Category Archives: boycotts

Here Comes The Wang Dang Doodle

Hello, Tennessee! Yes, your legislature still has a Republican supermajority. So let the crazy games begin!

Republican Tennessee State Senator Janice Bowling apparently doesn’t have anything more important to do than worry about what your married gay friends and family call each other. Check out what this lover of “limited government” is doing in her bill covering the semantics of family life, SB-0030:


There’s a House version, HB-0030, sponsored by John Ragan.

Now, that’s what I call small government! Deciding what words married gay people and their kids have a right to use! This is keeping people up nights? Well, I’m sure it all came from the fevered dreams of David Fowler, he of the TN Family Assn. Family Action Council, where all the rest of this culture war nonsense originates.

I just can’t imagine what the point of this is, except some good old-fashioned shaming, contempt and mortification. YOUR marriage is different! YOUR family is different! YOU don’t get to have a husband, and YOU don’t get to have a wife. YOU only get to have a spouse. And YOU, little Timmy and Jenny, YOUR family is different from everyone else’s! YOUR FAMILY IS NOT NORMAL. That’s what the point of this is, isn’t it? Just, basically, to be dicks?

Here’s how stuff like this usually plays out: even though the legislation is sponsored by rural county Republicans (Sen. Janice Bowling’s District 16 covers Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren Counties, while Rep. John Ragan is from District 33, Anderson County), if the bill moves on up the food chain and becomes a national story, it will be Nashville which suffers. Nashville is the biggst city here, and Nashville is where the big conferences, sporting events and concert tours come. So when people want to punish the state for bigoted, anti-gay legislation, they launch boycotts of Nashville. Even though Nashville is a progressive city, which was the first to have an anti-discrimination ordinance (which the state overturned) and sends to the legislature pro-GLBT legislators, we still have to pay the price when our redneck neighbors get up to their old tricks. So it’s Nashville which stands to lose sports tournaments and professional conferences, while the rural rednecks who sponsored this hate in the first place get to spout their sanctimonious bullshit and go on their merry way, never suffering any consequences whatsoever. Everything bad will happen to someone else — someone they despise, by the way, so it serves us liberal pantywaists right.

So here’s a pre-emptive word to the wise, because if it’s not this particular piece of crackpottery, it will surely be something else: please target your activism toward the actual crazies in the legislature, not your allies representing Nashville. How about sending a message to Nissan USA, whose “Decherd No. 2” plant builds Infiniti engines in Winchester? Or why not send some letters to the CEO of Silver Spring, Md.-based Competitive Power Ventures Inc., which one year ago announced a $1 billion power plant in Grundy County? Or Germany’s Mann+Hummel, which builds car parts and has a plant in Dunlap, TN? Or maybe send a message to the CEO of 3M, which recently invested $135 million in a new Anderson County plant? Or why not hit the Google and find out which lefty-leaning corporations (CostCo, Amazon, Netflix, etc.) have distribution centers in these rural counties?

I strongly suspect that these corporations will have the ear of State Sen. Janice Bowling and House Rep. John Ragan to a far greater extent than liberal activists in Nashville, whom they already despise and are happy to ignore.

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Filed under boycotts, GLBT, LGBT, marriage, Tennessee politics, Tennesseee

First They Came For The Immigrants

Delaware’s governor says if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs her state’s law legalizing gay discrimination, the NFL should move next year’s Super Bowl elsewhere. The 2015 Super Bowl is supposed to be held in Glendale, AZ.

To this I say, yes, a thousand times yes. There need to be some big repercussions for those who legislate hate. For that matter, concert tours should bypass the state and big conventions should stay away, too.

But let me point out, I’ve been saying this since Arizona first legalized discrimination with its heinous “papers, please” law. And while a few artists decided to boycott Arizona then, not enough cared or paid attention. I said we needed to “nip this crap in the bud” four years ago, and did you people listen? No, you didn’t. And look where we are today.

We let Arizona come for the immigrants and now they’ve come for the gays. You think these people are going to stop legislating their cultural beliefs? How do you people think the Taliban got started? That’s where this is headed. First it was the immigrants and hey, they’re an easy target. Then it was the gays, under the guise of “religious freedom.” Who’s next: women? Muslims? Atheists?

Until the state of Arizona feels some actual repercussions for its actions, it will keep legislating hate.

You gonna endorse that, Miley Cyrus? Cher? Billy Joel? James Taylor?


Filed under boycotts, GLBT, immigration, marriage

A Few Words On The Whole Foods-John Mackey Thing

God, liberals, what can I say. Sometimes we annoy the hell out of me.

