Taking Over the State of California (TOSCA)

“Pity the state that has lost its utopias and buried all its prophets.” — Mike Davis, September, 2003, San Francisco Chronicle

Special note: This is NOT politics. People simply do not know what OUR non-politician Governor of California could do unilaterally. http://oxtogrind.org/archive/311 outlines just some of that. Forget our differences for one election, drop the petty in-fighting, and use your imagination here to create a watershed in history. Let THAT be your “issue of issues.” I promise you that we can organize in an unprecedented way, without any traditional affiliations. And that we can move quickly in highly creative, effective ways to solve urgent problems (http://www.counterpunch.org/brown07022009.html delineating one example, one… possibility for dealing with one current crisis).

A List of Who Will Vote for Your Candidate for Governor of California, 2010
(in no special order, not definitive)

1. The vast majority of citizens associated with the organizations listed at http://www.wallacejnichols.org/wallacejnichols/Links.html

2. Members of the Green Party, Socialist Party, Libertarian Party, Peace and Freedom Party and other marginalized “third parties” who intend to vote for their party’s candidates EXCEPT with regard to the gubernatorial election. Just this once. The sacrifice involved — having to do with temporarily risking loss of ballot status for future gubernatorial races — can be more than compensated for in a number of ways… which can be discussed upon request. Let’s see who has imagination and courage.

3. People who are horrified at our abominations at home http://www.counterpunch.org/rosen07082009.html or abroad http://www.counterpunch.org/kelly06252009.html. Or both.

4A. Citizens who want to create the first roadblock for Obama vis-a-vis http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair06262009.html. Note: If you have a “block” about criticizing Obama at this juncture, I recommend a quick glance at either http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21576 or http://www.zmag.org/zmag/viewArticle/21609.

4B. Voters who can’t stand Republicans or Republicans disguised as Democrats… and want their vote to count.

5A. Every single person who supports labor unions*, particularly with regard to EFCA http://salsalechugaguac.blogspot.com/2009/04/dems-to-water-down-efca-a nd-betray.html.

*Not talking about prison guard unions or the like here. Apparently, few citizens know either about the immunity from prosecution our criminal guards enjoy, or that their level of pay is “twice the level of the next highest-paying state.”

5B. Those concerned with employment issues who feel that about 80% of jobs people now have aren’t worth doing. http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3978 (Parecon) should be very interesting to such souls.

5C. Every single person we can contact who works for the new upgraded minimum wage*.

*As in the lucky recipients of the promised raise of 70-cents, earning $7.25 instead of the old $6.55. ["At the new rate, if you work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, and never miss a day, your annual gross will be $15,059. That’s before any deductions, and assuming you can land a full-time, 40-hour a week job."].

6. Those who are against capital punishment. Not talking about the famous Death Penalty in Focus group here (headed by Mike Farrell); they’re much too much hynotized by Obama and the like. But we don’t need them as per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/328. There are plenty of citizens who would loudly applaud OUR GOVERNOR unilaterally if he/she were to place a moratorium and more on California’s death penalty. Overnight.

7. Animal rights advocates, a significant number of pet owners, and people who prize wildness for non-humans.

8. Anti-pesticides gardeners, especially those who want to bring down Monsanto for a number of reasons.

9. Anti-war groups. You could garner a million+ votes centered on the sentiments expressed in http://www.counterpunch.org/rejman07012009.html alone… if you went about forming that solidarity from a new angle… following a new paradigm… which is what I have to offer.

10. Feminists who feel comfy with the Platform of the Peace and Freedom Party (http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/about-us/platform/full-platform),… or not.

11. Those who want the machinations of many profitable NGOs exposed.

12. Immigrants and/or those who can’t understand why there isn’t a stronger stand taken against vigilantism by our “leaders” in Sacramento.

13. Citizens who support the kind of single-payer health plan proposed by Ralph Nader http://www.singlepayeraction.org//video.php or Nick Skala http://www.singlepayeraction.org/blog/?p=960.

14. Anyone who recoils in horror at our abominations in Africa (as per http://www.allthingspass.com/), and elsewhere.

15. Those who know the difference between the (honest) Organic Movement and what Whole Foods is pushing on the public. Aside from the many food-related issues (such as the all-important criteria for certification, etc.), glance at Sharon Smith’s http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon05082009.html, if you will. Definitely go over http://www.counterpunch.org/cummings07092009.html.

