“Move on, Barbara.” “He’s dead. Get over it.” “Who cares!”
I have another little neurotic obsession. When people challenge me, I get more bold. These same people don’t have the guts to come face to face with their own obsession – negating Ronald Reagan’s genocide against Indigenous people in the 1980s and his disastrous policies that have led us to climate change and collapse of our own middle class. So, why should we care today?
Ronald Reagan is still alive.
A living generation today enabled The Reagan Era to commit crimes against humanity, including slaughtering of indigenous people in Central America, the Mayans of Guatemala less than 40 years ago. Today both the GOP and Democrats continue to hail Reagan. And our society refuses to acknowledge the responsibility while it enables propaganda and hides truth.
I wrote a memoir “Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life” to share the forgotten story of the 1981 National Strike against Reagan, another bit of history that is part of the dark shadow of our collective memory, when I was a 13 year old child waiting for the FBI to arrest my father, a union member, with absolute fear. A union of air traffic controllers and their families stood for honesty and fair wages, risking everything. I can understand the fear immigrants live with daily, those who have run from the horror we actually created in their own countries.
Four years ago I handed Nancy Pelosi a copy of my book and her face turned white as she said “Oh, my god.” She ran quickly away from me, disappearing into the crowd. I didn’t understand her reaction until I returned home and did some research, discovering to my shock that Pelosi actually and willingly put up the President Ronald Reagan statue in Washington DC to represent my very state of California. She had removed the coveted abolitionist Starr King without any opportunity for public comments. Should it be a surprise that Junipera Serra is the other statue that represents California? What’s more, Governor Newsom created a Ronald Reagan Day on February 5, an act that essentially endorses the crimes Reagan committed against Indigenous people.
It is high time to talk about Central America and our war crimes in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan. It’s time for reconciliation and to recognize their plight today is directly related to our stand with their 1% oligharcy during the uprising of the Mayans, those who wanted to stand their ground for dignity and respect after being treated like agricultural slaves. We had supported Guatemalan President Rios Montt who was later charged with genocide after slaughtering men, women and children. That’s blood on our hands today.
We don’t have to look back at 100 years ago to witness the grotesque atrocities against Indigenous people. We are likely walking past a people of a generation each and every day, those who allowed Reagan to commit the crimes of some of the most vulneralbe people, less than 40 years ago.
Our country has an opportunity to give back to the people of Central America and to ensure the people receive the dignity they are entitled to. And it is high time for a generation in our country to apologize for the most grotesque lies and propaganda that the rest of us have been fed ignoring this vital history, which influenced today’s with immigration, crime and poverty.
A new sense of respect will rise for those in 1981 who stood up to President Ronald Reagan to demand political honesty and fair wages by the end of this summer. The words of my great uncle seem to speak now . . . “you got to feel it in order to understand it.”
As this past year’s insanity unravels, we get to see who were the true victims of “covid,” that mystery disease that came from a bat, a lab or maybe from nowhere . . . a question that hasn’t held much weight until now after so many feel relieved by a jab, a miracle cure that came out of nowhere. Dare to question any of it pitted you into the low grade status of being anti vax, science critic or Trump supporter. Now our kids are on the chopping block . . . ready to be thrown into this insanity. But the results are in, and this is what I see . . .without the propaganda. These are the facts.
Seventy eight percent (78%!) of those who died or were hospitalized were obese, diabetic or had other health related issues directly connected to diet and lifestyle choices. Did I say that loud enough? I would scream it, if I could.
The Surgeon General called it out in 2001 that obesity was becoming an epidemic, a condition worse than smoking cigarettes. He also said such a condition is a pandemic ready to happen. People’s health is vulnerable.
That, my friends, is the smoking gun in this insanity. Our country is literally eating themselves to death with junk food, pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs.
Healthy people weathered all this pretty well . . . remember, covid has “flulike” symptoms while those who weren’t even sick were shamefully called asymptomatic and super spreaders.
The WHO has said that this is a wake up call for us all – time to get healthy and we could dance and celebrate our way back to a genuinely healthy society.
