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The kind of power that makes the Republicans quake in their boots? What is it the Republicans always say when Democrats propose legislation in Congress in order to curb corporate malfeasance?

LET THE FREE MARKET HANDLE IT!  Economics 101 right? If the company is harming the consumer the consumer will find out and withhold business.

Well, how do we find out about it? We can no longer trust the watchdogs. Politicians and the media these days are bought off with corporate money. In the event that something does leak past these two estates corporations have teams of PR agents and media whores ready to be dispatched at a moments notice to do damage control so we busy consumers don't get a grasp on the real issue and move on to the next news cycle.

One solution is below the fold.

We could create a well publicized website that lists the most and least progressive corporations in America whom we can reward and punish depending on their support for our ideals. How much money do we unknowingly spend each day supporting big polluters, big Republican donors or companies that use slave labor? Much more than we think. Let's make it more transparent.

It can be a real effective tool of change. If we as Americans want national health care, a living wage, non-partisan media, and environmental regulation the best way to get that is not through legislation but through economic pressure. Face it, no matter what law we pass a corporation is going to figure out how to get around it anyway, but what strikes real fear in all of their black hearts is millions upon millions of consumers boycotting their products and giving them bad publicity. We learned how quickly Sinclair caved to our pressure and that was barely organized. Imagine the full force of 49% of the electorate. Let's get on top of this while we are all still filled with rage. Let's turn this negative energy positive.

We are facing yet another 4 years of a hijacked government where our issues are going to sit on the back burner. We can sit still and hope or we can get creative and fight. I say we fight. Let's vote with our dollars! Let's make every day election day!


There are a lot a great ideas here. The consensus is that we create a searchable database with a sophisticated rating system based on numerous criteria with comments and rating to be added by users. That makes sense because what's important to one person may not be that important to another - the true goal is to make these corporations as transparent as possible and allow quick searches by either company or product.

I agree with most that we should keep this as a positive operation. Revenge against red states might seem like a good idea right now but negative energy will only serve to alienate people in the end.

As far as the name I think we need to keep it as simple and as short as possible considering we want it to be easy to remember and more importantly - easy to type. How about just "".

We need to move to phase two. I do not have the web skills to create this on my own. If some of the people who have been the most vocal on the board can email me we can escalate the discussion further. I notice there are a couple of people who are willing to donate their time and skills to this project. I welcome any and all participants who feel they have something to offer. Email me at

Originally posted to Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:05 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommended! (4.00)
    This is a great idea, and I think that it might make for a good project over at the Dkosopedia.  It worked on a small scale with Sinclair, it makes sense to take it national.  Perhaps you could organize that with the community's support.

    The only thing that politicians understand is money, so let's hit them where it hurts.

    •  damn... (none)
      you beat me by 30 seconds ;-)
    •  Put out a Tip Jar! (none)
      This is how we start the ground war and take back our country!

      When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

      by sgilman on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:43:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It exists (none)

      I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

      by IdahoEv on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:03:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I checked out (none)
        it's a good site, but they don't list any reasons why these companies get the ratings they do. Why does Dell have two suns for environment? What did they do to not get all five?
        •  yeah (none)
          people CANNOT vote for it. Too prone to getting web bombed. Its gotta be run by some for of simple criteria. Its also important to not get too picky. My fear as that it ends up getting prok barrelled by things like "cant have products made in equatorial guniea" etc.  Simple is key
          •  yes a stand-alone web site (none)
            I've been rattling on about this all day-
  , along with a list of good guys.
            ECONOMIC WARFARE is our best hope.   That, and the systematic removal of every touch-screen voting machine.


            by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:55:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  can we come up with a more positive name? (none)
              reward the good companies.  List the good ones first and focus on them.

              Then list the bad ones.  

              Otherwise you set yourself up to be branded - and remember the other side is very good at branding -as angry partisans.

              I blog here (sports/pop culture) because man cannot live on politics alone!

              by jdavidson2 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:46:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or simply rank the companies... (none)
                Sometimes people in rurual areas only have choices of a few stores and a smaller selection of products.  If the businesses are ranked, then they can at least choose the less conservative option over the more conservative one. And list the criteria for ranking. Thus, stores will be encouraged to become more centrist, even if they don't want to be more liberal.
              •  A name-- (none)
                Probably already taken, but we could call it Living Well (as in, "living well is the best revenge").

                "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." (Casey Stengel)

                by cinnamondog on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:13:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is how this can work... (4.00)
                Hi all,

                First of all, this idea is not new.  Finding the nexxus between business and social issues is the driving force behind the socially responsible investing (SRI) movement, of which my company is a part:


                We are a ratings company, much like Standard & Poors or Moody's, but all our research is grounded in social and environmental performance of the companies we rate.  The theory goes: these are complex issues and deserve complex attention.  Therefore, companies that are managing these issues well are, in general, well-managed companies.  As a result, there is a distinct correlation between socially and environmentally well-performing companies, and their stock price performance.  We have competitors, but Innovest is among a small handful that are considered best of breed, and we are certainly the leader here in the U.S.

                THIS is the way we must sell this idea--in a way that appeals to hard-nosed cynics interested in financials in addition to social goodness.  But that's not all, we have to also recognize the socially responsible investing movement for what it is--a social movement.  And that's where this "business idea" has a distinct advantage over every other business idea that is motivated primarily by profit.

                Here is my conundrum.  I have been with involved in the SRI area for some time, and I am of the firm opinion that for this concept to work, more has to be done than just sell it from the top down.  In fact I was considering the very concept in this thread as my next personal endeavor--and online community whose common goal is to constantly push for and provide greater transparency into social and environmental practices of companies.  The hook is two-fold: you're either interested in promoting these social values, or you're intersted in profit, or both.

                There are a lot of good ideas in this post, and though I haven't read all, I think it would be extremely wise for us NOT to get caught in the trap of making the community/website too "foofy", for you will immediately lose the interest of all the people you are trying to win over.  And like the poster above me said, you will also immediately be branded as partisan if you do.  That is why I think that part of the solution will be an association with the financial community, in the form of SRI research companies like Innovest.

                Use the system to change system.  Use money and greed to highlight why money and greed for their sake alone do not make as much money as socially responsible companies do, and you have a clear winner on your hands.  Esentially, the data tis already here to prove it--it's up to us to get the idea out.

                To the poster and anyone else reading this thread--I am ready, willing and able to get this idea moving.  Please contact me:  I'm serious.

          •  I agree that if you're going to do (none)
            this keep it really simple. Keep the list of companies short (I'd suggest no more than the 5 worst at first) Also, for every company you blacklist, suggest some better alternatives. Make sure that the companies are ones that blue voters might be using in the first place (because if they were never consumers, a boycott would hardly hurt). In the beginning, the gesture would have to be as symbolic as it is practical.

            And do some research. I'm sure there's a lot of publicly available information and even previously existing surveys about which companies are the worst in the way they treat their employees, the environment, etc...and conversely those that are the best. Also, you can move things on and off the list if they improve or get worse.

            Finally, when I did a thread about shopping a while back, we ran into some "liberal comedy of errors" type stuff where a store might sell only organic produce, but wasn't unionized, or something like that, and people would get into complicated arguments about which practice was better or worse, or start feeling guilty about shopping at places they used to feel virtuous for shopping at. Let's not split hairs or look for perfection. Only include companies on the blacklist that are both nonunionized AND don't sell organic produce, if you get my want to start with the worst of the worst.

            I'd love to start with Walmart, but Walmart isn't likely getting a lot of blue voter (as opposed to blue state) dollars to begin with, so the impact might be minimal.

            Abortions go up under Republicans. Business is better under Democrats. Pass it on.

            by JMS on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:46:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for posting. (none)

        I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in Sozadee CA.

        by The Messenger on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:46:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  See Also (none)
        There is a similar project out of the UK from which we can learn much:

        Ethical Consumer

    •  Too big for dkosopedia (none)
      This needs to be a seperate site altogether.

      A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

      by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:21:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  An idea whose time has come... (none)
      Without having read any of the comments yet, I'll say yes.  I've brought this exact same point up many a time here over the past year. "Vote with your Bucks" is an instant referrendum that takes place daily, everywhere in America, and you can participate.

      The usual response I've gotten to this proposal is sniveling about all the poor workers who will be hurt by such activity.  I'll read all this commentary to hear what people think about that now that the people have voted.  I eagerly look forward to the list of who is OK and who to avoid buying from.

      It is utterly crucial that this list be accurate, of course.  There were folks here last month who were all set to start boycotting Land's End, f'rinstance after they heard Guliani had spoken there, and it turned out that LE repudiated Guliani afterwards. So be goddam careful to get it right, based on fact rather than knee-jerk emotion, which seems to  run high here at times.

      This is our most powerful weapon, and it's time to use it with no mercy.

      Free market?  we'll show you free market, assholes.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:34:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to be a buzz kill, but (none)
        ... "vote with your bucks" is a terrible strategy for progressives.

        The other side will ALWAYS have more bucks than we do.

        Not that we shouldn't avoid doing business with bad companies.  But we shouldn't expect our purchasing decisions to completely shift the market.  It's just too tilted for that to happen.

        •  The Cracker Belt is dirt poor (none)
          and about to get much poorer. We have the upper hand  ecconomically.
        •  I don't know if that's true-- (none)
          The "other side" in this isn't the multinational corporations so much as it is the theocratic morons who shop at WalMart and drink Coke and Pepsi by the barrel.  They don't have more money than we have.  Yes, they will continue to consume the garbage they do, but the fact that a portion of the population has opted to leave certain businesses and retailers, and manages to maintain that boycott for more than, say, a weekend, will almost certainly attract attention, which would be publicity for our cause.

          And we wouldn't go into this expecting only one outcome, the tilting of the market:  a definite byproduct, and something worthwhile in its own right, will be the strengthening of responsible businesses owned by people who are not the other side.  

          "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." (Casey Stengel)

          by cinnamondog on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:17:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  HELLO! (none)
            Its not just the theocratic morons who shop at Wal-Mart and drink Coke and Pepsi.  Its lots of lower middle class folks -- our natural constituents -- and even some middle middle class folks.  People don't shop at Wal-Mart because of the ideology of its owners, they shop at Wal-Mart because they have cheap stuff. The good news is that there are "blue" voters who shop at Wal-Mart.  The bad news (from the point of view of expressing ourselves) is that we therefore have to be careful about how we label red voters.  

            "Our enemy is innovative and resourceful and so are we. Our enemy never stops thinking of new ways to harm us and our country, and neither do we." G.W. Bush

            by litigatormom on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:10:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please don't (none)
              do that.  Understanding that we're all a bit touchy right now, I really hate that "HELLO!" thing that so many people do on the 'net.  It seems to drip contempt.  I know that not all WalMart shoppers vote or voted Republican.  That's precisely the reason why some sort of change in economic patterns is being proposed:  because many Dem voters are in a position to make their 'values', if you will, felt by changing how and where they shop.

              "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." (Casey Stengel)

              by cinnamondog on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:14:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  not necessarily (4.00)
          While they do have more bucks for luxury purchases, every family spends roughly the same amount on everyday purchases like laundy detergent, gas, groceries, etc.  

          [BTW, this is why raising money through sales taxes is regressive. . . a larger percentage of middle class and poor people's income goes to consumer items]

          But even if the rich might spend a bit more on groceries (by not using coupons, by buying fancy items, etc.) there are way, way more of us than there are of them.

          Also, corporations are morbidly afraid of bad publicity because the chance of even a 1% loss in sales can affect their quarterly reports and send their stock prices tumbling due to the panicky mentality of the market.  Also, the way most investers look at it, its not worth the risk to stay with a company that's being hit with bad news when compared with the opportunity costs of investing that money elsewhere.

      •  Canadian dollars (none)
        We should start using Canadian dollars.
    •  No more divisionist thinking! (4.00)
      Hey c'mon, let's stop dividing ourselves into red and blue states. Like I said before, there was not one state that went 100% for Bush.