16. Citizens who are sick of Obama capitulating to Wall Street as per http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson06222009.html.

17. Those who want to win the battle against the State Secrets Privilege as per http://www.counterpunch.org/edmonds06092009.html.

18. Citizens who support the agenda delineated at http://www.nukefree.org/.

19. Citizens who want ALL of our State Parks operating properly.

20A. Parents who are out of their minds with concern over the state of public education. See Todd Oppenheimer’s The Flickering Mind: Saving Education from the False Promise of Technology; it might be a good start.

20B. Parents (and their kids) who want youngsters (12-20?) to have a direct say in the creation of policies, meaningful in-person access to decision-makers; admittedly, this begs for clarification, but… in short… there would be a helluva lot more real contact between citizens of all stripes and (our group in) Sacramento.

21. People who recycle, but who know that recycling is not nearly enough.

22. Anyone who ever voted for Peter Camejo and/or laughed heartily at Abbie Hobbman’s antics.

23. Those supporting Roe vs. Wade.

24. Supporters of Gay Marriage and lots of other LGBT issues, especially those who can connect the dots between violence against gays worldwide and U.S. criminal occupation of lands abroad. Is http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/26/a_look_at_the_gay_rights worth a look?

25. Supporters of the Palestinian Cause… as per http://www.abunimah.org/ and Jennifer Loewenstein’s writing such as http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein06052009.html.

26. Those who agree with Paul Street vis-a-vis Obama. See http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21576.

27. Anyone absolutely disgusted with our institutionalization of torture, our history as per http://www.zmag.org/zmag/viewArticle/21609

28. Citizens who desire to honor our treaties with Native Americans.

29. Those who want to free political prisoners and totally transform our unconscionable, counterproductive prison system. Inhumane. Inhumane. Inhumane. See #56… way below.

30. People who want to help others to understand the dangers of electromagnetic pollution as per the work of Chellis Glendinning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chellis_Glendinning, and the fine work of Shepherd Bliss http://www.counterpunch.org/bliss07062009.html .

31. Those into saving salmon and destroying all dams as per Derrick Jensen’s advice www.derrickjensen.org.

32. Cancer patients and others who are interested in furthering research respecting the environmental causes for cancer… so that the vast majority of our resources in the field do not go exclusively to genetic-based research.

33. Citizens interested in being better prepared for outbreaks of disease, and prevention of pandemics.

34. Those desiring appropriate prosecution of white collar criminals, and proper compensation for victimization by corporations.

35. Citizens who question whether or not corporations are paying their fair share of taxes.

36. Citizens who have been victims of police brutality and their families.

37. Citizens who want to be able to look at the causes of the increased number of (and intensity of) forest fires from a new angle. Perhaps starting with George Wuerthner’s http://www.counterpunch.org/wuerthner06302009.html.

38. Citizens who want to protect whistleblowers.

39. The Homeless.

40. Citizens who want — as a top priority — to close more military bases. See http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21896 …to understand better, to get motivated. People who simply want to have the freedom of safe, worldwide travel — without a drop of military protest in their blood — should check out this piece; the causes for current impediments are not widely known. Definitely worthwhile for investors too.

41. Citizens who want to convert military jobs to environmentally/socially-conscious employment.

42A. Parents who want to avoid all or most vaccinations required by schools AND those who protest the “disastrous ‘mismatch of public health needs and private control of production of vaccines and drugs.’.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/27/swine-flu-mexico-h ealth.

42B. Parents who can’t afford to take a day off of work to be with their kids and parents who are home all the time because they have no work.

43. Citizens who want to keep Big Pharma from shipping products banned in the U.S. overseas, and less fraudulent practices by the pharmaceutical industry with regard to U.S. citizens.

44. Artists and others interested in moving The Arts from the periphery to the center of school curricula. See http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21907 for one way to deal with marginalization outside of academia.

45. Citizens desiring increased support of home schooling.

46. Citizens desiring increased support for in-home care of the physically-challenged.

47. Citizens desiring increased services for the mentally ill.

48. Those interested in having the Federal Government consider reparations on several fronts.

49. Citizens interested in addressing, making an historic dent in institutionalized Racism. http://www.zmag.org/zvideo/3196 is a very mild introduction to this ongoing horror. Slavery very definitely still lives, and people who know that will be among us, with us.

50. Citizens demanding that members of the Bush Administration be held accountable for war crimes, and insisting upon termination of present war crimes perpetrated by the Obama Adminstration.

