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Addiction is a Treatable Disease.

“Good Person, Bad disease.”

That’s how it was explained to me when I sought treatment for alcoholism over ten years ago. The human mind, each as varied and unique as stars in the sky, have the same ability to succumb to disease. When we live in a world that the human mind has created, and imagine now what will be manifest tomorrow, we can forget sometimes, the incredible ability of the human mind to deceive itself.

The treatment of underlying mental problems with a doctor can help bring to an end the problems surrounding the addiction, but as part of successful on going recovery from addiction, knowledge is the strongest medicine anyone can receive. Knowing why one continues to engage in reckless behavior, arms that person with the ability to keep the mind in check.

Treatment of Disease vs. Criminal Offense

By treating a disease as a violation of law, we ask our police and first responders to assume a task, they were NOT interested in pursuing- psychologist. Instead of treating diseases of the mind as they should be, with trained medical professionals and support from others, we arrest people who repeatedly go back to their addictions after “time served” or “sentence fulfilled”. More cops to ‘treat’ more ‘victims’ of an epidemic.

“This Man needs Emergency surgery! I’ll call the Police…”

No! And that’s not who should be taking care of people who are dealing with the disease of substance abuse. Support, education, opportunities, and regular contact with a professional who can advise and prescribe whatever is needed to treat this disease of the mind.

IF we turned our attention to this topic, it would relieve a HUGE amount of stress from the back of law enforcement. It would save lives. BUT we must give those who seek it, the ability to succeed. Addiction cannot be solved in prison, yet criminals can be addicts as well. Let us find the Wisdom to know the difference.

Keep your head UP!!

JC

Saturday

My Saturday usually starts by being kicked out of bed at 0900 when Jessie (my wife) comes home. Sometimes I get lucky and she lets me sleep longer, but being a night shift nurse, her sleep pattern can be easily disrupted. If you’ve worked night shift or lived with someone who has, then you understand. Some days it’s hard to come home after a 13 hour shift and try to sleep as the birds are singing and the sun is burning off the dew.

Matt and Garrett (my sons, 12 and 10 respectively) spend Friday night binging online games with their friends since they can’t play on school nights. So either they wake up super early or sleep in from being up late. Usually they rotate who plays first and trade off who sleeps in on Saturday and Sunday. My wife is a gamer girl, so when she wakes up in the afternoon, she will jump in and play Fallout 4 on xBox as they find something else to pass the time.

And they all deserve the respite. She spend 12 to 13 hours in an ICU setting dealing with children with cardiac issues. Some of the hardest stories you’d ever heard. Some of the hardest stories I wish I’d never heard. So, she likes to destroy DIGITAL ghouls and build settlements and dress the settlers in each community in various themes. One settlement is all formal wear, another is all lab coats, one is dedicated to making donuts.

And the boys, if they make it through a week of school focused and doing what they are supposed to, then they can spend as much time as they want (within reason) learning and executing the various gaming platforms. That’s what they want their profession to be, digital design, et al. Then they are doing both relaxing and educating. Plus, it’s not like it was “back in MY day…” (Oh no… Here we go…) when we played video games for hours on end we were seen as antisocial or reclusive. Now, players are interacting with people from all parts of the globe, team building, executing prepared strategies, and completing various objectives cooperatively!

As Matt points out, “why can’t we play during the week?” Good question…

Yet, me… I don’t get a weekend off. I am “on call” 24/7. I am “Johnny-On-The-Spot” when things need to be done. When someone gets sick, when something comes up, when we need toilet paper, “Come, Captain Greenback. To the Grocery-getter… AWAY!”

The dishes don’t clean themselves on the weekend. (sadly…) The floors still get dog fur all over them on Saturdays. And allergy attacks in the middle of the night still happen on Saturday. Though not as much as when they were younger, they still need ┬ásome assistance. We are lucky to have one parent at home. Not everyone can have that.