When this fully unravels, the Nuremberg Trials will be small potatoes. Every doctor, politician and big tech/media, corporate junk food purveyor who controlled the narrative should be fired and be brought to the courts for war crimes against humanity for shutting down a democracy with fear, control and domination, allowing big tech to cash out with billions, while Musk launched Starlink, the US gained a new military arm and 5G got launched earning billions from our government to do so.
Let the games begin. The prison system should be robust after these upcoming trials and lawyers will be generating an economic recovery. I’ve got my unbuttered popcorn ready to watch.
The Surgeon General called obesity a growing epidemic in 2001 and nothing has been done to curb the uptick to today’s 70% rate of obesity in our country.
But why? It’s simple. Corporate junk food lobbyists and big pharma contribute to our politicians – it’s not in their interest to have a healthy population. Period. It’s called having power and making a buck off the vulnerable.
Under Fauci’s watch these last 20 years, he did nothing to curb this epidemic, one that led to the vulnerability of thousands of deaths of Covid this past year.
We are having the wrong conversation in this country as healthy people get doped up on injections. We need a health revolution of body, land, water and spirit and hold Fauci guilty of war crimes against humanity as he cashed out these last 20 years.
Scream it. Those were American lives that could have been saved.
The nation’s epidemic of obesity is almost as menacing to health as smoking, the U.S. surgeon general said Thursday as he called on Americans to eat less and exercise more.
Deaths related to obesity have reached 300,000 a year, said Dr. David Satcher, compared with 400,000 deaths annually from illnesses associated with smoking. Heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and various forms of cancer have all been linked to obesity, Satcher said.
TIME TO CALL IT – THE MARIN IJ IS A REPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA NEWSPAPER
My curiosity on this topic began in 2017 when a small crew of us brought filmmakers from Switzerland to present A Road Not Taken about President Jimmy Carter’s visionary clean energy policies when we knew about climate change 40 years ago. Despite the fact College of Marin and other local politicians got involved, The Marin IJ gave absolutely no coverage. In fact, an article had been written by journalist Richard Halstead, but it didn’t go to print. “There was an administrative error.”
Fast forward to this past year when statues were being toppled. I wrote an opinion piece that was proper for the times about how Ronald Reagan’s statue stands in Washington DC representing my state of California. How is it that we have a Republican President representing California? It may come to a surprise to most that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi put it there after knocking down the abolitionist Starr King, who even President Lincoln respected.
The Marin IJ did not publish the opinion piece.
Two weeks ago I wrote another opinion piece on the same week that Carterland got released. What’s more, I write about my university graduate degree at Dominican UC and ask how it’s possible to have gone through environmental ethics classes without ever learning about President Jimmy Carter’s visionary policies?
The Marin IJ did not publish the piece.
You begin to see the absolute propaganda against a Democratic president who ushered in the First Green Deal of 1979 right here in “liberal” Marin County which is nothing more than a hypocritical county of racial and economic segragation and bigotry. There is a time you have to point to the media and call the what they are – hypocrits and feeding us propaganda against a president who tried to save us.
MY opinion piece:
As the world premier of the film Carterland, The True Story of President Jimmy Carter opens at the Atlanta Film Festival this week, I would like to share how disgusted and cheated I feel with my education and society’s narrative about President Carter’s history and the environmental movement. I raise my hand to demand accountability from institutions, the media, environmental organizations and politicians about how Carter’s administration has been portrayed for 40 years when we indeed had a president who tried to stop climate change and focused on green energy. Carter’s work should be hailed as The First Green Deal and someones needs to pay for the gross negligent narrative about him for these four decades.
