A Restoration.

I did not have clarity of thought when I was a young man. As a child, my father would constantly remind me, “Children are to be SEEN, not HEARD.” He would communicate silently that I was rambling on and on and on and on… by hand gesture. Pinching his fingers and thumb together, as if they were the mouth of a sock puppet, telling me without a word to SHUT UP!

I would usually get the hint. As I try to remember how I acted in my childhood, I remember so little. I don’t remember carrying on like that, but I DO remember the annoyance with it. The problems it would cause at school. The constant drifting within my own mind, consuming HOURS of my life.

In my teenaged years, I became angry and rebellious. Once, during a heated argument with my father, he told me, “Someday you’re gonna have a kid who’s JUST like you!”

Yeah… ha ha, OLD MAN… whatever.

 

Well, you KNOW… with OLD AGE comes WISDOM, I suppose!

I’ve learned EXACTLY how I was as a child by raising my youngest son, Garrett. He is exactly like me in almost every way, and where he and I differ, he is EXACTLY like his mother. She might NOT admit it… but she can be a bit STUBBORN, too.

Shortly after Garrett was born, I sought counseling as part of my recovery and treatment for Alcoholism. During these sessions, the therapist and I discovered… I have ADHD. He referred me to a psychologist, who confirmed what we suspected.

I have been on medication now for 10 years. IF I had been given the opportunity to be diagnosed BEFORE THEN… my life would have been MUCH different! The ability to FOCUS my thoughts… more than that, the ability to control my mind, and actually make the thoughts STOP! CLARITY of the mind… CONFIDENCE comes with CLARITY, two things I could not find as a teenager.

Recognizing the symptoms I had as a child, remembering the problems it would eventually cause in MY life, I realized at an early age that Garrett would need help, as well. Being able to make that decision for him at an early stage in his development has changed his trajectory. He will not have to face the same hardships that I did…

 

… isn’t that the WHOLE IDEA? To LEARN from mistakes. To take lessons from the PAST and reinforce them, to build a STRONGER FUTURE.

 

I began caring about my mental health at age 30. Since then, the steps I have taken to live a happy and productive life have opened up possibilities I would never have been able to TRY… all within the last 10 years. We’ve been working with Garrett to ensure his mental health and well-being since he was 8… I am jealous of what he will achieve by the age of 40!

 

I have ALWAYS challenged authority. As a parent, I’ve found myself questioning the accepted social dogmas of raising a child. “When I was YOUR AGE… that’s how WE were raised, so that’s how it’s done.”

My step-mother would make me eat scrambled eggs with chopped green peppers in them. I did not like them. I was NOT given a choice. Today, as an adult, I have developed an allergy to nightshade vegetables. Was her demand really necessary? At what point should a child be treated more as an individual, with the right to decide CLEARLY, that green peppers ARE disgusting?

Should we make demands of our children, ones that we didn’t like THEN and do not like NOW, simply because they were made OF US? Consider the amount of CHANGE that has happened in the last 20 years!

I told my boys about a time I had a flat tire on a highway in central Wisconsin, and had to walk damn near 10 MILES to reach a phone! They didn’t seem to fully understand what things were like… just a FEW YEARS AGO. On the other hand, I have to keep reminding them of the POWER they hold in their hands. Every time they ask me how to spell something, I answer, “G-O-O-G-L-E”. They take it for granted… they have the ability to answer ANY QUESTION, instantly! My god… You know, back in MY DAY…

To avoid mistakes in the future, we look to lessons from our PAST. With old age DOES come WISDOM, and from wisdom we gain UNDERSTANDING… and THAT is how we find PEACE, through COMPASSION.

 

Tonight, my thoughts are with the Iranian PEOPLE. My thoughts are of PEACE, and ALL that can come FROM it. My thoughts are of INQUIRY, not condemnation. My heart aches as we are moving BACKWARD, not striving together for a BETTER FUTURE… as we have DONE, so recently in our PAST.

As tensions grow, I want to extend a message of PEACE from THE PEOPLE of The United States of America. Not from the elite. Not from the elected. My voice comes from the suburban expanses of endless cul-du-sacs and asphalt city streets. It comes from the families who’ve put the ‘RED’ in our ‘RED, WHITE, and BLUE’… and may do so WILLINGLY again someday.

The American People fight for PEACE.

We curse the war and bless the PEACE that follows. We DEMAND our leaders pursue PEACE AT ALL COST, in order to avoid losing that, which has NO PRICE. There is a disconnect now in the United States between the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and the policies being practiced. The American People are beginning to UNDERSTAND this, and we are starting to ask the questions… “WHY?”

Questioning OURSELVES. To become stronger than we were YESTERDAY… and tomorrow, stronger STILL.

“We seek PEACE. WHY is it NOT SO?”

“But THEY attacked US?! WHY…?”

