I am shocked and disgusted by the San Rafael Police officers who used unnecessary force and unjustified violence against the gardener who goes by “Matteo” in Marin County, as reported by the local news.
This story brings to light the horrific treatment of our local hardworking, family oriented, trustworthy, honest and inspirational immigrants, most of whom work for substandard wages and are treated with disrespect. It’s activism I’ve been behind for years, trying to address it on a more systemic way. And when I do, I too am pushed down and told to shut up. It is time to scream justice.
Four years ago I journeyed to Guatemala to pay my respects for the death of the beautiful 20 year old Mayan Indigenous woman Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez who was shot dead by our border patrol in Texas, for no reason. She simply was trying to find opportunity for a better life and give back to her family. I sat with her parents in the Mayan community of Guatemala, parents who were salt of the earth and believed in dignity and honesty. Apparently I was the only American to pay my respects and apologize for the violence in my country that killed their daughter. I shared letter with them from people across the country so they knew that there were many of us trying to change a violent system and who cared about their daughter.
I continued on documenting the lives of our local and Guatemalan residents to humanize this amazing community we have in Marin County. They have been our laborers, nannies, gardeners, roofers, baristas. . . helping to raise our children and take care of our homes, often, again, below fair wages. What they have shown us is how to take care of your own, how to collaborate and that honesty and hard work will pay off. . . and it will, with our help, and if we stand by them.
We have history with those of Guatemala and Central America, dirty history that needs healing. Let us not forget the war years under Ronald Reagan who called them communists and ushered in military violence against even the Mayan Indigenous villages, slaughtering men, women and children. S. Brian Wilson, one American, continues to shed light on this with his two missing legs, given he was one to throw himself under a train filled with guns leaving California for Central America in the 1980s.
As for this county taking Human Rights issues seriously? I applied for the Human Rights Commission position this past year, driven by the fact there is no Latino voice on the commission. I come from the working class culture and I felt given many of the Latinos in this community are in a state of working class survival, perhaps I could step in and support them, given no one else on the board was doing so. I was unanimously rejected by the entire Board of Supervisors, in favor of a man who had no connection to the Latino community, leaving once again the commission without a voice for the working Latinos in Marin County.
I gave a photo exhibit at Dominican UC honoring a Latino family, showcasing resilience and beauty. Not a single Board of Supervisor showed up despite the fact the Consul General of Guatemala came. I was embarrassed by my community who could not take time out to honor resilience and welcome the new Consul General of Guatemala.
I have asked Supervisor Donnally to take the opportunity with his position and apologize to our local Guatemalan community for the war atrocities of the 1980s. He chose not to, despite the fact most in his district have deep Mayan and Guatemalan roots.
I hope Matteo and the rest of the Latino community stand up for themselves. Because as they do, they will find there are many of us behind them. They could teach us resilience, sacrifice, collaboration, nurturing qualities, friendship and so much more. They have already taught me so much.
Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev died last Tuesday. I was very sad to hear the news as I had just been reading his book What’s Is At Stake Now , a powerful read by a great leader who had seen and experienced more than most people in this world.
I admired Gorbachev greatly and I was honored to have been given his trust a few years ago to deliver a message to President Jimmy Carter, a public birthday greeting to Carter during the 2020 California Jimmy Carter Jamboree event on Marin Television and cohosted by ABC Spencer Christian.
I hope in his death we will find reason to respect him more and also recognize the type of leadership and values he lived by. It’s far more important today than ever before. Rest in peace, great leader.
I’m not just running for the school board of Tamalpais Union High School District. I’m running with a vision to oust money from the political game and to be a stand for our teachers and youth for a new generation of learning, healing and thriving.
I learned the political game at age 13 when my family stood in the 1981 National Strike. Hard years followed when we were shamed for doing what was the right act, justified just recently by the federal courts when we won a multimillion dollar lawsuit. We stood for political honesty and fair wages. It’s time to think big, and that bigness starts in our schools.