As a former graduate student of Dominican UC, I offer a first step in this endeavor which should be a calling for anyone who cares about our climate crisis and wants answers. I called the President of the university to demand an explanation how it’s possible that a university level environmental ethics and history class could possibly negate the fact that a living US President pushed major policies to not only combat carbon emissions in the late 1970s when we understood the dangers of greenhouse gases, as written in the 1977 book Rays of Hope, Transition to a Post Petroleum World by Denis Hayes (Organizer of Earth Day and served in the Carter Administration), but stood up to OPEC as he pushed major green energy initiatives. Not only is this historic narrative vital to understand our problem today, but the negation of that history leans heavily toward a political and economic propaganda agenda! I have not yet received a return call from the president of the school, but at this stage if I do not receive a valid reason and hear a public apology I want my money back and I will return my graduate degree in protest of this institutional political propaganda that has undermined our future health, safety and security.
Furthermore, as a substitute teacher of both San Francisco and Marin Counties for one year, I used Jimmy Carter as my ice breaker. I was appalled to discover not a single student knew this vital environmental history and only one student out of hundreds even knew the name Jimmy Carter! What are our schools teaching when our kids don’t even know of the name of a president who tried to stop climate change, the greatest threat to their generation? It merely demonstrates a systemic political agenda that is so entrenched in our society that has been based on propaganda. The question becomes even more curious when our own California politicians such as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Governor Gavin Newsom have eschewed Carter (as demonstrated in their denial to participate in the California legislative endorsed Jimmy Carter Jamboree in 2020) and to instead favor the GOP President Ronald Reagan who knocked down Carter’s visionary energy and environmental policies, an act one good easily argue led to our direct impact of our global climate crisis today. Be mindful, Pelosi raised Reagan’s statue in Washington DC after removing the abolitionist Starr King. Newson created a Ronald Reagan Day on February 5.
This film Carterland should be likened to the Fall of The Berlin Wall. Not only does it share the story that every one of us should respect recognizing 40 years worth of propaganda about a president who tried to save us, but it also casts a shadow onto any politician, educator, institution, environmental organization and media outlet that ignored or silenced a president whose time has come.
“Who is Jimmy Carter?” I asked in a public high school classroom, an ice breaker I’d use for my entire year as a substitute teacher in Marin County and San Francisco County schools.
“A baseball player?” “A terrorist?” “Wasn’t he that really bad president?”
Out of the entire year of over a thousand students I might have gotten one or two answers right, that he was a president. But even then they had no further idea about his historical significance until they Googled him on their phones. “Oh, he was a peanut farmer.”
It’s time to reflect on the words of President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 speech “Crisis of Confidence” when you recognize his administration’s work on climate change, peace and human rights carries a story to shine a light on the absolute horror of these last forty years. You can understand today why Democrats and Republicans would work hard to shun President Jimmy Carter. He makes them all look like criminals. And maybe they are.
“Have purpose,” Carter said to the people when he recognized a growing shift in the American psyche – a drive toward materialism. Following two decades of counter culture, creating new boundaries of American identity, feminism, civil rights and environmental ethos, ultimately the 60s generation cashed out under Ronald Reagan’s policies of Reaganomics (trickle down economics) and crushed working class unions, creating today’s billionaire and working poor castes. But, that’s not all. Denis Hayes, Author of the 1976 book Rays of Hope, Transition to a Post Petroleum World, published by the Worldwatch Institute, who also served in the Carter Administration, says “had Carter gotten a second term, we would not be dealing with climate change like we are today. We were already experiencing changes in the 1970s.”
It’s valid to say the 60s generation brought not only Jimmy Hendrix and The Beatles, but after their big talks and fancy parties, they also brought global climate change and the collapse or our American economy, pitting us in disaster for years to come. It’s not a surprise of the millionaire status of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Ringo now does shoe ads for a multibillion dollar corporation.
If Jimmy Carter was a Democrat, why are the Democrats not heralding Carter who tried to stop climate change? The answer is simple. The Democrats grew in line with the Republicans when you recognize the leaders of the Dems herald Reagan, the very president whose policies brought us these economic and environmental policy disasters. Take Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, for example. Ten years ago, Pelosi removed the abolitionist Starr King’s statue in Washington DC to replace it with President Ronald Reagan – a statue to represent the State of California. D-California Governor Newsom created a Ronald Reagan Day to honor Reagan. Several years ago President Ronald Reagan was inducted into the US Labor Hall of Fame despite the fact his crushing of the 1981 National Union Strike led to the collapse of unions across the country. The Democrats have embraced the GOP leader whose policies have ruined not only our country, but arguably the entire planet, yet they contine to point fingers at the GOP.