      I came back from beating the streets in Florida for 5 days to get out the vote, then find myself castigated for daring to live in a "Red State".

      This is time for all of us, no matter what state we live in, to work for change within our community, our state and our country.

      This is not the time to point fingers at any one state. After all, the city I live in was very blue on a map of red. Many people who work in DC live in my state, too, and voted blue.

      While working in Florida, our main goal was to make sure the democratic and liberal people of Florida were not disenfrancised. I'm not going to start being part of a group that further punishes them because their state went red. That would be as bad as European nations looking at all of us like a bunch of fools for allowing this country to re-elect Bush, and assuming that all Americans support the current administration.

      We're all mourning here, no matter what state we live in, and we need more than ever to join together, not become more divided. Can we please change the title of this diary to blue people or something rather than blue states?

      We're all blue here and we all have the blues. Let's not make it worse.

    •  there are (none)
      books that have been out for decades (updated yearly) that list such organizations.  Perhaps we could solicit their database and make it public here?

      "What difference does it make to the dead.....whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or.....liberty and democracy?" - Gandhi

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:25:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  recomment this diary (none)
    and lets get to work on this idea...  Kos - this could replace your kos-dozen candidates with progressive companies...  

    we proved what we can do in the Sinclaire debacle... no need to stop there.

    •  Red and Blue companies (4.00)
      You could have a rating system to decide if a company is red or blue, based on the beliefs and practices of the company, and based on the amount of minorities and women the company employs and how fair it is.

      Blue companies you buy stock in, you recommend your friends shop at, and promote. We can advertise the Blue companies.

      Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

      by Lucian on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:48:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Focus the message (4.00)
        These are great ideas and here's how I think we can focus and coordinate the effort:
        1. The 'Hit' List
        This list would feature one company (a month ?) that we would actively divest from. We would create a several prong grassroots media bliss consisting of letters to the editors of our local newspapers and to companies that support the 'hit' detailing that we are now actively boycotting this organization (and them) due to it's failure to uphold democratic values (or something like that). We'd coordinate the effort with media matters, and send the announcement to other progressive media outlets. Buy time on Air America and focus our efforts on getting national attention (like Sinclair).
        1. Maintain a list of companies for purchasing goods and services with a rating system somewhat like ebay (someone recommended this down stream). Spin the message such that companies WANT to be on this list by supporting these companies with our $$ (maybe have a tracking system that would tell us how much $$ our campaign has generated based on our recommendation)
        2. Maintain a 'dirty' list of companies that leave no doubt of their corrupt tricks. These would be companies that gave enormous $$ to repug efforts and have actively suppressed labor or have equal rights issues.

        It would be good to offer alternatives - like if a user is in a rural area (like some spots in Alabama) and Walmart is the only local choice, the user could enter their zip code and category (or even item) and do a search for available resources. The resource list should include online as well alternative local sources.

        Most of all - we need to get visibility. If we make it too complex and hard to discern right from wrong (haven't we heard that from the repugs?) our message may get lost.

        Let's do it. I am all for getting this going.

        •  Ideas for a change... (none)
          I like that! Not sure how the whole system would work itself out, but I think there is a place for voting with one's dollars.

          The problem with this kind of project tends to be based both on economics and geography. "Made in America" campaigns always fell short because there was too much of an incentive to buy foreign-produced goods and a small group of bargain hunters tended to dictate the overall market. Additionally, many people in underserved rural and urban areas had few choices, and couldn't afford to travel 30 miles to only buy above-market prices for everyday goods. Smacks of Elitism, don't you think?

          What we do need is a resource that allows us to avoid the most serious violators and reward the most responsible companies. Those in the middle are more likely to get the point if we don't hold them to rules that make it impossible for them to do business in the current economic climate. We have to look at the overall behavior of the specific company, and not judge them to be in contempt of democracy because they bought a computer assembled in Malaysia.

          Does Ford Motor Compnay get targeted for lobbying to defeat higher CAFE standards and shipping  jobs overseas, or do they get rewarded for the work they do accomplish on alternative technology, respecting the United Auto Workers Union, supporting affirmative action, and providing benefits for same sex employees. Tough call, but as much as this Michigan resident may distrust Big Auto, I think we need to focus on the more seriously delinquent  corporations.

          My new tag line: Any suggestions?

        •  tracking system (none)
          There could be polls, "How much have you spent at ___ in the past month?" and then graphs detailing how these margins have increased.  Could do the same for the blacklisted companies, but these would be susceptible to web bombing.
        •  More Carrot, less Stick... (none)
          "punishments" and outraged boycotting, outraged letter campaigns and threats are why, in many cases, why companies have certain policies. I won't say that the Other Side has a monopoly on hate, but they surely do favor it, and surely do have a lot more practice at it then us, what usually know better than to do that sort of damage to our digestive systems.

          Nope. What we need is something more like an award, or recognition, that will tend to translate into about a one quater to one percent sales advantage. Kinda like "certified dolphin free" or "Made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper."

          The things that let people know who to reward for being responsible.

          How about a "We Value People" award, granted for practical, up-front recognition of the people that make up consumer bases and employee pools?

          Look at how much money Wal-Mart is spending to craft that impression, instead of making the impression real, and you can imagine just how much our rightious blue distain is costing.

          I don't shop at wal-mart; here in Reno, there are lots of options and while WM may have the "Lowest Price, All the Time" there's both a quality and convenience penalty. Closer venues are more than cheap enough, even on our tiny budget.

          Why? Because I don't buy steak and beer. If I did go to Wal-Mart, maybe I could. I don't buy name-brands. Wal-Mart stocks pretty much ONLY name-brands, and a limited selection at that.

          If I want to brush my teeth with Crest, eat Wonder Bread and wipe my butt with Charmin, sure; Wal-Mart is lower cost. But it's not a better VALUE, on all kinds of lines of measurement.

          Hm. There's an idea in there, too; the reason people buy shit like that is that they don't have the information to make better choices, or evaluate performance.

          So - what about the idea of, say, offering to sponsor a an edition of Consumer Reports dealing with bang for buck issues.

          For instance, in buying detergent, what should you look for in the ingredients to be both socially responsible, cheap-assed AND get clean clothes? Would Tide be a Best Buy, or would it be Simple Green?

          If consumer reports is not intersted in adding environmental and social impact into the evaluations, we can duplicate the model.

          But your average CEO would sacrifice their first-born for a Consumer Reports Best Buy reccomendation.

          This is a more positive approach, does some actual good as opposed to the more short-term satisfaction of punishing the bad. It also follows Kerry's example of exiting from the moral high-ground.

          Got Smug? "i\"If it's on your chest, it's in their face!"

          by Bob King on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:23:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  and the metaphors are (none)
        Blood and Sky

        Visually (which counts a lot when marketing something) the "indicator icons" or whatever should elicit the image of a drop of blood for the evil companies and a drop of water or crystal blue sky for the good companies. I'm a designer/art director, and believe me, people dig blue. It is a calming color, people gravitate to it over any other color in marketing materials, given the choice. If I ever have a hard time selling an idea, I put some blue in it.

        Need some design help, I, too, am here. You can get my email from my profile page.

        •  Sites like these need to be organized. (none)
          We need to be more organized. We need a progressive like section to allow us to know each others expertise. All of us here have talents. Some of us have MBA's, some of us are artists, some are musicians, some are computer programmers. We need to have profiles with resume's in them. We need the ability to hire each other.

          When you start a business you should look in the progressive pool of workers first. When I start a business I will look at the progressive first.

          Not because I wouldnt hire a conservative, but because a conservative most likely wouldnt want to work for a progressive company with a progressive strategic agenda.

          So why not do this? Lets get organized. How can you help with designing? Lets create a process. I say we follow the open source model which Linux is built on and build a progressive site for artists. We should link to that site from this site, and artists should be hireable through the site itself and paid via paypal or through contract. This means musicians, poets, graphic artists, film artists, anything to express the progressive ideas.

          Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

          by Lucian on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:11:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Some ideas (4.00)
      I was actually working on something like this two years ago before some medical treatment sidelined me for a while.

      I didn't want to rank companies on progressivity. Rather I wanted to show the impact of each product by tracing back all the people it affected. So for each product I would show the following:

      • The places it was made and the stories of the people who produce it (people don't really care if they're buying stuff from China at slave wages until they attach a face and a name and a story to that notion of slave wages)
      • The environmental impact of the product, in terms of water used through its lifecycle, toxic pollution, etc.
      • The percent of the product price that goes to marketing, to ceo salaries, and to actual labor
      • The subsidies we have paid to produce the product (think subsidies to Walmart because its employees draw food stamps and so forth)

      Basically, the idea was to undercut the mystification of brand by adding complexity to these things. And it was to reward the small differences in production and marketing process (for example, reward McDonalds because it is making efforts to improve its meat production, but Burger King isn't, or reward Burger King because they pulled their advertising from Sinclair). And also, the idea was to show ALL OF US (in the red states, too) the costs and impacts of our lifestyle.
  •  Let's come up with some real (3.87)
    ideas how to make this work. I noticed there is a lot of talk about this on the open thread tonight. What we need right now is some creative brainstorming on how to make this happen. My idea is a searchable database by product and company so if someone is in the market for something they can quickly search the product line and get a list of Progressive companies that make it. Also if they are about to buy something from a certain corporation they can quickly input their name and see just how friendly they are to the environment and their workers.

    We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

    by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:07:23 PM PST

    •  Online and on air (4.00)
      Support sites like and the god of all sites - Kos.  Also, push this idea on Air America and support them until it hurts.  I live in a small rural area and rush is one of only a few choices to listen to.  We need to start getting our point of view across to rural america; we can't win them over if they can't here us.

      When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

      by sgilman on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:33:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crap (none)
        I meant hear.  I have been up since yesterday and my fingers aren't hitting the right keys.

        When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil. - James Carville

        by sgilman on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:38:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If 50,000 dKos donations (none)
        of $20 each were made to a targeted fund for setting up a rural progressive radio station buying effort, that would generate $1,000,000.

        If 10,000 dKos donations of $100 each were made, same is generated.

        Think of all the money we all donated to K/E and progressive/dem candidates during this election cycle.  We could definitely be putting a small part of that toward buying a rural progressive broadcasting system.

        We could have a fund like the dKos dozen, where donations are automatically placed through a PayPal-like system.  Donate online, easily, and often.

        Then we could go to someone like Soros and ask for matching funds for the effort.  This would be attractive to him and others, given their funding of, and the success of, Air America.

        The radio station/broadcasting system would target rural areas, to compete with and provide an alternative to Rush.

        This can be done!!!!

    •  Why Not Just Add it the dKosopedia? (none)
      It's already set up for adding info too and can be sorted.  Then all we need to do is everymonth or so send out and updated email list to friends and family and post on blogs and what not.
    •  How about... (none)
      I think an effective approach would be to either beg for donated space (or even buy it if necessary) on several high profile progressive online sites and have a spotlight company of the week to boycott with reasons why, along with a viable alternative provided.  In addition to the high profile "ads," provide a searchable database comprised of companies to avoid, with contact info, and viable alternatives.  This could even be set up with a state or community based search option so local businesses could be highlighted.

      I think this is a great idea and would love to help in any way I can.  I have a research background and would even be willing to donate materially to get something like this up and running.  Please, if anyone is truly interested and wants the help, contact me.

    •  How about better networking? (none)
      If we all are progressives here we need to be more organized and network better. This means we need something like tribes, friendster, or to allow us to know each others skillsets, talents, etc and work with each other. We cannot get to work if we don't know who has what skills so the first thing we need is a database.

      Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

      by Lucian on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:14:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good idea (none)
    I would also say that we should mobilize on certain issues, in the way that we did for Sinclair.  E.g.,

     -- if privatization of social security comes up, find a focus for a boycott

     -- do mass emailings to constituents of the sponsors warning them of what their representatives are going to be voting for.

