50/50

 

That was the vote in the Virginia House of Delegates on February 21, 2019, on a proposed rule change that would have forced a vote on ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment…

… it failed.

 

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Kirk Cox, FRM Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates

A bill supported by over 80% of the people of Virginia. It would have PASSED had a vote been allowed… but it wasn’t even allowed out of committee.

 

ONE YEAR LATER, after the delegates were held accountable at the ballot box for their INACTION in the legislature, Virginia voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, thereby meeting the Constitutionally required threshold of 38 States.

 

 

Just last month, the United States House of Representatives voted to clear the way for final ratification by removing the original deadline, and now…

 

ONE MAN, in the United States Senate stands OPPOSED.

 

 

While it was shocking to see the Virginia Speaker of the House deny equality to more than HALF of his constituents, it was even more shocking to see the Democratic Presidential Candidates stand SILENT as it played out. FIVE WOMEN. 37 States. Only one more to go…

What a lost opportunity to educate the public… about Equality and the legislative process. About Income Inequality and Economic Disadvantage.

A lost opportunity to bring us closer to that more perfect Union.

 

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“ERA bill dies for good…” -Washington Post (02/21/2019)

 

I have NO DOUBT that if the Democratic Women running for President would have stood on the steps of the Virginia Statehouse in solidarity with the ERA activists, they would have swayed ONE MORE VOTE. With the national media bringing SUNLIGHT to the situation, we would now be standing one year CLOSER to equality.

 

Then again… we would STILL be standing right HERE, no closer than we are TODAY.

 

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate does NOT support equality.

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate stands OPPOSED to the MAJORITY of this nation.

The Senate Majority Leader is opposed to the Rule of Law, as conceived by the Founders of this nation, and will not move to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

38 of the 50 States… 76% of this nation now DEMANDS it.

It does not matter his rationale, the PEOPLE have spoken.
Equality should be the Law of this land.

The Senate must Ratify the ERA.

 

When storms rage, you cannot simply seek SAFE HARBOR, as your ship will be smashed upon the shore. You must sail headlong into the winds and face it, with full faith in the strength of your ship & its crew… and press ONWARD. Even if that means just treading water, because the alternative

… well, the alternative is no alternative at ALL.

 

In years past, leaders have spoken of the ‘Fog of War’. In this digital era with the adversary we are engaged with, the entire WAR is FOG. There is no battle. There are no physical sides being drawn.

When we forget who we are, and what we STAND for… our enemies win. When we begin to selectively administer Justice and forget that we are ALL created equal, we FALL BACK… being pushed closer to the rocky shores of our PAST.

 

We know where we have BEEN. We must remember where we are GOING.

 

Well-trodden paths are safe and familiar, but they will only lead us to where we’ve been… back to where we are TODAY. Even in the dark of night, even in the deepest fog… we know our path is TRUE when we listen to our moral compass, as it always points us HOME.

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Screenshot (90)We cannot allow ourselves to be complacent. We must fight to hold on to what we’ve already secured. The Constitution outlines a process for RATIFYING Amendments to the Constitution, it does NOT outline a process where ONE MAN can override the overwhelming majority of the PEOPLE.

Anyone who stands opposed to the opinion of 76% of this nation, should not be referred to as Majority Leader… and this fall, the PEOPLE will show him that.

Equal. MUST. Mean. Equal… or we will lose this fight before it’s even begun.

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Charbonneau 2020: Political Revolution

It was just my initial idea… I didn’t know Bernie had that phrase actually IN his campaign title. I thought it was just his way of expressing what he was trying to do.

I’ve always anticipated that it might be necessary to change it someday if Senator Sanders requested, but so far it has not come up. In a recent interview, he actually said that his organization really isn’t so much a “revolution” as it is a “movement”…

 

Well, that’s a bit disappointing. Change doesn’t often come from Political Upsettedness.

 

Then again, how can an insider, a United States Senator, command a revolution? From within the Legislative Body that has given rise to the anger and frustration fueling calls for change. I’m reminded of the hijacking of the Tea Party movement in 2010. Any large, sustained, organized group that shows promise always seems to be infiltrated by institutional agendas, watered down by individuals who sympathize with incumbent legislators… and their DONORS.

