The Ox 12/28/09

“I have no simple answers to propose; no easy alternative to this rat-race of death. But certain things are clear. This system cannot be changed by a seizure of power but only by a dispersion of power that the few hold over the many. And the means of changing toward a humane society must not only be consistent with that end but must be inherently a part of it; i.e. the means must be humane in the same way as are the ends toward which we strive. And any attempt to be a winner in the corporate capitalism’s rat-race of death is not a humane act.” — Ray Dellinger, David’s son, sending a message to one and all as he dropped out of Yale University a month before graduation in 1969.

“Improvement of our infrastructure, healthy changes in the national diet, adequate health care for all (including a much-needed re-education of medical professionals), a reduction of crime in the streets, increased (quality) job opportunities, wildlife protection and better air quality — among many other things — could be had if we would only stop our very bad behavior overseas, our obsession with hegemony.” — David Dellinger, 2000.

I wrote to Zack, Tom, Tim and Brad of Rage Against the Machine recently, and — in the process — I created an imaginary inaugural address that has them getting ready to take over the gubernatorial reins in California (with a few others), opening with

“Stop thinking that the U.S. hasn’t done far more damage to the world than Nazi Germany. [See some Chomsky blah blah for a very brief, palatable (albeit insufficient) intro to the historical reference here; if that doesn't suffice perhaps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKwJI9axblQ&feature=player_embedded and/or http://www.zmag.org/zaudio/3314 will put the analogy to bed... by merely touching the tip of our blood red, exclusively white and very blue/toxic/inexorable iceberg (now even penetrating deep into space).]”

It is a conventional myth that the United States ever had a principled position against Nazi racism, that — today — it holds principled positions against any oppressions. [For whom is the myth convenient? Fascinating "details" upon request.]

Noam told me this morning (what’s recorded in the latter link above)… that an overwhelming number of Palestinian children… when asked what single thing they wish for… or would wish for… if their wish could come true… said… clean water to drink. [Lots of them are dying from poisons, and if their water problem is not addressed soon... the West Bank/Gaza water supply and land might take centuries to clear up.]

We’re responsible for those deaths. Literally, judged by any standards.

To provide them with potable water* you’d have to create/force fundamental changes in U.S. institutions, but it would be worth the struggle. Very much worth the struggle I’m involved in with DISUS. For to force such changes you’d also be greatly reducing rape in the Congo, predator bombing in the Middle East and a host of other abominations we’re responsible for worldwide. [If you don't believe me, try reading the article, watching the video and listening to the recording provided by the links above. And, then, re-read the Dellinger quote above.]

*They don’t lack potable water because they dropped the ball, or because history took a wrong turn. No, again, we — the U.S. — have guaranteed, and continue to guarantee that they will die from tainted water by our (clear) complicity. [Again, listen to the recording provided above, the latter link.]

My information comes from many reputable sources, not just the absolutely reliable bits and pieces which trickle down from Noam Chomsky. John Pilger, Angela Davis, Paul Street, Dahr Jamail, Jennifer Loewenstein, Marie Trigona, Tariq Ali, Mike Davis, Alexander Cockburn, Derrick Jensen, Ward Churchill, Mickey Z, I.F. Stone, Bill Blum, Howard Zinn, Ali Abunimah, Michael Parenti, Father Roy Bourgeois and many others have provided definitive proof that we’re responsible for the ongoing horror in Israel and elsewhere for decades. Definitive evidence supporting the notion that the U.S. needs to be totally transformed.

Well, one of my very favorites who have documented (and tried to do something about) our atrocities is David Dellinger. And in honor of how he consistently and uncompromisingly called a spade a spade, and dug into the realities enveloping him and everyone, I have renamed the TOSCA effort DISUS. As in Dellinger’s Initiative for Society with Unprecedented Solidarity. As in dis the U.S. Yes, DISUS. IS for Israel, US for us… play with the letters any way you like… keep TOSCA for the acronym… just do something fresh! Healthy disrespect by any other name is the same. Disrespecting the dominant culture is us.

Doesn’t matter if we can’t recruit big numbers into our ranks with such language, such imagery. Our first job is to call a spade a spade, and to use that as a basis for organizing along radical lines. Much more radical than anything currently offered by any other political party. Radical as in non-violent, compassionate David Dellinger*.

*Albeit with a twist. We’re certainly not going to get anywhere following Dave’s models step for step… like the Gaza Freedom March people did in dealing with Egyptian authorities recently. [Contact me for elaboration on that point.]

For one, DISUS will be the only party that is prepared for the fact that even an electoral victory will not enable us to take the reins of power. DISUS, in campaigning, will simultaneously be laying the groundwork for forcing change with or without so-called democratic principles (as defined by the dominant culture) being honored. For, in fact, we are dealing with a stacked deck.

I once confronted Mike Farrell (the M*A*S*H guy, the anti-death penalty guru) at Capitola Book Cafe. He had finished trying to sell his latest volume, and launched into serving as an apologist for Richard Holbrooke and Obama’s behavior. I pointed out that on that very day Z Magazine had come out with an article by Noam Chomsky which definitively laid out Obama’s complicity in ongoing torture, torture which he had actually ratcheted up subsequent to Bush’s departure. Mike would have none of it. His quick response was, “I don’t believe in everything Chomsky says.”

Fact is, Mike likely doesn’t read anything Chomsky publishes. He’s written him off as being too radical, I’m sure. Well, Dave Dellinger is as extreme as Chomsky. And anything that’s got his name attached to it has to be verboten for the likes of Mike. Just as it is for the general U.S. public. People who refuse to digest anything which puts their routine/comfort into question. People who can rationalize being against the death penalty but for increased torture. Or… the people who can somehow justify both capital punishment and torture. People who, for the most part, have no clue that torture in our maximum security prisons is not very different than what ever went on in Guantanamo. That’s the vast majority of citizens on these shores. Don’t expect them — don’t wait for them — to come on board, to make imaginative, sensitive use of our precious freedom.

Clearly, something has to deliver a 9/11-level shock. Non-violent and legal, but a shock. And… if that shock doesn’t produce results, doesn’t prove to be effective in terms of the public’s self-education and movement to action… well, then… we’ll just have to go back to the drawing board. But there’s nothing else on the table at present that I know of which is intent on creating the kind of situation what would enable enough people to do a turn around… soon enough. Nothing which is built on the premise that we need to immediately take radical/quantum leap steps following a new paradigm.

It’s time to guilt-trip your neighbors and loved ones, or at least recoil in horror at what they’re doing. What we’re doing.

You can start by making it possible for all children to have a clean cup of water in the morning.

Contact Richard at tosca.2010@yahoo.com. It’s time for action, not more documentation and delineation of the obvious.