    -- if the Dems filibuster a very bad court nominee, put pressure on any wavering Dem. by massive emailing both to the Senator and his constituents; promise to fund a primary opponent.

    Any other ideas on how the Sinclar model can be used to defeat legislation or nominees?

    •  My real dream of this (none)
      is for us to get a real leader - Like Howard Dean to create a "people's lobby". Maybe we can roll this idea into his organization. It would be the first time in a long time - maybe ever that individuals a real voice in this country. Our representatives do not work for us, they work for corporations.

      We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

      by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:12:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bravo (none)
        . . .great ideas.  Get it organized and running and I will certainly support it.
      •  And hold our representatives accountable (none)
        The governement is supposed to be working for US - they are us.  But with term limits and corporate money, our represneative quickly loose thier idealism and exchange it for capitalism.  We need to incentive them to work for us as well.  After giving them power (i.e. taking away term limits), or more money, all that's left is embarassment.

        So in addition we should make a point of embarassing a congressman a month for not acting in the best interests of constiuents or the country.

        Maybe we could cheap news show and burn it DVD and mail a copy to all the people in the guys district. -- wouldn't that be fun.

      •  issue-focussed lobbying groups (none)
        League of Conservation Voters
        American Civil Liberties Union
        Electronic Frontier Foundation

        The umbrella group would coordinate between the various "focus" groups to allocate money or cascade out newsletters and calls to action.

      •  My ideal for this (4.00)
        is Save Betamax. When S.2560 (the INDUCE act, which was a project which ultimately would have overturned the Betamax decision that makes VCRs and other similar devices like TiVo explicitly legal) was coming up for a vote in committee, this group organized people to call a set of three Senators (chosen from a list of a dozen or so who could easily influence the bill) at a specified time of the day to tell them they were opposed to this bill. It worked, at least for that particular vote (no doubt Orrin Hatch will try to resurrect it later). Well over 5,000 people participated in the effort. It got to where staffers would just ask "Are you calling about Betamax?" as they answered the phone.

        There may have been other times organized callins were used to lobby legislators at a grass roots level, but this was the first one I noticed, and it was pretty impressive.

        Given the right software (I believe has made the software they developed for Save Betamax available) and the right group of motivated people, I think this could be a real focal point for activism.

        If this be treason, make the most of it.

        by Our Man In Redmond on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:13:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's be smart about this and keep it simple. (none)
        What are the quantifiables?

        Who gave what to Bush.  

        That should be our first line of attack.  Publically announce that we will now be punishing all companies where executives gave contributions to Bush over a certain amount.

        Let's make that our first line of attack.  Certainly we can go further later on, but just make it clear and concise that if you supported Bush your company will now pay in an extreme way, because half of this country will no longer support your company.  

        We are going to punish those that deface our Democracy.

        •  Screw certain amount...If they gave at all (none)
          from the Director level and above, we will tar their business.  

          This includes VPs and all Board members.

          Let's have a laser focus on this.

          Capitalism and money rules in this country whether you like it or not.

        •  ... and reward execs that gave to Kerry (none)
          If we have too, we can just target CEOs of companies that gave to Bush or to Kerry.  Make them vulnerable based on their support.  The more simplified our model the easier it will be to sell to the general public and all Blue voters.
        •  I like it! (none)
          Direct effect.   As a company, not as a person, you gave funds that benefitted a few at the expense of the country.   You worked against the political will of half of the country.

          Therefore, a portion of that half will vote with our pocketbooks, just as the company did.  

          Of course, the GOPer can organize a reverse boycott...but I have the feeling we can support our side just fine.

          "God is still speaking,"   in the UCC

        •  I don't think that's the answer (none)
          Giving to Bush is political. We need to think values.  We lost on values.  Bush will some day be gone but values will always be there.  We can still keep it simple but not political contributions.  Use political contributions only as a good indication of what companies we should look at.

          We need to be able to say "I don't buy Nike shoes because they use child labor in far off countries.  Instead I buy Avia (I have no idea of a good shoe company) because the CEO only makes 500 times what the lowest worker makes."

          I really need recommended companies in every catagory like consumer reports.  Are there stock portfolios that have done this?  They exist for christian right concerns (no investing in playboy) and non christian right concerns (all casino stocks all the time).  They must exist for enviromental groups and labor groups.  Can we check with environmental groups and labor groups?

          Hmmm.. Maybe I should stop writing here and start investigating.

          •  Values-based investing (none)
            Check out the Social Investment Forum. There are several investment companies that "screen out" (refuse to invest in) companies that produce weapons, nuclear energy, etc. Some of the more progressive ones, like Portfolio 21, will actively seek to invest in companies that are doing positive things like developing solar energy. Others, such as Calvert and Domini, will use their power as shareholders to get the companies whose stock they hold to adopt progressive policies, such as nondiscrimination against gays and lesbians -- this is what's known as shareholder activism.

            Shareholder activism played an important role in ending apartheid, so it's a powerful tool.

        •  Simplicity and FOCUS (none)
          That's the ticket.

          1. Target companies that preferentially back Republicans. Don't, please, get into elaborate ratings of socially-responsible companies. The criteria are too debatable and confusing, and frankly those things rarely work. Look at socially responsible investing, and its terribly weak effect.

          2. Pick companies with a good horror story. Not just: They backed Bush. Something nasty to pass around to friends who would never do actual research.

          3. Just a few companies at a time, and for big companies, just one of their products at a time. Think Coors beer.

          4. Promote, promote, promote. Organize with all the blogs, Air America, The Nation, etc.

          5. Somebody needs to fund this on an adequate scale. If you have fundraising experience, please raise your hand. ;)

          Short version: K.I.S.S.
      •  To hell with "leaders" (none)
        and the fuhrerprinzip. To hell with waiting like sheep for someone to rise up and lead us.

        BE the leadership you're waiting for. Don't "question authority." Cultivate authority - in the sense of "becoming authoritative."

        The fuhrerprinzip only takes us back around to where we are now, in one tightening circle.

        "One should always have one's boots on and be ready to leave." - Michel de Montaigne

        by adamgreenfield on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:45:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm for this (none)
    I'm in what should be a blue state but for the fundamentalism.  
    Karma Mechanic, you could be a very effective organizer, I think. I like this diary.
  •  I'm a capitalist! (none)
    This is a fantastic idea!  I've always tried to speak with my pocketbook.  I've never given Dominoes a cent and stopped shopping at WalMart as soon as their seeming underbelly was revealed years ago.

    Make a list and I'll help make a statement.

  •  We need to especially target (none)
    these corporations in the RED states.

    California Uber Alles

    by joeesha on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:39:16 PM PST

    •  Targeting Companies (none)
      I started today on this on a household level.  Check the catalogs you get in the mail - do you have a customer # in the box?  Are they in a red state?   Call and politely ask to have your name removed from their customer list.  Then insist that they note on the file it "is because of the horrendous economic policies of this administration, and their state helped re-elect this president".
      Most are actually pretty cool about it.  A guy in Wyoming was extremely rude.   Lots of companies in Blue States where we can do business.  Make the voters in the red states feel the impact.
      Vote with your checkbook.

      Proud member of the reality based community!

      by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:52:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  SallyCat (none)
        Please make sure this tactic makes it onto whatever Action List is eventually drawn up and corraled into one place.  :)

        Quick, look busy! Here comes Christian Conservative America

        by Loquatrix on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:33:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  careful, though... (none)
          re: calling companies in red states and asking to be removed from their catalogs or whatever. Be careful about how you do something like this. The guy on the other end could have your credit card info, or all sorts of other info. You don't necessarily want to piss them off in ways that they feel compelled to screw with you. (And heck, if you piss them off enough, they might just start sending you more catalogs.)

          Besides that, avoiding something just because it's in a red state seems to me to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Don't we need a few of those red states if we're going to win some elections??

          •  asdf (none)
            Not if people move to Blue states before the next census.
            •  only if they're blue people (none)
              Remember the blue states have plenty of red areas. If you think upstate New York is a Democratic stronghold, think again. Hell, even Vermont has Republican seatholders.

              If you're pinning your hopes on getting millions of people to move out to blue states and thereby changing demographic patterns, then...well...good luck with that.

              More importantly, the question isn't what state a company is in, but what policies it follows, if any. If you make this about geography, you've missed the point.

              •  Republicans (none)
                Hell, even Vermont has Republican seatholders.

                Yes, but how many of them are wingnuts?

                All Republicans are not alike.  As for New York, although there's a strong Conservative Party here, you'll find that the Republican Party in NY is nothing like it is nationally.  There are a lot of Biblically-based wingnuts in parts of New York - but it's harder to find Republican candidates who will run on "God, guns and gays."  

                Pataki's pandering to Bush is conspicuous for that reason.

          •  yes, the target shouldn't be states (none)
            but businesses, when it comes to boycott.

            hit the STATES where they live by pulling red states off of our tit, or at a minimum publicizing loudly who the leeches are (rural bush voters), and who is paying (urban kerry voters).

            As a corrolary, those rich white guys that support Bush ain't paying for anyone, because they are the guys whose businesses get pork (WalMart) and who don't receive much of their income in the form of paychecks.  They are my true enemy and I will work to take them down for the rest of my life.


            by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:01:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Red States vs Companies (none)
            I didn't get into serious details on the earlier thoughts.   Since all county election results are online - I was checking in battleground states for where the company was located.   One in Ohio was in a county that went 60% Kerry - they are still allowed in the house.  Another in an Ohio county that went about 60% Bush - I called them.
            I'll be spending part of the weekend making a comprehensive list of the companies I called and where they are based on election results.  I will also be adding info as to who sells comparable products in Blue states and counties.  
            Re: credit card info - we already have fraud alerts on all the credit bureaus - and will be making sure that our credit cards will be cancelled if they are companies that support the administration.

            Proud member of the reality based community!

            by SallyCat on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:53:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't go by states alone (none)
        I'm a Progressive Dem in So FL...the majority of my area is blue yet we now sadly live in a Red state...thanks to Diebold.

        I took a night off from dKos and what I came up with is this.

        Going forward, wherever possible, I am going to ask whatever business I support how they voted...and act accordingly.

        Might work, might not...we'll see.

        The Religious Right is Neither

        by calichick on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:46:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are brilliant (none)
    Like most of us, I make dozens of purchasing decisions each month.  I certainly don't have time to research each product and manufacturer, and even if I did, my individual decisions would have no effect.

    This is the perfect project for right now, when we are reeling from the 2004 election and the  2006/2008 elections are too far away.


  •  Great Idea (none)
    My husband and I gave up our Sam's Club account because we won't tolerate how badly they treat their employees.  We stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years ago.  We refuse to use those handy checkouts without tellers at stores, even if we have to wait in long lines.  We avoid the local Sinclair station like the plague.  If I knew more about corporations, I would be willing to direct my dollars to ones that were more progressive, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I'd love to figure out which companies gave the most money to republicans, and what products they make.  
    •  Costco gave money to the Dems this year (none)
      so there's your option for your 128-toilet-paper-roll-package needs ;) But you might want to confirm they didn't hedge their bets by giving a bit to the Darkside also.
      •  Plus. . . (none)
        CostCo is a "Blue State"(WA) company, while the Evil WalMart is a "Red State" (AR) company.

        And Costco pays decent wages, and gives good benefits, and has figured out that it saves money by retaining employees long-term.

        So, switching to Costco = double-plus good.

        When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

        by Robespierrette on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:18:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wal-Mart is a great focus / Costco too (none)
          Every single time anyone mentions Wal-Mart, I tell them about its practices.  You all know those arguments, so I won't repeat them.

          Then I tell them how great Costco is to its employees and its customers.

          Costco's exec gave a lot to the Democratic party.  Wal-Mart to the GOP.

