Walking My Path.

You don’t wake up one morning and say “You know what? I don’t believe in god anymore.” It is a process. It doesn’t just happen. When you have friends, or know a family member with a story. And then you ask questions… about your faith, and yourself, then the people you trust.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior on January 17, 1991, the evening operation Desert Shield became operation Desert Storm.

I was 12.

My best friend, Eric, brought me to a youth group event at his church. They were convinced this was it, this was the beginning of the events that foretold the return of Jesus, and I had to be “saved” right now.

To me, that argument seemed pretty sound!

So I prayed with youth group leaders, and friends in the congregation. And by the end of the evening I asked Jesus to wash away all my sins and began the moral life of a Southern Baptist Christian.

That evening was not the first time I had gone with Eric and his parents to Vista Baptist Church. They were involved with the congregation. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays most weeks, unless special events were happening. Eric’s mom was a devout ‘fire and brimstone’ Christian… and she LIVED it!

She was inspiring. The entire church was! The love and faith that pours from a Southern Baptist Church is beautiful! It moves people to stand and raise their arms to the sky. It fills the air with love and praise. Being in a service on Sunday with a good servant of the Lord, recounting the gospel’s word to hundreds of families of faith… you can’t help but sing!

The welcome feeling of love and faith was appealing to a kid from a single parent home. It was closer to the TV reality I grew up watching at home, than home REALLY was.

Eric and I participated in a religious version of Boy Scouts called AWANAS. We would receive awards based on bible memorization and understanding of different messages. Some of the kids wore the uniform and had badges and pins. It was quite involved if you really wanted to get into it. At that time, Eric and I were in Boy Scouts. It did not excite me to the same extent.

I did enjoy going to the Large music events. The organization that sprang up in the early 90s called “See You at the Pole”, where Christian youth would gather at the flagpoles before school and pray before classes started, also involved large concerts with Christian artists. I saw Carmen twice. I saw a Christian death metal band. A couple Christian boy bands. Sadly, I never got to see Amy Grant. I had her “Heart in Motion” album and I STILL know the words to the songs even though I haven’t owned that album since I was 16. One of the songs popped up on the music at Walgreen’s one day and all of a sudden I’m singing along with a B-side track off of an Amy Grant album, in the middle of the afternoon… in 2018.

I spent a lot of time going to events and being a good Christian Solider, spreading the word to as many as I could. I felt the word of Jesus and shared it with everyone. I felt a connection, and it showed. I brought my Aunt Marty to Jesus shortly after my grandfather died. I know it helped her through a difficult time in her life, as that period in time was difficult for all of us.

Less than two years later, grandma would be gone, too. It was comforting to believe there was purpose to the loss. That, even though it was not seen, there was a reason for the madness. And though we could not see it, in time, we would know… we just had to have faith.

As I got older, as is inevitable, I started asking questions. Science and math have always been my favorite subjects outside music, and a good scientist always asks questions! The answers were always the same… you just have to have faith.

I remember meeting a devotee of the Krishna Conciseness movement, and I asked him about their view of Jesus. He explained that they saw Jesus as a messenger. Jesus told the people, in that place, at that time, exactly what they needed to hear. The only way to salvation is like THIS. The kingdom of heaven lies through ME.

So, I bought a copy of the “Bhagavad Gita… as it is” with a full interpretation of the text. To help put it all into context. It was the first time I contemplated another religious text and not the bible, and it would not be the last.

Modern religions. Historical religions. Ancient religions. ALL carry similar stories. ALL teach LOVE for our fellow Man and PEACE comes from understanding. I would never claim to be a religious scholar, but every religious text I have read shares a compelling story about love. The WORDS they teach give COMFORT to families who grieve, they proclaim the ceremonies of Unions are CELEBRATIONS, and these texts anoint the new generation, when those Unions so decide. But as I grew older I could see the hypocrisy. The WORDS of Men seemed pure, but their DEEDS were pure evil.

… and it is NOT just to be thrown upon religious establishments. Unfortunately, it undermines EVERY aspect where power over weaker individuals creates profit. It just so happens this continues to this day.

