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Costco to conservatives: Get lost
http://www.michaelmbates.com ^ | 2/26/04 | Michael M. Bates

Posted on 02/24/2004 12:09:55 PM PST by Mike Bates

After several years of shopping there, it looks like my days and evenings roaming the aisles of Costco are over. It’s a shame really.

The closest Costco, the one in Bedford Park, takes longer to drive to than the local Sam’s Club. The extra travel time was almost always worth it.

Costco has a larger variety of items. It’s well managed and rarely are there long lines as there often are at Sam’s. The store has an excellent electronics department and its spiral ham is out of this world. Holiday times are particularly good as you can always count on Costco to have imaginative seasonal items at sensible prices.

At first the idea of warehouse shopping seemed unusual. I just wasn’t in the habit of buying a dozen cans of mushroom soup at a time. The strangeness wore off when I calculated the savings involved.

I’ve been happy at Costco. But now, because of its executives’ foolishness, I’ll no longer shop there. And I don’t think I’ll be alone in abandoning it.

Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that Costco chairman Jeffrey Brotman gave $95,000 in December to the Joint Victory Campaign 2004 fund. The purpose of the fund is to "change the course of the country away from the Bush administration's radical agenda." This will be done by electing as many "progressive" (read Leftist) candidates as possible.

Also in December, Costco CEO James Sinegal gave $95,000 to the Joint Victory Campaign 2004 fund. He says he contributed because of job losses during the Bush administration, the invasion of Iraq and cuts in social spending.

Unemployment is a real problem and has been since the recession that, according to Alan Greenspan, started while Clinton was in the White House. Still, there is room for hope. In December, an all-time high of 138.5 million Americans had a job and the unemployment rate has dropped.

Mr. Sinegal calls our action in Iraq an invasion. Many people view it as the liberation of a country from a brutal, genocidal maniac bent on exporting terrorism. It’s true that the expected weapons of mass destruction haven’t been found, but many people other than George Bush believed they were there. Even French president Jacques Chirac told Time magazine last year: "There is a problem — the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq."

What of Mr. Sinegal’s concern about cuts in social spending? Perhaps he’s not noticed that some conservatives are unhappy with the president because he’s not doing much to curtail expanding welfare statism. Indeed, so far Mr. Bush has failed to veto a single bill sent to him by Congress.

An analyst at the Cato Institute calculated how much non-defense discretionary spending has escalated in the first three years of the Bush presidency. That figure is an eye-popping 18 percent. Some cuts.

Mr. Sinegal, according to Federal Election Commission records, has also given many thousands of dollars to the campaigns of numerous Democrats. He even gave money to someone named Howard Dean who, it is rumored, was running for president.

Mr. Brotman enjoys a similar contribution pattern. Just last June, he sent checks to Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman and John Kerry. Nothing like covering all the bases.

Quite clearly, these gentlemen have every right to use their money to defeat or elect anybody they desire. Correspondingly, I and other Costco patrons have a right not to line those guys’ pockets so they can so munificently support all those Democrats.

When conservatives boycott something, it’s often seen as a form of unfair, un-American censorship. When Leftists boycott, as they have with grapes, lettuce, Anita Bryant, Domino’s Pizza, GE and Target, just to name a few, it’s portrayed as a virtuously moral imperative.

Over the past several weeks I’ve sent a couple of emails to Costco’s headquarters asking if the company is tired of having Republican customers. Each time I’ve received a reply saying I’d hear from the company soon. Shockingly, that hasn’t happened.

Costco’s executives should have been a little smarter than to alienate a considerable portion of its customer base. In 1990 Michael Jordan ignored pressures to take sides in a North Carolina Senate race between a black Democrat and Jesse Helms. His reasoning was flawless: "Republicans buy shoes, too."

Guess I’ll find that spiral ham somewhere else from now on.


TOPICS: US: Illinois; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: brotman; costco; democrats; leftists; samsclub; sinegal
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If they had to depend only on Democrats as customers, they'd be out of business pronto.
1 posted on 02/24/2004 12:09:59 PM PST by Mike Bates
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To: Mike Bates
My membership expires next month. I will go to Sam's Club.

