“Where Were You When…”

 

There are certain movies that, as soon as the first image comes to life on the screen, you know with out a doubt, what year you are looking at. Maybe it’s the type of car that passes in the opening credits. Sometimes it’s the clothing the actors are wearing. It strikes the mood in an intended way, as directed by the script. Usually the time of occurrence is integral to the plot.

But certain movies are unavoidably tied to a specific time period due to iconic events. As soon as that is flashed on the screen, no matter when the movie is trying to portray, we automatically know this movie is history.

1

As soon as you see this, you know a specific time period, specific circumstances. If you lived it, songs on the radio that summer, smells from events that took place, people you haven’t seen since then. Feelings that you felt from seeing such an amazing sight.

I hope that historians will look back at our current situation and see this image of Lady Liberty under repair, as how they describe the nation. It is a fitting metaphor for our society right now.

After hundreds of years of storms, hurricanes, earthquakes… dirt and damage due to neglect has left a noticeable mark on Liberty! The torch does not shine quite as bright as it did not so long ago. She STILL stands, but no one seems to notice the beauty as much as they used to. “Yeah, yeah… we know. What else ya’ got?”

I suppose that’s the problem with such a beautiful thing. You take for granted the idea that this powerful force stands with you everyday and you don’t stop and recognize just how wonderful it is. So many long to see her and make a point of visiting, just once, and then hope one day, they can make this place their home, too. To Us, it’s as reflexive as inhaling or blinking.

Until one day… there’s talk of changing it. What?!! There’s nothing wrong with her? Look… Keep your hands off my Lady! She’s the best thing in the world and ain’t you, or NO ONE gonna change that! You hear me?!!

Then the scaffolding goes up…

2

And now, that beautiful lady we didn’t want to leave, has faded from view. It’s temporary they say, but it hurts none the less. It forces us to remember just how precious having her around really is. But even more than that, it awakens a love deep within us we didn’t know was there. Seeing things in a way not seen in hundreds of years…

My God, when she’s gone, how we ache! And the comfort, and safe feeling… I wish EVERYONE could feel that way, forever. The gift of universal love and acceptance shining brightly, we must recommit to it and reaffirm just how wonderful she is!

Anyone can tell you, after so many years, every relationship has to be worked on. It cannot just sit and “be”. As we all grow, so too must our connections to others. Things get rough from time to time, and sometimes, when something separates people, it can rekindle a passion long forgotten. It will force you to question what is the priority and what is the obstacle. Having that destination in mind, of returning to that warm embrace, clarifies and emboldens.

5

And both understand, that this commitment is only an optional thing. We knew going into this, that we could change it at ANY POINT. The majority of relationships before ours have been dissolved, and odds are stacked against us. Some days its hard to see the common ground we want to achieve. Some days we think maybe there is greener grass. But there is something to be said for the comfort we get from being in a relationship with Liberty. The ability to chose, to bend, to grow. The freedom to gain scars from failed endeavors, and know a place to heal awaits us in times of trouble.

As disconnected as we sometimes feel we are, when we see her, we remember why we get out of bed some mornings. Because we gotta try and get it right… if not for me, then for Her.

Keep your head UP.

JC

 

“Got to Pay Your Dues if You Wanna Sing the Blues…”

There’s a reason for internships… wait. I said that wrong, Is there a reason for interns? Other than free labor? Oh… networking and leaning the in’s and out’s of a particular trade or craft. A group of like minded individuals who can serve as mentors for a journeymen in a difficult or dangerous craft. In some cases the intern’s life depends on the internship. The life of the teacher will depend on teaching the student well if they will be working side by side on the same job.

The idea of an “internship” in the world of music seems odd at first. No lives depend upon a guitarist learning to solo with the axe behind his head. (I think the exception would be KISS…) And collaboration in the exchange of ideas benefit the artists over their entire compositional life. Hearing new riffs expands the horizon of what could be.

In this sense, the internship is a metaphor. The idea was summed up by my junior high school band director. It’s that “Johnson County Swing”. That middle class, white suburban, Kansas City Junior High jazz band swing. It’s the difference between “Peter Gunn” and “Pink Floyd”. A fresh faced young lad cannot play something quite so sultry and moving as an older counterpart because they haven’t lived it yet. They haven’t seen the heartache that can lead a man to play the blues.

It is an Internship that never ends.

