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

… in Rememberance of Those No Longer With Us.

It wasn’t the first. It wasn’t the last. As much as we all wanted it to be true, Never Again was unattainable. It FELT like it could happen, and if you closed your eyes and believed it hard enough, it was true…

Until Santa Fe High School in Texas.

And the reaction to it would be the same as it was to Parkland, and the one before that- “Thoughts and prayers”, “Isn’t it a shame…”

Our elected Representatives shed tears and demanded action… demanded answers. THEIR leaders sought to SILENCE and SUPPRESS their concerns, cold and callous- “We should not jump to conclusions”, “We shouldn’t over-react while emotions are still raw”.

On this day, three hundred and sixty-five days ago… 350 mass shootings ago, we witnessed the death of a POLITICAL IDEOLOGY that has given rise to Institutional Discrimination, Government Sanctioned Murder, and protection for Sexual Predators.

On this day, one year ago, in a community in Florida, a Political Stronghold in Washington, DC, was murdered by a High School Student carrying a CELL PHONE. When reached for comment, the Speaker of the House of Representatives offered his “thoughts and prayers” for those effected by the tragedy.

The destruction of this one event was not fully understood at that moment. The deaths caused by this SINGULAR event would mount in the months that followed. Spreading from one chamber to the other, slowly becoming apparent to everyone WITHIN government, the “rot” caused by their death spread OUTSIDE government. Soon, the emblem of the 2nd Amendment, the NRA, would be dead as well.

… I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers to those effected.

And as we remember those effected by the tragic events that unfolded that day, we remember in sadness. Still engulfed by the LOSS, the scene still fresh in our mind’s eye. Do not mourn for those we have lost, for they realized what their mission in LIFE truly was as soon as thier time here had ended. In the course of a well lived life, of success and longevity, pain and loss are inevitable. To NOT experience it somehow makes the achievements less valuable. Without the pain, we do not fully appreciate what it is we were missing… and how much better things could be.

On the day of the shot heard ’round the world, pain and loss were reality. On the Beaches of Normandy, at the Battle of Gettysburg… the same as it was one year ago. It is not understood in the moment. It is not realized at the time.

But it is memorialized, and it is consecrated… to be remembered throughout all time.

Wars are fought to secure peace. Tens of thousands die in efforts to ensure prosperity. Individual sacrifices given freely, and fully, to Just Cause. Victory was assured that day one year ago, in a High School in Florida. Let us never forget what we have lost, and how greatly appreciative our Nation should ever be.

#NeverAgain✊


Rest in peace, Speaker Paul Ryan, and everyone who gave rise and support to the agendas he stood for.

THIS is how it begins.

George W. Bush was very unpopular for the first seven months of his Presidency. Bitter and divisive political climate and a President elected by the Electoral College. Candidate Bush ran a turn-coat message similar to the GOP today. The term “Compassionate Conservatism” was born at the Republican Convention in 2000. I remember listening to Bush’s speech at the Convention and KNOWING it was bullshit when I heard it! It was a hijacking of the Democratic messaging, and I know I wasn’t the only one who saw through it.

Nine months and ten days into the year 2001, the President looked to be incapable at best… what a difference a day makes.

The next day DEFINED both the Man and his Administration. The grandiose highs and the horrifying lows. His ignorant inactions as well as his un-Christian actions in the pursuit of Justice.

Events of that scale CHANGE generations. They radically skew that trajectory of millions, spanning multiple generations. Astronomers take measurements of the position of stars in the sky relative to a previous known position. A measurement taken at a universally recognized point in history- an epoch. Once you have two points you can plot out a trajectory. You can find out how distant a celestial body is from any other object in the sky.

You can predict future locations, you can accurately recreate historical positions.

9/11 DEFINED George W. Bush. 9/11 defined my GENERATION. 9/11 marked the end of a ‘peacetime’ economy, and now my children are growing up in a country consumed by war and war-culture. The most popular online game, played by children and grown men alike, is a militaristic winner-take-all battle simulation with a carnival-like atmosphere.