Here are the issues I’m standing by: Health/Emotional Health Economic and Racial Integration and Diversity Environmental Responsibility Pro Union Review of History Taught
More on these soon, meanwhile you can follow my Facebook page for more announcements. Thank you!
I am pleased to announce a six week online course, hosted by Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California, to discuss and debate whether President Jimmy Carter ultimately won the 1980 presidential election 40 years later. Join us for a vibrant reflection on Carter’s lifetime legacy focusing on energy, environmental, peace, health, human rights and housing initiatives.
A special guest from The Carter Center will join us one evening to answer questions.
This class is the first of its kind in our nation. Let’s make history! Link to register
As we view Putin’s assault on The Ukraine and take stock in where we are in the world today with countries possessing unspeakable arsons of nuclear warheads, DEWs and other psychopathic tools to kill, maim and torture men, women and children, it’s opportunity to turn back the page forty years ago when we watched two leaders pivot the course of nuclear doom.
Those leaders, of course, were Reagan and Gorbachev, for those of us who can remember. As children of that time we practiced drills at school in case of a Soviet invasion or nuclear war. We believed the USSR to be evil because we were told they were bad. And yet, there was a Russian president we can look back on today with absolute respect. His name was Mikhail Gorbachev, who was born a farmer and rose in the ranks of the communist party to ultimately lead the Soviet people, as well as the world, during a critical time, ultimately being awarded The Nobel Peace Prize.
“The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us – all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all faiths – must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.– Mikhail Gorbachev
These are words of a true leader. And as we refocus our lens of 40 years ago, we can see that Gorbachev had the courage and the will to listen to “the people”, opening the doors for his people to choose who they want to be, instead of aggressive controlling, building more military or launching a nuclear arsenal in order to achieve domination. He was and remains a true leader for the people, by the people and of the people.
In Wernor Herzog’s film Meeting Gorbachevwe get to pull back the proverbial curtain of 40 years of US political propaganda to actually learn about Gorbachev, as a man, and his dreams. During one interview he said “There are those who don’t understand the importance of cooperation. Such people don’t belong in politics.”
In the book Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future, there is an entry that described a flight that Gorbachev and his wife took with the Reagans across the United States. Reagan proudly looked down at the landscape of small homes and said “one day everyone will have a swimming pool,” as an example that no one will be poor. This idea is nothing less that a promotion of utter capitalism, an idea that big money and luxury leads to happiness, security and health. Apparently these words jolted Gorbachev’s wife. And in her eyes perhaps she saw the materialistic path the United States was paving by this president, ideals very counter to their approach to helping their own country simply be healthy with what they need – food, shelter and support.
I traveled through former Soviet Union in the year 2003, visiting Romania, Bulgaria and Albania, recognizing a lingering hunger as many struggled just to have food, health and a future. I stood on the concrete huts that the fear driven leader Enver Hoxca built to fight off Americans, littering their countryside into a wasteland. In Romania and Bulgaria and a few from Eastern Germany I learned of a different story than the one I was told. “We had what we needed,” I heard, as now many face other forms of corruption from a new oligarchy, as we do the same in The United States. After the fall of The Berlin Wall, the people lost everything that they had – medical care, dental care and other government support that are similar to the very services we are asking for in our country – The United States. And as we look around our own country, The US, today, we see the horror of poverty, lack of education and horrific health, including diabetes, obesity and more. We are The Soviet Union of the 1980s, ruled by elites, corrupt politicans and propaganda under the guise of capitalism instead of communism. And we don’t even have a wall locking us in these injustices. We choose to be locked into these injustices.
Five years ago, as I learned more about the failures of Reagan’s policies including his tax restructuring that have led to the power of the elites/American oligarchy and collapse of the middle class, knock down of President Jimmy Carter’s visionary environmental policies and knock down of labor (my family stood in the 1981 National Strike against Reagan, as I’ve written in my memoir documenting the journey of a working class family standing up to a president), I wanted Carter to be recognized for his leadership and visions instead of his failings, which too many people are quick to note without recognizing his speeches of “Crisis of Confidence,” which resonates boldly today, and his energy policies that could have thwarted not only our US economic and moral stability but could have mitigated the climate crisis today. So, as a teacher,
I also reached out to Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, seeking his support, given he is a leader of peace. As a former farmer, too, his age and experience could offer a perspective on humanity and give us a glimmer of hope too, in his words, to “transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.” To my surprise, he responded and wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter, in my care, to deliver it, which I did, with a frame and a California Resolution honoring Carter, the first of its kind, supported by State Senator Mike McGuire and State Assembly Member Marc Levine.