Well… it will go on for “quite a while”. And the lessons learned in that process bring out a maturity in the playing that can take one by surprise. I remember one day thinking “Yeah… I get it,” after my grandfather died. My bass lines fell a little more on the backside of the beat, and the ‘weight’ of the moment helped to resonate the sound just a bit farther.

So, I get it. I understand that one must “Pay their dues”. I’ve heard commentators say, that every morning, each member of the House of Representatives wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says “Good morning, Mr. President!” And the Senators, the Governors, the prominent business leaders sweating it out for decades. Many of them starting out as interns themselves! Low level staffers who dreamed of one day getting their shot at the job. Then, maybe… if the timing is right… One day!

I was a struggling musician for many years. I get it. I love how James Hetfield of Metallica describes the band’s early days… living on “fist sandwiches”… Slice of bologna+ hand= Fist Sandwich. Living in a studio apartment, dreaming of One day.

It may seem a bit presumptive to many people, that I should just start a social media campaign for Commander in Chief. As if I am better than other candidates who have busted hump working long hours over years of hard work. But that is not the case. I am not seeking to mount a political dynasty, or upend our political way of life. No one could end our country’s political way of life! It IS who we are! That ‘battle royal’ mentality is woven within the fabric of our entire society. From the schools we attend, to the careers we seek, to the daycare centers we send our kids to.

I am running for President because I believe I have a genuine solution to the majority of the societal ills We face everyday. One that has not been given a fair open discussion. One that, once acted upon, would open the legislative door to the majority of the Electorate being able to have their voices matter each and every election. A campaign focus that, to my knowledge, has not been done before. A fundamental change in the election cycle. A demand that Our ‘political rumbles’ become substantive, rather than divisive. A demand to lift up the nation’s values, that the bar be raised, so that even the weakest among us are cared for.

If I wanted to change the local politics in Kansas City… If I wanted to press for a more robust transit system that services communities across the State Line, or if I wanted to help Kansas Farmers ensure their health care needs are secure, I would run for office at the State or US Representative level. I would enjoy doing those things. But the agenda I am pursuing cannot be achieved by running for city councilman. The idea I have cannot be realized by a junior Senator from Kansas.

Being that the majority of Americans would benefit from a Constitutional Convention to address the large number of social issues causing division in our communities, our families, and in our Congress, we must propose Amendments and seek to ratify them via a political mandate. When We have a candidate that we ALL can Unite behind and confidently vote for, in such a large overwhelming way that it COMMANDS the attention of the legislatures, the solution to these issues will materialize faster than you could imagine! Once the active distortion of the truth is silenced by the voice of The People, those who oppose truth and openness will be seen clearly.

And We will welcome the Trolls. We will listen to the Trolls, but we will not fear them. Stand Up! Walk into the light and Speak Freely! Whether genius or insanity, everyone MUST be heard.

…I suppose it’s up to The People now. Keep your head UP!!

JC

How Should the Constitutional Amendment Read?

What do We want Our government to look like? Who should Our government represent? When the choices that appear on the ballot look and act nothing like me or my family, why should I expect they will make choices with my family in mind?

Our election system currently forces a candidate to acquire money to have their voices heard. Therefore, the more money, the LOUDER your voice becomes. THIS has led to the upside-down view of “government is not the solution to our problems- government is the problem.”

I believe this should change.

When We elect a President born OF this country, A President who is FROM The People, we can see the change We need. Our government is seen by special interest groups and MASSIVE corporations as an obstacle to overcome. But this is NOT the case.

It IS the FRAMEWORK that holds us ALL together. A ‘referee’ in the daily battles of life, for the economic world AND the consumers. BOTH are dependent on the other for survival. And Our government ensures the playing field is fair for everyone. It protects the field’s VERY EXISTANCE.

Money should NOT DECIDE who can become President.

ideas should.

The government (We) should create the “venue”, the “vehicle” for the debate on ideas. A “Coliseum” for a “Battle Royale of the Minds”. To decide the President of THIS Country?!! We deserve No Less!

We need a Constitutional Convention to create a ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE, OPEN, SECURE, Election system to change the way the candidates are selected. In an open and honest debate, the BEST ideas ALWAYS rise to the top. We can do better than the system we have now. End the Electoral College.

Considering that an amendment requires 2/3 Congressional approval and 3/4 of the States’ Legislatures for ratification, this is a process that requires everyone to speak up and participate. EVERYONE benefits from this. This change will also require us ALL to take full personal RESPONSIBILITY for the HONOR and POWER of the Office of the Presidency. It is, after all, an embodiment of the unified spirit of all who participate in this system. Whomever holds the Office, holds it for us all. So my following text is an idea.