I believe in the power of the SUBATOMIC. I believe in a balance of power. I believe that my actions HERE, can DIRECTLY effect someone on the OTHER SIDE of the planet… It’s spooky almost!

But I also believe that on a subatomic level, when we consider what each and every atom actually IS, that we are made up of mostly EMPTY SPACE, and yet I sit here and CONTEMPLATE… YES, don’t tell my ‘Atheist Brethren’, but some days I would call myself “agnostic”… but only SOME DAYS. Agnostic suggests someone who’s “on the fence”. No… pick a side, then let’s Move On!

Each religion, from historical to modern, shares stories that share common themes within common narratives, yet their origins are separated by thousands of years. Wise men recorded these stories to share knowledge with future generations. What elders learned in THEIR years that kept them alive, inspired by the WORD of the Creator, Universe.

As I have walked my path, seeking the answers, walking as FAR AWAY from religion as possible, I found… the answers lie within creation itself!

It can never be as brilliant as the LIGHT, it is only a spoken representation, The WORD of Universe… and We are ALL a part of it.

So, in other words- I will continue to walk my path. I continue to want to know ALL I can. I want to learn ALL I can from every religious text. I want to know the story so I can compair that with other stories, and find the commonality that lies within ALL our shared history!

And I want that opportunity to exist for ALL MANKIND, forever. Each person’s spiritual path is just that… THEIR OWN!

It is my belief, whenever someone decides to ask questions about their humanity, they should be guaranteed access to the answers… ALL OF THE ANSWERS. To make the best informed decisions… After all, on that day of judgement, there will be no one there to answer for your actions… but YOU. We all follow the path, together, the LIGHT showing us the way.

… but I am just an Athiest! I don’t have all the answers. Nor would I ever be so arrogant to claim that I did.

There’s only one way to find out for sure.

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup…

So… yeah. I was the only one who showed up to my “press conference”. I thought I had convinced at least one person I had the right idea. IDK… maybe I haven’t communicated clearly? Maybe I overestimated Twitter. Maybe I have a bad idea. I would have thought by now someone would have said so.

But it is a BEGINING, and in no way THE END. I was giving myself pep talks, to build my confidence, thinking the same thing. So, now I’ll use that as a comfort. It was not my last event. Hopefully next time, I won’t be there alone.

I just wanted to provide an end goal everyone could rally around. An alternative to what is happening right now. I felt it could sway opinions since there would be a solution to support, instead of just fighting AGAINST…

I’m not going away. I’ll be here. Patients is a virtue. I wish I had it.

keep your head up.

JC

The Sword

The idea of coming together and turning our swords into plow shares is both a beautiful aspiration for peace and a statement of blissful ignorance. The Liberty we enjoy today is not given freely as a gift, but OWNED by each successive generation.

We enjoy the CHOICE at all times.

And throughout time, the sword has always been sought as a last resort by those of patients and thought. In this new battlefield, in this war of 1’s and 0’s, the pen is now the sword. In a world where TRUTH is being hawked as LIES, and men of HONOR are stoned for speaking truth, of course the allegorical is now literal!

Look at me… I’m off to fight a “Giant”, the “leader” of the United States.

And all of us are “in the streets” on social media, calling on leaders to DO something, and Our leaders are TALKING about their past accomplishments. The actions our elected officials engage in are obstruction and grandstanding, and they go to great lengths to do so! All while individuals sit on the couch, networking with people in Florida, and New York, and Kansas City, and Mobile, working hard to make a revolution happen. But don’t believe everything you see on TV.

“Live! From Kansas City, it’s a Political REVOLUTION!!”

How amazing is it that grown men are taking their cues from teenagers in a Florida high school?

How shameful is it that the President of the United States of America befriends murders and dictators while spitting in the face of our closest allies?

Right now, Our government has taken children from their parents and holds them prisoner, subcontracting the resposibility of the well being and care of these kids to religious organizations… And the most ordained solution I can envision is rallying every single biker and Harley owner in the country to ride for THIER freedom.

Bikers for Babies? You Damned Straight.