In my final note, why do I call Gorbachev “my friend”? It’s simple: He trusted me, a humble citizen and one of “the people”. I am not a fancy politician, business owner or tech guru. He supported me with a message and a project that had the intention of creating good will and peace. He never even met me other than to acknowledge my written words to his foundation with my request to support a celebration by the people to honor President Jimmy Carter. And this amazed me, when even my own government leaders rejected me and refused to support an intention “by the people”. Those politicans were Al Gore, Governor Jerry Brown and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi who had rejected while a Russian President stepped forward.
It taught me something about leadership – trust in “the people”.
Thank you President Mikhail Gorbachev. I do believe your inspiration will cultivate the will of a new renaissance by the people one day.
Resilience. We need to rise. We have everything we need to create who we are and ensure our government officials see who we are.
Like you, I demand an end to the absurd mandates that have been nothing less than comical, if you can laugh at the fact that officials were clever enough to convince the American people to literally and voluntarily cut off our own oxygen supply. . . sometimes with double masking. Our children walk around with snot filled, bacteria laden rags on their faces that drop, get stepped on in the school yard and then back on their faces they go. One silver lining? Comedians will have fodder for the next 1000 years after we are done with this episode of insanity.
What’s even more maniacal? As we face an obesity epidemic with one out of three adults obese and facing horrific chronic health ailments and now one out of five children face the same fate, we can recognize that with 80% of the covid dead being such victims, we have an entirely OTHER conversation that is immediate and life threatening to us all given we see that when you have a hugely vulnerable society with a large elderly population (the baby boomers) plus a huge obese population facing life threatening status (dietary diseases are the number two killer in our country, second to smoking), we will face pandemics for years to come, just as the US Surgeon General called out in 2001 – “Obesity is becoming an epidemic and it’s a pandemic in the making.”
So, this is the time to think radically different. Here are a sampling of my ideas as Governor of California:
1) Time To End War: If leaders have a conflict, they can get into a boxing ring themselves with the other leader they have a problem with and “we, the people” will buy popcorn and watch them duke it out and see who really wants peace.
2) Transportation: Time to mandate all elected officials to take public transportation ONLY. They must get rid of their own cars and participate in our public system given they are public servants. Watch how quickly our public transportation system improves.
3) Economy: Time for cooperatives to rise. Nonprofits have served as a very good example of how to run an organization while providing a service to the people. If you want to start a cooperative grocery store, cafe or business. . . our government should support you instead of singular individuals who make grand profits while pitting their workers into poverty.
4) Infrastructure: Who really needs a huge garage to fill with junk? Let’s reimagine our neighborhoods that lack cafes and grocery stores and support homeowners to take charge of their neighborhoods to fill these needs from their own garages. Our government should provide grants and more to support such needs while also providing a seed stipend to all homeowners with a yard to start a micro farm to grow food and share with the community.
5) Health: High time to recognize we have an obesity problem in our country that is hurting us all. Let’s regenerate our schools to become working farms to help grow food for the entire community, while empowering our students to understand good food, healthy soil and the value of nurturing. We need to tackle the childhood obesity rates so the entire society can thrive and live healthy.
6) Animal Rights: End animal experiments that create harm, trauma and pain to sentient creatures. Most experiments are no longer necessary. Let’s put them out of business!
7) Food Forests: Let’s create food forests in our community. Plant a fruit tree instead of meaningless decorative trees, so everyone can eat without worry. We can harvest trees that have been forgotten – such as the oak and bay trees, which provide wonderful nutrition, helps to mitigate fires and provides a local food resource.