The American People STILL BELIEVE that ours IS the greatest system of governance ever envisioned… AS DO I. To continue working toward that more perfect union envisioned by our Founders, we must come to terms with the fact that our government has NOT been used AS INTENDED for many YEARS. The American People must remember WHO WE ARE, and for WHAT we STAND…

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The United States of America is the HOME of the REVOLUTIONARY! We give SHELTER to those who fight FOR JUST CAUSE. We do not turn away. We do NOT close our doors. We have walked the path of war. We have fought, side-by-side to defend the land of others, and laid to rest our soldiers, side-by-side with THEIRS… with hope that it would never happen again.

Our FOUNDING FATHERS were REVOLUTIONISTS, fighting in-kind for principles and ideals not yet BORN. Seeing how society WAS all around them, watching the depravity that comes alongside corruption, knowing the consequences that come when leadership becomes SELF-ABSORBED, dripping in-excess… They STOOD UP and BRAVELY questioned, “WHY?”

They stepped beyond themselves, and asked the questions that lead to only ONE CONCLUSION- we are ALL CREATED EQUAL.

Their theoretical form of government today, is OUR reality. BORN OF imperfect men, BORN-OUT by our SHARED HISTORY. A common goal REALIZED… or rather, one that has been entrusted to US, to complete.

REVOLUTIONS often happen at the POINT OF A SWORD, through the SITE on a barrel…

 

PEACE only comes once we’ve PUT THOSE WEAPONS DOWN.

 

Wars have been fought to promote the idea of PEACE. PEACE has been SHATTERED under the guise of an avoidance of war. And EVERY TIME… we KNOW what will happen. We KNOW who will fall VICTIM, and we KNOW who will be to blame.

Who we ARE, we CANNOT change. Who we will BECOME is always OUR CHOICE! Do we wish to be DEFINED by the flaws of our PAST? Should we stand against evolution or change, simply to enshrine the PAST… chaining it to our FUTURE? Let us REMEMBER what once WAS and dedicate it, with HONOR, to a RESTORATION OF JUSTICE today. If PEACE IS WHAT WE DESIRE… we should not start a war to PROVE IT.

When we commit to the pursuit of PEACE with the SAME LEVEL of PASSION we commit to the pursuit of JUSTICE… we will SEE BOTH.

I am PROUD to live in the country that helps DEFINE the word REVOLUTION.

JC

“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.

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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…

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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.

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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

 

An Independent President

As I see it, there is only one solution- we MUST elect a President who has NO intrest in a political career, who has no political ‘history’ (THE reason Hillary lost, IMHO), and is a ‘working stiff’ like myself. The “Average Joe”. AKA someone who represents the MAJORITY of Americans.

 

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Mr. Jack Charbonneau

 

 

Under normal circumstances, I would NOT run for President. I would say there are MANY more qualified persons we need to be at the helm. But we have reached a ‘tipping point’ in our country. What we have created, this intercontinental economic powerhouse, born and bread here in the USA, is now attempting to, and successfully I might add, change the rules… change the legislative structure ITSELF… to its own benefit.

If the law makers are sympathetic to your company, even better have worked for or will be working for your company, then laws can be passed or undone in your interest. Our government is similar to refs in an NFL game. What would happen if the players were allowed to be the refs? At some point the game would come to a halt due to the inflated egos on the field! Instead of a competition of skill, it would become a “battle royale”.

Though the idea of a death match on the Senate floor MIGHT sound appealing…

I hope over the course of 3 years I will be able to lay out a full description of myself, articulating my positions on as much as I can think of, as well as any questions thrown this way, to show exactly why I can be President. Because we all KNOW the President is only as powerful as the Congress allows. If they are all in agreement, progress CAN be made. It has happened before. It MIGHT happen again!… maybe… I’m optimistic. Not 100%, but at least 65% confident…

A President with an UNDENIABLE MANDATE from the VOTERS, THE PEOPLE, from whom this government gets its marching orders. By sending a representative from the PEOPLE, NOT the special interests, NOT the legislative elites, NOT the wall street leaders.

A person who, when someone looks at that leader and asks “Is he looking out for my interests?” You can absolutely say “Yes”. Because, as I see it, the MAJORITY looks, acts, and THINKS exactly like I do. We bust our ass, follow the rules, try to get ahead, set a good example for our kids, then see the banking industry gamble all OUR money away on risky loans and NOT GET PUNISHED. Or see Donald Trump break LAWS and… nothing. Or watch an oil company kill 11 workers due to negligence and no one goes to jail!

NOTHING?? If I go to the casino tonight, put it all on red and come home broke, my family’s financial future is bleak. If I were to attempt to write off those losses, my ass would be in jail. Same for anyone else. Accountability used to be universal.

Let’s make America ACCOUNTABLE again. Your actions speak volumes. EVERYONE is accountable for their actions, GOOD and BAD. Let’s do good, for everyone, together.

Keep your head UP!!