When we stand for the Rule of Law, it cannot be selective. It is for EVERYONE, or it is for NO ONE. If we deny a despot the right to a trial, then we condemn to death the Liberty of our own children. We cannot think ourselves immune to the trampling of our basic human rights because they are carried out in “another land”. If we turn away, knowing these things are happening, it is as if I hold the chains that imprison them, myself.

The surest path to victory in a War of Words is to disarm your opponent.

Through CENSORSHIP, you achieve the appearance of victory, because when silence is what you practice, you won’t see your defeat coming. If LIES are the weapon you choose, your downfall was decided long before you even began… In our country, we have defeated the liar many, MANY times before! The surest way to defeat the LIAR is to unite on the side of TRUTH. The TRUTH must reside in a sacred repository.

We are ALL standing TOGETHER on the side of TRUTH when we stand for the Rule of Law.

Equal Protection Under Law.

With Liberty and Justice for ALL, not the “all” that I decide. Not the “all” that “they” decide. ALL. The piecemeal destruction of our TRUST in the Law is intentional. And it is done through deception. Our Govenment is made to look IMPOTENT in the face of obstacles, in order to rally cries of smaller government. If Our government were truly inept, I would rally to that cry! As we all should.

Due to the method of our Congressional Elections, each and every member of both the House AND the Senate, MUST have money to run for office. Without money, their voice will not be heard, even if they have the BEST ideas.

Elected officials do the legislating of the DONORS who support their election bid. Who donates to candidates? Who does NOT?… or, in many cases cannot because of a lack of disposable income due to paying for two kids, a mortgage, a car payment, increasing health care costs, rising gas prices…

People who would benifit the MOST from ‘good’ legislation have no voice in the legislative process. No regulations and no legislation is profitable. Protections and safety cost money. It is as simple as return on investment. If it was not profitable to fund a candidate, it would not be done.

THE GRIDLOCK IS INTENTIONAL.

IT IS KILLING PEOPLE.

And we must own it, or we are ALL doomed to repeat it.

JC

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign Statement on Foreign Policy Position: “The Company We Keep”

Our county’s greatest strengths come from our diversity of knowledge accumulated and shared with all citizens in our public schools. Found within that community structure we see the common ideals taught to our children. And within that environment, we find our core values. The uniting principles that inform a great statesman take root in the elementary school at the end of the block.

I have avoided stating a definitive foreign policy platform mainly because I felt ignorant of our overall engagement with other nations. In many ways, my greatest strength is pure ignorance of these relationships. I have no preconceived judgement of these situations. Only impressions, or a vision, of how our relationship in the world overall should be presented… Who are We, as a country? Our face to the world community, what our abilities are, and how we can best help every other nation succeed- The United States of America is a PARTNER in the international community because we ALL succeed when we ALL contribute.

Our county’s greatest strengths come from  our diversity of knowledge accumulated and shared with all citizens in our public schools. Found within that community structure we see the common ideals taught to our children. And within that environment, we find our core values. The uniting principles that inform a great statesman take root in the elementary school at the end of the block.

When we extend our hand in trust and compassion, we help another person learn how to be kind. When we stand side by side with others of sound principles, we present strength through inclusion. When we help our friends when they hurt the most, we rekindle the fire of fraternity that so often can be taken for granted in a family. And it is through our ACTIONS… THAT is how we lead in this world.

We show others how we want to be treated by how we treat them.

We support Liberty and justice for ALL, so at home, so abroad. We support open markets in nations abroad because our markets are open to ALL. We support EQUALITY, as endowed by our Creator, for all of our countrymen, and wish it were so thought the world. How we treat the least amongst ourselves at home, is how we will be seen throughout the world… If you want a ‘clean house’, you gotta start in your own ‘backyard’.

To read the words of true statesmen, like those of Ronald Reagan to Canada in his last official visit in 1987, reminds me of how little I know of world diplomacy. The technical ‘ins and outs’ of political calculations in order to protect rights and interests…

The message attempts, made in ‘good faith’, in honesty and respect, will be received the warmest, even if they are ignorant of some facts. The credibility of the person delivering the message can carry more weight than the message itself. As a citizen of The United States, I expect everyone to respect the Commander in Chief, not ONLY because of the honorable office they occupy, but because they are someone WORTHY OF THAT RESPECT. Someone who holds the values written in Our Constitution within their essence, we should all hope to elect.