Proposal for Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

Article II, Sec I.2 shall be undone.

Article II, Sec I.3 shall be amended to read as follows-

I.3 Each of the Several States shall select, by ballot of eligible voters, in the respective States, an eligible candidate for President. The Chief Executive of each State, the elected Legislatures of those States, as well as the Secretary of State of the respective States, shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate, the name of the selected candidate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, open and announce the name and State of each candidate.

At the end of the announcement, discussion/ decent shall be voiced and heard by the President of the Senate. At such point, either by determination of ineligibility or by majority vote by both Houses in separate votes, dismiss any candidate. If the votes of the House and the Senate stand in opposition, deference  falls to the original Vote of the State that had certified the candidate.

Article II, Sec. I.4 shall be undone and Amended to read as follows-

I.4 The Congress may determine the timing of a series of primary debates and discussion designed with the goal of narrowing down the list of eligible candidates, by ballot of eligible voters, to a choice of two eligible candidates. The two remaining candidates will be announced by the president of the Senate no later than July 4 of the election year to give the electorate sufficient time to become familiar with the candidates, to be voted upon for President in November.

The integrity and security of Our Intellectual Debates for Our Elections shall be overseen by the Secret Service, with full Congressional oversight and direction.

-END

Keep your head up.

JC

 

 

A Call to Amend the Constitution

“…a ‘Constitutional Crisis’…”

We have reached a point in our Country’s evolutionary trajectory where We must make CONCRETE statements about who We ARE and what we WANT to be. A large number of societal issues have been enraged, manipulated by parties, FORIEGN and DOMESTIC, resulting in DIVISION within our common interests. The DIVISION placed between Us has resulted in damages being caused, simply by doing NOTHING.

Doing NOTHING has become both SAFE and PROFITABLE.

A Constitutional Convention

Our INDIVIDUAL identities, both physical/spiritual AND virtual, are VALUABLE PROPERTY. Most often INHERITED from an elder or set of elders, BUT not exclusively. “In order to form a more perfect Union… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish…” The Freedom to choose one’s individual identity is why we are ALL HERE.

We, as individuals alone, are able to decide our own Identities.

ALL persons should be protected from discrimination based on their Identity. All persons should be allowed to define their identity in Safety.

Being that only an Individual has the right to vote and not a corporation, the protections afforded to an individual should NOT be given to corporations.

End the Electoral College

The protection of the ballot box being compromised by a large enough number of the States’ removing the Liberty of the Electoral College to pick the Executive, the Election of the President shall be determined directly by the Popular Vote of the People and not the Electoral College. A National Restructuring of the electoral process should be researched and developed via Regular Order in Congress, with due consideration given to the equal suffrage in the Senate.

Article II, section I.2 shale be undone.

Article II, section I.3 shall be Amended.

Article II, section I.4 shall be undone and Amended.

The sacred defense of the Reproductive Liberty of ALL People being Our Common Duty, the Right of a Woman to Choose shall be protected.

When our Constitution was written, the Framers stood upon a hill, looking back the same distance we look back Now upon them, and they could STILL SEE a time when Lords and Tyrants decided the Reproductive Rights of ALL. Forgive us, when the winds of change come and some look upon us NOW, and use a well meaning moral law as precedent to enact legislation that limits Reproductive Liberty in the name of the State.

IF we allow the Government the ability to legislate our individual HUMAN right, they can someday decide when you CAN or CANNOT reproduce.

ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE

Once a regulated and SECURE voting system is established, voted upon and ratified under Constitutional Law, the ABLILITY to shine light on societal change becomes a tool of the People, wielded DIRECTLY every TWO years.

A CLEAR BEGINING is to re-affirm the control of our collective fates and fortunes lies in the hands of our Citizens. WE have not forgotten, we have been DISTRACTED and forgot that we have to be UNITED for this to work. We must stand TOGETHER and support the core ideals in our founding documents….

…or not. THAT is what must happen. A DISCUSSION on whether THIS, Our Structure of Governance, is a true reflection of what we want it to be.

“To be, rather than appear to be.”

We can do this. Don’t let them convince you that you can’t! They spend millions each election to convince people all across Our Country their vote doesn’t matter.

“All we need to do, is make sure, we keep talking.”

-Stephen Hawking

Keep your head UP!!