Thank you.
2 posted on 02/24/2004 12:15:06 PM PST by international american (Dimpled chads for sale...buy one, get one free!)
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To: Mike Bates
If you're going to boycott based upon, not contributions made from company coffers, but private contributions made by executives working for the company, then you're going to doing to boycotting a whole lot of products.
3 posted on 02/24/2004 12:15:45 PM PST by BCrago66
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To: international american
I will go to Sam's Club

Ditto.

4 posted on 02/24/2004 12:16:30 PM PST by Dataman
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To: Mike Bates
Maybe Tehr-RAYYY-Sahhh Heinz Kerry will buy 16 millions hams and help them out.
5 posted on 02/24/2004 12:16:57 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of it!!)
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To: Mike Bates
I guess I'll just have to keep shopping at BJ's and SAM's.
6 posted on 02/24/2004 12:17:20 PM PST by rllngrk33 (Liberals are guilty of everything they accuse Conservatives of.)
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To: Mike Bates
Say no to Costco bump.
7 posted on 02/24/2004 12:18:19 PM PST by Ron in Acreage
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To: CyberCowboy777
Ping
8 posted on 02/24/2004 12:18:58 PM PST by bigfootbob
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To: Mike Bates
Already let mine expire.
9 posted on 02/24/2004 12:21:10 PM PST by MNlurker
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To: Mike Bates
Big bummer.
10 posted on 02/24/2004 12:21:13 PM PST by King Black Robe (With freedom of religion and speech now abridged, it is time to go after the press.)
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To: BCrago66
If you're going to boycott based upon, not contributions made from company coffers, but private contributions made by executives working for the company, then you're going to doing to boycotting a whole lot of products.

I'm willing to bet that every major company has at least one corporate officer who has donated money to a cause or political candidate that conservatives would find objectional.

What should be done here? The company certainly cannot fire these guys since doing so would probably constitute illegal discrimination. I don't get what this writer wants.

11 posted on 02/24/2004 12:21:56 PM PST by Modernman ("The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides)
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To: Mike Bates
Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that Costco chairman Jeffrey Brotman gave $95,000 in December to the Joint Victory Campaign 2004 fund. The purpose of the fund is to "change the course of the country away from the Bush administration's radical agenda." This will be done by electing as many "progressive" (read Leftist) candidates as possible.

Also in December, Costco CEO James Sinegal gave $95,000 to the Joint Victory Campaign 2004 fund. He says he contributed because of job losses during the Bush administration, the invasion of Iraq and cuts in social spending.

Democrats - the party of the "little" people...

I just love how the left lives up to the "spirit" campaign finance reform that they pushed so hard for...

12 posted on 02/24/2004 12:22:00 PM PST by 2banana
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To: Mike Bates; xsmommy; Conspiracy Guy; Gabz; NicknamedBob; Dan from Michigan
Ping
13 posted on 02/24/2004 12:22:00 PM PST by international american (Dimpled chads for sale...buy one, get one free!)
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To: BCrago66
On the other hand, this life-long New York Giants fan shedded all his hatred of the New York Jets when it was learned that Jets team owner Robert Wood Johnson IV (heir of the Johnson & Johnson fortune) was one of the major players in George W. Bush's rise to the top of the GOP in the late 1990s.
14 posted on 02/24/2004 12:24:02 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: BCrago66
The difference is that these contributions were well publicized, not private actions, and the executives' names are strongly linked with their companies, and so they have (foolishly) used the prestige associated with the Costco name to further their political agenda with their "in your face" attitude and public posturing, and so it's perfectly reasonable to take action against Costco in response. I am planning to do likewise.
15 posted on 02/24/2004 12:24:58 PM PST by The Electrician
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To: Mike Bates
Mr. Sinegal calls our action in Iraq an invasion.

It was an invasion. That is what it was. "Invasion" is a neutral term, which has a definition. What our armed forces did one year ago was to invade Iraq. That is the term for what they did.