As an Eagle Scout, I believe I know what those ideals are that make a President. I live my life within that framework, daily. “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty.” That is all a person has at the end of the day… their word. Their honor. That is where leadership is born. That is where success begins. That is where we should allow the power of Our President to reside. Because lasting progress only comes when built upon a firm foundation of just moral principles.

And we stand with those who feel the same. Those who do not stand for Liberty and Equality, we will not walk away from our community, but we will not support any nation who seeks to separate instead of unite. We stand strongest when we can declare these ideals to all the world as a benchmark to be measured by, especially when we LIVE it, daily.

That is where my journey will begin. We must be sure of our own position, at home, before we can go and demand to others THIS is how it should be done. Our own moral hypocrisy has diminished our standing around the globe. If we wish to remain free and indepenent, we must assess what we see in the mirror. Then, our desire to be better each day will reflect in those who desire to surround themselves with the same.

That is my agenda. When we expect better from ourselves, we can expect the same from everyone else. “In truth, and in love.”

-Jack Charbonneau

 

Attn: JOB OPENING

“Are you a Lawyer? Have you ever wanted to work for a Presidential Candidate… Pro bono?!! If so, Mr. Jack Charbonneau wants to offer YOU a snowball’s chance at becoming the LEGAL REPRESENTATION of the next President of the United States!

…act NOW and the toaster* is yours!” 

(*toaster does not exist.)

I am of course referring to the FEC guidelines for political contributions, specifically the section regarding in kind contributions of services, where the last line reads- “Of course, when an individual personally volunteers legal or accounting services to a committee, the above restrictions do not apply.” https://transition.fec.gov/pages/brochures/citizens.shtml

Oh… I’m supposed to say “I’m Jack Charbonneau, and I approved this message.” Because this is my Official website for my political campaign-

Jack Charbonneau 2020: Political Revolution

Yup. I got a number from the IRS today. I got my FEC Candidate number the other day as well… sigh. They gave me a doozey of a number. P00007666. Out of all the randomness and chaos in the universe, THAT’S the number I get!? But it’s just a number. It’s like the thirteenth floor of a building, or the impulse to knock on wood or toss salt over your shoulder. Or looking at the digital clock everyday at 5:55 or 11:11.

I’ve always found numerical oddities like this interesting. This particular number is seen as quite powerful, to some. Growing up as a Southern Baptist in my teens, I have read the stories and heard the Word about who this number is for. Now, even though I am an Atheist, (or as my Aunt Marty would say, He’s walking his ‘path’) I still hold tight to the lessons gained from that book. That the light will always conquer darkness. And I stand on the side of the light. Anyway… I like the power of the seven that comes before it!

So this is my first Official Campaign posting. And I should say, to everyone, I only want to ask ONE question:

“Can you name ONE issue that you care deeply about, that could be solved if we eliminated the corruption of our current campaign finance system?”

I can name MORE than one!

If that answer is yes, then consider another question:

“Would you sign a petition to allow an INDEPENDENT candidate, funded only by INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS, on to the ballot for President in the 2020 election?”

I know… It is a HUGE ask. No… I get it. I was mad at Ralph Nader for TWO YEARS. No joke! And I had a friend who voted for Ross Perot… as a write-in in 2000. I understand what this means. But, if you consider the choices that were on the ballot in 2016, and consider the possible choices coming in 2020…

I cannot think of a single person who could change all of this for the better. No political figure could unite us. They are too polarizing. And their record is tainted by the corruption as well. No celebrity could do it. They are too entangled in their financial web to run. To many, public service could cost them millions in income. No corporate titan like Bill gates or Mark Zuckerberg… for obvious reasons.

…and that brings up another point.

We stand at the precipice of a pivotal moment in our country. We are about to see the conclusion to an investigation into an attack on our country by a foreign adversary. Many wealthy countries, organizations, individuals, good and bad actors from all corners of the globe, are watching and waiting. When decisions are made and legislation is passed, we must act in the light of Full Disclosure. The American People need to know as much as possible as to the true nature of the events of this attack. With OPENESS and OVERSIGHT being supreme, only Full Disclosure will ensure we make the best decisions, as a governing body AND as individuals. Everyone benefits with MORE KNOWLEDGE.

