We Know We Can Do It Better.

 

I’ve always wondered that myself. If we want to go back to the Moon, we have the BLUEPRINTS to do so! One or two manned missions… knock out a few scientific errands, tie up a few computational loose ends, snap a few selfies, then call it a day.

It almost seems like a wasted opportunity not to do some location scouting, while we work on a machine that can be used as a reliable workhorse for establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon.

 

“It’s the way in which the WORLD has moved on since the engineers first created those F1 engines.”

 

 

Screenshots from the YouTube video

 

Every piece of that machine was HAND CRAFTED, custom fit, built to order. A one-of-a-kind that could not be replicated TODAY… the skills and knowledge of the process, now LOST to the passage of TIME.

 

Still one of the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Still one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of human history. 400,000 people, years of planning and design, trial and error, countless hours manufacturing each part… the Saturn V stands as a testament to the ingenuity of the American People.

 

 

“… because engineers can do just about anything.”

 

f1

 

5,600 individual pieces, hand crafted, precision welded by skilled American Engineers.

Now, with the knowledge gained over half a century, aided by computer assisted design…

 

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… we can build it with only 40 pieces.

 

“It’s sometimes easier to redesign something from SCRATCH, than it is to try and remake the PAST.”

 

… 

 

 

 

 

At some point it becomes detrimental to hold on to the past simply out of nostalgia. Even the Space Shuttle, as amazing as it was, began to show its age by the end of its service.

Once the cracks have been found, turning a blind eye to potential danger is unacceptable… especially when we know we can do it BETTER.

 

-JC

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1. ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE

As a representative government, the people give their consent to be governed by the elected at the ballot box. Any system that allows selective access to the ballot or relies on an intermediary interpretive process to determine the outcome of an election, is susceptible to CORRUPTION of its integrity. Does our current election system produce a CLEAR MANDATE from the people? If we created a NEW ELECTORAL SYSTEM, what would we want that system to BE…

 

A political system in which candidates run for office based solely on the merits of their ideas. An election system in which the winning candidate is decided by the people at EVERY step of the process, from the Primary to the General election. When you walk into the booth in November, you already know every candidate on the ballot because every candidate has already faced MULTIPLE statewide primary elections and they have been fully vetted… not by a group of wealthy individuals or entities who stand to profit off of a particular candidate, but by EVERY REGISTERED VOTER in EVERY STATE.

Right now, how do candidates for office make it on to the ballot? MONEY. And that effects EVERY aspect of our daily lives, in the form of the legislative agendas pursued by the winning candidates.

In our current Primary Election Process, KANSAS has just as much Electoral Power as CALIFORNIA… because neither of us are IOWA, or NEW HAMPSHIRE, or SOUTH CAROLINA. By the time the first handful of States have decided who they think should be on the ballot, the impression of being a “viable candidate” has been cast. Any candidate that doesn’t win in those first States, in the eyes of the voters, is irrelevant.

 

But, then again… it really doesn’t matter what the voters decide at the ballot box. ALL decisions are made at the convention by the DELEGATES. The long days, shaking hands, eating corn dogs, promising this and that… if the DELEGATES can’t agree, it’s all up for grabs.

 

The Constitution does not outline our current system. It’s a patchwork of precedent and legislative guardrails passed to prevent misdeeds from reoccurring, while ignoring wrongdoing that goes “undetected”, and failing to prevent future abuses of a largely unregulated system.

We should not stifle candidate’s voices or limit their possibilities, but we should more clearly define the parameters in which they are allowed to operate.

 

Every candidate’s message should be fully accessible to every voter INSTANTLY via a universally trusted source. Without the filter of the media. Without the filter of moneyed interests. If a question of substance arises during the campaign, a voter should have easy access in order to ask that question, and how the candidate chooses to address it will be seen by EVERY VOTER. On the FIRST DAY. On the LAST DAY. Every voter. Every candidate, regardless of party.

No legally binding limitations on candidates’ ability to engage in debate. The vision and direction of the campaign should be decided by the candidate and judged by the voters, not first judged by the FUNDRAISERS and THEN the voters. The current system gives rise to deception, in fact it is REQUIRED to be successful. Candidates are forced to run a campaign that appeals to a majority of HALF of the electorate FIRST, to display PARTY LOYALTY… in order to secure FUNDS.

 

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“The presidential contest — primaries and all — accounts for $2.4 billion of that total. The other $4 billion or so went to congressional races. The tally includes spending by campaigns, party committees and outside sources.”

– The Washington Post (04-14-2017)

 

… how much of that total is just waste and greed?

 

All Federal Elections should be 100% FUNDED by the TAX PAYERS. The candidate directs the message and creates the VISION, the PEOPLE fund its creation.