8) Death: Nobody should have to pay huge sums to put a loved one to rest. We can create a program to help regrow our forests while honoring our dead. Instead of expensive caskets, land and tombstones, trees can serve to honor our legacies. Given the state already has a budget for our forest lands, people can augment to initiatives into one – honoring our dead and creating national sanctuaries for us to preserve. This is already being done by private companies that charge heavy prices. We don’t to make this an elite option for the few – we need to make sure everyone has a chance to provide a respectful and thoughtful end of life act for their loved ones.
9) Elderly: We have an emerging crisis, a heavy burden on our younger generation who will be carrying the load of taking care of a large elderly society – the baby boomers. While they age and need more care in a culture that has never respected the caregiver with either proper compensation or support, now is the time to raise the level of pay and recognition. To care for others, whether you are a teacher or a care provider, is a heart filled yet demanding work. Our society must recognize that we need reshape incentives and financial compensation for these incredible people, and that work should first start with our own families, as more often than not, families will care for their elders on a much higher level if they have the support. We ought to have tax incentives, just like childcare incentives, and provide a network of home care professionals who can support the home caregivers.
Housing: We have the answers to affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity. Instead of big investors profiting off the people, we, the people can build our own houses for one another. The structure is already in place, it just takes the right energy and commitment. What’s more is it’s time to rethink housing structures and needs. Is small apartment living so bad? Could a percentage of rent be used as secure investments for future housing to help those who do not have the large initial resources and who are being stripped of their financial worth by greedy corporate landlords? Could we rethink resources used by homebuilders? Cob and adobe homes are tried and true methods for long lasting structures, reducing our need for valuable wood and transportation.
Time to think different . . . WE, THE PEOPLE, HAVE THE ANSWERS. Don’t give away our power to those who exploit us.
Despite so many published articles, people still do not make the connection between ill healthy/obesity and covid deaths. We do have a health crisis, but it’s not Covid.
In 2001 we were warned by the US Surgeon General that “obesity is becoming an epidemic and it’s a pandemic in the making.”
Such a statement does not require a fancy degree to understand. If you have a large society who is unhealthy due to dietary issues, any strong bug will take them down. And that is what has happened.
Today, in Ameria, one out of three Americans are obese. One out of five CHILDREN are obese. As a school teacher, I witness five year olds so obese that they can’t even sit criss cross apple sauce on the rug for morning circle. Parents can be put in prison for starving their children. What is the difference with setting up your child for a lifetime of health issue related to obesity, which includes diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension and diabetes.
80% of the people who died/hospitalized with Covid were obese. . . many with four comorbidities, but health officials are not talking about this. Why should they? It’s called power and having the power over the people, which includes billions of dollars for vaccines, high doctor’s salaries, psychiatrists and more. It’s a system and it’s a high paying con game.
What has happened to our teachers who can teach children how to eat and how to live a healthy life? Such requires time and money. And given our teachers are making pathetic wages, have little time to even take care of themselves, we need to pull back and reshape who and what we are as a society.
Let’s start with accountability and this happens with fingers pointing straight to Fauci and the medical industry of the last 20 years. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN AS YOU’VE BANKED ON THE RISING EPIDEMIC OF OBESITY? Even Target plays the game now. Go look at their models on the walls – obese. It’s a system to normalize a body that is unhealthy and that is wrong. Dead wrong.
And don’t even TRY to tell me I’m fat shaming. NO, I’m sticking up for those 80% of Covid deaths who did not need to die had we a proper system these last 20 years, heeding the warning of the US Surgeon General in 2001.
Given what we now know, there is no room for argument: Fauci and the entire medical system should be put on trial for the Covid deaths of those who were obese. They are murderers.
As many call out Novak Djokovic with expletives and anger, I raise my hand. HE WON. He stood true to himself and his principles.
No matter what, there is nothing any government can do or billionaires can shut down. He showed a new game, one to respect yourself, your own body and your health.
