On the Subject of Equality

The following letter sent to the Archivist of the United States from the United States Senate, and signed by Senators Portman, Romney, and Johnson, moved me to add my own voice to the discussion.

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https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2022-02-08%20Letter%20to%20Archivist%20re%20ERA.pdf?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=de6ac831-0170-4b20-be6c-4cd4075a2e1b

It remains my opinion that EQUALITY has no time limit, and the Will of The People should always reign supreme.

Below is a copy of the email I sent to the archivist this evening, outlining why I believe the Equal Rights Amendment should be added to the Constitution.

To: The Honorable David Ferriero
Archivist of the United States
National Archives and Records Administration 8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740

Dear sir,

I am writing in regard to the letter sent from the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security, dated February 8, 2022, and singed by Senators Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Johnson, addressing their concerns about the 28th Amendment and the “… calls for you to disregard your duty and certify the ERA.”

There are few things in this world that are more important than doing one’s duty.

Upholding the Will of The People and defending the Rule of Law, even in the face of overwhelming pressure, is quite honorable indeed. Even when holding that position stands opposed to the opinions of many others, integrity must always be maintained. In a land based on precedent, our actions today will impact generations to come. There can be no doubt, some future case will be presented in an attempt to challenge the validity of a future amendment, and this situation will be referenced. Whether that amendment has already been ratified or not… so long as there is a Constitution left to amend.

It doesn’t take a Constitutional Scholar to see— there’s not a whole lot of legal precedent on the subject of Constitutional Amendments. Each and every case is important in its own right, and the Equal Rights Amendment is no exception.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject, either reasons why the amendment is dead or why it should now be added to the Constitution, but there seems to be one fact that overrides them all— The People have spoken. The requirements have been met. That’s indisputable. Well… if there is a dispute, precedent shows us how disputed amendments can be resolved. There is no precedent allowing for a judicial override of the amendment process, and I say for good reason. Look no further than the example set by the State Supreme Courts.

Setting that precedent for amendments to the United States Constitution would introduce partisanship into the ratification process and it would allow for judicial review of any amendment before passage, especially if a partisan actor were ever appointed to your office. It would forever change the amendment process.

As I said, I’m no legal expert. Just a guy with an opinion. But, I am a Citizen who still hopes that one day, this Nation will pursue the amendment process with great vigor in order to bring about some much needed changes. As it currently stands, that process is already fraught with many obstacles. Whatever your decision will be, I pray you consider what precedents your actions will create… and always err on the side of The People. May their Will guide us all.

Thank you for your dedication and adherence to the Constitution, and good luck to you in whatever path you choose in your retirement.

Sincerely,

JC

Everything in its Right Place

I lean to the LEFT on just about all of my positions… but because I lean so far left, I sometimes come out on the far side of the RIGHT. When our political divisions are charted out, there seems to be a segment of the far right that finds common ground in the messaging of Bernie Sanders; and there’s a segment of the far left that supports a “Law and Order” message, like that of Donald Trump.

Instead of a line graph, where the x and y coordinates neatly sort out our political differences… we find overlap. We are not as divided as they make us out to be.

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https://buckinghamhsiao.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/the-tai-chi-diagram-yin-yang-symbol/fig-3-river-diagram-of-the-spontaneous-process-of-heaven-and-earth-from-zhao-huiqian-liu-shu-ben-yi-1751-wenyange-edition-louis-fig-12/

When I analyze my positions, I can see common ground with those who would carry the Gadsden Flag. Liberty proves Justice… while Justice merely wishes it were Liberty.

These are observations, drawn from what’s PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. I make my conclusions based upon what I know to be TRUE and then evaluate what will come NEXT… and I do this in the SUNLIGHT.

Available for everyone to see. Be they citizens of this Nation or citizens of another. Be they elected officials of this land or somewhere else… be they FRIEND or FOE.

If I’ve drawn these conclusions… what conclusions have they made? What’s their evaluation of the current state of Our Union.

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Joe Manchin is a SMART GUY; he knows there is no I in TEAM. But I’d say, it’s clear to all of us… he can definitely see the word ME in it.

This isn’t about supporting or ending the filibuster. This isn’t about a Senator taking a principled stand against the leadership of his own party.

This is about MONEY.

Joe Manchin is doing what his DONORS want him to do… and they support the ENTIRE PARTY. And LO and BEHOLD! Wouldn’t you know it… that happens to be the position of the OTHER PARTY, too.

I wonder who foots their bills?

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https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01

… 

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https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/586034-will-or-should-kamala-harris-become-the-spiro-agnew-of-2022

Now, to be clear, I don’t believe this B.S. for one second… until I stop and think about it. What if that were me? What would I do if I had to be productive in such a toxic work environment, constantly looked down upon as inadequate or somehow lacking…

I would resign. I would want what’s best for my PARTY, my PRESIDENT, and my COUNTRY. Joe Manchin should consider doing the SAME concerning his status as a Democrat, and the leadership of the Democratic National Committee should demand it from him.

But I’m sure that won’t happen, just as it is within the REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Ted Cruz said he wouldn’t be a servile puppy for Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell believes Donald Trump should be held criminally responsible for his role in the events of January 6th. Lindsay Graham said he was done with Donald Trump… yet they ALL fall in line.

