We Are Bad For Our Health

Would a gruesome picture of a cancer-ravaged mouth with rotting teeth make you think twice about buying a pack of cigarettes?

My friends at Health Day News tell me that that’s the goal of new federal regulations expected to go into effect within three years. The rules will require tobacco companies to cover at least half of the front and back of packages with graphic — and possibly gruesome — images illustrating the dangers of smoking.

According to my buddies, U.S. regulations will be modeled after those already in place in Canada and other countries, and the warnings will be shocking: blackened lungs, gangrenous feet, bleeding brains and people breathing through tracheotomies.

Such mandatory graphic delineation should be a fact of life before another three years pass.

And long before our scheduled departure from Iraq and Afghanistan. Which is slated to be, if truth be told, NEVER. Not if you count mercenaries (Second-hand War?). Hey, even if you don’t. The lies about what we’re about are out. Unnecessary*, self-serving, illegal abominations abroad.

*Our interest in cheap oil does not qualify as “necessary.”

U.S. citizens — who supposedly take great pride in the “freedom” they have to speak out and take meaningful action — are complicit in our abominations abroad. Abominations which culminate in more than 6 million deaths a year — with or without our acknowledged wars — more than the total deaths from cigarettes annually worldwide. Documentation upon request, but the reason this article doesn’t provide footnotes and the like is that I want to make a point about there being — for much too long a time now — loads of definitive scholarly “proof” in lieu of action.

But let’s focus here on our wars. Our suicidal confrontations. Our inhumane attitudinal set. Our compounding fear with fear so that we make life not worth living. The ecocidal activities of our military. The human suffering that goes way beyond the neglect of our vets, or the deaths of our soldiers. Beyond the cruel, unnecessary agony of innocent parents being separated from their innocent children forever. Beyond the irreparable damage done to innocence. Beyond the toxification of groundwater at home and abroad… in the name of fighting an imaginary enemy. Or, at least, The Larger Enemy. The Real Enemy. Like the people Obama plays golf with. The same people who Bush played with in some capacity

Where are the WARNINGS AGAINST WAR? The gruesome images. The gruesome truth in everyday conversation with everyone In risky one-on-one on the street talk, in the living room talk during leisure hours? Not in articles and lectures. That we have had for a long time.

This is a call for revolution.

Not the generic kind. Not the kind that gets you slaughtered at the starting gate, at the barricades. But a smarter revolution. Starting with calling a spade a spade… and seeing where it takes us. Toward institutional changes?

Starting with stopping having personal popularity, a career and the like take precedence over participation in Holocaust-level horror. Starting with a fundamental criticism of public schools as the breeding ground for military participation, support for our aggression. Between parents.

Nothing less than calling the country cancerous will do. At each juncture. With every opportunity. Let’s hear our alternative media outlets label Obama as a murderer, not — in the name of unquestioned, traditional propriety, objectivity — President.

Now THAT’S grassroots!

About half the country might not be able to tell you how many days it takes for the Earth to circle the Sun, but the vast majority of our citizens are capable of caring about wanton murder. What goes against their enlightened self-interest.

The unrestrained greed and consumer voraciousness must end.

I am attached to the obligation to help others to see that The Emperor Has No Clothes. I am addicted to the idea of terminating the hypnotism. Not just the hypnotism that serves as a basis for Obama’s tenure. But to termination of the trance concerning American Exceptionalism.

We are not Good People… if we are to be judged by our present actions, deafening silence. And American citizens — with their obliviousness to where their luxuriant lifestyle comes from — ARE responsible for what’s coming down. Ignorant or not. Not the Government. Not the Pentagon. Not the Corporations. The average U.S. citizen.

Where are the WARNINGS? When will be stop executing war in public places?

Each reader — if it’s not too presumptuous to suggest — should tell neighbors, friends and acquaintances NOT to smoke other people.

We are bad for our health.

Richard Oxman can be reached at tosca.2010@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Richard, or visit Richard's website.

69 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Dawson said on August 28th, 2009 at 9:47am #

    Once again, why does DV run this crap? The people, not the elites, are responsible for what’s happening? What’s dissident about that? That’s just the worst of both worlds, and flat wrong, to boot.

    P.S. to Richard Oxman: You might educate yourself about both corporate marketing (which is a $2 trillion/year endeavor) and the extreme inequality between so-called “consumers” before you go blathering on about generalized “consumer voraciousness.”

  2. Richard Oxman said on August 28th, 2009 at 10:08am #

    Dearest Michael:

    It’s a no-brainer that “the elites” are responsible for… so much. However, what’s “dissident” about the thrust of my article is centered on the daily responsibility that citizens have for changing lifestyle and spreading the word about the necessity of such. For finding every possible way to NOT participate in our abominations regardless of what “the elites” control.

    I do know a lot about the power of corporate marketing, but that fact of life does not preclude individual citizens from fighting. Obviously. As far as the clear inequality among consumers goes, “consumer voraciousness” cuts across class lines to various degrees. Of course there’s a difference between, say, Donald Trump’s purchases on a a given weekend… in contrast with someone like me or my neighbors. BUT… all of us are obligated to take “another look” at what we consider necessary… what we routinely do without thinking. Which is also related to job choice… when we have a choice.

  3. Simone said on August 28th, 2009 at 10:34am #

    Dear Richard, I came into the site purely by chance…… I have never heard of you until now. Your writing comes across as the kind of speech which would be given a standing ovation. You have the courage of your convictions, backed with research, and I applaud you. And yes, it is TRUE, the complacency of the regular citizen of any country, yours, mine EVERYBODY’S in the so called Western culture, is beyond belief. Too many people today are so wrapped up in cotton-wool it’s seeped into their brains……. and this, along with self ingrained, holier than thou, lack of accountability for one’s own actions is frightening.

    We do have choice…. WE DO. It’s all about mindfulness and awareness, and not continually blaming someone else.

  4. Richard Oxman said on August 28th, 2009 at 2:30pm #

    Dearest Simone:

    Great to see your contribution here. Again, I’d like to underscore the importance of people moving in solidarity by offering http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364 for your kind consideration. We ARE trying to make a difference nationwide by starting at a vulnerable point in California… following a new paradigm for change. It does — sadly — involve the electoral arena, BUT… it goes about that realm in an unprecedented way. I trust that that will pique your interest and the interest of others enough… to move you to have a glance at the link given above. You do NOT have to live in California to participate in our effort. You can see at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/336 what interesting figures are already on board worldwide. Merci for your kind words, The Ox

  5. United-Socialist-Front said on August 28th, 2009 at 8:47pm #

    THE MAIN REASON OF WHY USA CITIZENS ARE NOT REVOLTING, IS THAT THE US CENTRAL BANK (FEDERAL RESERVE) IS PUMPING DOLLARS INTO THE US ECONOMY WITHOUT END, AND BACKING THOSE DOLLARS WITH LOANS. HOWEVER SOONER OR LATER THE US ECONOMY WILL GRIND TO A HALT !!

    IN OTHERS WORDS THE US CITIZENS ARE NOT REVOLTING BECAUSE USA IS NOT AT A REVOLUTIONARY OBJECTIVE SITUATION YET !!

    Sooner or later this ‘tricke down welfare capitalist system’ will not provide bread for all, and will morph a plutocratic corporate capitalist system that can only provide stability, food and wealth for the upper bourgeoise classes of America.

    when that time comes we will see a revolutionary situation, when the proletariat take the bull by its horns and overthrows the corporate corrupted capitalist system for complete emancipation of the workign classes of this country

    HERE ARE THE MAIN 3 TRAITS OF A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION IN USA:

    # 1 – When it is impossible for the rich people of this country (like Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Donald Trump, Al Gore, Ross Perot, Dick Cheney, etc.) to maintain their wealth without any change; when there is an economic crisis, in one form or another, among the rich people, a crisis in the policy of the rich ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of middle and lower classes of America burst forth. For a socialist-revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for the middle and lower classes not to want to live in their old comfortable and stable way; it is also necessary that the rich upper millionaire class should be unable to live in their old comfortable way.

