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“There are no excuses,” the great Mark O’Brien said to me from his breathing capsule. He had been a victim of polio for more than fifty years. Yet, despite a major physical handicap, he did not stop pursuing a life of richness, including poetry, journalism and compassion.

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I interviewed Mark right after his film Breathing Lessons received an Academy Award and that interview really changed the way I look at life. His words were correct – you can pretend to create any excuse in life not to do something, but the excuses  don’t exist. There is no excuse not to do what you want in life.

I’ve got some big ideas and I’m looking to share them on a positive level. And I’ve got a track record of creating something out of nothing. . .

I’ve discovered my strength is creating projects and teams . . . allowing other to step into something they never thought they could do and then support them doing it. I love watching people surprise themselves with resilience that even they themselves didn’t know they had.

But, I need support. My work, as I view it, is that which our government and schools have failed. I’m a people’s advocate and want to cultivate positive change at a time we need it.

My Patreon site is my first effort to cultivate a community of caring people who support the work I’m pushing for many. And until big funders come through, I need support of individuals who believe in what I believe.

Please support me.

Thank you.

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Action in Marin County!

How do you begin to describe these last two weeks in California?

Final_CarterFirst off, I’d like to start positive. We had an amazing one week celebration for President Jimmy Carter, paying tribute to his 93rd birthday. On October 1, the proper day of his birthday and also the final day of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love,  a small group of us watched Antenna Theater fly a plane in the sky writing a big heart. And from our view from Tiburon, the heart was shaped right around the sun, a perfect symbol and salute to the Father of the Solar Age for our 39th President. A huge thank you to College of Marin, Community Media Center of Marin and Marin Artists Network. The week topped off on October 8 with a fundraiser for Puerto Rico and Mexico. Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers and Freddy Clark and Wobbly World got us swinging and dancing to great music and spirit.

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The celebrations were in his spirit of honesty, giving, sharing as we also highlighted his visionary energy and conservation efforts. No doubt, Carter is one of our greatest American leaders ever, walking the talk his whole life and resisting the nasty game many political leaders have played these last 35 years in favor of big business and their own political gain.

Our film screening A Road Not Taken was well received at the Showcase Theater and the two Swiss Filmmakers, Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, had great things to share during the screening. Michael Stocker, Executive Director of Ocean Conservation Research, shared valuable history about a time in recent American politics that MUST to be addressed today, so we can glean what happened when an honest American leader worked so hard to inspire the American people to follow a good path rather than follow their fears. Click here for full panel discussion.

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Fake news isn’t new. We’ve been living it for 35 years since the Reagan election, and it’s been a Republican Party agenda pretty much ever since.

“To be independent of energy is the moral equivalent of war.” And, he said “we are beginning to value people for how much they have instead of what they do for others.”

Wasn’t he right?

For myself, I am going to honor Carter by taking a stand for his values. Join me, in creating a movement where a person’s wealth does not bear a reflection on their moral character or intelligence. Time to stop that nonsense. It’s time to value those who often put their own personal interest to the side in order to uplift others. It’s time to build respect for such people while we reset a new culture in this country. The time is now.

The 20 or so fires that ignited just north of us on the eve of the final Carter celebrations certainly gave me an ill feeling, as the fires also followed Governor Brown’s announcement that  California is a sanctuary state. There is incredible grave irony how vast, separate fires erupted so strangely in a key agricultural just north of the Carter celebrations. Coincidence? As I’ve said before, truth is stranger than fiction these days. Time to question everything. And my heart goes out to our northern neighbors, communities in which I once lived too. Some friends have lost their homes and more. We will be there for them, as we rebuild and recreate. That’s our duty now.

Back to immigration issues – Trump’s team plays dirty with people, calling some of the most vulnerable people in our communities criminals and more. Clearly Trump and his Republican Team have forgotten that America’s Reagan, the Hero of the Republican Party, waged war in Central America in the 1980s. In fact, the very Guatemalan President that Reagan supported has been charged and convicted of GENOCIDE. Why is it that our country never talks about this betrayal to the most kind people of Central America? How can we justify not helping our local Guatemalan people when we financed war against the most gentle and deeply spiritual indigenous people of Guatemala? Sadly, that is what happened in the 1980s. Many of these immigrants come to this country to work and feed their families and they do so quietly. It’s time we stand by them. They are not immigrants. They are war refugees who have worked hard in our country, and proved their value and kindness. We could learn from them.