Yes… that is a lot of money. But just consider the amounts currently spent on advertising and appearances on media outlets. The United States can leverage a better deal when purchasing ad blocks for EVERY CANDIDATE and air-time for ALL EVENTS… equally. It unlocks multiple possibilities for SAVINGS, but also for GROWTH.

 

 

All of the effort dedicated to changing the way we choose our candidates would be wasted if we did not address the other side of this issue… who should be allowed to vote in our elections.

Voter suppression. Through threat of violence, through fear and intimidation. Through misinformation and misappropriation. MILLIONS of dollars are spent every year to stop people from casting a vote. To paint a picture in the minds of select groups of voters that says, ‘Your vote doesn’t count’ or ‘Send a message by NOT voting’… all while knowingly aiding their preferred candidate just by keeping people OUT of the process.

 

LOWER participation in their eyes, means VICTORY on Election Day.

 

The War on Drugs has created a PERMANENT way to disenfranchise millions of voters through the legal process. Laws carrying punishments that take away voting rights, written by legislators that are BEHOLDEN to campaign DONORS, both of whom will never be targeted by such laws. Even if they were, they could easily afford the legal fees necessary to evade punishment.

Felony convictions, YEARS behind bars… for possession. MILLIONS of people who cannot vote while serving their sentence, and are unable to regain their right to vote once released. The requirements in some States are vague, unattainable,  or discretionary depending upon who stands before the governing body that decides their fate.

 

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– Orlando Weekly (10-31-2018)

 

Elected officials represent ALL of the people in their districts. Right now, prison populations are INCLUDED in Census numbers, deciding how much federal funding goes where.

 

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– The Huffington Post (02-08-2018)

 

For-profit legislators, beholden to for-profit organizations who FUND their campaign…

Sounds like an easy way to stack the deck.

 

 

 

 

 

Every prisoner should have the right to vote, while serving their sentence and after they are released. If the goal is rehabilitation and a successful transition back into society, then they should feel like they are a part of the system and have a say in their destiny.

 

At the very least, they should be able to hold their representatives accountable when they have failed to protect their interests:

 

 

 

 

What should be required to vote?

CITIZENSHIP.

 

That, and age.

 

The age of enfranchisement was lowered under President Nixon from 21 to 18. As the Vietnam War raged and the draft was sending citizens 18 years and older off to war, it made sense to give them a VOICE on who was making that decision. From another perspective, I would not want to send someone off to war without their having a say in the matter, just as I would not want a CHILD deciding my fate.

But our definition of the word “war” has evolved. Since that time, we’ve invaded a country unilaterally without evidence supporting our decision. We’ve declared a war on an “idea” that has no clearly defined objective, and we’re currently under attack in an undeclared VIRTUAL WAR where NO ONE can be charged with aiding and abetting our adversary.

 

In 2019, more CIVILIANS died in mass shootings than SOLDIERS were killed on the battlefield in the War on Terror.

 

 

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“The latest fatality brings the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20. There have also been three non-combat deaths in 2019. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year conflict.”

– military.com (12-23-2019)

 

 

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“In 46 weeks this year, there have been 45 school shootings. That’s nearly an average of one school shooting a week.

Of those, 32 of them were at facilities serving Kindergarten through 12th grade.”

– CNN (11-19-2019)

 

 

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“The GVA said there was a total of 15,381 gun deaths — including homicides, suicides and accidents — and 29,568 injuries in 2019.”

– CBS News (01-02-2020)

 

… and elected officials in the United States Senate still DO NOT ACT to SAVE LIVES.

 

At 16 we can get a job, drive a car, and PAY TAXES. The ability to participate in our society begins at 16.

Every United States citizen over the age of 16 should be guaranteed the Right to Vote. That should be the goal of the United States Election System.

 

-JC

“… an Alternative Narrative”

Pelosi_Trump

 

Donald Trump’s actions as President make NO SENCE when viewed in isolation. Random, chaotic, contradictory… even self-defeating. He acts as if he is POWERLESS in situations where historically, we’ve looked to our President for action. He asserts himself into situations where NO President has before, causing more harm to others than he would if he had just stayed SILENT. He embraces EVERY opportunity to ENRICH HIMSELF through the powers of OUR Office, and he seeks to remove programs designed to provide aid and comfort for those who need it most.

The ends of ANY evil plan hatched by the most VILE among us could be carried out with EASE and in SHORT ORDER if they were to ascend to the Office of President… yet Donald Trump, with his party holding ALL THREE BRANCHES of government, could not deceive enough people to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, a talking point issue supported by the GOP for just shy of a DECADE.

 

Losing the MAJORITY in the House does NOT advance the agenda of Donald J. Trump.

Not compromising on FUNDING for the Border Wall and SHUTTING DOWN the Federal Government for over a month does NOT advance the agenda of Donald J. Trump.

Advancing the dis-credited theory of Ukrainian Interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election does NOT advance the agenda of Donald J. Trump.