One has to reflect on that time under Carter whose administration was sabotaged as he boldly stood up to OPEC, the oil giants, with a vision to transform our country into clean energy, likely believing that the people would understand the value and wisdom of such a transformation. Denis Hayes and I discussed in my interview that when you consider who the players are behind OPEC, those with their own military mercenaries around the world doing their dirty oil business bidding, that’s it’s a that wonder Jimmy Carter wasn’t assassinated. The GOP machine under Ronald Reagan came in fast and furious, with enough Hollywood shimmer and glitz to dazzle the country, with the oil giants behind him, leading us into these forty years of wars and exploitation that make The Vietnam War look like small potatoes.
Carter could have become authoritarian, on a Trump like level, to make the energy and environmental changes needed back in the 1970s. Had he done so, we would have avoided 40 years of oil wars and environmental disasters. today we’d be leading a green economy. So, we could blame Carter for our problems today, except for one inconvenient and hard truth – Carter believes in Democracy and when he said “I am not going to do this alone,” he provided the greatest gift to the people of this country to rise and take their own power “as the people”.
Carter’s respect for our American Constitution and the will of the people are the lessons we can learn from Carter today. Most of the students of the public schools believed that Carter is dead today. “No, he’s very much alive,” I answered. If there were ever a time to shine a light on a leader who has walked the talk and preached to humanity the values confidence, grace, peace and humility, both as a President and a Sunday School teacher, it’s President Jimmy Carter.
We have forty years to look back on to witness the dark shadow of greed, wars and exploitation that Carter had to face himself as a leader, and that truth can today give us rise as an entire nation to heed his calling in 1979 “have confidence.” It’s not too late.
Some call it bold, others may say “it’s time.” I, Barbara McVeigh, state my candidacy for California Governor 2022 to usher in a state for the people and by the people. It’s time for a governor to stick up for the people. That is my pledge.
Come join us as we revolutionize California’s economy to meet the needs of the people and reshape educational opportunities, support health initiatives and take a stand for the health of our oceans, land and water.
Environment: Our children are facing a crisis which has been building for the last 40 years after a presidency in the late 1970s who tried to stop greenhouse gasses, understanding the threat which we feel today. Between massive land areas no longer ripe for agriculture and depleted of their natural biome to polluted water, we need to heal and we can do it. Many organizations have risen to address restoration efforts with success. Other lands are being poisoned with pesticides and we need a stronger organic food and “power to the people and local communities” to grow sustainable foods to cut transportation pollution. Our forests are burning. Why? They have been grossly mismanaged when you consider forests had been the food source for the native tribes and were managed for thousands of years. Let us reshape how we work with our forests to create new local food sources and support power back to our indigenous people of California, respectfully.
Education: Why is it that wealthy families have educational choice, but others do not? When we recognize the pay inequalities and what has become nothing but exploitation of workers to empower those with wealth, we can recognize “we, the people” are once again being exploited when we can’t even choose a school for our children that meets our values. I support a voucher system for students, an act that will help diversify our educational models. An emphasis will be placed on learning about our natural world with experiential opportunities, all of which should be a child’s right to understand and engage in the natural world. In a time when technology and screen time dominates our children’s lives, we need a counter to what many call, including those from Silicon Valley, a rise to respect our children’s natural learning and real life experiences.
Health: Our health is in a crisis, and it’s not just about “Covid”. Our corporations are dominating our food culture with advertising and lobbyists that do not serve us. In fact, their approach is making us unhealthy as they cash out. With the rise of obesity and diabetes crippling our nation, we need a movement to support our own ability to make wise decisions and strive toward healthy living. That comes with healthy food, education and opportunities to engage in what should be a joyful renaissance of cultural renewal in our state as we take charge.