    # 2 – When the suffering and the needs of the middle and lower working classes of this country have grown more acute than usual

    # 3 – When, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the middle and working classes, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in peace time, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis *and by the upper classes themselves* into independent historical action.

  6. B99 said on August 28th, 2009 at 8:52pm #

    The main reason Americans are not revolting is because most are reasonably satisfied with their lot.

  7. Deadbeat said on August 28th, 2009 at 9:39pm #

    The main reason Americans are not revolting is because most are reasonably satisfied with their lot.

    Or they could be blaming themselves for their own situation and not putting the pieces together that the problem is systemic. Many people feel isolated and are atomized in their own situation. More and more people have to find ways to build solidarity.

  8. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 7:33am #

    Deadbeat: You know most people judge the american average citizens as too passive, too slugish, too ignorant, and too anti-politics. But i think that most american regular workers and people are just like the citizens of other countries. The differences in the USA is that most US citizens are little bit more egocentrical and have a more libertarian self-centered world view than the citizens of other countries.

    However the *real main reason* of why US citizens are not revolting, rioting, and rebelling out there in the US streets against the capitalist system, is because USA is not at an objective revolutionary critical situation, like Venezuela was in the 1990s, prior to Hugo Chavez becoming president.

    I am not an economist, and I don’t have a degree in economics, however I can tell that the US private and public sector is still providing bread on the table for the majority of americans either thru formal ways (jobs, food-stamps, etc.) or thru informal ways (food banks, food charities etc.).

    However from the articles I’ve read from Paul Craig Roberts, Mike Witney, Michael Hudson and other un-biased economists, the USA is pretty broke, pretty bankrupt and it’s current economy is maintained like a sort of patient real close to death and about to die with a coma on ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

    And there is no way that this patient (US economy) can get out of coma and of its ICU treatment by the US central bank (Federal Reserve)

    So in plain words, sooner or later the US economy will collapse totally and will grind to a critical halt, and then we will see what Vladimir Lenin labeled “An Objective Revolutionary Situation”

    But in the mean time today, people can still find food to curve their hunger in USA, and that is why americans are not rebelling and rioting.

    .

  9. shrike75 said on August 29th, 2009 at 7:48am #

    Panem et Circenses, like in the Roman Empire before its fall (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses)

  10. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 8:10am #

    I ask readers to look at Mickey Z’s interview with me on Dissident Voice at http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/07/taking-over-post-arnold-california/. One does not have to wait until cinematic scenarios come down. Textbook descriptions of revolution can be excuses for not taking some action to move things along. Excuses for sitting quite comfortably in one’s atomized state… doing little to stimulate the solidarity that could do something in the here and now… prior to all of that economic fallout. One reason to do so is that if we WAIT for certain scenarios to unfold… it’ll be too late (as per environmental issues). Another reason is out of compassion. It’s fine to pontificate about when and where and how THE REVOLUTION will take place without our input, but not if one is tuned in to The Agony, the unnecessary suffering. “Unncessary” meaning, for instance, that we might be able to do something that would end our wars sooner than later. For starters. Contact me directly at TOSCA.2010 [AT] y A hOO DOT COM

  11. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 8:41am #

    Richard: Hi my friend, your education and philosohical knowledge is very impeacable. And i agree with you. I am not a dogmatic closed minded socialist. I also take knowledge from different psychologiss, philosophers and scientists to understand the reality we live in and our bodies.

    And i also like the realist philosophy of Nietzsche, Machiavelli and some other thinkers

    And according to F. Nietzsche all humans have an internal will to power, in fact he said all living organisms are a *Will to Power* and nothing besides.

    He also said that the real superman which he wrote about, is an active-nihilist, as opposed to the majority of conformist people who pass thru this life as passive-nihilists. unable to be architects of their own destiny.

    But the good thing about Nietzsche is that he gives up hope by claiming that each human is a will to power, and is able to be an active nihilist. It just requires a will power and desire. Not money, not political power nor possitions

    Just will to power !!

  12. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 9:59am #

    Dear USFront (name?):

    Thanks. I’d like to know what you think of http://oxtogrind.org/archive/353 and/or http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364. Like the character Marat says in Weiss’ Marat/Sade, “In the face of the indifference of Nature, I turn myself inside out and invent a meaning.” Or something like that. Thanks for underscoring what you have spotlighted. There’s entirely too much speculation and oneupsmanship regarding what OTHERS may or may not do.

  13. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 10:56am #

    I am correcting my last post’s spelling mistakes:

    But the good thing about Nietzsche is that he *gives us* hope by claiming that each human doesn’t only have will to power, but each human in this world is a will to power, and is able to be an active nihilist. It just requires a will power, optimism and desire. Not money, not political power nor possitions

    Just will to power !!

  14. balkas b b said on August 29th, 2009 at 11:48am #

    let us consider [at least consider] the fact that US, among many, is ruled by gangsters.
    Or is there a better explanation for its 18 wars, slavery, lyinchings, segregation, discrimination, etc?
    How’s one going to elucidate the fact that germans have until ’45 either approbated or ignored concetration camps and now ignore or approbate comparable crimes against 99% innocent indigenes of palestine?
    So, to me, our greatest by far bane appears being ruled by gangsters for at least 10K yrs.

    Of course, one cld relabel the gangsters as psychopaths, robbers, worst people among us, the biggest liars, greediest, most bellicose, stupidest, etc., but one gets the same behavior.
    And people may know that one does not mess with gangsters. So, people became what they are now. tnx

  15. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 12:22pm #

    I’d love for Balkas to reduce the four paragraphs to one… clarifying in condensed form what is being said here. Thanks, Richard

  16. keith douglas said on August 29th, 2009 at 1:40pm #

    I can find nothing in this piece with which to disagree. Even SOME/many of the poorest of us are ‘fat’. Americans have been led to believe that ‘freedom’ is equivalent to having what I want, when I want it, how I want it. Beyond that there is little reason to curb one’s consumption, or nuture an individual sense of responsibility to the ‘whole’. We tend to live like the fabled grasshopper. But, when winter comes, i.e. the oil is gone, we will scramble, having squandered the opportunity to do what had been needed to be done, but we were to busy in our consumer euphoria to notice.

  17. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 2:04pm #

    most americans are real noble, hard-working people and hate both parties, hate wars, hate CIA, hate cops, hate police-fascism, hated Bush and hate Obama. The american people (We the people) are totally alone in this country, and they are not guilty for not rebelling. The real guilt and culpability for lack of rebellion should be found in the opposition parties to the US fascism (Socialist parties, communist parties, libertarian parties, green parties etc.) for their lack of leadership and their passive stance and their not leading the US working classes.

  18. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 2:31pm #

    I think it would be instructive, worthwhile to consider all this in the light of responsibility, not guilt. Each individual citizen can take the bull by the horns to some degree. That is what I was talking about it the article, if I remember correctly. At least in great part. Do you send your child to school (with too little follow-up supervision)? Do you give lip service to our militarization? What’s your daily life like vis-a-vis the activities and products of corporations? And so on. Personally, I’d like to see a few more Dissident Voice readers… who seem to be quite content with reading, writing and going blah blah about the major issues of our times… exclusively… check out http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364. Or glance at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/375 (the TOSCA-related version of this article)… providing feedback on our efforts to Take Over the State of California. Everyone can take responsibility for checking out the offerings of other citizens… in the name of respecting efforts to move in solidarity along the lines of new paradigms.