For a time, our country seemed to celebrate war. Reluctant, but justified, we were fighting a clearly defined enemy… sort of, in a clearly defined geographical location. So it is natural to rally behind the President in war because we ALL have a stake in the outcome… So Iraq was invaded. And that betrayal of the TRUST of the American People has not been forgotten. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

The Son of a former President, SQUEEKED into office, sat on his hands for seven months, then spent 7+ YEARS in office, hailed by some as a Leader, vilified by some as an enabler. From the “Rubble Pile” to the WORST President in US History* in SEVEN years… find TWO points and trace the trajectory.

We must now HEED the wise words of that historic leader-

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… shame on… you fool me, I won’t get fooled again.”

I remember the first flight I took after 9/11. The intense security. The suspicion of EVERYONE. The prejudice. But also THE UNITY. The intense belief that, NO MATTER WHAT, every single person on that flight had your back, and you theirs! There was NO WAY anyone was gonna take that bird outta the sky without 150 pissed off people to go through first!

We don’t forget. We LEARN. We adapt. We are NOT the same ignorant bunch that inhabited this space on September 10, 2001. We did not seek it, but when it came calling, we did NOT back down. And now we must remember WHY we are so mournful of the events that took place that day… we mourn because we will never be able to go BACK.

Now, HERE we stand.

A President. Elected by the Electoral College. Considered to be incapable at best. He seeks power with the help of some SHADY people. His Branded Plastic Empire has been built by stealing other people’s blocks.

He “loves” murderous dictators.

He ignores the needy.

He misappropriates OUR resources and now people have needlessly died due to STORMS.

He is impotent when foreign leaders doubt American Leadership in the World, but today, due to his actions as THE Leader of the Political Party that holds the power in ALL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, men of honor must agree with the CURRENT assessment of our position in the World.

Donald J. Trump is allowing hostile enemies to LISTEN TO HIS PHONE CALLS… knowingly so! IS there no clearer definition of the WORD,

Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Majority Leader?

Usurpation of the PEOPLE is unacceptable! Lies and manipulation of Laws and people, with VAST AMOUNTS OF CASH. Slush funds hidden behind shell companies. All donated by people with money to BURN. Generational fortunes… and hidden within ALL of the shady and “unsightly” political company we keep, we are giving COVER to foreign advasries.

Our enemies are WATCHING… they are as FEISTY as we are! We have been at it now for ALMOST 80 years… They know US as well as we know ourselves! Now our Cold War/ Hot War tit-for-tat has EVOLVED into a Virtual theater of war. The feared “Hot War” has evolved, as well, but we didn’t see it happen.

The Hot War of the Digital Age has ALREADY started. The first shots have been fired. In this battle, instead of Nuclear Annihilation, the weapon is much more like a predator drone. Much more focused… Very precise.

What makes Our Constitution worth more than the parchment it was printed on? What gives that document LIFE? That’s what the objective is in this new war-

The Hearts and Minds of Every American.

The only thing that holds us BACK, from falling back into the darkness, is our FAITH in the Rule of Law and its protections. If we lose THAT… if we degrade that? Then the game is over.

BUT…

Do not despair. Keep looking to the sky. Without the endless expanse of darkness, one would not be able to see the light! The cold and endless expanse of nothingness is sprinkled with beauty and every now and then, you get lucky, and see something in a brand new light.

Keep your head UP!!

JC

 

What do you want?

What’s your favorite song? Right now I can’t stop listening to Tool’s ‘Lateralus’. The complexity of the time signatures is hypnotic and the message of “keep going” drives me on some mornings.

On my way home from Costco this morning, I realized something important about what I’m doing in politics right now. I’ve written a ‘new song’ in essence. When an artist has the spark within that moves them to create something never heard before, it is only existent in the artists own mind. Think about it… the moment when Mozart started to compose The Requiem, it was already complete and playing on repeat, perfection in his mind.

