“Indelible in the Hippocampus…”

The Scouts of Boy Scout Troop #86 had, for many months as their leader, an older Scout who was a bit of a hard nose. He was a drum major for the Olathe South Marching Falcons, and he led our Troop with an emphasis on structure and discipline, with rigidity and order…

Needless to say, 50 or 60 high school kids on a Monday night weren’t exactly stoked to comply with his sanctimonious leadership style.

As his 18th birthday approached, we began considering who we wanted to be his replacement. It was more or less assumed that our new leader would be one of the older Scouts that had been with the Troop for a longer period of time. More than likely, our new Senior Patrol Leader would be one of the Scouts that were in his Patrol, the term for a group of Scouts within the Troop itself.

BSA_flow_chart

 

The Senior Patrol Leader is the Scout who decides where the Troop will go for the monthly camping trips. One weekend a month, every month, the Troop spends a weekend learning important skills at various locations throughout the Kansas City area. Some locations are near facilities that can help Scouts earn Merit Badges that they wouldn’t normally be able to earn.

One weekend we camped at a park located near an airport, operated by the University of Missouri, where we spent the weekend earning our Aviation Merit Badge. Another weekend, we camped near the depot of an old railroad that once served the States of Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas (KTA) in the 19th century. We helped their museum change railroad ties on the still-operating line, and in the process we earned our Railroading Merit Badge.

 

But those trips had happened under previous leadership, and we wanted our new Senior Patrol Leader to plan future trips to places like those, to the places that we wanted to go. I guess that sounds about right for a bunch of adolescent teenagers. (NOTE: Back in MY day… teenagers were rebellious and self-centered. FYI)

 

At some point before the election, proposed as more of a joke than anything else, the name of one of the younger Scouts was recommended. He wasn’t part of the youngest group of Scouts who had just recently joined the Troop, he joined with the group before that. He had been with the Troop no more than nine months.

The argument was made that as a younger Scout, it would be easy to convince him to see things our way. In essence, we believed he would do as we said because he would be a “pushover”. A young Scout, wanting to fit in with the older Scouts…? Every camping trip would be where we told him we wanted to go.

 

No one in the Troop was excited to vote for any of the candidates… so the majority of the Troop voted for the “pushover”. One month later, our new Senior Patrol Leader subjected the younger Scouts to an “underware check”. It was the first camping trip with him as our new leader.

 

We enabled that to happen by electing someone we wouldn’t have chosen under different circumstances.

 

 

The Catholic Church.

The Boy Scouts of America.

The United States Military…

The United States Supreme Court.

 

The Movie Industry.

The Music Industry.

The Hotel and Service Industry.

The Fast-Food Industry.

 

Even in small businesses. “Ma and Pa” shops that only employ a handful of people…

 

Like the United States Senate.

 

 

Once the light pierces the darkness, it’s hard to go BACK to the way things were before. To do so would mean ignoring what has been seen, forgetting what has become KNOWN.

That is why the DARK AGES are part of our PAST… our HISTORY. Not our future.

 

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Wyandotte County Lake under quarantine- 03/27/2020

 

 

At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure THEY have a better shot at making it. That they start out with more opportunities than I had. By working to make sure their future is successful… MY future will be as well.

What will we leave behind when we go? In this moment, I’m thinking not so much as will I be remembered… but will anyone be around to do any remembering? Will they have the luxury of leisure, to sit and contemplate the past; or will they be so busy just trying to SURVIVE in the moment, that they’ll be unable to take the time to expand their horizons?

When you must spend every waking moment in a constant struggle to put food on the table, things like education take a back seat. You know… “When I get around to it.”

 

So much is up in the air right now as our nation stands watching… faced with a choice that is all too clear. There is so much that we must do, and so much of it must be done RIGHT… as we may not have this chance again.