What does this say about the LEADERSHIP of the TWO PARTIES? One side is UNITED in their aggressive agenda of total INACTION, while the OTHER is unable to unite behind the agenda of the LEADER of their Party- THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Joe Manchin can find ANOTHER JOB. Joe Manchin can hop on his BOAT and sail off to CANADA while our Democracy dies… and he’ll have plenty of cash-on-hand to do all that, thanks to his DONORS.

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https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01

HE can’t explain it to the folks back home. HE has done everything HE can do. HE can’t see himself voting for it. HE has a problem…

Over 80 million Americans voted for this agenda in 2020. 

 

Q: If this is HIS opinion, why does the Democratic Party remain SILENT? Why is he allowed to do this with no consequences from Party Leadership?

A: Because they can’t continue to “do the right thing” if they can’t get RE-ELECTED… and they need more MONEY in order to do that.

 

Their SILENCE, bought and paid for by organizations and individuals who stand to lose money if these bills pass… BILLIONS of dollars! They save BILLIONS every year by investing just TENS of MILLIONS of dollars in EVERY political campaign. Thereby assuring their influence in the legislative process… no matter who is elected.

And now, as the storm clouds darken our skies. My Fellow Americans, I ask you… what are their intentions? What should be OURS.

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We may not be able to change the DESTINATION… we may have no control over what SHAPE it will create; but we have the ability to CHOOSE what part we will play, what position we will ultimately take. Though we have not yet made that decision… and in some cases the choices haven’t even been presented… one day, that choice must be made.

It may be heavy. It may be unpleasant and even downright disturbing… but we will not be the FIRST, and we will certainly not be the LAST.

And it doesn’t even need to be that difficult, it’s being made out to be harder than it actually is. It will only require that every one of us participates… more HANDS will lighten the LOAD.

We’ve now seen with our own eyes what the problem is and where the problem lies. If we take this moment and UNITE in common cause, we can begin a Restoration of Our Democracy. To remove what is clearly rotten and make things as they should be. To ensure INTEGRITY is found behind those walls… no matter who is chosen by THE PEOPLE to reside there.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/upshot/harry-trumans-home-improvement.html 

Within a defined physical framework, with an impartial, finite application of the rules… the outcome of the experiment should be the SAME. Predictable. A FACT. Demonstrated consistently, time and again.

That is, unless there is an OUTSIDE INFLUENCE on the system. A tilt. A jolt. A finger on the scale, and the result appears skewed as nothing falls into place.

Because of the reliability of the experiment itself, we can SEE what has occurred. A shift to the LEFT or a shift to the RIGHT and we can see exactly what the problem is… and we know exactly how to SOLVE IT.

It’s written at the TOP of this page. 

The chaos. The division. The inaction. All of it disappears when we FOCUS on the problem. We just need to STOP, catch our breath, and start it again at the upper left-hand corner… as my high school band director would say.

All together now… as ONE

 

-JC 

 

The Liberty to Choose

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Schrodinger proposed the thought experiment to show how absurd the idea of a state of superposition could be.

One century later, we now understand that absurdity to be part of the underlying foundation of our physical reality.

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7994956B-126D-4DAC-B327-4AED5BE31F91https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrödinger%27s_cat 

 

In every instance I can think of, the SANCTITY and VALUE of a potential human LIFE isn’t belittled or devalued. It’s central to the entire situation… that potential life is the reason these decisions are so significant.

What seems to get lost in the shuffle is the loss of LIFE that comes when a woman is forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy.

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Taking away a woman’s right to choose doesn’t protect the rights of potential life, it only takes away the rights of women who are alive TODAY. The search for an arbitrary determinative length of TIME shows us… instead of listening to the facts, the goal is to restrict access by shortening the length of time as much as possible.

Disregarding the rights of the women at the heart of these situations… and the person at the heart of these situations isn’t always a WOMAN.

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www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/opinion/abortion-texas-mississippi-rape.html

Separate is inherently unequal. That was the determination that made change necessary. Protecting EQUAL ACCESS is what the Court chose, as it should. One person’s rights should not supersede the rights of another. They should be weighed EQUALLY.

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Women are people TOO… that must be dealt with.

There is LIFE within the womb… carried by a HUMAN BEING with certain unalienable rights. They cannot be overlooked. The argument can seem somewhat civil if it’s involving consenting, legal adults… but that isn’t always the case. In many cases there’s more than ONE CHILD involved.

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Who will speak for them?

 

Which child will we protect when it’s YOUR daughter who is made to carry… something which they have no idea about how it was even created. By someone whom they TRUSTED. Who kept them in the dark. Intentionally. For MONTHS, if not YEARS.

How is it their fault? Why should they be made to suffer? Why is their pain somehow less than any other’s…

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There is no doubt as to when LIFE begins. It should be protected and cherished from the moment it starts.

The decision as to when that life will become a CHILD should be made by a woman in-consultation with her DOCTOR. And even then, women should be in control. Until a woman makes the decision to become a MOTHER, she is a person seeking medical care.

Women make the determinative observation. It’s HER BODY. HER FUTURE. HER CHOICE. Without her… there is NO LIFE.

We must empower women and girls with every tool at our disposal, to ensure they are successful in whatever they CHOOSE. 

 

-JC

The Problem is Systemic… and it Must Change.

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

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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/more-bubbas-no-black-pastors-attorney-man-accused-killing-arbery-n1284089

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/03/us/ahmaud-arbery-jury-what-we-know/index.html

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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?

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/18/nyregion/christopher-belter-rape-sentence.html

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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.

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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