And why is that Americans can go to Guatemala and buy property and live there without question? In fact, Americans have been buying cheap property in Mexico and many other Latin American countries for the last 30 years, taking advantage of their healthcare and dental systems and more. This does not seem right to me.

It’s time our country becomes responsible and respectful toward other countries. I want to be proud of my country.

And I’ll raise my hand before I kneel and say “I am NOT proud of my country right now.” My country has become horrific and my grandfather, who left his family voluntarily and  fought in WW2, because he felt it was the right thing to do, is rolling in his grave right now.

One thing my own good father taught me when he striked against the federal government in 1981, against the Hero of the Republican Party, when we lost almost everything, is ALWAYS stand for what you believe in . . . always.

Your set of values are the ONE thing in this mortal world that truly belongs to you that no one can take away, unless you lose them yourself. Then, tell me what you’re left with?

Be kind, generous and serve one another instead of your own self interest. Such values make you a rebel in America today. If we hold strong, we’ll all be angels.

 

Sept 9 – San Francisco Public Library

I look forward to joining forces with Kimball Livingston, the international sailor, blogger and speaker for the ocean (I call him Neptune!) when we speak at the following panel about the power of collaboration at the San Francisco Public Library, September 9!

Join us!!
kimball_livingston_yacht_aid_global_book_signingKimball was the writer/narrator for Racing with Copepods, which features Dr. Sylvia Earle. The film was screened at the inaugural Eco Film Festival in Tasmania, Wild & Scenic Film Festival and California Film Institute. And supported by Congressman Jared Huffman, funded by the 11th Hour Racing, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. Romberg Tiburon Center, Sailing Education Adventures and Good Earth were collaborators.

 

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Congressman Jared Huffman

 

 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 12.58.37 PMMeeting Places/Luoghi d’incontro is the collaborative work by US-based book artist-writer Lyall Harris and Florence, Italy-based book artist and printmaker Patricia Silva. Harris and Silva have been engaged in creative collaboration since 2014, making bookworks and book art installations that cover a range of subject matter, including motherhood, loss, and immigration. Twelve bookworks and more will be on display at SFPL this summer.

June 10 – Sept. 14, Main Library, 4th floor

RELATED PROGRAM

Artists’ Panel Discussion 9/9/2017 – http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=1025118301

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Celebrate Jimmy Carter – August 2, 7-8:30pm

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Wednesday, August 2, 7-8:30 PM
Community Media Center of Marin
819 A Street, San Rafael CA

RSVP: marinartists@hotmail.com.
Seating is limited.

 

Barbara McVeigh is a local filmmaker and recent author. In her new memoir Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life, she relays a personal family story about how after 30 years of anger toward her father for striking against President Ronald Reagan in the 1981 PATCO strike, an act that labeled her father a federal criminal, she’s learned why her father and the fired 12,000 union members of 1981 should be considered heroes in America today.

Barbara will show 30 minutes of the film The Road Not Taken (not available in the US) by Swiss Filmmakers Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller and talk about President Jimmy Carter’s wisdom, as we now understand his vision on energy policy and environment responsibility, at the most critical time of our global humanity today. And she will share the propaganda used by the “Hero” of the Republican Party and his entourage of big business that has led our country, if not planet, to a very dark road environmentally, politically, socially and economically.

Ronald Reagan didn’t nearly ruin just her life . . . he’s nearly ruined everyone’s lives!

Seating is limited, so please make a reservation at marinartists@hotmail.com with your name and email contact.

Barbara’s book Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life is available on Amazon.com and signed copies will be available at the event.

(Barbara McVeigh pictured above in front of “The Courthouse” in Sedona, Arizona – a sacred rock, according to the Hopi and a landscape shaped by an ancient sea.)

The Rise of the People – Out of the Shadow

I like to think this . . . it’s not what our government is doing to us . . . it’s what it is doing FOR us, like those words of Paul Hawken. The time for people to awake and understand what our government has become is NOW . . . we have merely been sleeping.

As our country begins to redefine itself, please to not misconstrue this as an event of deterioration. No, it’s better than that. We are RECREATING our values after living in the shadow of the Reagan Era for 35 years. As we come to understand who and what we’ve been, we come to hard truths and will look at history, the old Cold War and more from a very different light.

Our perceived national heroes may become villains as we understand the propaganda that has basically brainwashed us, the American people. Carter had called Reagan a right wing radical, and he was right. The policies that affected our country related to economy, labor, environment, media . . .were all driven by Reagan and we’ve living with them, like shadows, without seeing them.

