America's other five-star general
Mike McCoy, Press Democract, Santa Rosa, November 1, 1976
General Waste More Land- Fighter for Socialism
Dunphy Claims U.S. Is 'Runaway Warfare State'
COTATI - America has two five-star generals.
One is retired Army Gen. William Westmoreland, a top military leader during the Korean and Vietnam wars and former chief of staff of U.S. armed forces.
The other is the protege of "Gen. Hershey Bar."
Gen. Bar, the former Calypso Joe, reputedly an internationally known vagabond dancer, who satirically plagiarized the name of former selective service overseer Gen. Louis B. Hershey, christened his battle-scarless protege "Gen. Waste-More-Land" to epitomize the misfortunes of war.
Unlike his namesake, the burlesquish Waste-More-Land fights all his battles within the U.S.
Waste-More-Land, aka Thomas Dunphy, dismayed by what he believes the U.S. has become-- "a country of the rich, by the rich and for the rich" - has entrenched himself for a hard-fought battle to turn the U.S. to socialism. Results of the battle, Dunphy believes ''is a life or death matter for this planet."
For now, Dunphy has based his headquarters in Cotati to wage his ideological onslaught for a "socialist revolution." Dunphy, 32, began his fight 11 years ago as a 21-year-old Los Angeles novitiate studying for the priesthood at St. John' Seminary in Carrillo. It started as a battle of conscience between his religious upbringing and the stark realities of the Vietnam War.
The paradox of war conflicting with his religious beliefs exploded within him when Cardinal McIntyre failed to condemn the war, Dunphy said. "I found it very inconsistent with anyone claiming to be a Christian," he said.
While he remains devotedly religious, with Sunday treks to nearby churches, Dunphy says the inconsistency drove him from his priestly studies. "My primary motivation continues to be as a Christian that I'm against all wars."
His ensuing life as an actor, author and speaker has since entailed a number of accomplishments.
The anti-war speaker has lectured at more than 15 universities including Harvard and Yale, has appeared on numerous talk shows and lectured over seas, and has acted with number of productions including the San Francisco based satirical group, "The Committee," he says.
He also has written number of anti-war mini books, among which are titled "The Declaration of Independence From War,” "Draft Card Cooker Book," ''I Traded a Cold War for a Hot Peace," and "Days of Wine and Rosaries.
He now plans to write the memoirs of Waste-More-Land. His most recent accomplishments include successfully urging Cotati's City Council to declare the city a national monument.
However, his late efforts to have the council condemn U.S. imperialism and to ask President Ford to declare Cotati a national monument proved lost battles. The losses prompted him to present dissenting councilmen with a plastic shark signifying "The International Jaws of the Year Award" for their "reactionary" votes.
But memoirs and past accomplishments aren't what Dunphy's about. Though he's burlesque in appearance and satirical in his arguments, Dunphy is deadly serious when it comes to socialism. Cognizant his sometimes outlandish behavior elicits chuckles. Dunphy says. ''I'm not just a hack. I'm working for the betterment of the community."
Today, Dunphy, claiming Jesus "is one of my greatest inspirations" and listing his present religion as that of "human being." he continues to battle against the U.S. government - a government he says "is base in corruption and the protection of wealthy and fascist governments elsewhere." ''Capitalism," he believes, "is directly opposed to Christianity." Socialism he believes is the country's savior.
Dunphy hooked up with Gen. Bar shortly after he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Los Angeles in 1970. "We became partners and I became Gen. Waste-More-Land," Dunphy says s The name Waste-More Land came from Bar's book satirizing Westmoreland.
"The name turned out to be a classic," Dunphy said. " Waste- More-Land could apply to any general, any war. It's the perfect abstract of war, That's why became legendary," Dunphy boasted.
Bar and Waste-More-Land "went to love-ins, be-ins, sit-ins. We tried everything to get people turned - off to war," Dunphy recounted. "We did guerrilla theater. I'd put on my general's outfit, go out in the street, and talk out against war," he said.
While Dunphy's traveled extensively doing his work of conscience, his subsistence has been meager, if that.
Now on medical disability d after being unemployed "for a few years," Dunphy previously worked, six months as a social worker in Watts, then began having his books published by various peace groups. "I slept on a lot of couches and got just enough gas money to go to the next demonstration," he said.
While Vietnam was the catalyst for Waste-More-Land's rise, Marxist socialism is the reason for Dunphy's continuing fight. Claiming Vietnam was a battle of "U.S. imperialism," Dunphy says he came to the conclusion after studying socialism ''that we can't end Vietnam-type situations unless we become socialist."
'We have a government run wild in the protection of fantastically wealthy people like Howard Hughes, who are ready to blow up the world to protect them selves," Dunphy charges.
Comparing America to day to the decaying Roman Empire, Dunphy states "Rome's empire was like kids playing in a sand box compared to what we have today."
''We have more troop spread around the world and enough atomic power to overkill the earth's inhabitants 150 times,'' Dunphy claims. ''What kind of insanity are we involved in? We should be talking about life. Where has our Bill of Right gone? "
Claiming the federal government ''is a runaway warfare state," Dunphy said, "It's up to the American people in the end to build their own form of indigenous socialism" to reverse the trend.
Dunphy, who's active in the Peace and Freedom Party, said it has "one o the best anti-imperialism platforms. " While the Cotati council defeated Dunphy's call to condemn U.S. imperialism he said, "I will bring it up for a referendum.