This is the second time the interwebs is in high dudgeon over something said/written by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Mackey, who is hawking a book (Conscious Capitalism, and no, I haven’t read it) used the word “fascism” to describe the Affordable Care Act. This got liberals all upset, especially since they well remember his 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed proposing eight “free market” reforms that he thought would fix our healthcare problems better than Obamacare.

Let me interject here and say, Mackey is an unabashed Libertarian. I do not agree with Libertarianism. At all. I think his “eight reforms” — stuff like tort reform, selling health insurance across state lines, and removing government coverage mandates — are horrible ideas, many already proven failures. He also wrote that if only everyone would just eat a vegetarian, low fat diet, all of our healthcare woes would magically go away. This was an astonishingly simplistic, insensitive and childish thing to say about a really complicated national issue. But hey, one of my biggest problems with Libertarians is their juvenile belief in magical thinking.

Anyway, that was around three years ago. This time, people seem to be hung up on Mackey’s use of the word “fascist.” The thing is, I said the same thing myself back in 2009. Put aside all of the totalitarian/nationalistic baggage the word carries, and consider its economic definition. Aren’t we always told that fascism is the merger of state and corporate power? So how is a government requirement that private citizens buy a product from a private, for-profit corporation without also offering a “public option” not fascism?

Mackey now admits his choice of words was poor. I watched him on CBS This Morning say we needed a new term, one that doesn’t allude to authoritarian regimes.

This made me laugh. Mr. Mackey, I believe the word you’re searching for is “corporatism.” Funny that wouldn’t occur to the CEO of a big corporation. Ah well. Libertarians, what can I say? They always wear blinders. I have to wonder: if Obamacare mandated that everyone buy organic food, would Mackey have a problem with that?

Mackey is entitled to his opinions, as are we all. I don’t agree with him on everything. But it seems a shame that he stuck his foot in his mouth on the Obamacare “fascism” stuff, because really liberals should be behind a big chunk of what he’s saying now.

Again, I haven’t read his book, but I’ve read several interviews he’s given about it. And basically what he seems to be telling his fellow corporate CEOs is, stop being such selfish, greedy dicks.

For example:

“I really don’t think shareholders should come first, I think it’s fundamentally a bad strategy,” Mackey said yesterday at a Captains of Industry series interview with Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Bloomberg News. “Happy team members result in happy customers, happy customers result in happy investors. If you put shareholders first, you won’t get there.”

The event at the 92nd Street Y in New York was sponsored by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Mackey, 59, a self-styled “conscious” capitalist and longtime nonconformist, has written a new book in which he criticizes companies that focus solely on maximizing profit. The book, “Conscious Capitalism,” was released this week.

In the book, Mackey and his co-author, Raj Sisodia, a Bentley University marketing professor, discuss ways to create value and lift people from poverty. Mackey’s bottom line: making money need not be a zero-sum game.

I agree with that 100%. And I’m not a Libertarian. I also agree with this:

Mackey tells Inskeep that companies must have a higher purpose than just making money.

For example, when Whole Foods decided it wanted to stop selling overfished species of cod and octopus at its seafood counters, it didn’t just abruptly cut off its suppliers. Instead, the company gave its suppliers three years to come up with a better way of fishing; during that time, the seafood stayed for sale — but with a label of “unsustainable.”

In the end, Whole Foods, working with the Marine Stewardship Council (we’ll have much more on them later), was able to find one supplier of sustainable cod.

I agree with that approach. I also find it a little strange that Mackey doesn’t recognize the flaw in his magical Libertarian ideology: why aren’t all corporations like Whole Foods? Why isn’t everyone focusing on the big picture, why aren’t they all doing the right thing, instead of just focusing on profit? Does Mackey not get that a health insurance company doesn’t make money off of certain groups of people? Like, really, really sick people? That Libertarianism requires a whole set of presuppositions that don’t exist in the real world?

I guess not. But c’mon, liberals. Let’s join in the conversation here, instead of calling for boycotts over the misuse of a word like “fascism” — especially when a lot of us were saying the same thing two years ago.

So no, I’m not boycotting Whole Foods. Nor am I nominating John Mackey for sainthood. Remember this? Remember when Mackey created an online sockpuppet to bash rival Wild Oats in online stock forums? At a time when he was trying to buy that company? Hilarious. Also, not nice. John Mackey, you’re kind of a dick, too. Something else I can say about most Libertarians.

By the way, this reminds me of the one bumper sticker I want to see. It goes something like this:

Who Is John Galt? And Why Is He Such An Asshole?