He showed us on a global level that nobody can knock you down or even take away something meaningful to you when you stand your ground. The idea of a ball passing back and forth on a court is the little game. He showed us the big one . . . and it’s time for us all to pull out the rackets in order to stop the racket of this charade.
It’s time a generations clean with the horrendous legacy they are leaving us, one that has left us with burning forests, ocean acidification, horrific pollution, exploitative billionaires and now tyranny against our own bodies without a whisper about how to take care of our bodies. It’s not in their interest as they enter their senior years. And my guess is that they are afraid of dying, recognizing that once this generation of baby boomers are gone, we will be pointing the fingers at them for blame and shame for centuries to come.
It’s time for a new generation to step into our government and take over. Yet, they have the money and the power still, so how do we do it when we are the generation broken and poor? We must unite and they must bow down.
2022 is the year. It’s time to take over our government, the younger generation, so we can craft the policies that work for us and our children and believe that we will actually survive.
We have a chance. It’s time for the switch. Let’s call it The Great Shift, on our terms, when it’s not about leaning left or right, it’s about coming full circle.
The 1960s brought in an idea of fierce individualism. As we reflect today, we can bare witness a youthful generation had ideas of standing up to their parents and their society to recreate what they valued as justice, including civil rights and unity. While we cannot shame them for those ideals, we can begin to see another narrative grow and a lesson to be learned – be careful about shaming others without providing the proper respect because what you put out will come full circle.
That’s where we are now – full circle, taking a look at the baby boomers who brought into society, 40 years worth of wars, exploitation, greed and civil unrest, exactly that they had shamed their parents generation in the 1960s.
As we look back at images of the 1960’s Woodstock and the youth singing songs of ideals, we fail to see that same generation heralding and respecting their own parents and grandparents who faced two world wars and an era of depression. The family began to break apart and the 60s youth, boldly with music, literature and art, sought to seek out and create the ideals of fierce independence, as they did.
Think about it. During WW2 when brothers, fathers and sons were being slaughtered in Europe, the following generation, the baby boomers, slammed these same families calling them out with all sorts of blaming and shaming without the respect they deserved, while they played their music, smoked pot and drank their Jack Daniels, hailing it all in the name of peace and good vibes.
And then this:
These last 40 years which have been under their political, economic and social watch, after they became adults, have served their generation. But, in fact, it has ruined them today.
In fact, in the 1980s Reagan, whom they elected with a landslide election, began taxation on social security benefits – the baby boomers literally began taxing their own parents (the ones who served in WW2 and dealt with The Depression!), in order to benefit their large baby boomer generation! Talk about throwing your own elderly parents under the bus! During this same age, never mind the lessons learned from Vietnam, US military expanded hugely which today proves a risk to us as we hear rumblings of a possible military coup, in our own country. What’s more? The taxation of trickle down economics, when the boomers did not hold accountable those who exploit others, essentially providing the nuts and bolts of building us into a society of billionaires who are upsetting our democracy and the power of the people. The baby boomers’ president Ronald Reagan also killed the Fairness Doctrine Ruling which monitored and ensured fairness in media and not propaganda, which we can see we are immersed in corporate propaganda.
Their Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi – the Speaker of the House – who has served as a generational congresswoman even put a statue of Ronald Reagan in Washington in Washington DC to represent California. Reagan should serve as nothing more than a symbol of the gross mentality of exploitation, greed and attack on the people these last 40 years.
Today it is full circle as the baby boomers wind down into their elderly years recognizing the family is gone and what a mess they have left for my generation and all future generations at a time they are asking themselves “Who will take care of me?”
It will be my generation – the X Generation, as we call ourselves who will be responsible taking care of the elderly. We not only have a generation of youth following us seeded in extraordinary college debt but we also have the burden of caring for a huge elderly population who soon will be facing issues of health, dementia and poverty. We have an incredible challenge ahead of us.
We need an immediate shift with policies to address this before our generation, and likely all of American society, literally falls apart due to poverty, loss of democracy and civil rights.