  19. balkas b b said on August 29th, 2009 at 2:38pm #

    richard oxman,
    correction ab. 18 US wars. Us had waged about 180 wars, incursions, etc.
    u have a problem. tell me about it?!

  20. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 2:44pm #

    Dear Balkas:

    I know the history well. I don’t have “a problem” with understanding that aspect of our history. I mean, it’s been quite clear for some time. I was asking for clarification on the point you were making. I simply did not understand why you were going over that ground. That’s why I asked for you to condense.

  21. balkas b b said on August 29th, 2009 at 3:41pm #

    richard oxman,
    The point i am making [and have made it over and over again on DV and other sites] that about 90% of USans excercise near zero [and for prisoners and hobos zero] military-educational-informational-political powers.
    Thus, i affirm for the hundreth time, that nothing or close to nothing is up to housepeople, ditch diggers, fallers, fishers, et al; everything is up to the gangsters on the level i just hyphenated.
    And in miltary i include cia, fbi, city police, private army, and private spy agency. These are in toto controled by ab. 1-5% of americans. tnx

  22. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 4:55pm #

    In the 19th century, one could have advanced the same argument — respecting the power of the powers that be — Balkas. With regard to women, with regard to slaves. Both could have shouted high and loud about how low they were laid by the men or the masters. But some got together in solidarity and did something about their collective condition.
    — Richard

  23. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 6:39pm #

    GIVE ME 1000 GEORGE BUSH, OVER 1 AUTHORITARIAN UNFRIENDLY LEFTIST.

    YOU KNOW WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH MANY LEADERS OF SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST PARTIES IN THE U.S.A? THAT THEY ARE REAL UNFRIENDLY, AND THEY THINK THAT THEY OWN THEY ARE THE ONES WITH THE TRUE MARXISM AND SOCIALISM.

    You know why most people vote for Right-wing parties in many countries like USA? Because I’ve noticed that many leaders of socialist, and communist parties in USA and in many other countries are real authoritarian, unfriendly, dogmatic, dictatorial, egocentric, antisocial, and totally closed-minded and undemocratic. In order to atract people to your cause you have to be friendly and have social-relationship skills. And many leaders of the US left are antisocial, introvert, pathetic losers lacking in any carisma to attrack people like Obama, Ronald Reagan and Hugo Chavez.

    No wonder people get real discouraged with the sectarian, stalinist, anti-democratic and unfriendly socialist parties in USA, specially the people of revleft.com who are real fascists.

    .

  24. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2009 at 6:46pm #

    Michael Dawson

    So, why, do you know better than the smucks who suck on the nipple of a trillion dollar marketing tit?

    Let’s get off the “victimhood” stuff. We are the problem.

  25. United-Socialist-Front said on August 29th, 2009 at 6:51pm #

    Richard: hi again, i think that what the US left needs is unity. Simon Bolivar the Venezuelan founding father, said that the people united will never be defeated, but if divided could be easily conquered by the oligarchies. So i think that the problem with the US left is that it is too divided into tons of tiny movements, and independent leftist celebrities. But if americans want to see a real change the opposition to the corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans would have to be more united, into a united front.

    But againt the problem with many leaders of the US left is that they are too individualists.

    But you are very right, each citizen should not wait for the socialist parties to lead them, people should be more class conscious.

    so what people in the USA needs is to wake up and I remain convinced that the basic principles and organizational methods advanced by many workers unions of the past like the Minneapolis Teamsters, intelligently applied to today’s situation, remain the one of the only viable paths for recovery for the American working class. These include:

    • Class consciousness.
    • Embracing the diversity of the working class.
    • Full debate and vote by the ranks on all major decisions.
    • Organizing for worker control of the workplace, not winning a government election.
    • Taking our case to the public and building alliances with allies outside the unions.

    There’s much more as well but these would be a good start. Continuing the same old, same old, of class collaboration, and following the marching orders issued by the bosses politicians and courts, will condemn the once mighty american workers-unions to an agonizing withering away.I look forward to the nextare of their own reality to be more class-conscious.

  26. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2009 at 6:51pm #

    Bozh, how many ditch diggers have you seen lately?

    Labor is a union; there are no laborers.

    We are shells of human existence prone to take our bodies out for a walk like a pet…rather than use our bodies for the pleasure of work.

    Let’s stop kidding ourselves. There are dirt poor people and then there are the barely middle class; all who have lived off of the Empire in ways that are at once grotesque and dipilitating.

  27. Richard Oxman said on August 29th, 2009 at 7:00pm #

    I would like to direct the “discussion” toward a (possibly) productive point. That is… although I enjoy the blah blah to a degree… the whole point of penning the article was to have a shot at gettting people to move in solidarity. I purposely left out references to TOSCA (http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364) when I submitted the piece… to increase the chances of it being posted. However, now there is an opportunity for one and all who care about DOING something that we’re talking about here. Do let me know what you think of the project delineated in the link above directly… by writing to me at TOSCA.2010 [AAAAATTTTTT] Y A H Oo [dot] com

  28. LennyB said on August 29th, 2009 at 7:15pm #

    I don’t know about you guys…but, if they start putting graphic images of peoples’ cancer-mouth on my packs of cigarettes, I think I might then be compelled more-so to smoke. Hell, i might start smoking more, just so i can collect ‘em all!

  29. Deadbeat said on August 30th, 2009 at 1:14am #

    U-S-F writes…
    US left is that it is too divided into tons of tiny movements, and independent leftist celebrities.

    This is very true and critically examining the Left helps us to understand why the U.S. public continues to vote for the Democrats and how the right in many ways are filling the vacuum left by the Left. If the Left presented an actual united front then the Left could be a serious challenge to the Democrats.

    today’s situation, remain the one of the only viable paths for recovery for the American working class. These include:

    • Class consciousness.
    • Embracing the diversity of the working class.
    • Full debate and vote by the ranks on all major decisions.
    • Organizing for worker control of the workplace, not winning a government election.
    • Taking our case to the public and building alliances with allies outside the unions.

    I totally agree with your planks. One of my position is that the Left needs to do better outreach to the working class and especially to working people of color. There has been little discussion here about the need to reach out to people of color and taking an honest and consistent stance against racism. You’ve been one of the few poster here on DV to recognize that and to include that as an important plank.

  30. bozh said on August 30th, 2009 at 5:42am #

    max,
    I’d like to respond to your question. Unfortunately, i don’t understand it.
    Or have u been intentionally vague or even silly? tnx

  31. bozh said on August 30th, 2009 at 6:20am #

    richard oxman,
    Educating kids and teens; i.e., telling them what what we see, understand, learn, hear, read may be the only way to a better life for all.
    However, imo, one cannot be an illuminator if one does not recognize and respect the right of another person to be wrong or even ‘stupid’.
    Only a few posters on DV appear to be aware of this basic panhuman right.
    Posts of such people teem with namecalling.
    At times they use own ‘explanation’ or definition of another person’s ‘explanation’ or definition and then use the new ‘explanation’ as proof that the other person is wrong, etc.

    Meanwhile, they do not see that all explanations, rationalizations, wishfulness, predictions, etc., appear as conclusions and not as facts.

    We need also the people on the right and not just on the left [of which there may be just 2-5%] to join in the enlightenment or awakening.
    In canada, seems to me, an overwhelming number of the people on the right very much apprecaiate canadian system of healthcare.

    And once americans wld have it, 96% of them wld love it! And, imo, it is important that we have a second political party. Conservatives and Liberals appear as one party and especially when it comes to warfare and treatment of indigenous pop.

