleeve, she could have moved on this legislation at any time.

5746AF75-CD8F-4B09-9D1D-676EFFFD3914

The House Democrats forged a viable path forward to pass BOTH pieces of legislation. Begrudgingly, yes… but it was established. That’s why we’ve been waiting. That was the PLAN. We all hate sausage making, I get it… but we knew what we were getting into when we VOTED back in November.

What changed… why now? Who thought that this strategy would benefit the Democratic Party? It certainly wasn’t the strategy supported by the MAJORITY. Why weren’t they listening to what THE PEOPLE wanted…

MSRP of the Maserati Levante starts at $78,000 and goes up to $153,000.

Oh, right… luxury cars usually have pretty decent SOUNDPROOFING. That is, unless you’re CHEAP and spring for the basic package.

8F2A7EE7-938F-41B6-A852-B6AFE8E22553B4356CAA-C423-4DAF-A135-1F1D3A7B75E6https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/05/house-democrats-infrastructure-vote-wait-megabill-519731 

CD7C0851-9C27-4808-9E81-98C70135E43D

This is now who we ARE. This is what we present to the rest of the world.

Q: Is the United States a reliable partner?
A: Yes.

We’re willing to undercut our OWN TEAM to make sure shit gets done.

 

Don’t like THAT description? Then make up your OWN & fill in the _____ , because the LEADERSHIP of the Democratic Party decided this course of action behind closed doors, and then forced their caucus to vote.

There was a plan… and then that plan CHANGED. For what? Why. To save FACE after a devastating election cycle? For the PARTY? For the DONORS?

I don’t know, but ONE thing is clear… this wasn’t done for the VOTERS. The MAJORITY would have celebrated the passage of both bills as soon as this negotiated process played out. And now…?

 

Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Energy.

Let us all place our HOPES in the hands of a handful of Senators, who are BEHOLDEN to the DONORS for their re-election… be sure and hold your breath.

The political establishment has now tipped their hand and shown us who their ‘kingpins’ ARE. The members of their political hierarchy who are the most valuable to their plans… their future… their PARTY.

And they hold these positions of HONOR, of LEADERSHIP… because they are the best FUNDRAISERS.

44728AFE-383C-4CF8-9175-D58E95816EB6

The Infrastructure Bill… who benefits? The DONORS. Directly. The “wealth” will trickle down to The People via the JOBS they will create. Never mind the damage that’s been done to our social fabric…

It’s time for the PEOPLE to get back to work. It’s not OUR fault we lost in Virginia… the VOTERS just didn’t understand.

I thought that was why the DNC prioritized $25 MILLION for “voter education” over the summer. Apparently they think NO ONE showed up for their classes.

1CFF55BE-8827-4C00-A807-1A1479ED1FCC

These are not intended as attacks. This is simply a recitation of the FACTS. A mirror, held up to their actions… and none of it is ILLEGAL. They make the rules. It’s their show, their agendas. Not the agenda of THE PEOPLE.

Let them eat cake… but first we need more means testing.’

Did you survive 2020? Congratulations, you qualify.

THIS is our government, the best elected officials money can BUY.
The question now becomes, do we want that to continue to be the case in the FUTURE.

 

-JC

 

For Those Yet to Come

I’m not one of those well-polished types. I don’t easily fit into the holes like a good lil’ golf tee. Most days I feel a little oblong… a rough ashlar, cast amongst the other stones.

I like to wobble a little bit every now and then… keeps me on my toes. Challenges my way of thinking. Daring to see things through someone else’s eyes adds new perspective to how I see my own opinions. Understanding where I got things WRONG can help reinforce the things I got RIGHT… and it can help change the minds of those who disagree.

What good is having an opinion so WEAK it cannot stand up to open debate? No one acting in GOOD FAITH wants to be wrong. Hell, I know I don’t want to be wrong. But I also know we are ALL working toward the LIGHT… as we are all walking through shadows.

 

I am tired… but I am not defeated. 

 

Up ahead there’s a spot where we can pause and catch our breath, and take stock of how far we’ve come… but that time is not now. That rest, we have not earned. Not yet at least, but one day… we will. We must. Until then, we march. Onward.

And we will get there, if we only TRY… and we will stand UNITED. Side-by-side. If you cannot walk, then crawl… and if you cannot crawl, then I will carry you. As will seven others, as will seven more for each one of them. Because we already know, our Democracy is not secured at the POINT of a sword or down the SITE of a barrel.

Our Democracy is only secured once we’ve put those weapons DOWN. 

When we LISTEN instead of PROFESSING. When we SHARE instead of HIDING. Together, there’s more for everyone… that’s why we are the United States. We must remember who we are!

When we stand UNITED, viruses are eradicated. When we defend the rights of others, continents remain FREE. When we put aside our differences and embrace our COMMON GROUND, we visit the STARS in peace… for All Mankind.

For this, we will VOTE. THIS is why we continue to stand. For this, generations have lived and died, having never seen the balance be level… EQUALITY. As promised. Emblazoned upon the wall of Our Highest Court.

It’s the shape and color of the creation they envisioned, but it’s become HOLLOW at its core. What once was no longer exists, as it’s been AMENDED and changed throughout the years. What it will BE… that is ours to decide.

That’s the genius behind its design.

Yes, we can resort to REVOLUTION as our Founders once did. They witnessed the toll that comes from War, they lived the life of fighting city-by-city. Today, some have called for such a War, and I say… let them TALK. Let them SPEAK, so we can hear exactly what they have to say.

And then we will ask them, ‘After that war… what THEN? What would be NEXT? Who would LEAD such a war?’

And who do you suppose would WIN, a WAR… against the United States of America? We already know the answer to that question, let our SHARED HISTORY be our guide…

No one would win.

BOTH SIDES would lose, no matter who was declared victorious. It would throw this Nation into chaos, it would upend the economic stability of the entire world… and MILLIONS would die in the first year alone.

This would no longer be the New American Century. Four-score-and-seven years of toil and repentance would be the price… children yet unborn, shouldering the burdens of OUR FAILURES.

878B0EBE-6CF5-43BD-B93C-2BE301639BCF
https://www.ranker.com/list/colorized-photos-us-civil-war/kellen-perry 

No one wins a Civil War… except those who make bullets and bandages. Haven’t we had enough of that already.

 

For THIS, we march. In defense… against what may come.

 

-JC