Ha ha. Love that one. So, boycott Whole Foods if you want to, but I won’t. But I will ask my fellow liberals to stop reacting in such a knee-jerk way to the use of loaded words like “fascism” and whatnot. Please. This makes us no better than the Teanuts who call for the fainting couches every time a liberal says a mean joke about Sarah Palin.


Filed under boycotts, corporations, health insurance, healthcare, liberals, Libertarians

Still Boycotting Lee Beaman

Republican moneybags Lee Beaman has donated to numerous horrible political efforts over the years — the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth and the racist English-Only effort come to mind. He’s also shockingly anti-gay, leading the charge against Nashville’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which is surprising considering some rumors I heard about some parties a few years ago. Rumors, hey, they can be wrong. Or not. Let’s just leave it at that.

So it’s no shocker to read that he’s contributing to the Koch Bros.’ Americans For Prosperity.

No, I’m not shocked, but I am outraged. Thank goodness I don’t own my Toyota anymore. But when I did, I found I enjoyed the service at Franklin’s Alexander Toyota much more. I don’t know what Dane Alexander’s politics are — he’s probably a Republican, aren’t they all? I really don’t care. As long as he’s not funneling millions of dollars to poisonous right wing extremists like the Swift Boat Veterans, English Only, and Americans For Prosperity, I could care less.

Boycott Lea Beaman. I’ve been doing it for years. Starve the beast.

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Filed under boycotts, Lee Beaman, Nashville

Alternately, You Guys Could Stop Being Assholes

Stop the presses! Sean Hannity and Ed Schultz agree on something, and it’s not their favorite flavor of ice cream. Nope, they want the hippies over at Media Matters to STFU and stop with all of those advertiser boycotts! (I couldn’t get the damn embed code to work, but the video is a little over a minute long, so give it a quick look at the link.)

Well, I guess that means they’ve been effective. Basically Sean Hannity says liberals have to reject Media Matters “crossing the line” (what line? Just telling the truth about you? Just repeating the poison that your side spews over the public airwaves every day?), or else the people who don’t like them will finally fight back.

Oooh. Didn’t know y’all had been holding yourselves back out of the goodness of your hearts.

And then we have Ed Schultz saying attacking advertisers of a radio personality “is the wrong thing to do.” He says he even called Media Matters’ David Brock and told him it was the wrong thing to do. Schultz says “a lot of people are getting hurt.”

Wowzah. I can only conclude that it’s been enormously effective. I’m so sorry the fee-fees of these high-paid political entertainers got hurt when people stepped forward and said they didn’t like hearing people viciously attacked as sluts and whores over the public airwaves. That’s not a matter of political disagreement, that’s the people telling you guys to stop being assholes. Maybe you should listen.

You know what I think Ed Schultz and Sean Hannity don’t like? They don’t like being told that their manner of discourse is hurting America. This reminds me an awful lot of that infamous Jon Stewart-Crossfire moment, when Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala were called out on their bullshit. CNN never really quite recovered from that, did they?

And now we have talk radio people facing the same sort of criticism. They don’t get it, either. They want to continue with their political theater, pretending it’s “journalism” not partisan hackery, and not have to be answerable to their viewers. They want to call women sluts and if we don’t like it, “just change the dial.” Just shut up, hippie and Teanut. Just change the channel and be quiet. Stay in your place. How dare you let anyone know your opinion. Don’t you know the opinions of Sean Hannity and Ed Schultz are the only ones that matter? Stupid listeners.

This is about power. They don’t like being reminded they don’t have it. They don’t like getting that phone call from the corporate office telling them to cool it, too many complaints have come in from big corporate advertisers. That’s who we’re all really slaves to, didn’t you guys get the memo? You thought you were different? Suckers.

For those who have forgotten, here’s the infamous “stop hurting America” moment. Tucker Carlson, still hurting America over at The Daily Caller, seemed least able to grasp the concept of public responsibility. No surprise there. Enjoy:


Filed under boycotts, Media, talk radio

Florida Isn’t Safe

I found this editorial by the managing editor of a Boston-area community newspaper which I thought deserved some wider attention. The headline says it all:

Let’s be clear: Florida isn’t safe for our families

I couldn’t agree with him more, in fact: this is a major reason why I haven’t visited Florida in years, despite the fact that it’s “where you go” if you live in Tennessee and want to hit the beach. I just refuse to put myself and my family at risk. I have for years. I just don’t feel safe in a place where anyone can shoot you for any reason they cook up later to avoid prosecution. The fact that “justified killings” have tripled since the “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” law was passed says it all. Plus, the law represents a completely immoral worldview. What constitutes “a threat”? Someone wants to steal your purse? Take the fucking purse. Purse-snatching isn’t a death penalty crime. Deadly force is never justified to protect property. Stand your ground to protect a flat-screen TV? What the hell for? Get some fucking insurance. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Anyway, it’s obvious that Florida law protects no one. So, I stay away.