And we do it a great cost. No doubt. It is hard to make ends meet, let alone get above water with one person at home. It can lead to some heated arguments about money. It’s not easy, for a guy, to be a “housewife” in our society. It is becoming more acceptable. But the stereotypes persist. It can take a toll on a person mentally. It demands self sacrifice that not everyone knows. My needs have to be the needs of the family. Even if my needs are the most important focus of the day, I cannot plan on anything concrete, because I can be called to pick up a kid with a fever from school, asked to get snacks for an ICU full of nurses that someone forgot that it was today and needs it in 2 hours before she has to go to work.

And all of that can be upended by the weather. It is Springtime in Kansas. No one here doubts for a second that, at any time, the sky could decide your game is over. It ads a bit of urgency to your day when black clouds roll off the prairie. It forces a person to take note of what matters most. And to work toward protecting that as best as you can.

As my wife and I struggle to keep it together, financially, as we put so much time, money, and effort into making our house a “net zero” house, with self sufficiency and climate change preparedness our priority, doing the “right” thing over the “wanted” thing is hard. As I sit here writing, and hear a “baby boomer” roar down the street on Harley-Davidson, I wonder if I should have not spent money on the granite we put on the outside of our home, the R30 insulation in the walls and attic, and the wind turbines I still need to install.

All of my time, effort, and money is invested in a future outcome. Gambling, in a sence. With such high stakes, I hope I get it right. Granite’s not as fun to ride as is a Harley-Davidson! It will last a bit longer, though.

Keep your head UP!!

Stand, Before That Right is Taken Away.

Yesterday, I lost my ability to use Twitter. I was shocked. Not exactly sure why, have not been contacted by anyone. But I understand that it is not a platform I can use when I choose. I am ALLOWED to use it as SOMEONE ELSE chooses. I believed that was the case when I started, and as I have spoken out, I have noticed certain “glitches in the Matrix”, that show there are ‘eyes’. THAT IS ONE POINT OF MY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

1.) Can this be done?

2.) IF this CAN be done, WHO CAN DO THIS?

3.) WHO IS THE GATEKEEPER?

3a.) who SHOULD be the gatekeeper?

VIRTUAL IDENTIFICATION

…is a brand new idea, and our digital lives are a REAL thing that will exist, potentially, forever. We are ALL currently engaged in a World War. It has been discussed in vague terms, veiled in ‘virtual’ and ‘in-essence’ descriptors, but no one has addressed HOW this fight is fought.

IF we are ALL the SOLIDERS, SHOULDN’T WE BE ARMED??

And, as an ALLEGORICAL call to arms, this is so unreal. The answer is simple-

EDUCATE. FIGHT THE TROLLS. Critical thought. Honest open debate shows where BAD ACTORS hide. As Citizens, we know other citizens. The cracks in the digital warfront lie in the inability of our enemies to BE in an American Community. To be living and socializing, and interacting, and contributing, and KNOWING what’s going on, on a daily basis, SHOWS clearly when people are not afraid to discuss hard subject matters.

Knowing we are SUPPORTED and ENCOURAGED to contribute to the NATIONAL CONVERSATION, whether our ideas are deemed ridiculous or genius, is necessary. Be CONFIDENT… I want to hear the TROLLS loud and clear! So I know where I can stand on firm ground, next to people from the home of the free.

I am hopeful I will be allowed do this. If so, who do I have to thank? Hmmm… I think I like that. I’ll leave it right there.

Keep your head UP!!

JC

 

So Here I Sit…

fbtwitter

Facebook closed my account in the first three days of starting it. (back in February)

Today, Twitter says something is “technically wrong”… but Twitter is up.

I guess every Presidential campaign has it’s setbacks. Some are huge. Some are bumps in the road. Overcoming obstacles shows what a person is made of. HOW that happens displays either courage or incompetence. How someone reacts can show what their motivations truly are. It can also stand as a ‘great filter’ of sorts. Keeping elements segregated. Sorting the wheat from the chafe.

At this moment, I feel scared. Yes, for my Presidential chances, obviously. But I fear more for the future of the First Amendment. IS it an illusion? When one acts in ‘good faith’, with pure motives, OPEN and HONEST, and not be allowed to voice their opinion, to be debated in an open and honest manner, do we really have freedom to speak? I cannot even find out what or why, as both Facebook and Twitter have not contacted me further.