The moment the SPARK hits, the composition exists in perfection in the artist’s mind.

As beautiful as that initial composition is, the composed reality is usually different. Especially if the composition process is done with other musicians contributing, and that process leads to collaborations that lead to something even more amazing than first envisioned. That’s what makes a supergroup like Queen so much more incredible, all contributing to make something no one individual could.

The rare exception occurs. The spark gives light and the artists sits and creates, as if in one breath, perfection in reality, where any addition to the creation makes it somehow less than it is alone. The story behind the creation of this song is a great example-

I believe I have done that with my Constitutional Amendment.

But I am not sure. Even if I am, it is not up to one individual, as it should be. It is a collaborative process that will involve shaping an imagined idea, existing in perfection only in the minds of a few, but ultimately be something even more amazing than any ONE person can see.

I believe I am justified in my request for an open discussion of this idea, and am currently searching every fiber of my make up to be sure I am correct. I constantly ask myself if I am missing a piece of the puzzle, or if I am worthy of even attempting to run for President. Rehashing every bad decision I’ve ever made. Every person I have wronged in my life. Every heart I have broken. Every illegal act I’ve ever committed… the ones I’ve been caught doing and the ones I have not.

As I weigh all of my actions against a feather, I find I am not pure. As a recovering addict, ten years sober, I know my years as a child bled over into my adult life. I believed the life of drugs and alcohol could coexist with family life. As a child who grew up in the homes of addicts, my frame of reference was skewed. I had never lived in a sober family before I got married and had kids. I went through life believing everything to be a party, and I thought NOT drinking and partying everyday would be ‘good enough’.

Rarely is someone successful aiming for par.

By becoming a husband and a father, I’ve become a partner in a successful team. We own our own home, our boys are getting the best education we can provide, and we are working our way slowly out of debt, even if our home mortgage is STILL underwater from 2008. Our financial plans for the future are tenuous since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2016. My body has changed a lot since the auto-immune reaction that causes loss of insulin production started. My body is not in “mint condition”, and my stamina for physical activity has diminished.

My wife, being an ICU nurse who specializes in pediatric CRRT, doesn’t work a set schedule, and she works 12 hour night shifts. A long time ago I figured out the best way for me to do something I would enjoy and be a contributor to the family. After my job as a “housewife”, I would need to start my own business so I could have the flexibility her schedule would require. I planned on going back to school and learning how to install residential solar and wind electricity production and tap into an untouched market here in KC. Energy independence is a must for everybody for many reasons. I am passionate about that.

But now… I just had my 39th birthday yesterday, and my body feels like it’s almost 60. Knees are stiff, back is sore, I am sensitive to heat, and my skin is more sensitive. Appearantly type 1 diabetes gives you the odd superhero ability to feel a piece of dog hair anytime it gets between your cloths and your skin…

After dealing with the horrifying reality that my body is no longer compatible with life on this planet, I realize I will continue to live. Mary Tyler Moore was 80 when she died. So long as I constantly think about my insulin, I will live. What I can do, physically, has changed. I am less productive in general because of the hormonal and chemical differences due to lack of beta cells. And the amount of time I must now dedicate to self maintenance limits what I can accomplish in my spare time. But I know I can still contribute!

I will not continue to fight for this campaign if I am convinced I am wrong. I do not want to waste my time fighting for a flawed idea that is not what people want. That is insanity. I have little time to waste chasing fairies, when I could be using my talents to do what’s necessary for my family. But if I am correct, I am doing what is necessary for my family RIGHT NOW. And what’s necessary for every family in this country. And if I am correct, and everyone starts to hear what I have to say, and begins the process of debate…

I believe I am justified because it is the best idea, not because it is MY idea. I only ask that it be allowed a full and open discussion. Let the chips fall where they may.

JC