          We also need FOOTWORK ... passing out one-page sheets comparing the two companies + signage + bumper stickers + whatever else we can come up with.  

          -- "How can we trust the Bush administration to protect us from a biological terrorist attack when it can't even manage to provide flu shots?"

          by SusanHu on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:42:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All the consumable paper products... (none)
            in this houshold, are sourced from Costco.

            So Wal-Mart can take their Charmin and Bounty and stuff it!

            Better living through the Kirkland brand!

            Support Target, too. Minnesota-based. And their stores are fastidiously clean, well-lit and organized. Must be something Euro-Swedo-IKEA Lake Woebegon-esque in the sensibilities of this company. Michael Graves. Mossimo. Isaac Mizrahi. Philippe Starck. Ming Tsai...

            Wal-Marts are cluttered, to the point of being dangerous to step foot through the door. These places have the feeling of some kind of frontier trading posts, their JIT inventory high turns mentality of dumping shipping containers worth of shitbox out on the floor, for people to scrounge through, is demeaning.

            Unless you are a red state, fundie, mouthbreather. Wallow around in Wal-Mart merchandising flotsam and jetsam and support the censoring Oligarchs of Bentonville.

            "But then I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and the oomny ones use, like, inspiration and what Bog sends." -- Alex de Large

            by rgilly on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:18:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Target v. Wal Mart (none)
              Target is better in terms of how they treat employees, but their corporate level has been getting more conservative and their charitable foundation completely folded to the antiabortion fanatics and stopped funding Planned Parenthood in Minnesota.

              For all those places where there is no Costco, Target is the clear alternative to Wal Mart. But they may need razzing and pressure about their corporate/charitable policies in the near future.

              •  I can live with groups not supporting... (none)
                Planned Parenthood, although I'd prefer they did.  I'd rather save my battles for groups that oppose it.  I live in a conservative area - Planned Parenthood joined the Chamber of Commerce, and there was a huge outcry, so I started donating to them.  I'd rather a good business that pays it's employees well and stays out of right wing causes stay in business, and if that means that we have to fund Planned Parenthood with our donations, so be it.  
              •  Shopko v Walmart (none)
                I think Shopko is a subsidiary of Target. They would be an alternative to Walmart as well unless somebody with more info can show otherwise.
          •  WalMArt (none)
            The unions here in MI are supposed to be doing a unified, concerted campaign against WalMart. Joining in was actually somethign I've proposed to our local DFA group, for our post-election activism. I'd like to see people going door-to-door educating people about WalMart, and offering coupons to viable alternatives (remember, many communities have no choice bu Sam, so you need to make it really easy for them to use another alternative). Given that we're in MI, I was thinking of going to KMart to negotiate including them in our campaign IF they met certain requests. KMart is definitely a MI company, but they've talked about moving jobs elsewhere. I envisioned using this campaign to remind KMart of its roots, and offer it some tools it can use to take on Wal Mart more effectively--AND treat its workers better (I don't pretend that KMart treats its workers well.)
          •  WalMart in Las Vegas, NM (none)
            Las Vegas is in San Miguel County, NM, which gave Kerry 71% of it's vote.  WalMart has had a huge impact in this little (12k pop) city and everyone shops there, to the detriment of many local businesses.  This is prime localtion for publicity.  I'm gonna print out a bunch of leaflets and start handing them out in front of the store. I'll make sure the local newspaper knows about it, so when I get arrested, it will be noticed. Then I'll be back the next day. Meanwhile, the local government is totally Democrat-controled, including all the judges, so there will be a public forum there as well, and, hopefully, little possibility of severe penalty.  There are plenty of angry, frustrated activists in Las Vegas who will help.

            Does someone know of a ready to print anti-WalMart flyer I can download.  A Spanish edition would be especially helpful.

            don't always believe what you think

            by claude on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:57:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  How About (none)
            Flyers to hand out in front of supermakets and malls? You could list some of the big manufactuers and their practices. If we could get something together before the big christmas shopping season we could make an impact right now. I'd spend my time on it.
        •  Costco (none)
          is a definate candidate for a GIRLCOTT
          ( as opposed to a boycott )

          J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

          by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:50:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Will Michael Moore (none)
      be doing an expose on Walmart?  Are there any educational DVD's we could get into the schools and show to PTO's?  

      Target does have a support your school program and we could work with the corporation to promte this - win,win!

      Yes, the only way to make things change is to reward good behavior and punish bad. But we must have outreach.  This is something us liberals do not like to do, but it is what the Christians have done for centuries and that is why the repugs are so strong.  Missionaries spread the gospel and change hearts and minds. We need to preach at the local, state and national level. All the tools in the world will not help wihtout face time.

  •  I love it!!! (none)
    But didn't I say that earlier tonight on the open thread???

    Oh well, you were wise enough to get it into diary form.

    My name suggestion was and on it we could target corporations or states that don't support progressive ideas. We'd readily remove them from the data base if they moderated their ways. As for red states, stop visiting, stop buying products from corporations based there, stop going to Disney, whatever.

    Our political power isn't working. I got a suspicion if we organized, our economic power may be a bit more effective.


    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:45:00 PM PST

    •  That discussion (none)
      was definitely the inspiration behind this diary. I really believe this can work. The one - only thing Republican's respond to is money. You can never appeal to their humanity, but take a dollar out of their pocket boy! You'll see some action!

      We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

      by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:48:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah (none)
        I really support this and would completely support a boycott myself here in Louisiana. I declare now that I wont shop at wal-mart. Anything else I can do here in Louisiana? I can probably convince a few others as well.

        Start a grassroots organization. The populus will take car eof the rest.

        •  Ha ha (none)
          Sorry to Dems in red states. I know you're stuck there. But honestly, I don't know what else we can do. Obviously we need to think about this issue before implementing it, how do we deal with Dems in red states? How do we do something without hurting them?

          If we were to start a serious, major website of this type with real energy and support, I think a meeting would be necessary to flesh out all ideas, problems, policies, etc. We'd probably need support of people who have experience in this sort of stuff, major bloggers, dem operatives (who'd probably stay away like the plague...boycotting states?)...perhaps Ralph Nader, I don't know. Expertise.


          "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

          by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:00:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's where we start (4.00)
          This is a list of George Bush's top contributors in 2004. I'm sure a ton of us use these institutions. Let's start the boycott here.

          Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS Americas, Goldman Sachs, MBNA Corp, Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup Inc, Bear Stearns, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, US Government, Wachovia Corp, Ameriquest Capital, Blank Rome LLP, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Microsoft Corp, Southern Co,

          Once our numbers grow to a formidable number we can let the institutions know why they are losing our business. They have to know that there is a price to pay for being partisan. I no longer feel comforable patronizing institutions who are funneling my money to causes I do not support.

          We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

          by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:04:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe we should Wiki this (none)
            And we need a list of the Good and the Bad...otherwise we could get hungry and run out of underwear

            Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. - Sir Winston Churchill

            by DreamOfPeace on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:06:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Time to discontinue MBNA (none)
            Finally paid it off, getting rid of it.
          •  Sorry to make this more difficult (none)
            But if a company gave $100K to the Republicans, and $1 M to the Democrats, they would be fine with me in my book. As long as the net is positive for the Democrats or they don't give at all.

            "That transmitter on his back is SO full of crap" - Randi Rhodes

            by Doug in SF on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:33:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I think the goal (none)
              here is to get corporations out of the campaign finance business. A long time ago it used to actually be against the law. Now, there are way too many ways around that law even if it's brought back so we need to show them that we feel it's a corruption of the democratic process and we want it stopped. That's the way I feel about it. I always like the old Jerry Brown model. No individual can give more than $100. That would be real parity and allow everyone's voice to have somewhat of an equal weight.

              We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

              by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:47:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I liked the old Jerry Brown (none)
                Now he's not so hot.  He's my mayor...believe me I know what I'm talking about....

                The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

                by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:01:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (none)
                But how do you punish everyone who gives to politicians. There would be too many.

                Guess to start with worst offenders would be the best place to start.

                J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

                by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:53:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  they hedge their bets (none)
            Microsoft gave a bunch to both Bush and Kerry.  Sure, Morgan Stanley bet a chunk of change on Bush, but they're smart enough to give it to Kerry too.  

            Yes, I am behind cutting off Citibank, Sinclair, Wallmart, or whoever for their actions, but I don't think it that it's going to win votes and change policies in the government if we hurt or even shut down any of these companies for their politics or the politics of their workers and/or owners.  I think that's suicidal.  We need to expand our base, not alienate it. We need votes, congressional seats, and electorial votes, not backlash.

            Besides, half the time if you choose a different product, it's going to be imported.  What's better for my country, buying another Dell from a bunch of redneck Bush-loving, gay-hating Texans, or buying machine made in Asia?

            •  No offense but (none)
              This is just one idea, for one purpose. It does not have to ake the place of things you are talking about.

              Greed is Rampant and needs to be curtailed. I thnk this is a good way to start.

              If you don't agree with the idea, I would respectfull suggest you find an idea you like and contribute to it, rather than bashing this one.

              We need goals. We each need to do what WE can do. We can't all do the same thing. I see this cause as one I'd like to help with if I can.

              J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

              by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:57:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks for the reply (none)
                I know what you mean. We do need goals. And I sure am thinking about what's best, and I sure will contribute once I see an idea that makes sense to me.  But I don't think that this is a time to jump on any bandwagons before we have all really given it some thoutht. Not just any idea or any action will do. For example, would you sign up if the party leadership said, look, we're too far to the left, that's why the country turned us out, so now it's time for us to join the republicans and support anti-gay bigotry?  I wouldn't. I'd find a different party. Heck, I think half of us where at that point until Howard Dean was brave enough to tell the party leaders that they were wrong to back Bush's war in Iraq.  

                Anyway, my opinion doesn't mean squat, but I'd bet the house that this idea isn't going to fly. But something will. It'll be interesting to see what that is.

          •  taking action (none)
            Thanks for the list. I see three companies I use regularly so right this minute I am going to stop combing through the election posts and write three letters. Action over angst!
            •  Don't forget all the good that the Gates fund (none)
              does around the world to halp needy children. Before we boycott someone, I think we need to make sure a company is not also helping some of the causes we believe in.
              •  Another Suggestion: (none)
                A Committee needs to be either selected or Elected.

                The committee, comrised of intelligent people here would propose companies to add to the list, weigh the merits of each, make a call on whether they are doing more harm than good and vote on adding to the list.

                My suggestion would be to start with two to five companies, rather than just throwing a shitload in there. Really take each ones inclusion seriously.

                Then let it grow from there.

                So I would say, take a vote and figure out the worst offender. Add them and start from there.

                I've done a lot of projects and one thing I've learned is the importance of K.I.S.S ( keep it simple stupid )

                Start with a page with two- Five Comapnies on it and then have it evolve from there.

                J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

                by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:03:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I think... (none)
            That list is as good a place as any to start if you think about it.

            I'm sure that all of us buy things from Microsoft, I mean how can you avoid that.  Can you imagine how scared shitless Bill Gates would be if we all wrote him an email that said we were immediately switching to FireFox and we are going to consider buying Macs if he doesn't stop contributing to the Republican party.

            I think you'll get similar responses in bulk if you threaten to close your Bank of America account, close your Citibank credit card and pull your investments out of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch etc.

            These are big companies and if we get 5K people or more emailing them and telling them we are done with their policies, that could be huge.  It is also important to state which competitor you are going with.

          •  Nooooo... (none)
            ...Bank of America is MY bank. Oh well. Is Washington Mutual ok?
            •  ratings site is needed (none)
              How do I know if the company I purchase from is any better than the competitor?  Face it, most people in this economy will choose the lower price even if they know the company is pooping on us. But if I could plug into a site with a search and put in a brand name to get it's ratings and background info, then I would have to make a decision on what my priorities are - cheaper stuff or less stuff. And I would feel guilty buying from a crummy corporation.