This is one of my proposals. It is a calling for families to reconcile differences and to come together recognizing that family matters deeply. It can serve as our healing process, a connection to blood and the sacred values of home and community. We need to rebuild from the place of the hearth, where good food around a table shared together in the evenings is as valued as a stock market trade. And we need policies that cater to these needs, starting with tax breaks and incentives.
We have tax breaks and incentives to help raise our children, understanding that the future resides in our dedication to them. We want the best for our children. And how we can show our children the best of us is how we take care of each other, including our aging parents. The government should issue tax breaks for those families caring for their aging parents, whether it’s in their own homes or in nearby facilities. Caregivers need better pay and not the slave wages and lack of support they have suffered with. Illegal immigrants have been abused over the years with under the table pay and with minimal wages, another example of the gross injustices and exploitation driven these last 40 years.
Germany set an example of caring for the older people, understanding connection and health are vital for a well groomed society. Senior citizens had benefits for saunas and hot springs locations that soothed them and kept them happy with social gatherings and connection.
California has a tradition of hot springs and more. Let’s us reshape these iconic and sacred locations to help benefit the older people, helping them stay healthy and happy, which will make all of us happy. Such will help heal our land, build community, jobs and a vibrant industry of healing and taking care of our bodies and each other.
And finally, death care. The funeral and burial institutions are exploitative and nobody should have to worry about burials. Let’s create a new system that benefits us all, as green cemeteries rise. For a fee, much less than fanciful and soulless cemetaries of the past, let’s reinvigerate our forests and areas that have burned into afterlife sanctuaries. For a smaller fee, than a typical burial, the state can help fund a tree to be buried in the forest, a full circle economic, environmental and financial benefit to us all, including our forests and the future of our children.
As Governor of California, these are some of the ideas I will create. It’s time for era of peace, humility and the sacred. We have learned so much and now it’s time to put all our lessons to practice as we take care of each other and show our children what a beautiful world we can create.
In stark contrast to the recent article “Unvaccinated? You’re Not Welcome in Marin County” in the Marin IJ by Vicky Larson, I recall a homeless woman I had met last year living under the freeway in San Rafael. She had prepared a bed complete with clean sheets, pillow and blankets next to her bed that laid on the dirt next to her stack of wet cardboard boxes containing her meager belongings.
“Anyone who ever comes here in need will at least have a clean bed to sleep on,” she had told me.
So, there is hope for humanity in elite Marin County, found in the homeless community under the freeway, but surely not in the written pages of The Marin IJ. It is time to end the segregated, self riotious bigotry of Marin County, starting with the likes of Vicky Larson who feel she can sweep away any unwanted miscreants who stand for their own body. She has hooked up with none other than what appears to be the drug cartel that likens itself to drug pushers in the alley filling their own pockets without accountability.
Let’s be clear, the evidence is overwhelming, with just pure common sense. No euphemism can fix it. The vaccines are NOT working. We have been misguided, tricked and conned. Suck it up like a big boy and it’s time to move on before we lose all our civil liberties.
What has shown up is this. . . a complete disregard for health. Again, let’s call it out when we recognize nearly 80% of those who died, according to the CDC statistics were obese/diabetic and had major comorbidities. So, there is a health crisis, one that’s been running for 20 years since the US Surgeon called it out in 2001 that obesity is becoming an epidemic, and it’s a pandemic in the making. The 80% dead could have been lives that could been saved had the 2001 warning been heeded.
Sorry, I am not responsible for other people’s health. And when they try to make ME responsible, while big pharma pocket billions of dollars, I’m going to shoot an email straight to Vicky Larson and tell her to pull her head out of her **** and use her brain. We’ve been conned and articles like hers that drive division and segregation will surely make the homeless woman under the ramp be that inspiration we could all use today.
So, all you unvaxxed heathens, come join us in Marin County and show the rest of the nation what unity and love are all about.
You are welcome ANYTIME. And come to think of it, let’s end the economic and racial segregation in Marin County at the same time. So, those of you hungry, poor, unheard and unvaxxed, you’ll always find a home right here.