    It actually had been Rev. tommy douglas of the NDP who as premier of manitoba introduced healthcare in that province some 45yrs ago.
    Rightwing people and most doctors were ouraged. Doctors threatened to leave, etc.
    Now even doctors like it! tnx

  32. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 7:36am #

    These are good posts to wake up to. Thanks to one and all. I’d like to ask Deadbeat, for starters, how one goes about organizing workers at a given workplace… to take “control” of that workplace. Give me an example of where and how that might be done in the U.S. …where it might create some kind of momentum. Best, The Ox

  33. Deadbeat said on August 30th, 2009 at 12:14pm #

    *Our interest in cheap oil does not qualify as “necessary.”

    Can you provide some references to support this assertion? Is the oil really cheap? The U.S. is spending 3 trillion dollars on Iraq alone and untold trillions in Afghanistan. Wouldn’t the oil be cheaper had the U.S did business with Iraq and Afghanistan? As far as War for Oil, wouldn’t it be cheaper for the U.S to invade Canada or Latin America where the U.S. obtain the vast majority of its own supply of oil?

    I think more and more the Left needs to offer some support and substance behind the “cheap oil” claim. It would be nice to see some basis for the argument of “cheap oil” when U.S behavior run counter to the basis of “cheap” oil.

    “Control of oil” may be a more plausible phrase but even then why fight such a protracted and costly war when the U.S. for years used covert coups and bribing local potentates to obtain control? War on the other hand is extremely risky if your goal is to maintain the infrastructure for commerce. It would be more plausible to use war if the goal is destruction of the infrastructure and the breakdown of the society which is obviously the case in Iraq.

    I think the “Big Oil” and “cheap oil” phrases has been so often repeated during the past 30 years that activists accept these terms without question. It seems to be that this unquestioning acceptance is “anti-revolutionary” or better yet reactionary.

  34. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 2:41pm #

    I hope that I’m understanding you correctly here, Deadbeat. I believe that you misunderstood my comment. As far as *Our interest in cheap oil does not qualify as “necessary.” goes, I only meant that the U.S. is all about abominations abroad… unnecessary abominations… and that citizens who claim that it’s “necessary” to commit those abominations in order to have cheap oil are wrong. That, in fact, it’s not necessary to use oil to the extent that we do at all. That, ultimately, oil itself is not necessary. Must not be allowed to be “necessary” in light of the inevitable, unacceptable costs that are involved in thinking so, acting so. In short, I was merely underscoring the obvious. I’d sure welcome your taking your four paragraphs or so, and condensing them all to a single sentence. That sound bite would help clarify for Dummy Ox.

  35. Concrete man said on August 30th, 2009 at 5:15pm #

    All true, but the author ignores Jewish Control of US society, in the media, finance, government, etc etc. The Elite Jews, Illuminati, Freemasons, etc, are the evil forces responsible for turning Americans into the morons they have become.

  36. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 6:13pm #

    It’s a serious no-brainer that there are plenty of forces — too numerous to name (the relative “importance” of each… not important at this juncture) — BUT what’s not so apparent, perhaps, is what the “morons” and the people calling them “morons” (compassionately, I presume) are NOT doing… which they could do… to some degree. The movement in solidarity of which I speak at http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/07/taking-over-post-arnold-california/ …which I pray readers will pay attention to… is a little something that could be tried. In the name of testing the waters in a new way. In the name of determining which “morons” are riper than others to recruit. In the name of dispensing with the waste of heartbeats… which is what continuing to say the obvious about the Amerikan public is essentially. The cynicism, resignation, know-it-all-ahead-of-time attitudinal set, fear… whatever… has no place right now. There is only room for action. Action which follows a new paradigm. Tell me why you’re not on board with the people listed at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/336. You do NOT have to be a resident of California to join hands with us in solidarity. If you ARE from California you have an opportunity to provide very special recommendations about which of the twelve unaffiliated, non-politician citizens should be serving the public in 2010 TOGETHER in lieu of the single, self-serving careerist who the state ALWAYS gets. Actually, you don’t have to be from California to make those recommendations. EVERYONE should be on board in a very proactive way… unless there’s some other national movement in solidarity that’s remotely progressive going on that I don’t know about.

  37. United-Socialist-Front said on August 30th, 2009 at 6:50pm #

    MICHAEL RIVERO FROM WHAT REALLY HAPPENED WEBSITE, PREDICTED THAT US IMPERIALISM WILL INVADE PAKISTAN AS THE NEXT COUNTRY VICTIM OF U.S FASCISM !!

    PERSONAL NOTE: US IMPERIALISM IS TARGETTING THE ARAB WORLD, BECAUSE THE ARAB WORLD IS DIVIDED. US IMPERIALISM CANNOT INVADE LATIN AMERICA BECAUSE LATIN AMERICA IS UNITED. AND REMEMBER THAT US IMPERIALISM IS SCARED OF ARMED, STRONG AND UNITED NATIONS LIKE EUROPE, LATIN AMERICA, AND ASIA. THE ARAB MUSLIM NATIONS ARE VERY DIVIDED. AND US IMPERIALISM IS JUST FULFILLING ITS THEORY OF “DIVIDE AND CONQUER”

    uruknet.com

    whatreallyhappened.com

    Remember the predictions at this site, for some time, that Pakistan is absolutely the next target in the US’s “War on Terror”?

    And please note the other post about Pakistan at WRH today, indicating that the US is accusing the Pakistani government of modifying an older US weapons system to increase its range against India?

    Obama is fulfilling his campaign promise to Pakistan. The sudden arrival of U.S. marines, U.S. military Hummers, the hired killers of Blackwater, houses barricaded for U.S. personnel in Islamabad and the construction of the world’s largest U.S. “Embassy” are terrorizing this nation of 180 million people. The U.S. slaughter and destruction in Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan for the last 8 years warn them of what may lie in store for them, their families, their land.

    Eye witnesses and informed journalists have been reporting sightings of U.S. personnel in Islamabad for the past week or so, but now they are seen moving freely throughout the capital.

  38. Max Shields said on August 30th, 2009 at 6:56pm #

    Richard Oxman,

    Yes the price of cheap oil is extremely high when you factor in a massive war machinery and the lives lost. But while oil may not be considered “necessary” it requires that we remove the box – the box that has “us” thinking it is and that what we’ve created demands ever greater amount of fossil.

    That said, the problem with much of the talk on DV is that it is superficial, not that posters don’t dredge up tons of arcane facts, but these hide the superficiality of the “conversation”.

    We are out of touch with the world. The world is too hot and too cold, and there’s dirt in the world “we” don’t want on our hands. We are spoiled, even the poor among us. Physical work is for immigrants, for someone else, it is beneath “us”.

    It is this that keeps “us” from solving our problems. This is the conversation to be avoided because the esotic/ideological babble is more “fun” and we don’t have to work to have this “fun”. We don’t even need to know one another. We can remotely pretend to be having a conversation…and at the end…your question to Deadbeat about how to create solidarity in the workplace will NEVER EVER be answered.

    What you get is this fun talk:
    • Class consciousness.
    • Embracing the diversity of the working class.
    • Full debate and vote by the ranks on all major decisions.
    • Organizing for worker control of the workplace, not winning a government election.
    • Taking our case to the public and building alliances with allies outside the unions.

    If you ask Deadbeat what he’s doing about this little litany of creating a kind of people power over the elite system; of a “leftist agenda” (to paraphrase), you’ll probably get a deafening silence…at least I always have.

    But you see, the problem begins from within each of us. It’s fun to babble on about abstract “workers” and “racism”…as we avoid all the things that create this imperial resources warmongering nation we call “America”, where Ted Kennedy is hailed as a hero for “workers”.