              People still buy SUV's and you are living under a rock if you don't understand how that choice impacts everyone on the planet.

              This is a real cunundrum. We need an expert to plan the strategy.

            •  WAMU (none)
              Used to be okay, but they were recently bough by Citibank.
          •  Microsoft (none)
            Lots of us are stuck with Microsoft at work, but we can at least download an alternative browser and let our corporate bosses and Microsoft know what we are doing. Plus, given Microsoft's awful security flaws, you'll be protecting your computer.

            You can download Netscape here and Firefox here. They're both far superior to internet explorer.

    •  Two concepts (none)
      1.  boycotting corporations with bad policies and patronizing thosewith good policies

      2.  boycotting corporations located in red states

      Let's be clear on what we're talking about here.  I'm much more in favor of #1.
      •  yes, tie in with actual responsibility (none)
        this is important to point out.  Also, mere location in a red state doesn't necessarily  mean the company is a bad one.  Nor does a blue state location mean a company is an honorable corporate citizen that loves the Democratic Party.

        "Socially responsible business" has been an important development in the last 15 years, with hundreds of companies here and in Europe attempting to work through these issues.  Examples: the CERES princiles, the Natural Step, Business for Social Responsibility founded by Ben Cohen, the Social Venture Network, etc.  Mutual funds have also been put together that select companies based on social and environmental impact.

        Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

        by Civil Sibyl on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:30:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm also in favor of 1. (none)
        We don't want to antagonize the Red States. We want them to LOVE us.

        Let's save them for Walmart instead.

        KOS PUT UP A BOYCOTT LIST. I say add one company a week so we can adjust slowly.

        Let's start with Walmart, shall we?

    •  What about a progressive co-op? (none)
      Progressive Co-ops, Progressive mutual funds, etc

      See my Diary,

      Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

      by Lucian on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:48:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Co-ops are where it is at. (none)
        An ancient and honorable practise that need to be re-invigorated.  As a child on the East Coast in the early fifties, I remember seeing Co-op brand supermarkets and gas stations.

        Here in rural NM, I get these services via a co-op:
        propane (gas); electricity; water; telephone (and DSL); banking (Credit Union); health food; and what little recreational goods I buy (REI)

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:07:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And of course, these habits are (none)
    best begun ASAP - in the fever of this defeat.  You now how that goes, right?
  •  Really a good choice now (none)
    Since the election is over, this is the best strategy for getting our voices heard.  IMO it's also one of the best; there's no way some organization can change the amount of money you give a corporation.

    So.  Where's the list?

    P.S. I'm pretty sure Microsoft is a pretty big Repub. donor.  If you aren't chained to their OS by an app that doesn't have an equivalent on another operating system, consider switching!   Mac OS is a great system these days, and linux keeps on making leaps and bounds every day.

    P.P.S. Please don't tell me we have to boycott Apple.

    •  Apple = Dem Donor? (none)

      I'm pretty sure that Apple is a big-time Democratic supporter. I'm almost certain the politics of the entire company, except for maybe Steve Jobs, are very left. If we could actually organize an effective boycott of Microsoft by 50% of America in favour of Apple and Free Software solutions, we could change the face of the IT industry overnight.

      Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

      by RHunter on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:59:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Al Gore sits on Apple's corporate board (none)
        They are a heck of a lot better than Microsoft...though I must admit, I used to despise Bill Gates but his foundation is incredible.  He's advancing a social agenda to be admired.....

        The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

        by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:05:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thought So... (none)

          Dunno how I forgot that. I'm sure Jobs would jump at the opportunity offered by such a boycott. As for Gates, I don't think I agree with you there. He's advancing an admirable agenda, yes, but I'm certain he's got al ulterior motive. And he provided Bush with a lot of support in 2000 and 2004.

          Having Apple in our corner and conferring explosive growth upon them with such a boycott (rosy glasses, I know, but one can hope) would also help enourmously in the e-voting fight. Apple has incredible amounts of technical expertise, and they make heavy use of American programmers, something most other large technology companies aren't just moving away from, but are flat-out fleeing from.

          Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

          by RHunter on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:24:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know.... (none)
            ...Gates is financing world health projects and education here in the U.S. mostly.  Hard to tell what the ulterior motive is....better educated people yield a better pool of workers.  World health probably does the same thing.  This may be ulterior but it isn't necessarily to be condemmed.

            The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

            by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:29:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Standard Microsoft Tactic (none)

              Financing education is a standard Microsoft tactic. Like most large corporations, they think in the long term, and in the long term, its all about absolute control. Microsoft's goal since Apple dominated schools in the 1980s has been to take control of the education system. Having the Bill Gates Foundation finance education makes it harder for the school to say no when Microsoft comes calling - if they do, they risk having their BGF money mysteriously disappear.

              Likewise, for health services. Microsoft realizes that there will always be a need for hospitals, so if they can get their software in and lock out anyone else in both training and professional areas, they've got both a sure revenue stream and a very efficient way to keep control of people. Local government not devoting enough money to Microsoft? There goes the hospital's BGF grant! Whoops!

              Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

              by RHunter on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:44:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry (none)
                Microsoft isn't funding hospitals, they're funding world health....vaccines in 3rd world countries, funding for HIV/Malaria/Tuberculosis projects, etc.  There's little upside to the altruism here except maybe this kind of thing helps create less desperation therefore fewer terrorists.  It might be Bill's wife pushing most of this stuff....

                The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

                by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:09:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you think (none)
                  ... Gates would consider funding vaccinations here in the U.S.? I understand we might be short a flu shot or two.
                •  Bill Gates (none)
                  he's not my favorite person (disclaimer: I occasionally work for Microsoft, hence the screen name) but I do have to say, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does some very good work with regard to health matters. A lot of what they donate is software (duh), but they also subsidize vaccines and research.

                  I think I read that both he and Microsoft gave to both the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Opensecrets could tell you.

                  If this be treason, make the most of it.

                  by Our Man In Redmond on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:41:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Same Tactic - Dependency (none)

                  Microsoft's major weakness and possible growth area right now is third world countries. Many don't bother to enforce US software copyrights, forcing Microsoft to actually sell their software at reasonable prices. ($20-$75 equivalent per copy) By funding vaccines, they can put pressure on governments to enforce copyrights or face a health care crisis.

                  Trust me - nothing these people do is intended to benefit anyone but themselves. I've seen their tactics here in the USA for ten years, and anything that looked benevolent, no matter how remotely, wound up being a long-term ploy to further their control.

                  Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

                  by RHunter on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:16:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  New Rule (none)
                We skip Microsoft from this project.

                Plain and simple, it looks like too many Apple users are turning this into another Mac/PC religious war. It's about the progressive cause, not bumping up iMac sales.

            •  Gates' reasons (none)
              I know someone who consulted with Gates' foundations particularly on what kind of programs he would support. And at least according to this guy, Gates was looking for 1) programs that would have the most impact (that's kind of always true, but for example, one of the reasons behind the developing country vaccines is that he could make an incredible impact. Gates honestly believes that he can fund finding a cure for AIDS). And the other thing he is looking for is programs that will not be permanent. Thus, after he funds teh cure for AIDS, no need to fund it anymore.
          •  Ooh Ooh! (none)
            I can see it now!


            the iVote.

            Bush is a messianic, megamaniacal, imperialistic, sociopathic, borderline retarded facist. But there's also a down side.

            by jazzmaniac on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:15:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Public Campaign (none)
      Public Campaign tracks corporate donations to politicians.
    •  Use Linux anyway (none)
      I'm a big fan of open source software. Linux is my OS of choice, and I do a lot of work with Macs (which are based on another open system, BSD). With Linux I can surf the web, listen to music, burn CDs, read Microsoft Office documents, get news and music from around the globe via streaming audio, play games, and generally do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it, and I don't have to ask some corporation "pretty please" to run it (which you might have to do someday with Windows, but I digress).

      The open nature of Linux and the free software and open source movements also seem to tie in quite nicely with the principles espoused by Democrats. Free software encourages -- nay, almost requires -- that projects be done for the common good rather than to line the pockets of some corporate fat cats. It's grass roots, small-d democratic, and for all that is as powerful as Windows. More so, in fact, because it is built with security and stability in mind. You have to work really hard to crash Linux. It's not susceptible to the kinds of viruses and worms that plague Windows. And, did I mention it's free? Free as in beer, and free as in speech.

      It's not without its drawbacks, but many people, myself included, think it's worth the effort.

      If this be treason, make the most of it.

      by Our Man In Redmond on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:55:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm seriously suspicious of Microsoft... (none)
        and I think they've largely earned their reputation, but I do sense a strong steak of idealism in Bill and Melinda Gates. They have funded some important health initiatives in  the developing world. Bill Gates strikes me as a Neo Andrew Carnagie(sp?): Many reasons to dislike the guy, but he puts his money to good use and seems to have a strong aversion to intergenerational wealth transfers. How he focuses his efforts in his later years will determine what kind of legacy he leaves.
  •  Let's start with a boycott of General Mills (4.00)
    Big advertisers on Sinclair with a long and storied history of reactionary politics and union busting.

    There's power in focusing our attention on one company and making an example out of them.  It is simple and a good way to show power.

    I would love to put a hurt on General Mills... with apologies, in advance, to the company's employees.

    •  General Mills (none)
      is in a blue state (at least this year) but boycott 'em anyhow.
    •  Big company - limited items for Max Effect (none)
      The best way to boycott a company like General Mills is to pick a limited number of items.   Let them know what we are boycotting - then stick it to them.   This is how the Nestle boycott worked in the 70's.  Two big items for General Mills are Cheerios and Progresso soup.  As an accountant I know that they watch "segment" sales and profits.

      We can make our own soup - once a week we run a soup recipe Diary!

      Proud member of the reality based community!

      by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:58:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go to Trader Joes (none)
        I buy Joe's Os. Tastes exactly the same as Cheerios and half the price! On the site we should definitely have a box next to every bad product with a recommendation for an alternative progressive products.

        We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

        by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:04:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Buy Malt-O-Meal bagged cereals (4.00)
          Not only are their Cheerios equivalent (I forget the name) just as tasty as real Cheerios, they come in large bags rather than boxes which reduces the cost, they're made in a blue state if I remember right (Minnesota, I think) and they advertise on Air America Radio. What else could you ask for?

          If this be treason, make the most of it.

          by Our Man In Redmond on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:58:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! I love Joe's-Os too! (none)
          Of course, Trader Joe's is the one store that's almost exclusively in the blue states (though they're expanding to some marginal red states, like AZ or OH)!  And it seems like Dems are more likely to shop there than Repugs (although they do seem to attract more of a White Anglo customer base).

          I even bought dried dragonfruit there, of all things, a few weeks ago (it was OK...not as good as fresh dragonfruit).  I wonder what a red-state conservative would think of that???

          The Little River Band was 27 years ahead of their time: "Help is on Its Way"

          by westcornersville on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:53:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, great point... (none)
        Cheerios are the biggy.  They would note the hit in sales there.
      •  As a parent (none)
        ... I think boycotting Cherrios is a great idea. GM (HQ right here in Minni) likes to market Cherrios as the perfect kid's food. They want to hook them on it from toddlers to teenagers.

        Get those soccer moms boycotting Cherrios and you might get some attention.

        •  i'm late to the discussion (none)
          but i'm all for boycotting cheerios. there are plenty of alternatives.

          i keep thinking we need to grow our own food as another way of lessening our dependence on corporations. there are lots of "frugal living" websites that can teach you how to cook from scratch so that you don't rely on things like Hamburger Helper.

    •  Referring to a past post (none)
      this was the email I received from General Mills in response to letter regarding their advertising on Sinclair:

      stop....what's that sound, everybody look what's going down...

      by ckck94 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:43:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think they know. (none)
      They have a sale up here for $6 back for buying 6 boxes of their cereal. You know, the really healthy cereal full of high fructose corn syrup..