Don't get me wrong. I was in favor of it.

But let's not shy away from calling things by their real names. The US invaded Iraq.

(And in case this comes up too: yes, currently the US is occupying Iraq. We are occupiers. Again, with my full approval.)

Many people view it as the liberation of a country from a brutal, genocidal maniac bent on exporting terrorism.

It was that too.

This is not mutually exclusive with "invasion". The invasion was precisely what was necessary to effect this liberation you describe.

16 posted on 02/24/2004 12:25:32 PM PST by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Mike Bates
I only boycott Levi's where it's corporate policy to mock the Boy Scouts.
17 posted on 02/24/2004 12:25:39 PM PST by Wheee The People (If this post doesn't make any sense, then it also doubles as a bump.)
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To: Mike Bates
As much as I hate to say it, I think it's wrong to boycott Costco on this issue. We have this thing called the First Ammendment, which is at the heart of the fight over campaign finance reform, which tells people (and businesses) they can only dedicate a certain amount of money to political campaigns. As much as I dislike the fact that Costco's chief gives a lot of money to Democrats, to turn around and financially "punish" him is a little too "Jesse Jackson" for my taste. It hurts the economy and it hurts the right of people to freely do what they want with their money.

That said. If I were to find out that Costco was directly contributing money to an organization I found immoral in its very substance (Planned Parenthood, for example), I would stop giving my money to Costco in a heartbeat. The Democratic Party, however,is not an immoral institution. The people IN IT may be immoral, but it is an important functioning part of our government, whether we like it or not. In its essence, it's an extremely moral component of our two-party republic.

I guess it's a tough issue for everyone, but you couldnt walk out your front door since the guy who manufactured your aluminum siding probably voted for a Democrat.

Regards.
18 posted on 02/24/2004 12:25:49 PM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: BCrago66
I think I'm with you on this.
The man is a private individual, making individual contributions and the company can't fire him over this.

If another CxO were contributing to Rep causes, would it be a problem? Would it balance out?
19 posted on 02/24/2004 12:25:51 PM PST by MrB
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To: Modernman
Any corporation that is involved in the sale of consumer products would do well to prohibit its officers from contributing to political campaigns . . . For one simple reason: you are always going to be p!ssng off half your potential customers.
20 posted on 02/24/2004 12:25:53 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Alberta's Child
Any corporation that is involved in the sale of consumer products would do well to prohibit its officers from contributing to political campaigns

That's probably not a legal thing to do.

21 posted on 02/24/2004 12:27:32 PM PST by Modernman ("The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides)
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To: Alberta's Child
BTTT
22 posted on 02/24/2004 12:27:40 PM PST by international american (Dimpled chads for sale...buy one, get one free!)
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To: Mike Bates
What about Progressive Insurance, Microsoft, AIG, Geico, and the myriad of other companies supported by leftists?
23 posted on 02/24/2004 12:27:47 PM PST by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Mike Bates; Admin Moderator
what's with the link to the original article?

Don't click it folks. Now I have to run viruscan.
24 posted on 02/24/2004 12:29:21 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Modernman
The company certainly cannot fire these guys since doing so would probably constitute illegal discrimination.

I know of no EEOC regulations regarding political affiliation as a basis of discrimination. Do you?

I don't get what this writer wants.

What the writer wants is not to patronize stores whose corporate execs make huge contributions to Leftists.

25 posted on 02/24/2004 12:30:13 PM PST by Mike Bates (Artist Formerly Known as mikeb704.)
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To: Mike Bates
Wanna know an interesting fun fact? Costco is the country's biggest book retailer. So big that Barnes and Noble is threatened by them, and claming that big retailers like Costco edge out and compete unfairly with "little" ones like B&N!

