Taking Over California Yesterday Or Sooner
by Oxz
This unedited first draft was written for members of the Peace and Freedom Party, Noam Chomsky et al. (who I am dialoguing with this morning, January 16, 2010). We must not continue to move at our arthritic snail’s pace.

We are facing deadlines which no one is acknowledging in action. Following the Cockburn quote below, I provide several questions… which I trust will encourage others to do something new, and show/embrace a sense of great urgency in their activism.

Using Alexander Cockburn’s words as a point of departure, I beg one and all to consider that we really do have to “take over” the State of California following a new paradigm. Meaning, in part, that we must do so ASAP. AC’s points do not even cover the gamut of what lies ahead (if we don’t move ahead expeditiously in unprecedented solidarity, putting aside our peripheral differences)… the horror… but it’s more than enough to demand dialogue:

The Golden State is going the way Mesopotamia did at the time of the Abbassids 1,400 years ago, with excessive water use sucking the water tables dry and turning prime farm land into saline desert. From the vantage point of Merced Bill Hatch gives us a pitiless, hugely knowledgeable profile of California’s death plunge, the consequence of political domination of the state by the real estate speculators, acting in concert with big ag “farmers” hawking California’s second most vital resource after air.

As Hatch writes, “The anxiety of the California population, the largest of any state in the country, has created a fertile field for political hysteria. State politics has begun to resemble New Guinea cargo cults, insisting on forcing through infrastructure on more borrowed money in the desperate hope – because our leaders are actually unable to imagine anything else – of more population growth.” They need the population growth – five million since 2000 – since that fuels real estate speculation.

Being well-intentioned, well-organized, well-educated and experienced is not enough. You must — we must — move like the house is on fire, and sweet kids and kitties are inside… creatures who we must rescue immediately. In an effort to get one and all to move faster than the arthritic snail’s pace we embrace… I pose several questions below.

1. Why is it so difficult to get contact info for so many people who write articles? For the purpose of brainstorming, for the ultimate purpose of contributing to meaningful action.

2. Why is dialogue cut short prematurely when contact is made? Why is everyone so busy that they cannot continue with ongoing debate?

3. Why do third party political primaries take place so late?

4. Why do citizens think the electoral arena will permit change without deep grassroots activism? Why is there no discussion about what we should do if there is electoral fraud (again)?

5. Why do activists think that they can recruit sufficient numbers to do anything by primarily following obsolete paradigms? Examples would be relying on flyers, conferences, online discussion, etc.

6. Why isn’t there more one-on-one contact in lieu of the old generic communication approach?

7. Why aren’t activist contacts available 24×7? What are people so busy with beyond personal survival matters? Why do they take so long to respond to questions, pleas? Are they are attending meetings? Reading articles? Going to lectures? Writing to disingenuous reps? Doing unnecessary research? Socializing at Starbucks or the nearest independent bookstore, talking talk talk instead of walk talk? What the hell are people doing with their heartbeats?

8. Why are activists spending so much time debating peripheral differences instead of joining hands in solidarity on what can be agreed upon?

9. Why do so many still invoke the notion of planting seeds? You know, citing –exclusively — the fact that necessary groundwork must be laid out for future action (in lieu of doing something dramatic now). Reinforcing the notion that we can leisurely address the rough beast, its hour come round at last? Ignoring what can and must be done yesterday.

10. Why are so few people seriously considering joining hands with those on board with TOSCA? Some delineation of TOSCA, etc. is directly below in boldface.

Ten points:

1. We are faced with many issues which demand urgent action. Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. For starters — just for hors d’oeuvres — see what the California Guv can do unilaterally/immediately (http://oxtogrind.org/archive/311).

2. U.S. citizens cannot count on federal authorities to do what’s needed expeditiously.

3. We want to act as responsible citizens legally, non-violently. Without depending on the representatives of either of the two major parties or the marginalized other parties. Win or lose (with or w/o TOSCA), we intend to build unprecedented grassroots solidarity… to build upon. For unprecedented purposes. None of this means that we can’t move in solidarity with some third parties. In fact, that would be ideal. That said, since only 39% of the eligible voters came out statewide for the last gubernatorial farce… joining hands with everyone (at such short notice) is not essential.

4. The Executive branch of the State of California provides the single greatest opportunity we have to make a difference locally, nationally and internationally… in time*. This, and all else here, can be elaborated on, upon request, but it should be underscored again that our Governor will be able to do many earthshaking things unilaterally.

*Our society does have (unacknowledged) deadlines on several fronts.

5. Even if we fail to secure the office of the Governor of California in 2010, the means by which we will try should secure an unprecedented spotlight for what we want to communicate to the public, helping citizens to self-educate like never before. Our singular, approach to recruitment will be the basis for circumventing the inevitable electoral fraud that our unaffiliated write-in candidates will encounter. We are as repulsed by politics as much as anyone. http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22319 But we feel we can tweak the electoral realm to serve our purposes.

6. What we will communicate to the public is open to your feedback. We also welcome recommendations respecting WHO should serve as Governor of California together. We will have two working figurehead candidates (for Governor and Lieutenant Governor) and ten others serving de facto in tandem. Ideally, all will be non-politicians.

7. We will require NO MONEY. And we will not wage anything resembling a traditional campaign. That means, in part, that those involved with us do not necessarily have to devote any time to speak of, certainly do not have to be distracted from pet projects, primary personal focus. It also means that our efforts will not be contingent upon mainstream media support. No petitions, no phone calls, no flyers, no meetings, no marches, no arrests, etc. Again, HOW we intend to pull this off can be shared in great detail on a need to know basis… in person. General responses can be provided via email, all else being equal. The single greatest challenge for everyone will be to NOT speculate about what others will or won’t do, NOT to be locked in by precedent. Philip Larkin’s First Sight http://www.artofeurope.com/larkin/lar4.htm is exquisitely germane here.

8. A short list of people who have given us their imprimaturs can be found at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/336. If you don’t know who Howard Zinn, Henry Giroux or Devinder Sharma are… you may not be impressed at first. [Pause.] Regardless, we will be guided by grassroots participation.

9. Citizens do NOT have to reside in California to contribute on some level. In fact, people worldwide can participate in some way… putting aside peripheral differences, uniting for the first time for a single cause http://oxtogrind.org/archive/315 …moving in solidarity to benefit one and all (http://oxtogrind.org/archive/331).

10. Contact Richard at tosca.2010@yahoo.com for more details, etc. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/378 for some personal background.

The specifics do not need to be spelled out. It is enough to create a sense of urgency. It is enough to offer transparent group decision-making in lieu of having a single, self-serving careerist at the helm once again. It is enough to inspire the public with a campaign run on a ZERO budget, to accomplish great things with no experience. It is enough, as Arundhati Roy, reminds us… to have some victory in the midst of routine defeat. Garnering more votes than all third parties have ever managed collectively in history — even in a loss — would constitute a major victory… with great ripples. Much could be accomplished by taking part in what Arundhati has described as a feral howl. The scream — in the form of action in solidarity — would unsettle the powers that be to some extent. More, certainly, than current forms of protest and electoral efforts are slated to do. YOU — with proper support — could probably do a better job at the helm than any other Guv in history.

More upon request.

Ricardo Bueyhombre at tosca.2010@yahoo.com. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364 or contact me*… and I will give you my phone #… and we can take it from there.

*The link provided is quite layered, some say confusing, not clear enough. Guilty. I can condense what I have to say in phone talk so that I only take a few of your heartbeats.