Economy: I grew up middle class. Our neighbors were lawyers, school teachers and janitors. Apparently living like that today is called socialism. It’s not and we continue to be misguided with the elites telling us how to think and what to feel with fear driven methods. We are not stupid. For forty years, our economy has been supporting elites as it sabotages the workers. With today’s gross economic injustices, I will be taking a firm position in adjusting our economy to work for the workers. We have opportunity to support co-op establishments, employee owned businesses and unions. This is not radical at all. My position is merely an adjustment of 40 years of businesses taking advantage of the working people when trickle down economics have devastated the middle class and created the billionaire class, an empowered class that is destroying our democracy.
Immigration/Central America: It is time to build relationships with our good neighbors of Mexico and Central America and recognize the need for reparation based on the injustices of the wars of the 1980s when our country supported right wing militias, brutally killing the Indigenous Mayans and peasants who were taking a stand for their rights. Is it a wonder there is a vast migration of people leaving their country when the only source of income for many is ushering escapes from what has grown into vast corruption? California has continued to grossly exploit these same people here in California with low paying agricultural work and other service jobs that have led to horric abuse and hardship. It’s high time to respect and honor the people as we build a new relationship, one based on trust, education and health with our southern neighbors.
Join our movement. It’s high time “we, the people” take charge, empower ourselves with our diversity and strength, and show the rest of the country how California does business. We will take care of our own and stand with our neighbors as we dance into a new era that is healing for us all, one based on equality, generosity, nurturing, healing and joy.
The wise ones, I have been told, ask you to be open to what is given to you, the gifts that come your way. Listen to your heart, as it is more true than the head. I would not have believed this, unless I relinquished all that was previously taught to me and decided to take a step onto this path of openness, curiosity and wonder. And it all came full circle when I was asked to join an Acorn Ceremony, in the spirit of the previous land dwellers, the Indigenous Miwok of Northern California, to recognize my spiritual journey into Druidry was my newfound landscape. The Indigenous Native American ways lead me right back to my own heritage of Irish Indigenous practice.
Each year the Miwok would harvest the acorns from the Black Oaks, Live Oaks and Valley Oaks, each acorn having a different characteristic and value. It was a celebration that lasted for weeks, bringing everyone together, as grudges and differences would be set aside. Children climbed trees, strong men hit branches with large sticks. Women gathered the rich brown nuts from the ground. The harvest would be a staple for the full year, with the average family consuming 3000 pounds of acorns. Some Miwok families held rights to a particular tree, and as historians have written, the tree would be cared for, stewarded and honored. The acorn harvest season also marked the beginning of a new year. I was invited to join an acorn ceremony on November 1 by my employer. I’m a nature educator for children and our school strives to share knowledge of Indigenous people of California. I hold my classes in the meadows, on grassy hills and under the oaks and redwoods of Mount Tamalpais, a California State Park that borders Point Reyes National Seashore, with the Pacific Ocean to the west. The land includes coyotes, bob cats, mountain lions, raccoons, deer and other native life and flora.
We met for the acorn ceremony late morning in a park filled with oak trees. The ceremony was a bit awkward at first, in a way that we really didn’t know what we were doing except for one noble act – our intention was to recreate a ceremony to honor the oak trees and new season, in the spirit of the Miwok who had lived on the land. So, as a collective group, we decided to first share with each other knowledge we had of oak trees, recognizing the many different kinds of oaks, witnessing their unique leaf shapes and acorn varieties and discussing the areas where they grow in California and beyond. We shared acorn recipes – acorn pancakes, mush or bread. We discussed best ideas to leach tannins of the grounded nuts to make into edible flour. We each stood by an oak tree, resting our hands on a trunk to feel the energy from our arms into the trunk, down to the roots and than back up into our feet and into our bodies, creating a visual energy cycle of connection that we ultimately have with all of nature. We brought acorns to process together, and the music of the pestle against the stone mortar created a rhythm of sound much like that of what would have been heard in a Miwok village, knowing we were near an old village where today only a wooden sign marks its history. We stood in circle together recanting gratitude for the season, giving tribute to the gifts of the day – a blue sky, a soft warm wind, a child’s nearby laughter.