I don't go to Costco, but I would be interested to see if the books they choose to sell reflect the attitudes of the company leadership.
26 posted on 02/24/2004 12:30:31 PM PST by Gefreiter
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To: Mike Bates
Costco is also involved in instances of chumming up with a municipality and using eminent domain to acquire property for one of its centers:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/981262/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/927257/posts

27 posted on 02/24/2004 12:31:03 PM PST by Puddleglum
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To: Mike Bates
Just rememember that Costco is based in my home state of Washington, aka USSRW. What else can you expect from these two? We have two Democrat senators (Cant-vote-well and Osama bin Mama Murray) and a Democrat Governor (leaderless Locke). So they are just reflecting the liberal flavor of the state.
28 posted on 02/24/2004 12:31:19 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Mike Bates
"An analyst at the Cato Institute calculated how much non-defense discretionary spending has escalated in the first three years of the Bush presidency. That figure is an eye-popping 18 percent. Some cuts."

Like I've always said, it doesn't matter if you vote Republican or Democrat, it's just a matter of which flavor of socialism you prefer.

29 posted on 02/24/2004 12:32:27 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Rutles4Ever
The DemocRAT party IS an immoral institution. As immoral as I have ever seen.
30 posted on 02/24/2004 12:32:37 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: MrB
The man is a private individual, making individual contributions and the company can't fire him over this.

If these men are identified by their affiliation with Costco, they could be fired in a heartbeat. There is a huge difference between a contribution from "Jeffrey Brotman" and "Jeffrey Brotman, Chairman, Costco Inc."

31 posted on 02/24/2004 12:33:09 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Mike Bates
Mr. Smeagol sounds like a real idiot.

But is Costco giving money to the Dims?

Dan
32 posted on 02/24/2004 12:33:25 PM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: oceanview
I'd suggest running Spybot S&D too. I've had webpages try to install spyware.
33 posted on 02/24/2004 12:33:28 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (Am Yisrael Chai!)
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To: Solson
for all the crying about social issues and jobs, how about the rules for employment and the country of origin of their people and products. Do they pay "living wage" ruled payments to their stock and checkout people. do they only buy american made products?
34 posted on 02/24/2004 12:34:09 PM PST by q_an_a
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To: Modernman
That's probably not a legal thing to do.

I find it hard to believe that a company could not do such a thing. Remember, I'm not talking about a company-wide policy here for all employees -- I'm talking about a policy aimed specifically at officers of the corporation. I don't think they would be covered under labor laws in the first place.

35 posted on 02/24/2004 12:35:43 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE North strong and free.)
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To: Mike Bates
It gets worse. The hire the likes of Joyceln Elders and Danny Glover as their spokemen to the youth!
36 posted on 02/24/2004 12:36:18 PM PST by cinFLA
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To: Mike Bates
The demographic of a large population of white liberals, all of who attended college and were indoctrinated by Marxist profs, during a past peak of KGB infiltration, is destroying our country. Now that the hippies are running many corporations, they are drunk with power and throwing their money at the worst possible things. It is an UTTER disaster which will take us at least 100 years to fix.
37 posted on 02/24/2004 12:36:19 PM PST by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: Mike Bates
The demographic of a large population of white liberals, all of whom attended college and were indoctrinated by Marxist profs, during a past peak of KGB infiltration, is destroying our country. Now that the hippies are running many corporations, they are drunk with power and throwing their money at the worst possible things. It is an UTTER disaster which will take us at least 100 years to fix.
38 posted on 02/24/2004 12:36:49 PM PST by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: Dataman
I will go to Sam's Club
Ditto.

I may be wrong, but at least in California, Costco cards are valid at Sam's club, which leads me to believe that they both inhabit the same corporate umbrella...