      Then, on the next end-cap, they have a ton of Betty Crocker mixes on sale... and again, they're ridiculously cheap.

      The next end-cap had another GM product... also on sale. By that time, I was too busy laughing to remember which other brand it was.

      They know the hit is in, and as much as the Hamburger Helper special was priced for broke-ass newlyweds, I will never buy their products again.

      And I feel healthier for it already.

      "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

      by zeitshabba on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:58:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guys... (4.00)
    Please get in touch with me.  I am so fired up reading about this.  It's genius.  I am a web designer and am learning the skills to put together a searchable database.  After yesterday, I have come to the realization that the only way I will be happy in life is if I'm throwing my skills behind soemthing to change the way this country is working.

    Email me:
    I would love to discuss the technicalities of setting this up further.

    However, I don't think would be a wise choice for a name.  Sounds negative to me.  Shouldn't this be appealing to EVERYONE who is fed up with AMERICAN corporate vampires?  Even in red states?

    Whatever you do, take care of your shoes... Visit my own blog, I'm Crushing Your Vibe!

    by rocketsauce on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:58:39 PM PST

    •  "corporate vampires" (3.66)
      Perhaps something can be done with that phrase?
      •  Naa (4.00)
        Corporate Vampires is too tinfoil hat. Gotta be something that hits home for a lot of Americans. Use words like these:

        Economic Security Risk
        Corporate Criminals
        Anti-American Business Practices
        Corporate Abuse
        Consumer Abuse
        Product Safety Alert

        As a secondary thought, when people shop at WalMart, they do it for the low low prices. Purely a functional response to a market position. WalMart gets its low low prices by beating all of its suppliers heads into the ground, then asking them to go deeper. But the consumer doesn't care because the prices are low.

        Ideas like this need to tap into a consumer mindset that is driven purely by the need to save money. Maybe they can't afford stuff without WalMart, maybe they like the feeling of getting a deal, etc.

        What triggers will combat that sort of mindset. Think like a consumer, here. To stop a certain behavior that is, in essence, self-centered, it will take another self-centered idea that gains greater importance. Remember what Rove does (I just puked in my mouth a little), he takes his enemy's greatest strength and his candidate's greatest weakness, then attacks it.

        It's political judo, plain and simple.

        In the case of WalMart, use the low-price guarantee against them, in the mind of the consumer. Same with any large monolith bent on killing the earth and raping it's customers.

    •  I agree (none)
      This needs to be a positive organization. I think the Dems in Red States are probably more frustrated than we are because they are surrounded by this hypocrisy. We need a name that everyone feels free to participate in. It would be nice for it to one day morph into the United States Congress (ha hah! I crack myself up!)

      I would like this to be a collaborative Dkos project. I have no discernible web skills. I was hoping someone would step up and help out. Let's get it going! It would be a good idea to make it a type of database where the users could input the data then post comments on the company and products - kinda like Ebay. It always bothered me that I knew more about a single ebay seller's reputation  than a doctor that I am visiting for the first time! A ranking system controlled by positive and negative information is a must as well. I think if we build that kind of infrastructure it could take on a life of it's own.

      We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

      by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:34:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Name should be positive (4.00)
        We want to praise the good companies and boost their sales AT THE SAME TIME we slam the bad ones.  Behavior psychs say it takes 6 weeks to form a new habit.   If we celebrated Costco and gave the reasons why and at the SAME TIME boycotted Walmart and gave the reasons why, and featured it as the "biggie" choice for....6 weeks, it would get attention!  They could see sales go down, their rivals go up, and know that it would last long enough for their customers to get in the habit of going to their rival.

        And somehow I can't see the Bush twins and the good folks in the tax cut bracket making up Walmart's loss in sales by shopping "extra" at Walmart.

        "God is still Speaking, "

    • (none)
      it's short, sweet, easy to remember..
    •  Buying America Blue (none)
      Remember to use the Rethug theory - say the opposite of what you are doing!   Clean Skies (my butt!)
      We are buying from Blue States and companies - just not the red ones.

      Proud member of the reality based community!

      by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:01:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  how about (none)

      I might be Cheney'd up, but I'm not that Georgie!

      by circuithead on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:46:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds too much like the insurance. . (none)
        . . .company.

        I think a "Blue Value"-type name is better for a list of the companies we're supporting.

        And I like something along the lines of "Corporate Evil Watch" for the folks on the "Do Not Buy" list.

        When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

        by Robespierrette on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:26:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  blue could change, though (none)
          it's a whim of the media to color the Dems- we haven't always been "blue", have we, and just to spite us Fox could color us red, or green.

          and progressive is an awfully long word for "folks" to have to remember and type.

          we need something simple and clean.

          by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:10:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  How about (none)

      And I still say we have one major list (along with the database)

      but one list we can add one company to every week. That way we can start right away!

    •  Some thoughts... (none)

      Some toehold companies have some of these names, it might be a better choice to go .org anyway.

      If such a site existed, I would use it, and tell my friends about it. A lot of companies really don't want us to know the truth about how they operate. We need transparency, and a common collection site for what we learn.

    •  I can setup a db. (none)
      unix admin, programmer, info security guy... if you want a db setup and want to do the design, I have no problem giving a hand. Can't provide a server though.

      Let me know.

      not completely sure it'll work, but....

    •  True Federalism (none)
      Has a very patriotic ring to it, and its very empowering, to boot. :)

      Terrorists smell weakness - That's why they attacked when Bush was president

      by cskendrick on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:42:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please contact me also. (none)
      I am a programmer and... well, basically I would just type a repeat of the comment I'm replying to, but he already wrote it.

      porter [[[a_t]]  tjmonkeys dot com

      Please contact me, or if no one else is organizing this, I'll start.

  •  When political change fails ... (4.00)
    Try economic change. Your gains can't be wiped out in a single election.

    This is actually the field I work in, and it's a movement that's gaining strength. Collectively, we can make a lot of difference by buying from socially/environmentally responsible companies (see and for more).

    Actions like what you're proposing work best if the impacts are large and immediate -- basically, the Sinclair model. The best thing to do would be to check out corporate involvement in any piece of legislation that comes up, and target companies that are pressing for it (or against it, if it's good legislation).

    For example, if a particular energy company seems to have played a major role in proposing an environmentally devastating energy policy, we target them. If a particular network convinces the FCC to propose relaxing rules on media monopolies, we target that broadcaster. Swamp them with letters of protest, ask mutual funds to consider divesting, and make it a story that the media will pick up.

    •  That's way the one Major List idea is good. (none)
      It helps focus the boycott!

      We add one company a week! And as their reward for making it onto our list, they get a huge letter writing campaign that week too (and protests where applicable).

    •  I want to help (none)
      I am answering to your letter because I take from your name that you're in DC, as I am.

      I would be willing to spend a few hours a week helping out on this.

      I discovered a real love for volunteering this election (see? It was good for something) and I independently came to the same conclusion that this diary describes so well.

      I think it would be great to actually sit down face-to-face to work on this. And using our economic clout would be a wonderful start.

      So. Any other DCites willing to get together?

      ps. While the election was going on, we had a new deck installed at home. I realised too late that I didn't insist beforehand that only approved lumber be used. Feel pretty bad about that. I won't let that happen again!)

    •  Thanks for link (none)
      That looks like a great site.  Will use in the future!

      Sign on Truman's Desk: The Buck Stops Here Sign on Bush's Desk: Buck, what Buck? Karl, what the hell is this about a Buck?

      by wry twinger on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want to help! (none)
      I can spend 2-3 hours a week on this.  I have great research skills and access to some good databases (lexis/nexis, proquest, etc).

      Contact me and give me a job.

  •  Now wer're talking (none)
    We need to boycott advertisers on the media that betrayed the truth for the last 4 years, starting with Fox.
  •  Right on! (none)
    I, too, have boycotted WalMart for years.  I shop at Costco if I have to go big box (the CEO treats his employees extremely well and only takes $250k per year in compensation).  Otherwise, it may cost a little more but I go to local shops whenever possible.  My husband commented after the election "There's no way one Red State will get one thin dime from me in vacation dollars" so we'll be vacationing in the Northeast or West Coast only for at least the next 4 years.

    I say pick a corporation and let's start knocking them off one at a time....!

    The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

    by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:01:30 PM PST

    •  No Red States, but plenty of Red Communities? (4.00)
      "There's no way one Red State will get one thin dime from me in vacation dollars" so we'll be vacationing in the Northeast or West Coast only for at least the next 4 years.

      Like nobody voted for Bush in Blue States? . . .

      So I hope that means not vacationing in any number of spots in CA, including Orange County, Palm Springs, or San Diego. I hope that means avoiding the New Jersey coast and most of upper New York State.

      If you were fair about it, you could vacation in any number of regions in Mississipi, including the whole of the beautiful, jazz-filled Delta, and our capital city of Jackson.

      The electoral college is really pissing me off right now, because of how clear-cut it makes us all out to be--which isn't based in much fact.

      This boycott idea sounds good for CORPORATE SUPPORTERS of the BushCo regime, but painting gigantic swaths of the country with one broad brush ignores the political diversity even in places like MS. There ARE progressives down here, and we DO work hard at changing perceptions and politics. It's a horribly difficult job--so much easier to vetch from the Upper West Side, Madison, or San Fran--but we need you guys on our side. We need you down here vacationing, spending money, and talking politics.

      •  OK, you have a point..... (none)
        ...but frankly, I'd rather vacation in Paris than Mississippi.  I feel like such a traitor....;-)

        The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

        by cls180 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:13:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  right (none)
        Red vs Blue areas can be small.  It would be good to get maps like these  
        as well as overall go/no go ratings for a state

        Use the county maps like indexes to yellow pages for local stores, restaurants, hotels, shops to support (or avoid)

        business travelers who have no choice over location could still exercise differential spending

        Great thread

        Loyalty and responsibility toward the people and the fatherland are most deeply anchored in the Christian faith. - Adolf Hitler

        by FeastOr on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:42:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saw a map like that today (none)
          There's a great map in today's Boston Globe on page A33 showing red vs. blue on a county by county basis nationwide, which I saved form the recycling bin for just this purpose. From it, I could see that while much of NY outside NYC was red, the county I grew up in wasn't (as if Woodstock would ever vote blue!).

          Unfortunately, I can't find it on the electronic version site and I don't have a way here at work to upload a photo of the page. Anyone out there who can?

          Silence is the voice of complicity.

          by brillig on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:41:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed! (none)
        My husband told me this morning, no trip to the Outer Banks of NC this year -- his slogan "you can have Jesus, I'm going to Jersey."

        But he misses the point that we need to support the Dems in the Red states.  The idea I like, of populating Red states with Dems is, perhaps, a little unrealistic.  But at the very least, we have to NOT FURTHER ANTAGONIZE the residents of red states by confirming their notion that we have nothing but contempt for them.

        I love the idea of targeted boycotts of pugnacious companies like Wal-Mart, however.  Let them understand that they are alienating their consumers.

        Let's do it!

    •  Vacation Idea Great! (none)
      Actually, I really like all these ideas.  But the vacation one is very easy to implement.  All we need to do is get the word out.  Poor Vegas, it probably doesn't deserve it, but I do think we need to hit economically, quickly and pointedly.
      •  After 4 years of Bush (none)
        Who can afford a vaction anyway?
      •  Check Clark County, NV results first (none)
        We may want to select companies in areas that are red.   Last night it looked like Las Vegas was blue and rural NV was red.   In this case - find the casinos, etc. that support Rethug - boycott those.   Support the casinos that support Dems.   Remember to tell them why you prefer their hotel.

        Proud member of the reality based community!

        by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:05:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm going to keep driving this point! (none)
      "I say pick a corporation and let's start knocking them off one at a time....!"

      I absolutely agree! Let's put the list right on Daily Kos's front page!