Using a personal cell phone, known by the Intelligence Community to be monitored by the heads of State of foreign adversaries, to conduct illicit political activities, does NOT advance the agenda of Donald J. Trump.

Welcoming the Russian Ambassador into the White House while barring all US reporters and allowing Russian media EXCLUSIVELY into the Oval Office, does NOT advance the agenda of Donald J. Trump.

None of this creates effective governance, and none of this lends itself to success. None of these actions would help ANY President find success or achieve their goals… whether their intentions were to do GOOD or create TYRANNY.

 

They make the President of the United States look WEAK.

They make the President of the United States look CORRUPT.

They make the President of the United States look DANGEROUS.

They make the President of the United States look UNSTABLE.

They make the President of the United States look INEFFECTIVE.

 

They make the President of the United States look IMPOTENT.

 

What Donald Trump has done as President of the United States thus far, creates GRIDLOCK. What Donald Trump has done as President of the United States thus far creates DIVISION.

What Donald J. Trump has done as President of the United States thus far does NOT advance the agenda of the President, the Congress, OR the people.

It advances the agenda of the ONE person who worked the hardest to secure his election.

 

It advances the agenda of Vladimir Putin.

 

LOOK… the President of the United States is just as flawed and weak as every other democratically elected leader… they’re ALL THE SAME- CORRUPT.

American Exceptionalism is just a MYTH…

… is there anyone in this nation who believes a President should EVER say that?

 

Vladimir Putin does NOT believe it is POSSIBLE… Vladimir Putin does NOT believe in American Exceptionalism.

Vladimir Putin suppresses the VOICE of his people, seeks to take away retirement benefits from retirees, and STEALS the wealth generated by the sale of the nation’s resources. And when the PEOPLE of Russia RISE UP en masse and demand FREE and FAIR elections… he sees the handiwork of the C.I.A. He doesn’t see his people pleading for a BETTER LIFE.

 

He sees PARANOIA and ESPIONAGE.

 

He does not believe in the ability of the Russian people to STAND UP and SPEAK OUT and hold him accountable… so they must have been HELPED by someone else… of course! It was “THEM!” It’s EASY to make America the scapegoat when you feed your people LIES… and America has a PUPPET serving as President.

 

 

Government by-proxy… EVERYONE’S got a hidden agenda. Political party proxies, business proxies, non-disclosure proxies, and just plain GREED, self-centered and selfish.

 

I have a mortgage that’s UNDERWATER from all the bullshit that went down in 2008.

I have TWO teenaged boys who will (hopefully) have to pay for college in a few years.

I have a car payment.

I worry about my boys when I drop them off at school, I worry about the divisive conversations they’re seeing online.

I raise the kids and take care of the house while my wife is the breadwinner.

I am the husband of a PICU nurse who saves the lives of babies born with broken hearts.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in 2016. (…of all the things I THOUGHT I could someday get, childhood diabetes was NOT on that list at age 36!)

 

I have a pre-existing condition.

 

This is MY AGENDA. That’s what’s on the FRONT of my mind. THESE are my constituents.

 

I was BORN and RAISED in this city, and I am proud to call Kansas City my HOME. The problems faced by me and my family are the SAME problems faced in California, or in Dallas, or in Detroit. Racism happens NORTH of the Mason-Dixon Line and sexual discrimination in the work place happens to MEN, too… especially when it comes to raising a family.

 

I have NO PROXY INTERESTS. I have no DARK MONEY hidden agendas holding me DOWN. FREE and CLEAR… I plan on aiming for the STARS.

We must CLARIFY what it means to be an American. We must REMEMBER who we are!

LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTION!!

Long live the OFFICE of the President of the United States.

 

JC

 

 

 

 

 

“Original Intent”

I’ve wrestled with the idea of undoing all that has been done… and I’ve been taught that elections have consequences. Win OR lose, RESPECT should always be given to the Will of The People, and there’s no better time to figure out what’s on their mind than right AFTER an election.

But this moment is different. This moment is unique for MANY reasons, but most importantly, the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced so far have ALL been initiated with INTENT. Actions have been taken to create this situation…

This wound is self-inflicted.

I wonder, if given the chance, would President Lincoln have sought to UNDO the Presidency of James Buchanan? If it would have saved all the LIVES lost during his Presidency… if it were ME, I might have jumped at that chance, especially knowing what we know NOW.

What comes from our actions TOMORROW, begins TODAY. We hold the LIVES of millions in our hands right now. Do we choose to ACT, or do we let time march unopposed, dragging us ALL toward some pre-determined fate?

 

Liberals from the far left cheered and rubbed their hands in delight when Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. “Finally! We can UNDO the Presidency of George W. Bush and restore Justice.”