39 posted on 02/24/2004 12:38:01 PM PST by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: international american
Please call Costco customer service first.
40 posted on 02/24/2004 12:38:13 PM PST by cinFLA
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To: Mike Bates
This country is headed for a Civil War between liberals and conservatives. Maybe not a shooting war but certainly a hostile war of boundaries by boycotts. I frankly, am all for it because the truth is, this country would cease to exist as we know it without the contributions of the steady conservatives who pay the lion's share of the taxes, social security, and healthcare and basically keep their mouths shut. One week of an organized, meant-to-hurt boycott of these businesses, newspapers, radio/tv, hollywood, etc. owned by liberals would shake their foundations pretty badly.
41 posted on 02/24/2004 12:38:50 PM PST by Toespi
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To: Modernman
You are thinking again! That can be quite dangerous, especially if you offer a logical explanation.
42 posted on 02/24/2004 12:40:24 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear missiles: The ultimate Phallic symbol.)
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To: Publius6961
Not at all. Sam's Club is one banner under the Wal-Mart corporation. Costco is its own company which competes directly against Sam's Club. Sam's probably made Costco cards acceptable so they could drive Costco customers into Sam's without having to charge a membership fee. Smart move on Wal-mart's part.
43 posted on 02/24/2004 12:40:25 PM PST by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Mike Bates
Wait until they learn that Democrats:

1) hate so-called big box stores and would like ot banish then forever

2) are in favor of mandatory union membership for just about everyone in the retail sector

As these concepts begin to sink in, they will either change their tunes or be ousted by their boards. In the end places like Costco are capitalism at its best. I predict that there will be a clash in the hallways of their corporate offices before very long.

In the meantime, as a father of five, I can't afford to pay a penny extra for anything. It is insane for me to buy other than in bulk. I plan on remaing a customer for now and sending them frequent letters of complaint.
44 posted on 02/24/2004 12:40:41 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: Alberta's Child
On the other hand, this life-long New York Giants fan shedded all his hatred of the New York Jets when it was learned that Jets team owner Robert Wood Johnson IV (heir of the Johnson & Johnson fortune) was one of the major players in George W. Bush's rise to the top of the GOP in the late 1990s.

I would be interested to see some of this information............most especially considering that the RWJFoundation is one of the biggest anti-private property rights and prohibitionist groups around right now.

45 posted on 02/24/2004 12:41:28 PM PST by Gabz (The tobacco industry doesn't fund smokers - they don't care about their customers)
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To: Mike Bates
I know of no EEOC regulations regarding political affiliation as a basis of discrimination. Do you?

No, but most states have laws against discrimination based on political affiliation. It would come down to a question of where the fired employees lived, I guess.

What the writer wants is not to patronize stores whose corporate execs make huge contributions to Leftists.

I doubt he could shop anywhere, then.

46 posted on 02/24/2004 12:41:47 PM PST by Modernman ("The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides)
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To: international american
My membership expires next month. I will go to Sam's Club. Thank you.

I presume then that you only use LINUX based computers because Windows and Mac are the products of leftists.

When corporate behavior offends conservative sensibilities it is appropriate to respond. This however is personal behavior and you are shooting yourself in the foot if you react against the corporation.

47 posted on 02/24/2004 12:42:07 PM PST by CMAC51
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To: Mike Bates
This is my favorite line:

"Also in December, Costco CEO James Sinegal gave $95,000 to the Joint Victory Campaign 2004 fund. He says he contributed because of job losses during the Bush administration..."

I wonder if Costco is using its postion as a major retailer to help remedy this by primarily selling products that are made in the USA, thereby creating jobs. Bet not.
48 posted on 02/24/2004 12:42:07 PM PST by green iguana (“There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.” – William James)
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To: Solson
Progressive Insurance, Microsoft I already boycott these. The first one because it is a big DemoRAT contributor and on its way to Fascism. The second because I hate their products.
49 posted on 02/24/2004 12:43:40 PM PST by BushisTheMan
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To: Toespi
Maybe not a shooting war but certainly a hostile war of boundaries by boycotts. I frankly, am all for it...

What an absolutely asanine statement. What do you think would be the cumulative economic toll of neverending product boycotts? How many jobs would be sacrificed so we can express our displeasure with where someone sends their money (unless it's in the name of the corporation itself)? To wish for economic gridlock is tantamount to composing a love-letter to Jimmy Carter. One Jesse Jackson is enough. We don't need to stoop to his level to achieve success in conservative ideology.

50 posted on 02/24/2004 12:43:58 PM PST by Rutles4Ever
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