  39. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 7:15pm #

    There is nothing “abstract” about my proposal at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364. My proposal for ACTION (which follows a new paradigm). And I would like to see Max Shields and others who are quick to criticize the truly wasteful nature of all the blah blah on DV and elsewhere address that proposal to me directly at TOSCA.2010 [atatatatat] yahoo.COM. My question to Deadbeat still stands, regarding what’s on his mind about organizing with unions. However, I myself am involved DAILY with trying to pull unions, minorities, women et al. into the TOSCA loop, or trying to find out WHAT ELSE they have in mind, what their thinking is that’s keeping them from joining hands in solidarity. I have no clue as to why anyone would say that workers will NEVER get together with something like TOSCA. I am involved with that on the dirty streets and shops. In every nook and cranny that I can find to sneak into, risking whatever. What are the readers here doing? Why do I get such little response from begging readers to join hands OR explain why they are not doing so? What ARE you all doing? It should make a difference to readers that Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Bill Blum, Derrick Jensen, Henry Giroux, Isabella Kenfield, Jennifer Loewenstein et al. are all on board with their imprimaturs, and more in some cases.

  40. Max Shields said on August 30th, 2009 at 7:21pm #

    Richard Oxman did know I was criticizing your “proposal”.

    So much for cybertalk…

  41. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 7:49pm #

    I need you to explain what the relevance of what you said is to TOSCA. To take one example:

    When you say

    “• Organizing for worker control of the workplace, not winning a government election.
    • Taking our case to the public and building alliances with allies outside the unions.”

    I take it that you mean that TOSCA is irrelevant because it is electoral-based. Correct me if I am wrong. Is that what you’re saying? I’d also like to know what else you’re saying, but — again — I’m focusing on the only thing that I could — at a stretch — relate to as “criticism” of TOSCA. Well, if you look closely at the MEANS by which TOSCA proceeds in the realm of the electoral arena… you’ll note that the means are unprecedented… and that even if the election is lost… there will be a payoff (outside of the electoral arean). For the whole shebang DOES involve building solidarity among workers and their potential allies IRREGARDLESS of the electoral proceedings. One main thought is that accomplishing something significant WITHOUT MONEY will serve as a basis for unifying people who ordinarily wouldn’t consider moving in solidarity. So… while using the electoral arena as a point of departure for creating solidarity… TOSCA is not limited to what ALL parties are limited to when they go about the electoral arena nonsense in the usual, traditional ways. The zero budget aspect, by the way, is only one aspect that follows a new paradigm… giving the TOSCA effort much reason to be hopeful re raising consciousness, pulling people in, and stimulating citizens to brainstorm about how to change things WITHOUT RESORTING TO POLITICS.

  42. Max Shields said on August 30th, 2009 at 8:14pm #

    Richard,

    First, those items I listed came from someone calling him/herself United-Socialist-Front and then re-stated by someone calling him/herself Deadbeat.

    I assumed you knew that you did not say these and that you were following the flow of “conversation”. Apparently that’s not the case.

    But now that you are asking, I’m saying I’ve heard the “solidarity with workers” for years…just before and after Howdy-Doody and Ozzie and Harriet. So who is going to be in solidarity with “workers”? Elitists? Academics? “Lefty-of-Obamaites”?

    Who are you talking to? What happened to humans who breath and sweat and snore and fart, and eat and yawn and bend over and work? Are you an “organizer” of workers? Are workers to dumb to organize?

    Who are these workers? Anyone with a job? How about the millions without jobs? Do they work? Do you care?

    People are waiting for someone to do something…Gadot will get here before that happens. Start farming. Feed yourself. Build community like the Amish do. The rest of this is just blowhard jibber-jabber that’s been going on as this warmongering nation invades one nation after another.

    Plant a tree – it provides more environmental services than all your “workers” put together.

    How do you stop the machine when the conversation is between Limbaugh and Obama?

  43. Richard Oxman said on August 30th, 2009 at 8:27pm #

    I did follow the conversation. There are other reasons why your communication was confusing, Max. The confusion is not as important as what you make clear here. That is, that you’ve given up. I go back way before Ozzie and Harriet… and I guess I’m living proof that “giving up” is not the only alternative… regardless of how much one has seen. You invoke the name of Beckett with your facile reference to Godot. Beckett said over and over again: “Fail. Fail again. Fail again better.” It is in that spirit that one approaches the abominations. As with Chomksy, one does not take the obvious reasons for giving up and embrace them. To embrace the solitary task of providing for oneself is very much like deciding to drive according to certain rules with everyone else not observing the rules. The analogy is weak only because what’s at stake is far more serious than the prospect of chaotic traffic whilst one tries to do something on one’s own. With regard to groundwater, air and many other things that one cannot be “okay” with on one’s own… walking away from any potential of solidarity. Doing so — aside from all other reasons to consider — damns one in terms of one’s own enlightened self-interest. It won’t work. Unless your life is all about, only about squeaking out a life not worth living… like playing solitaire while Beckett’s ENDGAME takes place outside your walls. There’s something “off” about your writing your stuff here while claiming to be only out for doing something on your own, having given up. Why are you in this mix at all? What’s the payoff? The payoff for me here is the possibility of something. Not the likelihood. Not the guarantee, but the possibility. People who have never been in the loop of moving in solidarity can be reached… possibly. But not if you’re out there planting a tree on your own… assuming that the abominations are not going to come home to roost on that very tree.

  44. Max Shields said on August 30th, 2009 at 8:44pm #

    Richard,

    I haven’t given up…I’ve just found another way. I think it begins with giving up Ozzie and Harriet and all that that represents – the so-called American way of life. It means we started on a journey that most here have lived their whole life. That we are quick with words but very slow on making the changes in our lives. We want to create solidarity with workers and we haven’t begun to deal with who we are.

    We can start by living life, not expecting to be filled with air conditioning when it gets just a little hot or heat when it gets a tad too cold. We’d better come to terms with this because there is more reasons than not to believe we won’t have a choice.

    Avoiding the world is what we do best. I don’t think we (as in the multitudes you suggest with the word “workers”) are ready for solidarity…there weathers just not right for it just yet.

    So, if we’re really serious, let’s not wait. Let’s do start a farm. Feel the hot air against your skin. Shovel some manure…bail some hay…get yourself a team of horses to help with the plowing… it’s not the only thing, but it is something REAL.

  45. United-Socialist-Front said on August 30th, 2009 at 8:59pm #

    Deadbeat: Hello my friend !! Thanks for your last comment :-)
    Hello Deadbeat: And you are right, about Chomsky and others US leftist analysts. And i think that another problem of the USA left is that it’s too theoretical, and it needs to step down from its theory heaven and step down to mingle with the masses, with the average people.

    You know in the book “Beyond Good and Evil” by F. Nietzsche he wrote about the work of psychologists who need to get away from the masses for some time, and then come back and mingle with the crowds.

    And that’s the problem of many intellectuals in the USA, that they are too theorical but not political activists at all. And political activism, like Dr. Martin Luther King is what can change a country.

    Maybe F. Nietzsche was right about the need of strength, bravery and will to power more than knowledge

    .

  46. United-Socialist-Front said on August 30th, 2009 at 9:17pm #

    Max: You said an ugly and sad reality about life in most countries:

    “Let’s stop kidding ourselves. There are dirt poor people and then there are the barely middle class; all who have lived off of the Empire in ways that are at once grotesque and dipilitating.”

    And indeed, most people in this world, in most countries are just barely eating and trying to survive and to not to die. I mean we gotta be realist, eating is a luxury even in USA. That’s right even satisfying our biological needs are a luxury even in America.