I’ve been down this path before. The year was 1981 when I was 13 years old and witnessed a leader take over our country with the same energy as Trump is doing today. It hurt two generations of my family. But, this isn’t just about my family, it’s about our entire country. My story is your story. Today, Trump is merely a reflection of what Reagan did with healthcare, energy, big money and more thirty five years ago. Good people gave up when Reagan bulldozed our country, if not world. And it’s happening again. I have one thing to say – not under my watch this time.

I am no longer that 13 year old child who dealt with blows from that “Hero of the Republican Party”. And I will not allow that to happen again to my country or to my children and future children. There is another way of doing business . . . good business. And I will live the rest of my life with this mission.

Our children, all children in this world, are dealing with a major catastrophic reality – global climate change, ocean acidification and more. It’s time to dream big and act big . . .  I advocate a new Cold War. As I said, there is another way of doing business. Just ask me.

Here’s my report from The People’s Summit, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. The launch of The Sander’s Institute. Time to rise and get real. It’s a good organization with fantastic values. Let’s live by them.

The People’s Summit – Chicago!

People are rising for TRUTH!!!

I feel very privileged to have been chosen to join Bernie Sander’s The People’s Summit this upcoming weekend . . . in Chicago. It’s three days to organize, rally and talk about our country, values and more.

And it’s time!

I’ll be posting events on my facebook page and I’ll update here on Sunday! Look forward to meeting lots of coal country activists, those running for congress and talk about democratic socialism – time for big ideas!

And I’ve got some ideas brewing too!

Tonight! Sunday, June 4, 9pm

Tonight at 9pm on Marin Community Media Center of Marin . . . As the daughter of a federal criminal under Ronald Reagan, I got a few bold things to say about the state of the planet AND the Hero of The Republican Party as our political leaders decide to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.

And I’m saying them. . .

PLEASE TUNE Into public access television. Tonight at 9PM live stream!

http://www.cmcm.tv/livecommunity

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY TO DO BUSINESS.

-Barbara McVeigh

New Radio Show – check it out!

RADIO SCHEDULE

Takeback

Take Back!
The Universe LOVES to Laugh!

 

Tues 12-1pm
102.3 FM San Rafael OR
world wide @ radio.dominican.edu

Take Back! is a one hour political, arts and public affairs radio program highlighting the thinkers of today, with emphasis on California residents, to discuss how to challenge and reshape American ideals. The program introduces environmentalists, artists, intellectuals, comedians, writers, professors and more as a positive message of change and inspiration. We will get deep, and we will laugh at the absurdity of being human too!

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Barbara McVeigh is a filmmaker, radio host, writer, producer, activist and mother in Marin County. She is also a former graduate student of Humanities at Dominican University of California.

SCHEDULE and GUESTS Coming up Next!

CLICK HERE FOR THE THE SCHEDULE!!

102.3FM San Rafael or world wide at radio.dominican.edu

Upcoming Talk!

Please join us for film, food and conversation. I’ll also share some excitement about my upcoming film The Man Behind the White Guitar – it’s time for some positive vision and good energy. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Let’s make it happen, California!

I’ve lived 35 years suffering under The Republican Party’s policies. And finally I thought I could start having some peace in my life when . . . what happens? Oh, my.

I look to share my story, as the daughter of a federal criminal under Ronald Reagan. What happened to me when I was 13 years? And what has happened to all of us, including Mother Earth? Time to change tracks!

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Warming Hearts

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At first I had a very frigid conversation with this great man. I tend to be shy and I knew he was an important figure, who understood truth. So, I was on guard and hesitant to tell him all the worries and concerns I have of the world these days. But, no one was around and we were alone, so I thought, well, maybe I should just be honest and frank and . . . trust. That’s not such a crazy way of being.

So, I opened my heart and I told him all my fears about what’s happening in the world today. And to my astonishment, he continued to sit thoughtfully beside me for a good long time, without interrupting or disagreeing once.

In fact his face actually grew stone cold  as my words continued to spill. All he remained gripping his pipe and clutching his book with hard knuckles, and stared at the snow covered mountains beyond, as if looking thoughtfully for the right words, a shimmer of light to inspire a spark, the essence of life and meaning for everyone in the world today.

And he remained  lost for words, or so it seemed, and I began to recognize he was clearly speechless.

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The snow began to fall around us, and I didn’t want to become cold, like so many others have become. Slightly disheartened, I finally got up to leave him staring off into the distance alone that cold wintery day.

I looked back one final time, and I swear I heard him say “stone hearts, please thaw and start beating again.”

Mark Twain. . .

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”