“You can do it your own way, If it’s done just how I say.” -Metallica

keep your head up.

Leadership

I have to teach my 12 year old son about leadership. This will be either a good conversation, or a head butting contest. Knowing my son…

He is playing Fortnite: Battle Royale and has becomes focused on the win. He has developed decent leadership skills, but is becoming a bit overbearing. He seems too focused on the win. I’ve got to figure how to tell him to focus on “the assist” as hard as he does “the win”.

Now, I’m NOT a military strategist. I AM an Eagle Scout. And I have been part of successful teams. The biggest lesson I have learned from that experience:

Don’t go into business with family or friends. It will destroy that relationship. Every time.

I would say, being from Kansas, in recent years our State has been home to quite a few good leaders. The one that I gained the most from watching was Roy Williams, coach of the KU Jayhawks. His strategy was quite simple: fundamentals, deep bench, every one touches the ball before it goes in, everyone wins. When everyone’s talent is being utilized to its fullest potential, no one can stop you. Focus hard on getting the ball into the RIGHT person’s hands at the RIGHT time, and it’s bank! Nothin’ but net.

So, it went well. He is very perceptive and open to criticism. Unlike me, when I was his age (or like his little brother… grrrr… he and I are too much alike) I was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to sound advice. Or, I would think I knew better and do as I thought best.

I can’t tell you how many times I have said in the back of my mind “Damn, Dad. Why didn’t I listen?” I know someday that will be the case with my kids. I guess that’s how it goes.

Keep your head UP!!

JC

 

Campaign Update: Gaining Momentum.

I wanted to thank the people who have subbed my wordpress site and the people who follow me on Twitter @MrJLCharbonneau. In a world where the power of words and their usage has been compressed into a couple sentences, it gives me hope that THIS method of communication has reached the most people directly so far. I hoped the YouTube videos on the Hastert Rule and the Electoral College would have seen more traffic, but it’s not going away.

As I have engaged with people, I have found quite a few conservative supporters. As shocked as I was at first, it really is not so suprising. After all, I am from Kansas. I am a former Southern Baptist Christian. I own guns. I live in a socially conservative community. Even though Wyandotte county is one of two blue dots in this sea of red, I pass more church steeples than family planning centers on my way home.

As the political spectrum has polarized, portrayed as a widening gap tearing at our social cohesion, a funny thing happened. I first noticed it during the TARP debates in 2008/2009. As the Senate was debating a bank bailout of trillions of dollars, Senator Sam Brownback argued in opposition. Why should we bailout these institutions who gambled away all that money? Let the free market decide winners and losers.

Suddenly, I was APPAULD to find myself thinking “Hey, that Sam Brownback has some good ideas.”

I am a liberal. I describe myself politically as so liberal I make Keith Olbermann look like Rush Limabugh. Jokingly, of course! But, I realized in ’08 that as our views polarize, we find ourselves uniting again. We all walk a different political direction, sometimes wandering in the dark with fools and magicians leading us, but we come back to the same problems. Seeking answers, to problems we all face. Wasting all that time looking, when our answers were all the same, as well as the problems.

Common decency needs to be displayed in real life more. An appreciation of others’ points of view and a genuine desire to show you care… just a bit. Not sayin’ go hug a stranger. I’m not gonna do that. (People are weird… have you met some of them? YIKES!) But a positive outlook can go far. Until you realize your being trolled, then it’s gloves off.

So, right now I have 11 followers on Twitter and 6 or 7 here on WordPress. Hey, not a bad first couple months. And have raised… let me see… $0.00 with no Patreon patrons. Cool. I am not worried yet about this. It’s early. I don’t think I should worry until 2020. At that point, if no funding rolls in I will re-evaluate and see what options exist. I would like to say I could do this with no funds, but that’s how you get the exposure. Get the word out. If I could recruit 1,000 volunteers, some from every State, territory, and DC, then maybe… still, I doubt it would fly.