Or, as was the case with the Occupy Wall St. movement… pass a few laws and all of a sudden, Out of SIGHT is out of MIND. ‘Can’t have all these protesters out on the streets… we’ve got ELECTIONS to FUND!’

 

I am amazed at the depth of the depravity the President expresses… in his Tweets, in his dismissal of Constitutional Norms, in his refusal to follow the Rule of Law… this cannot become the New Normal for a President. It has to change. I have NO DOUBT, it WILL change.

Cut through ALL of the rhetoric and political posturing, and get to the CORE of it… no American wants to see our Commander-in-Chief become known to the rest of the world as just a Carnival Barker, taking anyone who will listen for a RIDE.

How do we maintain PEACE with someone like THAT? How do we sustain PROSPERITY for ourselves, and foster other nations who seek the same for themselves, with a transactional leader like THIS?

Institutional, transactional legislators… did you see it?! When the call came, like good little soldiers they all fell in line. Just like the Republicans have done. The stage has now been set for an Electoral Showdown between two entrenched and established Political Titans. BILLIONS will be spent to determine a winner… and THEN the people will pick from whomever is left. Who will win…?

 

Party Politics, in a LANDSLIDE. And who will lead them… the best FUNDRAISER.

 

Revolution is born out of NEED. A hunger. Fueled by a steady course of events, witnessed by generations of individuals who have seen the decay.

Who have felt the pain. Who have LIVED it… not LEGISLATED it.

 

 

What should our government LOOK like?

What do we want our government to BE?

It should be representative of the PEOPLE from whom it receives its authority to govern. Right now, legislators do just that… Government by the DONOR. Not bad work if you can get it.

 

TWICE now, in 20 years, we have witnessed a breakdown in our Election System. We stand poised on the verge of a THIRD. This Revolution is not one led by a disgruntled old man with a chip on his shoulder, it is ELEVATED in status because of the ideals at its core. Ideals that empower THE PEOPLE, by ensuring EVERY CITIZEN is included and EVERY VOICE is heard.

 

More Participation = Better Governance

 

The current struggle between the GOP and the Democratic Party reminds me of a fight between siblings, fought with an anger and passion reserved only for FAMILY. Blinded by ego, they tear into each other screaming- “It’s MINE!”, “No, it’s MINE!”

Yes, you’re BOTH right… It’s OURS. It’s for ALL of us.

Why are you fighting? It’s for all of us to SHARE.

 

“… with Liberty and Justice for ALL.”

 

It doesn’t get much clearer than THAT! That is the pledge that I have made, and that is the cause for which I fight. When you defend the Rights of others, you defend those Rights for yourself.

Our Democracy is secure when every citizen is guaranteed access to the ballot. We ensure it is so when all candidates for office are funded by THE TAX PAYERS and not special interests.

 

This Revolution started when it was declared that ALL Mankind is created EQUAL. We must HONOR those brave men by reaffirming our commitment to their ideals, by amending the parts they got WRONG… as they so wisely knew they would.

 

ONE CITIZEN= ONE VOTE

 

We must End the Electoral College.

 

JC

Vigilance

I’ll admit it… I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I am smart enough to know when I am wrong… and, I want to ensure I don’t act a FOOL in the future! So I make sure I learn all I can, about what led to that mistake and why I made the decision I did…

So it won’t happen again.

 

From a policy standpoint, I did not care much for the George W. Bush Administration. But he did have ONE redeeming quality: he established task forces and inquiries to gather knowledge AFTER he made his mistakes. Not for HIS benefit, but for the benefit of future Administrations… for the benefit of ALL Americans.

Through the actions taken by past Administrations, we have studied and trained for events like the current spread of the Novel Coronavirus, and communities in every State have benefited from the resources we’ve developed. Emergency Preparedness plans, data collection and information sharing, first responder training, community outreach and education efforts… all of these tools STILL EXIST, entrusted in the hands of THE STATES.