    And then like you said there is the comfortable middle-class which i consider a bourgeoise class that lives pretty well, and not exploited at all. I consider the middle-class like a sort of alternative upper class, and they benefit from the Empire. The ones who are really beating the bullets are the lower classes, the low-wage Mcdonalds, Wal Mart, low-wage workers and unemployed americans. Who are the low-wage folks in America? The latinos and other foreign people living in USA, the poor defranchised whites and the poor blacks. Those of the lower classes are the only ones who can be succesful at changing the USA.

    However the lower class of America doesn’t have the political knowledge required for a revolutionary electoral change. We have to be realists, and we can’t expect the American low-wage workers and poor americans to learn about Marxist philosophy and revolutionary philosophy in a couple of years. They won’t because the lower classes are too physically tired. Most people of the lower classes have 2 jobs (regular jobs and domestic chores).

    So i think that what USA needs is folks from the middle-class who have socialist ideals and wo have the necessary will and strength to lead the american lower classes for a revolutionary change. Like Rafael Correa in Ecuador. So in USA what we need is socialism from above. Mao, Chavez and Castro style, not socialism from below. Waiting for a pure socialist system from below would take many years, and too utopian in a nation like USA where the low wage poor people are too physically tired.

    .

  47. United-Socialist-Front said on August 30th, 2009 at 9:22pm #

    Max: indeed. Another thing to add to your last comment is that american people could benefit from making their meals at home, instead of eating out. Even with this recession, 9-11 and all the problems that USA and the world is having many americans are still eating out at Mcdonalds, Sonic Drive In restaurants, Kentuckies. etc. When cooking is so easy and so much cheaper than eating at restaurants. Americans also need to give more importance to their bodies, to the diet, the body and the physiology. I mean placing more values on the human body instead of placing values on material dead things like cars, the lawns the house, etc.

    .

    .

  48. Deadbeat said on August 30th, 2009 at 11:12pm #

    My question to Deadbeat still stands, regarding what’s on his mind about organizing with unions.

    Richard, I support you efforts for action. There are plenty of movements in communities of color especially since communities of color are the most oppressed that they had to organize in order to defend themselves. Does TOCSA plan to work with these groups? Much of the Left was caught by surprised by the way Latinos were able to organize against the Sensenbrenner bill just as an example.

    On the other hand the Left was instrument in sabatoging the anti-war movement and did extremely little outreach to communities of color who was hugely against the War in Iraq. The same hold true with the current health care issue.

    Working with Unions is important but often the unions are too entrenched with the Democrats to make them effective in a campaign like yours. Also Richard what is the ideological basis behind TOSCA? Why should folks put the ass on the line especially people of color who has experienced betrayal by the Left especially matters of race and class.

    All and all I do applaud your effort.

  49. b99 said on August 31st, 2009 at 6:24am #

    USF – You say the working class is tired. But then you say that cooking at home is easy. Cooking at home is NOT easy, it requires time and energy to shop, to prepare and cook the food, and to clean up after. And to do this day after day after coming home from work and maybe before going off to a second job. It’s a tradeoff. Eating fast food (or take out) is more expensive – but it is filled with the taste-inducers – fat, sugar, and salt – all niche-marketed to make it seem these food creations are nutritious, delicious – and even hip. Unless the price of fast food skyrockets – it’s going to be tough to get people back into the kitchen. Especially when there are so few supermarkets in poor communities – both urban and rural. There are quickie-marts however, but they jack up the price and rarely carry fruits and vegetables. They do carry lottery tickets though.

  50. Richard Oxman said on August 31st, 2009 at 7:58am #

    For starters, I thank those who are going back and forth. I really wish that Sunil and Joshua — very important people at DV — would jump into this mix. Kim, an editor here, very generously has given us his “green light” support. The kind words always help.

    It is never “time” though. When my wife Sylvie and I put on One Dance: The People’s Summit http://www.counterpunch.org/mickey02102004.html …Stan Goff, Michael Parenti, Cynthia McKinney and a host of people (who very sweetly gave of themselves) all pointed out how the time wasn’t right for the national demo we were proposing, the new kind of action we were begging them to support proactively. Not saying anything bad about them; we were happy to have them with us to the extent that they participated. HOWEVER, it is NEVER… “time.” People are NEVER ready to move in solidarity. It is ALWAYS, on the other hand, the right time to dig into the earth and make a patch for oneself. No argument when it comes to the bleak horizon of workers et al. AND no argument regarding the fact that there’s a huge value to doing something directly impacting on one’s life in a healthy way; that’s where one has to start no matter what. BUT… there’s still too much “theory” being bandied about… too much talk about where people are, etc. Too much analysis. Chomsky goes on forever with analyses BUT his focus for readers and audiences is always on WHAT THEY CAN DO, trying to motivate people to do something. To not remain atomized. Talk and writing is atomizing after a point. Obviously.

    People of color. I have been trying forever to recruit people of color. I can remember being broken-hearted (and angry) when Stan Goff criticized One Dance because so few people of color were in the audience over the three nights. To this day, I can only explain stuff like that away by focusing on how everyone, particularly people of color perhaps, are caught up with immediate survival issues… and couple that with the “bad history” with others vis-a-vis organizing and the like. Still trying to find out why people of color AND OTHERS do not even do me the courtesy of responding in so many cases… even when I ask them to join hands with us in solidarity ON A BASIS THAT WILL SUIT THEIR PURPOSES. Even when I offer to have them write their own ticket.

    It is VERY important for all of us to address that fact of life… which represents momentum which is — for all practical purposes — culminating in a kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario, if you know what I mean.

    Rather than address each and every point that people have contributed here*, I’d like to close for the moment by pointing out that whatever you’ve said here… you still can send a single person of color… a single union person… a single anyone… my way… asking them to get in touch with me at TOSCA.2010 [ATAT ATat] ya HOO . COm immediately. THAT is what TOSCA’s fundamentally about. Getting people to gather mentally in a new way. ALL of the existing organizations that I know about… all of the solidarity options available to people… are without powerful enough potential. I agree with the person who said that first we have to give up this and that. YES. But in doing so there’s nothing to keep us from exploring NEW ground vis-a-vis solidarity.

    TOSCA may not have what it takes. But its starting point is absolute frustration with the other options. And its heart is focused on the solidarity that it encourages coming up with SOMETHING that’ll be better than the Hell on Earth which is fast taking hold. One person from you will do. Personal contact info from you will do.

    Please note that although I want people to give me their total heartbeats… TOSCA can serve their purposes with the most minimal set of heartbeats. Like… ten minutes total over the next year… as per http://oxtogrind.org/archive/364.

  51. United-Socialist-Front said on August 31st, 2009 at 8:41am #

    B99: I agree totally with you on what you said:

    “You say the working class is tired. But then you say that cooking at home is easy. Cooking at home is NOT easy, it requires time and energy to shop, to prepare and cook the food, and to clean up after. And to do this day after day after coming home from work and maybe before going off to a second job..”

    And indeed, cooking 3 whole meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) is truely hard, it requires lots of physical energies. Domestic chores are real exhausting indeed. Since most people need 3 meals a day, many are forced to eat 2 of those meals at home and 1 at a restaurant.

    .

    .

  52. United-Socialist-Front said on August 31st, 2009 at 8:57am #

    b99: And another thing i forgot to add, related to what you said about Mcdonalds and fast-food prices. Well from what i’ve been noticing lately, the prices of meals at Mcdonalds, Burger Kings and the other main franchises of fast-foods in this country are indeed going up. You can’t eat a complete meal at a Mcdonalds for 5 dollars anymore: (Hamburger, large fries, medium coke, apple pie).

