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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. Our Right to Bear Arms

Every Now and Again

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Speaker Ryan had it down to a science.

 

 

… but that was BEFORE 2016.

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

That is a losing strategy.

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

(Quotes are from the article above)

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

What happens in FOUR MORE YEARS.

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

US DOJ- Number of employees: 113,114

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

If not for OURSELVES… then for our CHILDREN.

 

JC

 

 

Penny For Your Thoughts

I think I’d rather see a system where someone is able to receive MORE than they should, than a system where someone who is DESERVING of assistance is denied. In time… say, two years down the road when investigations uncover wrong doing, it’s easier to recoup losses from someone who took advantage of the system, than it is for us to say to the family of FOUR with NO income:

“Hey… remember that time two years ago, when the head-of-household for your family LOST their job and you were DENIED assistance? Yeah, sorry about that! But here’s a check for all the irreparable damage that caused… unnecessarily.”

I would feel MUCH better knowing everyone who needs it, regardless of race color or creed, has an equal shot at receiving HELP. Rich or Poor, Christian or Atheist… trials and tribulation come to us ALL, and as a GOOD and CHARITABLE nation, we should ALWAYS lend a hand. Because it’s in the BEST INTEREST of the nation-at-large when everyone succeeds. When the community is successful, more individuals can be successful, each dependent upon the OTHER for their continued prosperity…

Some people might even go so far as to suggest that their relationship COULD be classified as symbiotic… but that wouldn’t have been very much fun now, would it?

 

 

gerrymandering_2It seems to me, the GOP has created the situation they find themselves in today. While BOTH PARTIES have used redistricting in an attempt to secure a political advantage, the Republican Leadership has perfected it. They’ve maximized possible political gain by manipulating the districts through gerrymandering. Now, after DECADES of planning and effort, they’ve managed to reach “critical mass”. By creating Ultra-Conservative districts that will reliably elect Republicans every election, the only thing an incumbent running for re-election has to worry about is a PRIMARY CHALLENGE from within the PARTY.

 

Political purity now prevails over ALL OTHERS.

 

The Ultra-Conservative districts have been more than happy to allow this to continue because their districts are often very wealthy, and communities benefit from the TAX REVENUE generated from those large, wealthy, conservative communities… and making sure that Ultra-Conservative Representative gets re-elected for their FOURTH or FIFTH TERM?

“Well now… that just seems to be in EVERYONE’S interest! At least, everyone from around HERE, wouldn’t YOU say?” (… wink.)

 

As in government, so too in business.

 

Successful businesses MAKE MONEY… year over year, strength is seen in PROFITS. Higher profits, higher STOCK VALUE, more equity, more BUYING POWER. FLAT numbers create doubt. FALLING numbers create JOB OPENINGS. From this point of view ALONE, it’s understandable why businesses hesitate to SPEND MORE MONEY on quality health coverage for employees, or updating equipment to ensure a SAFE working environment, or hiring more people to ensure compliance with federally mandated rules and regulations, inspections, etc. The BOTTOM LINE becomes more important than the PEOPLE who contributed to the success.

 

“What makes YOU so special? There’s TWENTY OTHER PEOPLE who’d love to have YOUR job. You know… you don’t HAVE to work here.”

 

Thereby forcing you into compliance with ___________. Whatever fills in that BLANK. Your financial security becomes their LEVERAGE over ALL of us.

The business sector is starting to get WISE to the situation, though. They’re realizing it does no one any good to continue to devastate the poor and middle classes by paying them a wage that’s BELOW the current standard of living, by NOT offering affordable health care coverage, by NOT paying women EQUAL PAY. Even billionaires like Tom Steyer say they need to be taxed more for the benefit of the nation.

If no one makes enough money to SPEND, then there’s nothing the private sector can DO… starting the cycle down its very predictable path once again. Threatening both businesses AND individuals alike with recession. Sadly, most people aren’t blessed with a GOLDEN PARACHUTE.

Doing the right thing should NOT financially burden businesses. BUT, it is obvious that if we force upon the country a new, legally required, LARGE EXPENSE that was not present BEFORE, our economy would surely contract.

 

You have to SPEND money in order to MAKE money.

 

More people with more money in their pockets means MORE DEMAND… GROWTH. Ensuring WOMEN HAVE EQUAL PAY will expand the economy. Therefore, the Federal Government should initially ASSIST the private sector financially. This will ensure businesses don’t have to make a choice between doing what’s right or making a profit.

Our government should be the referee between CONSUMERS and PRODUCERS who’s interests are best served when BOTH SIDES are strong, stable, and SECURE. When ONE SIDE is far superior to the OTHER, it creates IMBALANCE. It should be the role of the United States Government to anticipate these imbalances and ACT before they occur.

 

 

 

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Ensuring SAFETY and SECURITY is vital to our nation’s existence. RIGHT NOW, a lack of personal accountability and mandated safety and security is causing carnage in the form of mass shootings in EVERY STATE, without regard for political affiliations. The Federal Government will NOT be coming to take your guns away because it is REQUIRED of the United States Government to ensure that right continues to EXIST…

So long as THE PEOPLE say it should.

Recklessness and irresponsibility puts our Rights in jeopardy. NO BLAME lies solely with ONE group or entity. NO BLAME lies solely with gun owners. NO BLAME lies solely with gun manufacturers. As well, NO BLAME lies SOLELY with our current legislators, because this problem has been brewing for GENERATIONS. Right now, BLAME only matters if it will help us SOLVE THIS PROBLEM and SAVE LIVES, and at the same time ensure our National Security.

We allowed it to get out of hand because we were LIED TO. We were lulled into a false sense of security about the intentions of the people and entities to which we’ve surrendered the defense of our RIGHTS. They made us believe that GUN MANUFACTURERS and GUN LOBBYING ORGANIZATIONS have the SAME VALUES as American CITIZENS. Individuals… PEOPLE.

Gun manufacturers don’t go to jail for MURDER, but they DO profit from it though… that and ENDLESS WAR. There must be a CLEAR LINE between PRODUCER and CONSUMER, and a CLEAR set of laws specifically designed to hold BOTH SIDES accountable for their actions or inactions… that requires LEGISLATIVE ACTION.

Law and Order. THESE are the tools we use to ensure our security. There’s a reason the Framers wrote that a WELL REGULATED militia is essential to the security of a FREE STATE. They could have simply stated the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, but they knew warfare would advance the methods mankind would employ to secure a strategic military advantage. They also knew our nation would need to defend itself.

These two thoughts are within the SAME SENTANCE.

To overlook ONE HALF in order to argue in support of the OTHER HALF makes no sense, and the discussion that comes from this misguided argument gives rise to a lack of accountability that is killing our CHILDREN. Before this session of Congress, the House had NOT held a hearing on gun violence in 10 YEARS.

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The problems we face are not simply BLACK OR WHITE. We can have BOTH safety AND security. We do not have to sacrifice ONE for the OTHER. The influence of DARK MONEY in our system has given rise to legislators that are BEHOLDEN to MONEY that comes from entities that prefer LESS REGULATION, thereby creating legislators who prefer the same. We need leaders who are not in the pocket of gun lobbies and will say NO to their MONEY.

 

 

That requires LEADERSHIP to do it right. That will require a selfless devotion to TRUTH, an unbreakable WILL, and a dedication to doing WHAT’S RIGHT instinctually.

 

 

I know now… that SEED has always been there, just as it is within EVERY American. I suppose all that was necessary for it to TAKE ROOT was a sufficient amount of FERTILIZER. It’s AMAZING what you can get to GROW out here in KANSAS!

 

JC