 

What will our children make of this moment? How will democracy be judged by future generations? The political structure that we grew up with is now gone. It died with the passing of the Republican Party. All that remains is a hollow shell of what once was, held up only by our belief in it… a stiff breeze is now all that’s required.

 

When you SEE something… SAY something!

 

Because that’s how things CHANGE.

 

 

 

 

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“Woman broadens claims…” NBC News (04/12/2020)

 

Right now the men on the ballot this fall are TWO SIDES of the SAME COIN, and I cannot in GOOD CONSCIENCE, vote for either. That worries me…

That should worry EVERY American Citizen.

 

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Shall we RATIFY equality… or must women wait ANOTHER 100 years?

The choice must always be ours!

 

“… with Liberty and Justice for ALL.”

 

-JC

As We Cross Another April

I spent the day in Jefferson City, MO, standing up with many other feminists to demand that the Missouri Legislature bring the Equal Rights Amendment up for a vote. With only ONE MORE STATE needed for a Constitutional Amendment, Missouri has the chance to be THE STATE that puts it over the top!

Thank you to Erica Benson for organizing the event, and to MO Sen Jill Schupp and MO Rep Judy Morgan for sponsoring the ERA on this SECOND ATTEMPT at ratification. Everyone who believes in Equal Justice Under Law should DEMAND Equality for Women and Girls… what’s more American than EQUALITY?

Ever hopeful, I prepared a speech before the event, and since it didn’t come up, I’d like to share it here. I believe the historical parallels can help provide us with guidance… because we have seen this all before, and we know how it CAN go. Had I been given the opportunity, this is what I would have said-

 

 

As We Cross Another April

I’ve come here from the FREE STATE, the Great State of Kansas, as a self-appointed representative of the thirty-seven States that have already voted for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, with a MESSAGE for the remaining thirteen-

The war, is over! Today… NOT tomorrow. HERE is where we have drawn the line here, is where we make our stand… UNITED!

Because we have SEEN where division goes. We have seen where entrenchment leads… we’ve built monuments of granite and marble to stand as reminders.

Four score and seven years ago, the ideology of FEAR and DIVISION rose to power in Europe: the Nazi Party became the Majority, giving rise to a new leader.

We are now engaged in a new struggle, testing once again if ours is TRULY a Just Nation. Today, we are gathered in one of the LAST vestiges of our Civil War, just north of the Mason-Dixon Line, in the birthplace of the Missouri Compromise. It is altogether fitting and proper that, the renewed hope for the Equal Rights Amendment has brought us to this place, for as we struggle to recognize Equality for Women and Girls, we must also remember the unfulfilled promises made to Men and Women of Color, who CONTINUE to struggle for the SAME… long after Equality was ratified.

It is for us here today, to be dedicated to the unfinished work that so many have fought for and have thus far so nobly advanced. It is these principles that are born within the hearts of ALL humanity. That we are ALL created Equal, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. It is the basic compassion within us ALL that moves us to STAND UP and DEFEND the Rights of others. We must remember the stories, taught to us by our Great- and Grand-parents:

NO APPEASEMENT.

Stand FIRM for what’s Right.

STAND UP for the Rule of Law.

Yes, the path is long and yes, this struggle is draining, but today, OURS is a BATTLEFIELD of WORDS. We must remember, those words have all of the impact of a DIGITAL BULLET… because they can strike the HEART, and motivate the MIND.

So we must be dedicated to the great task before us. We must HONOR those who have been lost and take increased devotion to the cause for which they LIVED their lives believing in-

Equal Justice Under Law.

Let us not judge, that we be not judged. “Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offenses cometh.”

When fear and division give rise to oppression and tyranny, each one of us is faced with a CHOICE. We know how to defeat the liar and the bully- STAND UP and SPEAK OUT for Equal Justice Under Law. Because when you stand and DEFEND the Rights of OTHERS, you defend them for YOURSELF!

