For part 1, read here.
I knew right away where I had to have breakfast the morning of the Right 2 Know March in Washington, DC. No, not in bed at the Hay Adams (although I did have coffee in bed); I had to take Eve to The Tabard Inn. Since it was Sunday, and the inn’s brunch is reserved weeks in advance, we had to get up early and go to the regular breakfast; we got there at 8:15, and it was just, just, just as I remembered.
You see, 25 years ago I lived in Washington. And while I was traveling to DC to find an apartment—and then afterwards, whenever I came back—I would stay at the Tabard. The Tabard was where, in the brick courtyard that is the closest to Paris one can get in DC, I began my memoir, which took 25 years to finish. While staying at the Tabard in those early days, I hung out with people like the great investigative reporter (and former writer for Rolling Stone) Howard Kohn, who wrote Who Killed Karen Silkwood. My first job was working for David Fenton, of Fenton Communications, and we were determined to fight every good fight and change the world for the better. My guidebook was Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals and yes, I was a single parent of a 4-year-old before it was cool, but there was no stopping me.
While eating huevos rancheros in the cozy and eclectic restaurant at the Tabard, it was hard not to think about all that happens in 25 years of a life. I thought of all the deaths, the births, marriage, the work, the adventures. Had I changed the world like I wanted to? A bit, perhaps. Still not enough, though. Perhaps I need to read Rules for Radicals again. I hear the Republicans are using it quite heavily these days to execute their strategy of disruption and disobedience.
And now David Fenton and I are again working together, trying to get the government to label GMOs. He and I have both changed a bit, but not that much. We both struggle with running businesses, which makes things like the Occupy Wall Street protests both interesting and conflicting. After all, not all businesses are bad. Just the ones that are bullies.
Last night as Eve and I were walking to dinner, we walked by the USDA and I showed her the People’s Garden, which is the first certified-organic garden the USDA ever planted (and proudly, is grown in compost from the Rodale Institute!). Nowhere on that small corner spot did it say anything about organic. Nowhere. So I was explaining to Eve about how Monsanto is a bully and the USDA is afraid to offend the company for fear of “consequences.” And then we started talking about bullying at school and how totally wrong it is for our government to allow bullying by big business. It’s like Obama is the principal, the USDA is the teacher, and not only are they allowing the bully to beat up all the little kids, but they are also assisting and abetting. What message does that send to the people of America? What message does that send to the children of America?
Dear American Children,
Because I am afraid of losing funding for my campaign, and of unleashing a monster of bad press about me, I am going to allow one company to poison you, destroy the planet, and contaminate all your food.
President Obama, the USDA, the FDA, and the Republicans who are going to block any change just because they hate the fact that Americans elected a black President
Sheesh. What was in those huevos rancheros?!