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Laurel Kenner

Word from the Bluenatic Fringe: Laurel comments on "Not One Damn Dime Day"

I received a missive from an acquaintance today calling for a daylong boycott of consumer spending. The author notes that many corporations actually contributed to George Bush's re-election campaign, and should therefore be boycotted. The wisdom of this call to action is so obvious, the reasoning so lucid, that I for one resolve to follow it to the letter. Corporations are evil! All corporations! Even to look up the PAC contributions to make sure an individual corporation is among the evil contributors to Bush would require me to use a Microsoft Corp. program on a Toshiba Corp. computer with an Intel Corp. chip. I'm not going to spend one damn dime on Jan. 20! Furthermore:

There now, I feel pure as a saint! I think I'll live this way all the time, starting now. Down with corporations! Let's nationalize everything! What we need is a president like Saddam Hussein who's tough enough to seize all the capital and productive assets, just like his intellectual model, Hitler. Stalin also would have known what to do. Fidel is still doing it, may Marx bless his heart.

Wait a minute, though. Don't people own corporations? Lots and lots and lots of people, through stock and bond ownership? Yes, down with people, too! Let's let epidemics rule the earth and turn the place over to the bacteria. They are better than we are; you ever see a bacteria use a consumer good or service!?

Soooo, in addition to all of the above, I will refrain from using Band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial ointment, hospitals, or any medications for chronic conditions. I'll tell all my friends to do the same on the chance that their deaths will be hastened too.

Well, that's all for now, folks. Don't send me e-mail, because I'm turning off the machine. And don't google me either, because Google is a corporation! And be sure NOT to buy the book I cowrote with Victor Niederhoffer, "Practical Speculation," and do NOT visit my Web site, www.dailyspeculations.com. We talk a lot about economic principles there, and we even recommend basic economic books. They'll all be gone under the new Regime, so why start learning history now?


Original Message ---<p>From: Cheryl At: 1/ 8 18:41

The following message was sent by a friend. I also received other e-mails about this day to boycott spending and send a message that the people own America not the corporations.

Subject: Jan. 20

Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending. During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.

The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics. Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan <p>a way to come home.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.

For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Please share this email with as many people as possible!

I investigated. Some have dismissed it as an urban legend because of its anonymous origin and criticise the notion because it has no organizing center, and therefore has little chance of having an impact. However it still resonates with many. Here is what the Urban Legends site has on it:

 As the site says, "As economists have pointed out before, grassroots consumer boycotts can be effective, but a sustained, focused, organized effort is required, not a one-day shopping break inspired by the haphazard distribution of an email."

If the idea still appeals to you as it does to me, please do not take this as one action on Jan 20th alone. I hope many of you are doing something more to express your outrage and take further action against the Regime.

I might suggest that an organization like MoveOn might initiate a more targeted boycott against the more egregious corporate backers of George Bush. One that comes to mind is Circuit City or maybe Amazon. Organizations that serve to inform about the political contributions of corporations are Buy Blue and Choose The Blue.

Remember, according to Choose The Blue: almost all car manufacturers gave 62-74% of their PAC money to Bush (no new car this year) and all but Shell gave 65-88% of their money to BushCo--no surprise.

Happy not consuming, non shoppers!

The Assistant Webmaster points out a liberal's perspective: "Despite serving in the trenches of a battleground state during the run-up to the last Presidential election, I am a slack-tivist at heart—someone who signs on to a cause only if it doesn’t really require doing anything. But compared to whoever came up with last week’s anti-inauguration 'Not One Damn Dime Day' protest, I qualify as a political fireball."

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