For Now, I will be satisfied yelling political obscenities at senators and representatives. Hoping to start a conflagration in the collective mind of Our country. Maybe there is just enough oxygen in the ether to whip up a fire big enough to turn our country’s leadership back to gold.

keep your head UP!!

JC

“…follow the Bouncing Ball…”

Its dizzying to watch. The morning news programs. They have opinion writers and former staff from the Ghosts-of-Presidents-Past, speaking about events unfolding in real time, in many cases the events unfolding were set in motion years earlier by that commentator’s sphere of influence, ‘what-I-woulda’ve’ and ‘if’n-it-were-me’ to the edge of confusion some mornings.

To the EDGE of confusion. And as it was designed. Consider this-

memo_redacted

Yes… to the Edge of confusion!! Not quite confusion, per se. Just… enough to make MOST of the people tune out. But, not so much as to incriminate themselves. Because, the PEOPLE are watching. SOME of them GET it. SOME of them have been paying attention JUST enough.

Muddy the waters. It is obvious by watching current Congressmen speak about CLASSIFIED INTEL, that there is something the public is NOT even SLIGHTLY aware of. To what that is, I can only speculate. But, being a data nerd/ open source researcher, I feel I have an understanding about some current events that covers a wider spectrum than most people.

And as I watch these people, talking heads and political legislators, dancing about, trying to avoid a phrase (not because of being ‘blue’) or stopping a reference mid sentence, then other legislators on that discussion panel, from FORMER ADMINISTRATIONS, laugh oddly loud… in such a way, that upon reflection… shows that there is an insider joke, and MOST people are not even aware the ‘setup’ exists!

In Congress, they inform us with redacted memos. IF they inform us, they inform us with partisan conclusions, drawn from the same set of CLASSIFIED facts. CONCLUSIONS drawn based on the idea some of these CLASSIFIED FACTS will not see the light of day for 100 years. As someone once said… “Alternative facts”.

So, now to report on this divisive, engulfed, partisan divide is Hill Reporter totally-not-dependent-on-viewer-retention-and-name-recognition. “Opposing views on Capitol Hill make people mad. Too bad! Smile…”. “Tonight. Your info is SOLD on Facebook. Should you KNOW? Follow me and give a thumbs up if you agree…”

As these old world titans stand crumbling and reinventing, they have attempted to ensure their survival as news institutions by selling their ‘souls’. Eliminating diversity in order to become financially sleek. Cutting the fat meant removing the free and open aspect of journalism. Competition produces the best product. FAIR and REGULATED open competition.

What’s my point…

Our legislative body’s leaders’ agenda is successful if a.) Republicans stay in power AND/OR b.) no Congressional bills can move forward. It is a WIN either way for people who want to see the government constricted. All of this is being covered by mega media titans, in some cases less than 10 companies deliver %100 of news and information to the People, attempting to ensure the funding still rolls in…

All of them FUNDED by the same companies who don’t pay taxes. Sorry, to be fair, most pay an amount of tax money. I pay in the neighborhood of %25, where as companies making 10 digits a year pay less than %5 due to income tax deductions, charities, Federal Tax relief to stimulate job growth, loss write-offs… If I had extra cash, I could possibly afford an accountant or a lobbyist…. sigh.

At the end of it all, they are framing a debate ABOUT the facts. Not framing the debate WITH the facts. If we allow them to tell us what they want to tell us, THIS will not go away. If we choose to move forward, UNITED, we must wash away the ‘original sin’. This entire debate structure is designed to divide. Anger is where we are. EVERY decision has led us to THIS SPOT. Each path has been followed. Each road gained experience and moved us closer. But trying the same tactics tried before will get us more of the same, for US and the FUTURE.

In 2016, we elected the guy who said “Let’s burn this place to the ground!” We all felt “Yes! Metaphorically speaking, hell yeah!!!” Well, some of us realized that he might just do it IRL. Now that the match has been struck, many who felt this WAS a good idea are having second thoughts.

There has to be a better way.

Keep your head UP!!