  •  secession (3.00)
    I like this idea because it is one small step toward a greater goal:  secession.

    we need our own country with our own economy, our own leaders, and our own understanding of values.  

    I don't want to live in their theocracy anymore.  They've been handed 4 more years to consolidate their power.  They're going to get dumber and they breed faster than we do.  The hope that we can win a future election is a fantasy.  They're getting more and more used to power and they'll never give it up.  

    Secession.  Don't laugh.  Give it some serious thought.  What do we stand to gain from remaining with these people in a massive country that spans 4 time zones?  I want a divorce.  Amicable separation due to irreconcilable differences.

    The idea in this diary is one small step.  If our strategy of favoring only blue companies works, they will counter it by favoring only red companies.  Every business will have to reveal its color, and the road to our own country will be that much easier.

    Changing horses midstream is a wise move if your current horse is insane.

    by tsurube on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:03:13 PM PST

    •  Well, for one thing... (none)'s illegal. We'd likely get attacked over it, since we subsidize the part we'd like to get rid of. Besides, there's 2 million voters in California I'd like to get rid of just as soon as the state of Mississippi (sorry, Chris).

      "That transmitter on his back is SO full of crap" - Randi Rhodes

      by Doug in SF on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:36:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  hmmm... (none)
        I think the illegality od secession could be overcome if the red states agreed that it was a good idea too.  I really think a lot of them would be attracted to it.  I bet people like Pat Robertson would salivate at the idea. They're just as sick of having us get in the way of their theocratic plans as we are of them killing our democracy.

        I don't think they'd attack us if it were an "amicable" split based on thorough and cooperative negotiation.  They have enough hubris to believe they'd get along just fine without our subsidies. We would be a Canada to them.  They'd be so enraptured with their Ashlee Simpsons and Walmart sales that they'd hardly notice us.  And they are cowards at heart.  Attacking a neighbor puts war in your backyard.  They are much more comfortable attacking lands on the far side of the world that they don't begin to understand.

        Just floating an idea.  Maybe this isn't the right diary for it, but I really want to see some serious talk about secession.  When I google it, it's mostly just libertarian stuff that comes up.  I'm truly surprised that more progressives don't give this option much consideration.  It shows how deep the national myths of World's Greatest Democracy and the Historical Inevitiblilty of America have been ingrained in us, despite the legions of evidence suggesting otherwise right in front of our faces.

        Changing horses midstream is a wise move if your current horse is insane.

        by tsurube on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:04:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Harsh . . . and way debateable. (none)
        Mississippi is 60/40 white/black . . . the same percentage as the 2004 popular vote for Bush/Kerry. Dems giving up on Mississippi is giving up on a whole lot of African Americans.

        And there were a whole lot of more Bush-friendly states yesterday . . . these places EXCEEDED the margin of victory Bush got in Mississippi: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.

        Mississippi could be turned blue probably easier than any other deep South state if Dems got the right national message. Biggest black population in the whole nation, and enough working-class whites to make an easy majority.

        •  Yes, I agree... (none)
 was just a convenient example. And if you read carefully, what I was saying is that there's no point in getting rid of a state like Mississippi as long as we have ignorant the-end-is-near Christians right here in the Central Valley and Riverside County.

          "That transmitter on his back is SO full of crap" - Randi Rhodes

          by Doug in SF on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:17:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Attacked? With what?? (none)
        His Nibs will have anything that could attack us over in Iran doing the attacking.

        It's an impractical goal but it's interesting to think about. Unfortunately if Washington seceded all of the sudden Boeing and Microsoft would be the tail wagging the dog (not that they aren't to a certain extent now anyway). Maybe we can do a reverse of "54 40 OR FIGHT" and have Canada annex Washington and Oregon. We already speak Canadian around here.

        If this be treason, make the most of it.

        by Our Man In Redmond on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:05:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We'd be glad to have you (none)
          At least, British Columbia would. Don't know how Quebec would take it. Can't hurt to ask, though.

          There's a prededent for it, too: Turks & Caicos is considering the idea of asking to join Canada, and Canada is being diplomatically receptive to it while concealing its glee at maybe owning a warm place to go for the winter.

          And now that I look at it, it seems a large part of our current trade frictions -- softwood lumber, cattle, wheat -- are driven by red-state interests. Mostly. Could be some nice leverage there.

          And while we're at it, there's the New England states (they never liked George Washington's war anyway, did they?), and Illinois, northern Ohio...

          I think I'll stop before I exceed the current population of Canada.

          •  I thought you already had (none)
            a warm spot to go for the winter. It's called "Victoria." I occasionally tell people "it's sort of like Miami for Canadians." (grin)

            I hadn't heard about the Turks and Caicos thing. Intereting.

            We here in Washington and Oregon have a great deal in common with British Columbia. Much of it has to do with natural resources issues, chiefly forests and the Columbia River. Hmmmmmmmm.

            Our household is ready for the changeover. My granddaughter already knows what a Toonie is and how to spot a Canadian flag (she's 7 and we took her on her first trip to BC a few weeks ago). I might have to give up Air America Radio for CBC Seattle, but I think I could live with that. (another grin)

            If this be treason, make the most of it.

            by Our Man In Redmond on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:09:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please start a diary on secession, somebody (none)
              I can tell you, this word has come up in every conversation I've had in the past two days; but you won't see a word of it on the SCLM. It's a very serious matter, and I'm sick of the idea being squelched or dismissed out of the box.
              •  The subject is being discussed (none)
                if only in jest so far. But as we all know many a truth is told in jest.

                Let's Consider United State Of Washington

                By the way, I found this article through Google, which pointed me to Free Republic. Their general attitude seemed to be "Good Riddance." This is starting to sound better all the time.

                If this be treason, make the most of it.

                by Our Man In Redmond on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:55:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  No bites so far... (none)

                I was hoping for at least a dismissive comment from someone who knows constitional law

                Really, I expect secession could be only remotely possible, but I still would like to learn what the issues would are.

                one thought, could we keep things mostly the same, perhaps as an alliance, but have two federal authorities, not one?

    •  financial secession (none)
  •  Our power is with $$$$ (none)
    This is how we vote every single god damned day. Let them hear our votes every day.  We have an awful lot of power.  Let's use it.  
  •  problem with boycott (4.00)
    The problem with this notion is that a large part of those who voted for the dems aren't, in an economic sense, able to make humanitarian purchasing decisions.  People buy clothes made in sweatshops because they're cheap to make and cheap to buy.  We've got to realize that huge chunks of the democratic electorate won't be able to boycott products as they choose.

    This is a real problem, particularly in the food industry.  It's a lot more expensive to shop at Whole Foods than at Safeway.  The food industry has so many ties to big oil, big drug companies, chemical companies (mainly fertilizers and pesticides, i mean), not to mention the farm subsidies etc.  So much would change if organic foods were less costly.

    •  I see what you are saying (none)
      It is a catch 22. How do we get the poor people higher wages if they can't afford to boycott Walmart. Well we are starting to see the conundrum that is Walmart. It's become the company store. Pretty soon employees will only be paid in credits which they will quickly run out of and be in debt to Walmart. Indentured servants! This is the future of Walmart they want to be the only game in town.

      Walmart receives very little pressure from outside forces. But how many people in America make the choice between Walmart and Costco every day? Mostly they go to the place that is closer. But what if they knew that Walmart's employee's healthcare is publicly funded while Costco pays for their own. It might make a difference. Such a small shift could make the difference between a Walmart employee on welfare and getting paid a living wage.

      We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

      by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Expense & Economies of Scale (none)

      The thing to remember is that these places are more expensive, largely, because they have a smaller slice of the market than CostCo and SafeWay. If we can actually manage to get sizable percentages of voting, passionate Democrats to switch to them, they'll be able to lower their prices, and it'll be possible to get more Democrats to switch. We just need to get people committed to doing this.

      Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

      by RHunter on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:38:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My understanding is (none)
        ...that while Walmart is a regressive operation, Costco is actually rather progressive, at least with respect to labor issues.  If both sell stuff at a similar price and exist nationwide (I don't know, I've never been in either one), then economically-stressed folks do have a progressive choice.
    •  The Walmartization of Rural America (none)
      I live in a pretty rural area right now. I have to drive over an hour to do any real shopping and when I get there I don't have the money to do much in the way of progressive purchasing.  I would dearly love to boycot WalMart but I can't currently afford to do so.  About the best I can usually do is to shop at the union supermarket locally and never ever use the no clerk checkouts elsewhere.  I imagine that there are a lot of other Dems out there in similar situations.  

      The Walmartization of Rural America is a really terrible thing, and I don't know of much of a solution.  I have heard that there are serious efforts underway to unionize them, but I don't know how well that will work under another Bush reign.  But absent that, can anyone think of any real way that those of us in more rural areas can  do anything about Walmart?  

    •  Another problem: retaliation (n/t) (none)
    •  Oh well! (none)
      They can make the choice to do without and help, or live more easily.
    •  matter of degree (none)
      Each of us would participate to the degree we could. What's key is at least having the info, so can make informed choices whenever possible. Like they used to say "Knowledge is power."
      •  Right - Everyone does what they can (none)
        I see this as whole thing as long-term -  sort of "directed evolution" more than radical surgery.  The key is to keep the action broad and consistent.  Positive effects of success will open doors to greater participation in those WalMart-only areas.  

        Loyalty and responsibility toward the people and the fatherland are most deeply anchored in the Christian faith. - Adolf Hitler

        by FeastOr on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:01:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I nominate... (none)
    NBC, CNN, FOX, (and perhaps others) to be some of our early targets.   They have not proven themselves to be our friends.

    We need changes in how our media can be owned and used in this country.

    by california jim on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:09:35 PM PST

    •  Agreed (none)
      I already e-mailed NBC and MSNBC on my own this morning to say they were fired.

      But, damn, I'll miss the Donald and Vegas and West Wing!!!

      So, how do you support "good" cable (HBO Comedy Central) over "bad"? I don't have cable, but I was going to get it next year...

  •  By the way.... (none)
    This diary fits nicely with a similarly themed one....End Red State Welfare which is also on the recommended list if you haven't checked it out yet. Also browsed some other blogs, they're begining to talk about similar ideas too.


    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:15:57 PM PST

  •  I Need A Suggestion: (none)
    My firm uses Morgan Stanley for 401(k)-related services, and I have Morgan Stanley mutual funds.  I'm sick of seeing them either on a list of major Republican contributors, or Eliot Spitzer's roll of perennial fine-payors.  

    Any mutual fund or investment companies that DON'T give money to Republicans?

    (Also, I switched my insurance to Progressive a while back for this very reason).

    •  damn (none)
      I was just about to switch my insurance away from Progressive because they were on the Sinclair boycott list.

      We've got some work to do so we know who to boycott.

    •  Mutual Funds (none)
      The original founder of Vanguard Funds came out a few weeks ago and bashed the Bush economic policies.   I don't know about the current mutual fund managers.  You might want to check them out.
      My 401(k)funds are there - and when I dumped a fund holding Sinclair they were very nice about it.   They also noted in the file that the reason for the fund sale was because of SBGI.

      Proud member of the reality based community!

      by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:10:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  PaxWorld (none)
      Check out . They're anti-pollution and anti-defense, which basically amounts to being anti-Republican.
      •  I like PAX (none)
        And put my money where my mouth is.  They pick stocks the same way any other mutual fund does, but only AFTER the companies have passed through a screening process, which is described in detail.  How they treat their own employees is one of the tests.  Certain industries are off the list entirely, like defense.

        They have an index which lists all the companies that pass the screen, and then their various fund managers pick from that list.  If a company changes behavior it can get dropped from the index and the funds will dump any shares.