Time-tested, history-affirming, righteous ACTION in defense of Liberty is what makes OURS, a truly BLESSED NATION! When we, individually and BRAVELY, STAND UP for EQUAL JUSTICE… We STAND in GOOD COMPANY!

With malice toward none, with charity for ALL, with firmness in the right, as god gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for HER who shall have borne this battle, and for HER widow and HER orphan, to do all that is necessary to realize that lost promise of a Just and Lasting peace, among ourselves and with ALL nations.

Let us remember the WORDS of Susan B. Anthony:
“These assertions, of the framers of the United States Constitution, of equal and natural rights of ALL the people to a voice in government, have been affirmed and reaffirmed by the leading statesmen of the nation, throughout the entire history of our government.”

And that of James Madison himself:
“Let it be remembered, finally, that it has EVER BEEN the pride and the boast of America, that the Rights for which she contended, were the Rights… of HUMAN NATURE.”

… seems pretty “self-evident” to me.

Equal. Means. EQUAL.

JC

For The People

https://jackcharbonneau.com/2018/04/28/the-hastert-rule-full-transcript-of-the-youtube-video/

The tears were real.

At the tail end of my first campaign video, “The Hastert Rule”, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get out the last line! I dropped about a minute from it. I didn’t want to bore everyone with my crying.

At this point last year, everyone had enough tears on their own.

I ended my self-imposed media blackout three days after the shooting at MSDHS and watched “Coffee Joe and the Brew Crew”. And when the “light turned on” in my head, after hearing Senator Blumenthal speaking about The Hastert Rule… I was worried I wouldn’t be heard. I knew I must start THAT DAY, so people could get inside my head. To have some kind of physical, documented case to present to The People. That’s where it began. One year ago today.

Fear? Anger? Excitement? … the only way to describe the feeling of doing this is-

Every emotion. All at once.
Both sides of the coin.
Every side of the die.
All the time.

There is a suprising calmness within it. To realize you are the servant of time, and what is decided is what shall be…

It’s freeing, in a restricted sort of way.

I am excited and optimistic BECAUSE of what can be, and ever mindful of who I am doing this for. All the credit for anything good that I have done so far goes to the people who have lifted me up and given me support. Any victory I attain is not mine alone, because the guiding principle of this campaign is ensuring the POWER lies in the hands of the people.

May the passing of the year to come bring us closer to our goal.

JC

At the Closing of the Year.

The boys have gone to bed.

Jessie is at work.

The dog is… crazy, but that’s another story.

I sit here and listen to the sound of my own silence. Attempting to analyze where exactly I stand… I have NO CLUE where I stand!

10 months. Forging, crafting, contemplating and learning. Learning laws. Taking ‘classes’, and occasionally getting ‘schooled’. Obviously ignorant to the hornets nest I angered. As trivial as a gnat on a warm summer day. A thorn in the minds of the hierarchy of the King.

I like to believe I’ve done more than just buzz. Hell… all I’m doing is just speaking my mind.

So, who AM I? SELF-ANALYSIS… I am possibly in TWO different places…. Schrodinger’s Candidate.

Taken from MY point of view, my YouTube videos have, in essence, ZERO views. My Tweets bounce off only a couple hundred people, at most a couple thousand. My web page counts TENS of PEOPLE per WEEK. My Campaign “War Chest” has… about a half tank of gas in it. And, of the 95 followers I’ve earned on Twitter, only seven(7) are verified as “PEOPLE” and only one(1) potential future colleague…

One Senator. No Representatives. Only one Senator with the COURAGE to offer an “atta boy”…

And I will ALWAYS cherish my Amy Klobuchar bumper sticker! Now, stop hounding me for DONATIONS… I’m BROKE!

THAT… is what I have gained in 10 months. How can it be viewed? How SHOULD it be viewed? Am I making a dent in the conversation, or am I just echoing thoughts others have had before? Sometimes I FEEL like I’ve made a difference. A phrase I use in a campaign speech, posted the previous night will suddenly be stated by a pundit on the news shows the next day.