The following day I reflected on this Acorn ceremony, and a thought suddenly came to me about the connection of Oak Trees, Miwok and Druids. The ceremony was conducted the same day as Samhain! It was in that moment I gained an appreciation for the connection between the two cultures, the Druids and Miwok Native Americans, as they both honor nature and spirit. The Gaelic year began in November following the festival of An Samhain. “The cold was considered necessary to cleanse the land and prepare it for the new bountiful year ahead.” writes Celtic Life International. And the moon cycles are respected and used to mark time thoughout the year.
The landscape of my journey into Druidry was now no longer just found in books or podcasts, but it was physical around me. It was no longer just an oak tree, but it proved to be a deeply rooted connection into my heritage, my blood and my physical realm opening me up to everything around me in a new way.
The following week I pondered this sitting in a field with my students. We were stewarding the land and pulling up what has been labeled as invasive nonnative broom that is choking the native plants. Piles of it had been stacked ready for the chipper. I had just cut a stalk and flexed it as it’s easily bendable, creating a ring and putting it on a child’s head like a crown. The child ran off laughing and climbed an oak tree. And suddenly a new thought came to me again. How easy one could weave baskets from this plant!Native American baskets are sacred and the best ones were always gifted to others, as generosity was valued as has been written in the well known book by Malcolm Margolis The Ohlone Way. The Ohlone of the San Francisco Bay live just south of the Miwok and share many of the same values and traditions. Margolis writes in the book that when a hunter brought home the food, the best meat always went to the most vulnerable. Respect was valued. Not greed.
I took home the broom stalk and began weaving a basket, or attempted to weave, to more aptly describe. How strange it was to be in California weaving an invasive plant, which, as I learned, is the same plant my ancestors used in Ireland to weave potato baskets! I had just read up on Irish baskets to learn about the revered “potato basket” used to wash and serve potatoes in traditional households. Potatoes are not native to Ireland, they come from The Americas. Was this a symbolic cleansing? A cleansing of the native land here by creating Indigenous art of my native Ireland! I couldn’t help but think otherwise. As I continued to weave a basket, I was doing more – I was weaving a story to connect indigenous ideas, a reverence, and ultimately a basket to honor these indigenous and almost forgotten ideals and craft. I ultimately completed the basket into the shape of a cornucopia for each of the children and their families filled them with nuts, apples, persimmons and leaves, symbolic of abundance, sharing and gratitude.I think of landscape differently now, both externally and internally.
The gifts are all around us, if we stop and look . . . and to feel. I am complete with the oak tree symbolizing my temples and a woven basket symbolizing a cleansing and a creation to honor the value of the heart, a vessel to give. I’m reminded of the words of Navajo Nation Tom B.K. Goldtooth whom I once met. He said to me that those in the Western world are upside down. Information isn’t important, that which is stored in your head and is always changing. The heart comes first. Good relations. Start there.
ACTIONENDORSED BY: Professor/Activist Noam Chomsky, Actor/Activist Peter Coyote, Vietnam Veteran/Activist S Brian Willson:
“I support Barbara McVeigh’s hunger strike to bring attention to the imperative of finally ending the era of Reagan’s austerity and neoliberal economic policies that continue to hurt so many people, and for focus on new policies to strengthen unions and to embark upon a new path of radical ecological consciousness. -S Brian Willson
It’s high time to be inspired by S Brian Willson who stood with a Hunger Strike in 1986 and 1987 against the US war machine heading toward Central America, an act that has continued to this day and has upset the democracy of the people of Central America, leading to hunger, poverty and corruption.
I stand in protest of multiple issues that must come clean in the next administration so we can see who and what we’ve been. In addition, it’s time to end the Reagan Era, that of trickle down economics, and give rise to unions and power of the people. Billionaires and politicians must be held accountable for today’s corruption and climate change crisis.
The US MUST pay war reparations to the people of Central America to begin a new relationship with our southern neighbors, one of peace, prosperity and respect.