So who do YOU want making the calls with this classified information? It is a heavy time in our country. Non disclosure agreements, backroom handshakes, smiles and cigars, then a plea to the voters for support to fight a fictitious “enemy within”. Partisan politics played out with classified intel, partisan conclusions presenting selected facts, and all at the cost of the MEN AND WOMEN, dedicating decades of their lives to our system of Justice… like a criminal would do.

The criminal enterprise that has grown along side our partisan political structure has cast a shadow upon Our Government. The taint of political contributions from the highest bidder has led to laws that benefit the donors. The need for Congressional candidates to raise money for re-election takes time away from legislating. HOURS every day, calling wealthy donors ‘back home’, asking for their support. And all of that support comes with an implied price tag.

When We choose to UNITE behind a candidate Of the People, one who lives the issues and ills of our society daily… Someone who truly represents the ideals, not ideas, of our Nation. A candidate that understands the struggles a working class family faces, because I am part of a working class family. And I believe that those values, the ones I have been taught and the ones I have learned, are shared by the majority of the electorate. And until We see someone like myself, in The White House, we will remain divided.

If we can see past the division of our daily left/right battles and realize it doesn’t HAVE TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER. Why MUST it be ONE or THE OTHER? When we can have unity and consensus.

When we work together in good faith, We can put a MAN ON THE MOON!

Please consider OPEN and HONEST debate on my idea of creating a ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE tax payer funded Federal Election System. By achieving only this, we open the door to solving ALL issues that directly effect voters. The States have representation. The districts have representation. The President transcends regional politics and is a representative of ALL the People of Our country. The President should be decided DIRECTLY by the People.

We must End The Electoral College.

Keep your head UP!!

JC

 

I Went Down to the Crossroads

It’s not going to end… the shootings. Until we unite, they will continue. As I sit here and contemplate the events at Santa Fe High School, I understand so much of the causes of the incident, yet know nothing of the specific event.

It has been the deadliest year for public schools since the year of the Columbine massacre. Another event that I know so well, as if it happened yesterday. And all of my classmates knew that THAT event would be the last. How could it not…?

I studied the idea of running for President in 2017 to make sure I “crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s” in the event that no one could talk me out of running. By the end of January 2018, I found more reasons to run than to not. Then Valentine’s Day came.

The inspiring stories coming from MSD High School drove me to tears. How could I not speak up when these children dared speak truth to power? Though not incapable, they would need advice and support from elders if they were to be successful. And Laws would need to be discussed and implemented, but…

During the days that followed, a Senator on one of the morning talk shows reminded us why legislation was not introduced- The Hastert Rule. The “Majority of the Majority” rule in the House of Representatives. If these kids were not aware of this, then they should be. It is the reason for many of our seemingly unsolvable issues.

So I acted. The ideology of control through fear and intimidation used by sexual predators, criminals, bullies, and liars is being used against us. People need to know…

But here I sit. Alone in my confidence? Or alone in my ignorance and arrogance? I don’t seem to be able to find any counsel on this matter. I am the “Cheese”. I stand alone.

Taking a stand on an issue as horrible as this, it is a good and decent position to base a political campaign upon. And I cannot find a supporter who agrees. What does that say about me? My abilities to communicate? My ability to judge right from wrong? My ability to “see” where I can act, and where I should act.

Stand for something or else fall for anything.

Is this the “Hill I want to die upon?” So far in this battle, it is the most clear-cut fight in the whole war. No other position I have taken is clearer, or supported by so many people, yet they do not know the answer. I DO.

…and so does Paul Ryan.

We all have self doubt sometimes. We all have to “dial in the crazy” from time to time. The lines between what is possible and what should be need to be redrawn. I am attempting to change THE WORLD, alone, with a computer and a bucket full of ideas.

Where does motivation end, and insanity begin?

… so here I sit.