    So like you said that unless the prices of foods at most fast food restaurant goes up people won’t go back to the kitchen. But sooner or later we will see many fast food joints going banrupt because with the economic recession americans will be forced to get back to the kitchen.

    .

  53. Richard Oxman said on August 31st, 2009 at 9:00am #

    If we don’t “move toward” everyone, ultimately, not only making their own meals at home, but growing much of their own food in or around (nearby) we are lost. The current restaurant-base mentality cannot be sustained. This is a very serious issue which must at least be addressed daily. All may be lost in this regard, but virtually all issues do relate to this matter.

    Going back to previous sentiments expressed, I wanted to add that the American Revolution didn’t have the majority of the people on board. The public was not “ready” for that either.

    Do not speculate respecting what others will or won’t do. Do your own thing in a healthy way as best you can, but do not forget that eventually we will all have to congregate, come together on looking at matters communally. The problem we have in this regard is getting ahead of ourselves mentally. Our brains get overwhelmed with our limited notions about “human nature” and precedents from history and current all-too-obvious trends.

    I recommend taking one step on your own whilst keeping eyes and heart out for recruiting others on a one-on-one basis.

  54. United-Socialist-Front said on August 31st, 2009 at 10:05am #

    Richard Oxman: hello again, if the adult population of USA were so worried and so awake like you, we would have guillotines and lynching of the zionist bankers and the corrupt crooked rulers right now in America, and a real change. But you know most people in USA are too conformists. Conformism is the great enemy of change. But keep on worrying, keep on complaining, we have to be inserted in this reality as active-nihilists and infect other people with our *active-nihilism*. (Destroyers of old values and creators of new ideas and values)

    .

  55. Deadbeat said on August 31st, 2009 at 12:27pm #

    Hi Richard,

    I’m waiting for your response to the question I posed especially with regards to outreach to communities of color and how do you plan to safeguard against betrayal.

    You wrote the following …

    You invoke the name of Beckett with your facile reference to Godot. Beckett said over and over again: “Fail. Fail again. Fail again better.”

    From what I’ve seen and experience the problem was not “Failure”. It has been very successful if the goal is sabotage, misguiding, misdirection and betrayal. This is again why I’m asking specifically the question of TOSCA outreach to communities of color. Since they have experienced betrayal by the Left on the issue of race and class this will be a great test of the VERACITY of Tosca. Also having an ideological underpinning will provide TOSCA with the basis of why people should put their asses on the line.

    It is one thing to say you are going to take over California but what are you going to do with it there after and for whom? Such lofty rhetoric has been spewed going all the way back to the Progressive Era yet racism was still the dividing line that weaken these movements. So I think you have a lot of convincing to do.

    The Left for these past 30 years has drifted away from class and race analysis. Marxism is finding a resurgence but what is missing IMO is outreach on an ideological level that can inspire people to take OFFENSIVE measures rather than defensive. TOSCA could have that possibility but right now it seem to me to be defensive and another “Green Party”/”New Party” effort. Good Luck!

  56. Richard Oxman said on August 31st, 2009 at 12:50pm #

    Dear Deadbeat: Sorry I’ve kept you waiting for a proper response. I lost your clear request in the shuffle of DV blah blah. Again, sorry. Thanks for repeating. I’m guessing that what you’re after in asking about ideological framework has to do with or socialist underpinnings. Certainly lots about the Peace and Freedom Party lines is aligned with what TOSCA’s about. Is that the sort of thing that was on your mind? As far as infiltration goes, betrayal and COINTELPRO-like “problems,” I do think that if you seriously consider what I’ve outlined in the various links — about the fundamental importance of NOT recruiting en masse, but, rather one-on-one among people each person knows fairly well… or can slowly get to know fairly well — that horrid aspect of trying to organize can be put to bed sufficiently to get on with our biz. Obviously, nothing will provide guarantees, but our approach has never been tried before. Not by the Panthers, not by anyone. The details respecting recruitment — for that very reason — are not the stuff of online blah blah. Rather, the details are meant to be shared in person one-0n-one. There’s no advantage to gathering thousands of people in any form if it’s a coalition, a group which is not strongly based on individual bonding.

    What’s in it for people of color? How is this or that agenda going to guarantee that racism is not tolerated? For starters, initial contact is all about providing a number of litmus tests in that regard. Does the P&F agenda satisfy?

    Best,
    Ox

  57. Max Shields said on August 31st, 2009 at 1:00pm #

    I don’t recall Beckett writing a refrain about “failure”. Instead, it went, “I can’t go on, I can’t go on….I’ll go on.”

    A poignant out-cry about exitence that is universal and non-ideological. The human struggle against all odds. The human condition is a PROBLEM. If we tackle the problem piecemeal, we create ever more problems, worse than the original.

    The struggle is our existence on a planet that provides us with everything we need, if only we understood it to its core. It is a biological existence where mind and body are one, a kind of phenomenology.

    Our material society is light-years away from any kind of connection, with but a few exceptions. H. Miller’s Air Conditioned Nightmare might better describe or collective existence in the US of America.

    But in the simplest sense it is confronting the world, realizing that to receive what the planet has to offer, one must fully engage it, not hide from it or disappear into technology of one sort or another.
    Some might state that the act of solidarity, the action of solidarity, creates this “going on”. I think that’s wishful.

  58. Richard Oxman said on August 31st, 2009 at 1:21pm #

    Beckett spoke those very words to me during the filming of the Keaton/Schneider FILM time at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. It’s quite common to come across those words of his in his biographies. The “go on” lines are derived from Godot, but they too appear in various forms throughout his work, quoted endlessly — along with the “failure” lines — in bios. They communicate two different angles on frustration and the human condition. Henry Miller, of course, was quite familiar with them, felt very aligned with them, and lived a life demonstrating the importance of those angles… repeatedly. Both Miller and Beckett would tell you — just as I am obliged to underscore — that everything is wishful. As the character of Marat says in the great Peter Weiss play MARAT/SADE “In the face of the indifference of Nature, I turn myself inside out and invent a meaning.” Something of the sort. The quotation is not exact, but I trust you get the thrust.
    Love, Ox

  59. Max Shields said on August 31st, 2009 at 2:58pm #

    You’re ok Ox.

  60. United-Socialist-Front said on August 31st, 2009 at 9:25pm #

    Max Shield: You said:

    “The struggle is our existence on a planet that provides us with everything we need..”

    And indeed, that has been the reality of the planet for thousands of years, however the problem is like Karl Marx that the history of the world has been a history of a dictatorship of the elites exploiters over the exploited majority. And the wealth of the planet has always been kidnapped and stolen by a few, while the majority can only get the crumbles that the elites give us. That has been the history of the world.

    In the words of the great old warrior and Ku Klux Klan member, Senator Robert Byrd: “We are truly sleepwalking through history.” To be more precise, we are sleepwalking into the beginning of a vast world war whose purpose is to achieve a larger hidden global agenda. Or rather, there is nothing new about this World War — it is a continuation of the Thousand Year War which has been known as the Crusades

  61. Deadbeat said on September 15th, 2009 at 7:05pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    If you ask Deadbeat what he’s doing about this little litany of creating a kind of people power over the elite system; of a “leftist agenda” (to paraphrase), you’ll probably get a deafening silence…at least I always have.

    And if you ask Max Shields what he is doing to make the American public aware of Zionist influence in the United Sates you’ll get deflection. Silence would be much better than deflection because deflection maintain the same sorry narrative that has been offered from the Left for the past 30 years and which has now resulted in Gaza and the incresed level of oppression of the Palestianians was well and the raison d’etre of the war machine today (War on Terror).