Forry writes:

Americans of all backgrounds – particularly black Americans – must mount a campaign to make Florida an outcast state based on the dangers inherent there to black children and teens that have been laid bare by this case. Until the state legislature and the governor repeal the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, there should be a national boycott on tourist travel to Florida by popular entertainers, cruise lines, convention planners, and all others who have come to see that state as a premier destination for fun and relaxation under the sun.

Florida has declared open season on black children. It’s time for the rest of us to reciprocate by sending a message with our feet and our wallets.

But it’s not just black children. It’s everyone. A gay couple kissing? “I FEEL THREATENED!” *BAM* Someone with a pro-choice bumper sticker on their car? “Baby killer!” *BAM* A Muslim woman wearing a hijab? “TERRORIST!”*BAM* No one is safe in Florida, or any of the states with these NRA-crafted “shoot first” laws.

Do yourselves and your loved ones a favor, stay away. I have. There are thousands of miles of coastline in the lower 48. It’s not like Florida is the only place with a beach.

Back when Arizona was targeting Hispanics with its “show your papers” law, a few artists boycotted the state. That didn’t last long, unfortunately (and predictably), so I wonder if a boycott of Florida will get any traction now. I suspect it will, because we’re dealing with an actual case of the law resulting in an innocent teenager’s death, and the killer is still walking around free — and armed. That’s a danger to everyone, because if a 17-year-old kid with Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea is a threat under the Florida law, then anyone can be a threat.

I’ve boycotted Florida for years for a lot of reasons, my personal safety being a big one. Maybe it’s time everyone else joined me.


Filed under boycotts, Florida, gun control

What Will We Tell The Children?

C’mon people, is there anything funnier than an American Family Assn. boycott? Seriously, they launch these things just for our amusement, right?

So now the righteous religionists at One Million Moms have their panties in a twist over Ben & Jerry’s Schweddy Balls ice cream because … it’s balls! And … well … balls!

“The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive,” the group, an offshoot of American Family Association, stated on its website. “Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket.”

Those foul-mouthed Vermont liberals have ruined everything, I tell you! Now even something as innocent as a trip to the supermarket is fraught with peril. What’s a mom to do if one of her gumdrops should ask, “Mommy, what do Schweddy Balls taste like?” (I guess recalling the last Teabagger rally would be the wrong response, yes?).

It’s so hard to raise kids in these vulgar times.

The company responds:

Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson Sean Greenwood told that in the last three days, he’s only heard from about 600 moms — not a million — complaining about the new flavor. At the same time, the company has received hundreds more e-mails that say things like, “We get the joke” and “We love you guys.”



Filed under American Family Assn., boycotts

There’s No Getting Over Some Things

Hey right-wingers: please stop telling us lefties to “get over” the stolen 2000 election that installed George W. Bush in the White House and set America on its disastrous path to Crazy Town where we find ourselves today. Not when some of you still aren’t over Jane Fonda’s anti-war activism from 40 years ago:

I was to have been on QVC today to introduce my book, “Prime Time,” about aging and the life cycle. The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear. I am, to say the least, deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups. And that they did it without talking to me first. I have never shied away from talking about this as I have nothing to hide. I could have pointed out that threats of boycotts are nothing new for me and have never prevented me from having best selling books and exercise DVDs, films, and a Broadway play. Most people don’t buy into the far right lies. Many people have reached out to express how excited they were about my going onto QVC and hearing about my book.

Jane Fonda has been a target of the far-right fringe for decades. Remember in the 2004 election when wingnuts photoshopped photos of John Kerry and Jane Fonda to make it seem like the two appeared together at anti-war rallies?

They still aren’t over her, after all these years. “Jane Fonda” has become wingnuttese
for “dirty fucking hippie Commie America-hater.” They still refer to her as “Hanoi Jane,” believe it or not.

This form of identity politics resonates with a very small crowd; for most people, Jane Fonda is an actress and exercise fanatic. But whatever.

I’m really sick of the hating on Jane Fonda. She long ago made amends for whatever hurt she caused those in uniform, while staunchly defending her right to protest the Vietnam War — something which thousands of other Americans did as well, I may add. And how appalling that QVC would cave to the lunatic fringe and keyboard kommandos of the right.

So no, if your side is going to hold a grudge over the political activism of a Hollywood actress from 40 years ago, I think I’m entitled to still be pissed that a national election was stolen 11 years ago and the worst regime in American history was inflicted on the world.


Filed under boycotts, Housekeeping, Jane Fonda, politics and film