51. Citizens demanding more citizen control of the airwaves, and dying to give the public a better perspective regarding disingenuous journalism emanating from so-called alternative outlets.

52. Citizens wanting to greatly stem the tide of our society’s militarization immediately, including parents who want to ban war toys as per http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21797.

53. Readers of 1984 and/or Brave New World (or Bertrand Russell’s The Scientific Outlook) who like Mike Davis and/or Angela Davis much more than they like Gray Davis or Arnie.

54. Adventurous souls who have a sense of humor, and who are not anal-retentive.

55. Citizens who insist upon integrity with respect to our voting machines, whether or not they understand the importance of IRV and/or proportional representation.

Why do I have to continue with this silly compilation?

We could easily take over the State of California as per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/315 … as per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/329. The numbers are there! What is lacking is imagination. And, thus far, the willingness for high profile citizens — with enormous influence — to move in solidarity for this one project. It would quickly take on a life of its own. And all I’m asking from anyone is five minutes of time for the entire year. Select individuals are welcome to give their life’s blood, of course, 24×8.

All you have to do is:

A. Register to vote.

B. Ask a concerned, like-minded citizen to contact me.

C. Recommend a candidate for Governor. Ditto for Lt. Governor. Ditto regarding about a dozen (paid) advisers for OUR GOVERNOR. Note: Do not recommend anyone who is a politician.

D. Be available (via email or phone) for an “update” or two prior to November, 2010. Remember, we’re going to go with an unaffiliated write-in candidate… and we’ll have to get our names straight.

E. Vote as per whatever we agree upon.

Blessings in solidarity,
Richard Oxman headburg@yahoo.com
P.S. Did you notice? No money is required. No meetings. No marching in circles. No waste of heartbeats. Since the electoral arena (as it presently stands) is a total farce, you’ve got zero to lose with this proposal. Anyone we put in office will do better than anyone slated to be elected. And if we lose, we’ll create a watershed in history if we make even a minimal inroad without campaigning. TOSCA — using the metaphor provided by Puccini’s opera — addresses man-made tears, encourages Grand Passion, and insists upon/resonates with incomparable touches of beauty in our lives.

Special note on FAILURE: Even if the necessary organizing does not pull together in time for success in 2010… at some point in 2011 it would be legally possible (and in other senses obligatory) to make use of California’s Voter Recall… to cut short business as usual, and to place our group of non-politicians into the Sacred Seat of Sacramento.

Additional people who are likely to come on board?

56. Rape victims. We’re likely to provide way more help than what’s now available. Actually, we would regardless of budget considerations. When there is a sense of community and health in a given community… money is not necessary to provide decent care for one another. Rape victims in our prisons as per http://www.counterpunch.org/rosen07082009.html, as an example, could be “helped” by simply making sure such a crime is not institutionalized.

57. Traumatized vets. Even though this falls under the federal umbrella, we’d be able to deal with this national shame of neglect to some degree. And very quickly have a hand in reducing the number of people subjected to the horror of war… utilizing their singular testimony.

58A. Abused children.

58B. Abused spouses.

59. Tortured Muslims. Not just those in our camps.

60. Burn victims.

61. Families of the elderly in nursing homes

62. Friends of those who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

63. Those who know that our Constitution is intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period, delivering power to a “better sort of people” and intentionally excluding those who were not rich, well born, or prominent from exercising political power. As per http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/3/noam_chomsky_on_crisis_and_hope.

64. People who love comedians, but who know how entertainers such as Jon Stewart and Bill Mahr — though politically correct for many “progressives” — keep citizens from engaging in meaningful action that will confront the worst excesses of capitalism or racism.

65. Radio listeners who know what’s wrong with NPR’s sponsors… and NPR and Nation and online’s Common Dreams.

66. A lot of citizens who are living within a radius of fifty miles of Lawrence Livermore Labs, where they are experimenting with biological and chemical weapons.

The angles are, for all practical purposes, endless. I trust that I haven’t repeated myself above. However, that’s neither here nor there. The point is that the vast majority of people in the State of California stand to benefit enormously/immediately by having a non-politician (heading a group of experienced non-politicians with heart and creative minds) do what no politician could possibly do.

Do not allow yourself to come up with a reason why this can’t work. For then it won’t. It’s not worth going down that tired road if the basic choice is five minutes of your heartbeats vs. what’s guaranteed to be the same at best (more likely much worse).

Half-full glass to you. Cheers!