“Into the seeds of time” 2024

The future isn’t written. It can be changed. You know that. Anyone can make their future whatever they want it to be. – Doc Emmett Brown

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future. – John F. Kennedy

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay

 

Calendar of US House of Representatives
The highlighted days are working days in the US House of Representatives.
2016 Primary by Month
A system that includes no direct ballot vote, no input from all eligible voters.

If you have not read my blog post titled “How Should the Constitutional Amendment Read?”, please read through that for the proposed wording for changing our election system. https://jackcharbonneau.com/2018/04/30/how-should-the-constitutional-amendment-read/

I will attempt to paint the picture I have in my mind’s eye using the two calendars above.

Starting in January of the Presidential election year, each State will begin their State Primary Elections. (House calendar shows term resumes at the beginning of January) A support system of multimedia assistants and directors, staff as needed, press coordinators, will be available for each candidate in each State’s primaries, paid for with Federal Tax Dollars. The focus of this, and the Main Primary, will be in the hands of the candidate, the creative control falling to the candidate. The Federal Election Fund will provide tools, tech, people, staff, communications outlets, as needed as directed by the candidate. The debates and ballots should wrap up by the beginning of March.

The 1st congressional working day in March should be the day the President of the Senate announces, in Joint Session, the names of the candidates eligible for election. I see it being a renewal of our pride, a celebration of our peaceful transition of power. A public recognition of the will of the People. A celebration of what unites us ALL. All States participate, and all States send their best and brightest with hopes that our common good is realized. Proud of ALL candidates, because ONE among them will be the next CinC.

Preparations starting on that day, the first of three National Ballots will fall on the first Tuesday in April, narrowing down the 50 to 25. (Adjustments in number of candidates will be necessary as new States are added to Our Union) Another month of debate and discussion leads us to another National Ballot on the first Tuesday of May, narrowing the remaining field from 25 to 10. One month later, on the first Tuesday in June, the 10 candidates will be narrowed by National Ballot, down to the two final candidates.

At the discretion of the President of the Senate, the two remaining candidates will be announced no later than 4 July, before Congress leaves for the summer. Personally, I believe the tradition of announcement should fall ON The 4th of July for two reasons-

1.) It will provide sufficient time to allow for any contesting of votes or systemic issues that should come to light between the June ballot and announcement.

2.) It is an affirmation! A National Celebration of our Country. Why NOT?!! Fireworks, parades, a Celebration of our INDIVIDUAL POLITICAL POWER! We, The People, realize the dream of our founders, every time we stand up, speak out, and pick a citizen who will lead us ALL into the future.

A fitting date to present extraordinary individuals as the people We choose to represent the US in the world.

This idea must be expanded upon. It is a skeleton to be sure. But it is a starting point for discussion about the size and scope of staff that will be required. MANY thousands of jobs in technology and design, web strategists, media strategists… IF we want participation, this must be a big production. A tour de force in order to captivate our country. AVAILABILITY and OPENNESS with SECURITY and OVERSIGHT. This is an institution of THE PEOPLE, and we demand the BEST system possible. It must ensure that the candidate’s platform is heard by all who seek the information. It must be advertised in all appropriate ways to ensure the public is fully informed about times, places, locations, directions, debate venues.

By working in coordination with Federal level elections officials and the Secret Service, the ability of States to decide how, when, where, certain aspects of the system will work will allow variation. An official set of requirements and laws with enforced punishment, must be met by each State with regard to ballot access and procedures in the process of voting. ALL VOTES MUST BE BOTH DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL. All voters must have their voter ID. A new photo ID, verified via a documentary in-person process (either a citizen goes to a location OR the Elections official will come to them if circumstances demand)  and provided as a FREE SERVICE TO ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Locations opened in all States to be run by the Federal Government, integrity and security ensured by the Secret Service.

These sites could serve a multifunctional headquarters for press centers, voting centers, registration centers… a community level hub for candidate information and Citizen Voter Initiatives, campaign rallies, etc.

This system will allow for a National voice in the selection of a candidate for president, where our current system is… a potato. NO State seems to hold any power in deciding who will be president NOW. Let’s attempt to ensure ALL States have a say in the CANDIDATES, not just the President.