Conservatives cheered and rubbed THEIR hands with glee after GWB defeated Al Gore, ending 8 years of rule by the party of Bill Clinton. “Finally! We can UNDO the Presidency of Bill Clinton and restore Justice.”

But that DID NOT HAPPEN in either case. What happened was a CHANGE in legislative agendas, pursued by elected officials brought into power as THE PEOPLE saw fit. Never before in our NATION’S HISTORY has a newly elected President worked to erase EVERY legislative accomplishment of the PREVIOUS sitting President…

 

That was before Donald J. Trump.

 

Our system relies on legal precedent. No one was more keenly aware of this than George Washington. He knew every action he would take as President would be emulated by EVERY successive President. The limits of the Chief Executive and the expansive nature of the powers of The Office were established within those first 8 years.

How should we view the presidency of Donald J. Trump? Should any of the actions taken by him and his administration be viewed as legally relevant by a future President?

 

TODAY it’s immigrants from Mexico.

YESTERDAY it was immigrants from JAPAN.

BEFORE THAT  _______. (insert ethnic group HERE)

 

It’s disgusting that it HAS happened. It’s disgusting that it has happened AGAIN. Right now, there is NO WAY to limit what could happen in the FUTURE.

A strong Chief Executive is necessary for the defense of our nation. From foreign enemies to economic instability, from social unrest to natural disaster preparedness and response. The President must have unlimited access to whatever is necessary to defend our nation. In this, the Powers of the Presidency should NOT be constrained, we do so at our own peril in an hour of crisis.

A strong urge to DO SOMETHING, but an inability to ACT due to bureaucratic cowardice, STANDS as the legacy of The League of Nations. 100 years later, that legacy remains intact.

 

Article 1, Section 8, clause 12:

“The Congress shall have power to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than Two Years.”

 

… and then came WWII.

 

And then we saw what evil truly looks like. And now we recognize, the only way to defend against it is to BE PREPARED. Never again can we sit idle as we did after WWI. The technological achievements realized during WWII have re-enforced that. Our nuclear arsenal must be manned at all times… so long as they are ARMED.

If we choose to pursue with reckless abandon, a political paradigm of revenge, we will devour ourselves rhetorically. PURITY will be prized over LIBERTY, and LEVERAGE over opponents will win the day instead of CONSENSUS or COMPROMISE.

 

 

When it comes to Justice and Equality, white men in this nation don’t particularly NEED an advocate… the Constitution was originally written with them in mind! And being ONE of those, I don’t want to see ANY of my rights degraded or removed… and I would fight like hell to ensure them! Speaking as a middle-aged white man, I’m outraged that EVERYONE in this country does NOT enjoy these rights EQUALLY.

EVERYONE who believes in the democratic principals this nation was founded upon should be outraged that the rights of HALF of its citizens can be so easily manipulated and disregarded. That’s STEP ONE of the dictator’s guide to CONQUERING nations…

STEP TWO is Rinse and Repeat.

 

The SHAPE and the COLOR of the body we inhabit should not determine the VALUE of the SOUL within it. Nor should it determine if an individual is WORTHY of Equal Justice Under Law. The Individual Human Experience is shared by ALL of us. What horrifies ME should also terrify YOU. Ensuring Liberty and Equality for EVERYONE guarantees it will continue… when you defend the rights of OTHERS, you defend those rights for YOURSELF.

 

So forgive me…

How can anyone justify locking up over 5000 CHILDREN for NO CRIME, other than doing what they were told to do by their guardian? Mother, father, aunt, uncle… they made a journey over thousands of miles and are taken from the ONLY familiar face they know.

An Obama-era policy, strictly enforced under a new administration, has led to KIDS in jail in a FOREIGN LAND without their PARENTS. Obama… Trump… Who CARES… is it WRONG. Should it STOP? Damn straight it should.

 

ONE is too many. One more day is TOO LONG.

 

Just as it was with the Bush-era practice of the President ordering Drone Strikes. A horrible precedent being established, it was then continued under a new administration and reworked to increase the efficacy, in ways previously unimagined.

 

U.S. drone strikes

 

Could NO ONE in power foresee the possible outcomes of allowing KIDS to be taken away from their parents? Have they never watched The History Channel?

 

ICE

Our government can’t even manage to get THE BASICS right anymore. Courtesy, common sense… decency and civility. Ideas and concepts American Citizens take for granted in everyday life, our Federal Government seems to have forgotten. It is as if we must teach our government how to WALK all over again.

 

Every step we take toward Equality brings us one step closer to realizing the Founders’ ORIGINAL INTENT. They were right in THEORY, if not in PRACTICE. Now, in order to secure it, we must have BOTH… we must PRACTICE what we PREACH. I don’t know about YOU… but that should be a pretty easy thing to DO, seeing as how ALL of us have already pledged an OATH to do just that:

“… with Liberty and Justice for ALL.”

Let’s get it done!

#MenForERA

 

JC