… did I do that? Or is it just historical political rhetoric, regurgitated and repackaged, in the EXACT same way I did for my campaign?

I can CONFIRM, every politician who claims to be of a “Presidential Caliber” is a liar and a thief! There’s only ONE genuine article… that’s why everyone wanted HIM to go first.

So I attempt to read the tea leaves, intuit anything I can from the endless stream of constant bombardment. Where it resonates within me, I reach out and push back, and I see the reaction. The interaction SEEMS real. Sometimes it feels… like you would if you were walking in a dream. Attempting to run, to get somewhere urgently, but unable to move faster than walking underwater.

It is UNREAL… but it is NOT.

 

The reasons, I’m not sure of, but the possible explanations FOR it are understandable, once explained… I assume. That’s the key- I have NO IDEA! My wife thinks I’m insane. Paranoid and delusional. “I think you’re seeing things that just AREN’T THERE.”

“Well, yeah, but…” Hmmm.

Here’s how I see it.

I’m stuck in a box. To assure compliance with laws I am unaware of. I assume it’s because of the insane, MASIVE AMOUNTS OF CASH that will be SET ON FIRE over the next two years in the Presidential Election.

It could be I must wait for a pre-determined date before I can solicit donations and receive staff, etc. I’m not fully versed on all the Laws yet… I have no staff. No advisors… except the dog, but like I said… another time!

No one wants to associate with a long-shot candidate. No one with the potential to land a gig with a Party Candidate.

(ASIDE: The inner workings of the DC Beltway seem extremely interesting! I can only assume. I’ve only seen a TINY BIT of what’s to come. As I write these words, I realize the positive side I have seen so far, that hints at ‘more to come’, is probably complemented by a negative partner… and now I realize just how NAKED I am…)

This bureaucratic political culture is astonishing to comprehend! Just think about how many people it takes to run ONE campaign, then the number of candidates, and every election cycle these campaigns get fully staffed… where do they all come from?! The best staff gets picked first, I assume. If I were one of those potential staff members, and ‘in it to win’ with MY livelihood at stake, I would approach it as a competition. The BEST attracts the BEST, the BEST attracts the MONEY, and MONEY pays the BILLS.

What’s MY BRAND right now? Independent. Outsider. Inexperienced. Can’t spell… “NEXT.”

So how do I REALLY see it? Why continue to fight? What have I done…?

The first time I threw the hashtag #EndTheHastertRule at Speaker Ryan… He flinched. It was so noticeable, the media commented on the change of schedule for the Speaker that day… did I do that?

At that time, I took it at face value. MAYBE… but other explanations seemed more plausible. That was within the first few weeks of my campaign.

Since that time I have made new friends, learned new policy, and have begun paving the intellectual pathway needed to reach my goal. I’ve made new allies, kindled friendships with people of like-mind, and have opened the hearts AND minds of people from BOTH SIDES of the isle…

In this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, CULTURALLY RELEVANT, and completely IMAGINARY UNIVERSE…. called Twitter.

“…They must have taken my marbles away!” –Pinky

 

 

Upon reflection, on the shitshow that was 2018, I believe my chances are good. My platform is STRONG, and my ideas are SOUND. Learning how it all fits together on-the-fly, attempting to ‘fit in’, but ALWAYS working to STAND OUT.

The slings and arrows I’ve thrown, sometimes seem to VANISH before they hit their mark… at least that’s what I can see from MY point of view. If it seems like I’m hesitant sometimes, THAT would be a good description of why- I’m in the forest, middle of the night, and I’m walking around with my arms stretched out, trying to NOT run into a tree.

It is my hope that the Political Capital I’ve earned so far, will pay out in 2019…

I’m still searching for the ATM so I can make a withdraw.

To anyone who reads these: Thank you!

I appreciate BOTH of you… and thanks for stopping by.👍 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!