  62. Richard Oxman said on September 15th, 2009 at 7:16pm #

    Silence never sits well. Inaction is an absolute downer. And attacking others in lieu of action is certainly a first cousin to what you’re calling deflection. C’mon, Deadbeat, if you want to help the Palestinians what possible reason could you have for not getting behind the boycott, sanctions and divestment that is at the top of TOSCA’s agenda?

  63. Raven Uchida said on September 21st, 2009 at 1:23am #

    Mr Oxman might want to research the correlation of lung cancer with additives in cigarettes. The U.S. gov’t spends millions every year to get people to stop smoking. Yet, no one seems to ask: “where are the anti-alcohol campaigns?” Native people have used organic tobacco for years. It’s a powerful tool for many things. If TOSCA is going to include continued propaganda like this then count me out.

  64. Deadbeat said on September 21st, 2009 at 4:26am #

    Richard Oxman writes …

    . C’mon, Deadbeat, if you want to help the Palestinians what possible reason could you have for not getting behind the boycott, sanctions and divestment that is at the top of TOSCA’s agenda?

    Richard, reading your 10 points didn’t specify that BDS as the top of TOSCA agenda. What is at the top of the agenda of TOSCA is a haphazard plan to run an electoral campaign for Governor. In addition I am rather skeptical that BDS could possibly be at the top of TOSCA’s agenda since Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkgelstein are both against any boycott of Israel and you’ve seem to want to recruit for TOSCA along with same-old lefty icons who seem rather tepid on the issue of confronting Zionism.

    But essentially that is an assumption on my part. Perhaps you’ll be able to convince Chomsky to alter his position but Chomsky symbolizes the confusion that TOSCA appears to be and over the past 30 years I seen enough muddled strategies, disappointments and betrayals.

    Action that leads to some sort of strategic goal is admirable. Action just for the sake of action is a waste of time and energy. Also should TOSCA fail in its efforts it could rather than advance BDS it could suck the oxygen and seriousness out of the campaign.

    For example the recent article by Naomi Klein which appears to provide a critical analysis of the recent conference on racism in Durban was a textbook is sophistry. The critique by Joel Kovel of Ms. Klein article is yet another indictment of how NOT to help the Palestinian cause. Klein appears to now have thrust herself in as a “leading” spokesperson for the Palestinian cause with the boycotting of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) — and her recent appearance on Democracy Now! Is she really helping or DIVERTING?

    And that is my question regarding TOSCA. Is TOSCA really helping or DIVERTING form what is really needed especially in this time of economic and political crisis. IMO and in my assessment it is a diversion as it will not achieve its goal and will waste precious time and money and consume much of the needed oxygen needed to build solidarity and the kinds of strategies needed to confront the system.

    I hope I am wrong but 30 years of Left-wing politics tell me otherwise.

  65. Deadbeat said on September 21st, 2009 at 4:52am #

    With correction …

    Richard Oxman writes …

    . C’mon, Deadbeat, if you want to help the Palestinians what possible reason could you have for not getting behind the boycott, sanctions and divestment that is at the top of TOSCA’s agenda?

    Richard, reading your 10 points didn’t specify that BDS as the top of TOSCA agenda. What is at the top of the agenda of TOSCA is a haphazard plan to run an electoral campaign for Governor. In addition I am rather skeptical that BDS could possibly be at the top of TOSCA’s agenda since Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein are both against any boycott of Israel and you’ve seem to want to recruit for TOSCA along with same-old lefty icons who seem rather tepid on the issue of confronting Zionism.

    But essentially that is an assumption on my part. Perhaps you’ll be able to convince Chomsky to alter his position but Chomsky symbolizes the confusion that TOSCA appears to be and over the past 30 years I seen enough muddled strategies, disappointments and betrayals.

    Action that leads to some sort of strategic goal is admirable. Action just for the sake of action is a waste of time and energy. Also should TOSCA fail in its efforts it could rather than advance BDS it could suck the oxygen and seriousness out of the campaign.

    For example the recent article by Naomi Klein which appears to provide a critical analysis of the recent conference on racism in Durban was a textbook example of sophistry. The critique by Joel Kovel of Ms. Klein article is yet another indictment of how NOT to help the Palestinian cause. Klein appears to now thrust herself in as a “leading” spokesperson for the Palestinian cause and Israeli boycott with the signature campaign protest of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) — and her recent appearance on Democracy Now! Is she really helping or DIVERTING?

    And that is my question regarding TOSCA. Is TOSCA really helping or DIVERTING from what is really needed especially in this time of economic and political crisis. IMO and in my assessment it is a diversion as it will not achieve its goal and will waste precious time and money and consume much of the needed oxygen needed to build solidarity and the kinds of strategies needed to confront the system.

    I hope I am wrong but 30 years of Left-wing politics tell me otherwise.

  66. bozh said on September 21st, 2009 at 5:45am #

    Abetors and aprobators of ashk’c crimes and deniers of the right of return now accuse people who honor the right to return and are for one state solution of not caring for palestinian; i.e., israelis wld be justified to continue their crimes against pal’ns because pal’ns wld continue to hold onto their right to return.
    In short, blame the victims. It is their disobedience that is proloning their suffering. tnx

  67. Richard Oxman said on September 21st, 2009 at 7:22am #

    Forget about all the reasons given for NOT joining hands with TOSCA. The fact is that nothing big enough can be done “soon enough” without violence… outside of the electoral arena. And if anyone wants this or that at the top of TOSCA’s agenda… to have a shot at that, all one has to do is engage us in dialogue… simply and directly in the form of exactly what yo want TOSCA to embrace. Then you can find out whether or not that particular position can be embraced to your satisfaction… and all the analysis, speculation, etc. about TOSCA’s profile, associations, etc. can be put aside. Whether it’s based on thoughts about smoking or particular people or stances (as per the latest entries). Because the bald fact is… no other movement in the electoral arena nationwide is offering citizens an opportunity to have their points of views adopted, with the possibility of having an effect on society, the world. Your point of view could, at the very least, be thoroughly thrashed out (with you along for the ride). You could make that easy for one and all too, if you would show that you are not just about playing Devil’s Advocate, not just about words, but willing to DO something in the name of actually trying to push your particular priorities within the realm of our collective efforts. I invite the people reaading and writing here to take a first step in that direction (in the name of wanting TOSCA to push YOUR priorities) by contacting me directly (as per address given above)… for there is something you can DO to help. This kind of talk, here and above, is obviously stalled in no person’s land.

  68. bozh said on September 21st, 2009 at 8:47am #

    richard,
    one of my priorities is for the 98% of americans,who last year voted for one party system, to vote for nader or mckinney in next election.

    And if also 98% of californians voted for the two uncle’s men, no change appears possible unless one enlightens these people ab. what the 2% is actually not only doing but also saying.

    Amers, methinks, ought to be enlightened mostly ab. simplicities that even a seven yr-old cld understand.
    What do the following simplicities mean: colatteral damage, unameicanism, defense of US interests, war on terror, democracy in US, flag, constitution, cults, greatness of america, threats to liberties, basic human rights?
    Electing a new governor for california is, of course, a noble cause. But if s/he ignores to any degree the elucidation, i’m doubtful that a positive change wld come.

    The key to it all had been everywhere clerico-patrician disinformation. If that continues unabated, once again one can see a 98% vote for the 003% to 2% of the people.
    It makes no that much difference whether Obama, clinton, clooney, or rooney gets in.
    The 180 US aggressions wld still presage another ten or 20 US aggressions.
    tnx

  69. Richard Oxman said on September 21st, 2009 at 9:40am #

    Thanks. Consider sending a friend my way… directly. Whether or not they live in California. Oxlove