Because that is a VITAL part of our nation’s success… because the Framers of Our Constitution knew what could come.

 

This is NOT a test, THIS is the moment we have been preparing for. The History of Humanity is plagued with challenges, and yes… this moment may try to leave its mark upon us on that scale. But this is not the time for panic. In fact, it’s not necessary… because every one of us is already PREPARED. From the moment we began our training we knew this moment would come, and if not TODAY, we know… someday it WILL. That is WHY we train.

 

Ever vigilant, because we are PREPARED.

 

Why is it that I can see it, yet the current President does NOT? Right now, EVERY American Citizen knows better how to handle the spread of Coronavirus than Donald J. Trump… why is that? It’s not the first time this has happened, and it’s not simply a lack of intelligence:

Puerto Rico. The size and scope of the devastation was apparent immediately. A massive response would be necessary to SAVE LIVES… and instead, the President politically attacked the Mayor of San Juan.

 

California. Higher temperatures and changing weather patterns have fueled some of the most devastating wildfires in the State’s history… and the President PULLS FUNDING from FEMA. Funds designated to help fight those fires. Then he suggests that its all their fault… they should have spent more money on RAKES.

 

 

The Flood of 2019. Farmland across the Midwest was inundated by flooding equal to that of the historic Flood of 1993. Stores of grain housed in silos and million dollar farm equipment, all destroyed by the rising waters…

Donald J. Trump and the GOP acted to kill a Disaster Relief Bill created to help family farmers… MULTIPLE TIMES. The man who lives in a GOLDEN PENTHOUSE could not extend a hand to the people who elected him, while their LIVELYHOOD was drowning under floodwater.

 

 

And now, in this moment, when we should be focused on TESTING every American showing symptoms and gathering more data… the President calls it “a hoax”. A Democrat strategy to take down the President.

 

Instead of a call for ALL Americans to be vigilant and informed, his ACTING Chief of Staff tells people they should turn the TV off for 24 hours.

In a few weeks, TORNADO SEASON starts here in Kansas.

 

Communities WILL be devastated, lives WILL be lost. It is inevitable… how many are lost is up to us RIGHT NOW. If we remain ignorant and TUNE OUT, we will lose MORE LIVES…

 

… needlessly.

 

There is no American who benefits from IGNORANCE or SILENCE. Every American Citizen knows this. No one working in GOOD FAITH would continue to subject themselves to the same institutional failures, over and over again, without making significant changes in their strategy.

Donald Trump knows this.

His STAFF knows this.

The career Public Servants surrounding him know this.

 

Partisan political rhetoric is a TOOL used to secure power in order to enact a particular legislative agenda. Partisan political rhetoric is NOT a legislative agenda.

 

 

What is the FIRST THING any Commander in Chief would do when facing a large scale threat posed by an eminent Natural Disaster?

 

They would declare a National Emergency.

 

This would instantly free up FUNDING for preparedness and it would inject massive amounts of money into the economy… but the President continues to downplay the possible severity of this disease, and publicly provides facts and figures about the situation that are provably FALSE.

These actions do not protect Americans. These actions do not act to reassure a volatile Stock Market. The repeated inaction and errors do not benefit Donald J. Trump this November either… that is, unless the disease remains UNCHECKED. If no one knows the extent of the threat, and the American People are caught off-guard as the disease starts to re-emerge after summer has come and gone…

IF we are not careful and don’t stay FULLY INFORMED, this fall we could see a situation similar to what they have in China RIGHT NOW.

 

How do we run our National Elections if large indoor events are PROHIBITED?

How will we know the facts and figures used to justify such an act are SOUND…

 

… would that even matter to him?

 

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Our future has not yet been written, our fate is not carved in stone. Our ACTIONS will determine our fate… and the choice is always OURS. Whatever the future may bring, we must act with knowledge, preparedness, and COMPASSION. If we are to stand the test of time, we must STAND UNITED.

 

JC

 

“… 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.

 

 

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

 

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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…

 

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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

 

 

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

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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.

 

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

 

 

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“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.

 

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

 

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“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.

 

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“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