  •  I don't support the general boycott of red states (4.00)
    be honest that's silly, the difference in red staes and blue states in some cases is one 1% but I definetly do support not giving a fucking cent to a company that hurts our causes, I'd like to know which coorperations give money to Repubs, Dems ect....I joined Cosco and stopped shopping at Walmart this year and quit drinking any Coors products.

    this is your mission: TERMINATE the Bush presidency

    by nevadadem on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:18:26 PM PST

    •  I disagree.... (none)
      I do support the boycotting of red states. In my thread, I stated states and/or corporations could easily be removed from a database once they moderated their views. So if a state is only a red state by 1%, then they really don't have to moderate too much to get on our good side, now do they?

      Look, these people are voting against our best interest for too long now. We have tried the political method of fighting them and its not working. Lets go economic. A state like New Mexico wouldn't have to do much to get on our good side. But with a state like Idaho? Well lets just say we let them know they're so far out there its unlikely any blue state tourists will be skiing on their mountains for the rest of our lives. If we could even affect their business 10% or stop buying their potatoes or whatever, it would get noticed. If they want our money, stop forcing their extreme views on us. Maybe it will take them decades to get the message. I don't care. I won't go to Idaho if we do set up a website like this and establish it as a target.


      "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

      by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:24:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not a state (none)
        they can boycott ya right back.
      •  "These people"? Or "States"? (none)
        States can't "moderate their views"---you're talking as though the red/blue effect of the electoral college is like somebody with a phone number and a day job---so what is the real effect of a boycott of a state?

        Voters are what we're trying to change. How the hell do you boycott voters? Besides the illogic, the backlash from Southerners bristling over a Yankee boycott of them as a "state" would push every last one of them over to the Rethugs. Nobody crosses people down here as a whole without a fight.

        Get the corporate money.

        •  It works (none)
          Because boycotting a state effects the economy of that state. If they know its because people who used to visit there, or buy things there, are no longer doing so because of political policies and candidates they've forced upon those former customers/vacationers then at least they have a decision to make from there. Their pocketbook or their vote.


          "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

          by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:04:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But the assumption is . . . (none)
            awfully "trickle down"; as though hurting the merchant class through a boycott was some kind of direct pipeline to voters at large.

            I realize that conceptually I would get hurt in the large scheme of things if some manufacturer in my town was being boycotted, but seeing any actual cause/effect is nearly impossible--and certainly not enough for it to affect my voting pattern if I'm not directly affected.

            The whole thing is too punative because it isn't directly tied to my actions.

            Going corporate is the way to do this.

            •  its more (none)
              that the owner of the corporation will feel it instantly when he getsw his profit report. And he can get through to any lawmaker pretty damn quick. Instead of losing money, he'd rathewr just tell the lawmaker to not support XX.
            •  Going Corporate Isn't The Way (none)
              Or at least not in the way its being discussed here. I had the original idea on this and it was turned into this diary. But what is being proposed is so weak, it won't do anything. There are already lists of "bad" companies for liberals to avoid. Any effect we have on a few (perhaps getting them to change a few practices or donate less) isn't gonna change things in the grand scheme of us losing Presidential elections.

              My original idea was more targeted at red states. That is how dire this has become. Will we alienate them? Yes. Will they possibly fight back? Yes. Who cares. We are getting killed by them anyways and will continue to UNLESS we pick an economic fight with them. I think everyone is already losing site of the magnitude of what happened Tuesday. A couple boycotts of companies that don't give health insurance to workers isn't gonna change that. We already do that.

              I'm talking its time to do something major. I'm talking about economic secession in some ways from the red states. It seems to me, already people are to weak to take the fight to them if they are going to continue to screw us over with their politics. If us liberals are too weak for that, to pick an economic fight with them, then we'll just continue to lose. The red states will continue to rule us politically.


              "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

              by GDoyle on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:00:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Totally Agree! (none)
                I will no longer speak with anyone who voted for Bush, nor will I visit or send $$ to a red state.  We have the people, the power and the resources to create our own system.  

                Why do we continue to try to game theirs?

      •  NM tourist dollars (none)
        The only places worth visitng in NM are mostly in the heavily blue north part of the state, centering around Santa fe and Taos.  Carlsbad Caverns is in heavy red area (same locale as the WIPP project) so they are prime for boycotting. Those folks down there are all atwitter over plans for a nuke fuels re-processing plant to bring them jobs, so fuck em all.

        NM has always been blue, until just recently, and northern NM is as blue as it gets, and astoundingly beautiful as well.  We in the north need your help. Y'all come see us.  Santa Fe is the second most popular tourist destination in the country this year, and I'll buy any Kossian who comes here a drink or a bowl of green chile stew. Give me a holler.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:32:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on the state (none)
      A tourist boycott of Florida, for example, would do wonders to clear the fog from their minds down there.
    •  I agree (none)
      Boycotting a state because it's red is just plain stupid. I live in a red state that went for Bush by a small margin, but it's mostly controlled by Democrats.

      Boycotting red states is a really, really bad idea. You're punishing those of us who currently live in red states too. Rather then punishing those of us in red states, you should be rewarding us for our willingness to remain among idiots, while trying to change things. Just last night I was considering moving to a blue state and then I thought how much more effective it would be to remain where I am so I can fight the ignorance. And believe me, I'd much rather live in a blue state where I'm around more people like myself.

      State residence should have nothing to do with it.

      A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

      by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:43:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Diebold (none)
    makes bank equipment like vaults, drive-thrus and ATM's. You can see if your bank uses them and move your $$.
  •  hey thanks for reminding me (none)
    I meant to cancel Geico and switch to progressive but forgot.

    this is your mission: TERMINATE the Bush presidency

    by nevadadem on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:19:23 PM PST

  •  Wonderful (none)
    As a RedState Republican, I must say this is one of the best and most creative ideas I have heard from the left.  I have long been a believer in the power of the consumer.  I have a grand plan (that I never have time to implement) which would create a Consumer Reports for environmentalism/labor standards/gay rights.  It would allow individuals (instead of the government) to enact change.  To me that is the bedrock of conservatism, but to y'all it may be a liberal notion.  Whatever.  If you can make it happen, I for one will applaud and support you!
    •  great idea (none)
      Wow - that consumer reports type deal is a great idea - is there anything like this out there now?  And if not, I'm going environmentalism/journalism in my studies, I'd be glad to help out (maybe it could start as an online database?  I don't have any web experience, though.  Again, great thought.
    •  Bipartisan appeal? (none)
      I think you're an indication that a project like this could have broad mainstream support (which it would need to be really effective) if we avoid being overtly partisan.
      For instance:
      Maybe corporations could be rated separately on a range of different criteria (environment, labor, anti-trust, non-defense, etc.) and users could set personal preferences for which issues were important to them. That way we could get moderates on board for specific issues without making them feel like they were being forced to judge everything through a progressive prism.
    •  what, so as a Red State Republican (none)
      you can boycott any company that shows progressive values?   go for it.  we can take it.

      you know, one thing that I find is that the rural voters for Bush (as a group) refuse to take the time to get informed about jack.  They won't learn anything.   Don't know the issues, don't care.  A systematic, focused boycott system that works by consumer education really can only work for the Left, cause we are the people who take the time to find out.

      Targeted boycotts of single products or companies can work for the right, cause they can just announce it on Fox news, and their targets only have to remember one or two things.

      My business increased by 50% after I put my progressive values on the table and literally RAN OFF right wing fundies.  They were dreadful to deal with anyway and the left stepped up to the plate and more than made up the gap.

      by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:19:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You got me thinking about the threats made (none)
      to the newspapers endorsing John kerry in Texas and elsewhere. A report like you describe could counter these kinds of attacks. It seems to me that anyone on your list of Consumer Reports for environmentalism/labor standards/gay rights, would be on a list from the left. Keeping partisonship out of it is a no brainer.
  •  suggestion (none)
    There will always be someone 'purer' than whatever you list so my suggestion is to rank similar companies like so:

    local stores > Costco > Walmart

    the idea is that you give people a range of choices from best to worst. A really exclusive boycott or a really thorough set of criteria is hard to honor day in, day out. I think you'll get better uptake if you provide a range of choices from best to worst

  •  I agree this could be powerful (none)
    and I'd go as far as canceling subscriptions to conservative Newspapers, sure they can say what they want but I don't have to pay for it, that said be careful with the blue state, red state stuff and stick to company's or towns/states that have done something particularly outragous.

    this is your mission: TERMINATE the Bush presidency

    by nevadadem on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:25:11 PM PST

  •  Consultant (none)
    You know who I think would be good on this? That David Brock guy who seemed to get that Media Matters website up and running and an effective force very quickly. He got Luntz thrown off MSNBC just a few months after he got the website up and running.


    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:28:31 PM PST

  •  start with and add rating system (none)
    I'd suggest a rating system that liberal consumers can check before making a purchase.  Think of a directory like the business directory of, so that when you enter "dell", it brings up the major computer manufacturers and their ratings (many people don't know that Michael Dell of Dell Computers ia a major Texas republican donor!)

    Having a central clearinghouse of this sort of information would be fabulous!

  •  I think this is a great idea. (none)
    It would need to be quite sophisticated.
    There are numerous criteria by which a company can be judged, and visitors to the site should be able to make their decisions to purchase or shun a company based on their own criteria.

    Example:  Apple Computer.  Steve Jobs is a long time, big time Dem donor.  But they don't manufacture in the USA, it's all done by Asian contractors.

    Example:  Starbucks.  The CEO of this company has actually fielded angry complaints from other CEO's about Starbucks' policy of offering insurance benefits to part-timers.  But they employ prison labor to do packing & shipping without benefit of minimum wage or OSHA regs, while law-abiding citizens go unemployed.

    Bush is a messianic, megamaniacal, imperialistic, sociopathic, borderline retarded facist. But there's also a down side.

    by jazzmaniac on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:32:17 PM PST

    •  locality is the key (none)

      In almost all cases, the local comapany is the right choice, but as we all know, it's easiest to go over to Borders Books rather than find the independent bookstore.  Making it easy to find the progressive local alternatives would be a great resource!

      As far as big companies, well, most of the hariest companies to rate can be avoided by just calling them multinationals and recommending they be avoided.  Having overseas contractors shouldn't be a problem if those contractors are being paid a fair wage.

      Seems like there should be 3-4 categories, like "management donations", "community rating", "environmental rating", etc., that are summed for a composite rating.

    •  I like the (none)
      idea of a sophisticated rating system. Like a company could see exactly why we weren't supporting them... I think we should look at it, not like we're against them, but like we're nutuing them. So if you owned Ford, you could see that if you just upped your MPG 3 miles per gallon, you'd be on the good list... that sort of thing
      •  That is exactly the idea (none)
        Corporations will never act morally for the sake of acting morally.  Their allegiance is to the stockholders, not the laws. Here's a great quote from Thom Yorke:

        If there is a Devil at work then he rests in institutions and not in individuals. Because the beauty of institutions is that any individual can abdicate responsibility. The assumption that we're all utterly powerless, that's the Devil at work."

        We have to make doing good a financial imperative that affects the bottom line. This has always been the missing piece in the marketplace with regard to corporations. Now we have the power of organization through the internet. We need to use it.

        We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

        by Karma Mechanic on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:42:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Profit requires Loss (none)
      ANY corporation in the US is going to have good and bad; therein lies the difficulty.  Having information categorized can aid people in their decision.  Apple gets a green dot for Dem Donor and a green dot for using US labor for design, and a red dot for Asian contractors.  For some of us, we'll have to split the difference and accept the globalization of most products we purchase, while discerning the political oppression of their profits.

      This is a brilliant idea and I was just saying to my friend that I wanted to learn web building for social change- count me in!

    •  I think it should be both sophisticated AND Simple (none)
      We could have a sophisticated database for diehards, but then one major list on Kos for the rest. We highlight ONE COMPANY a week or month, and then make the list culmulative until by 2008 we have majorly crippled Bush friendly companies!!!
  •  Hit 'em where it hurts! Right in the wallet! (none)
    I'm with you on this and I have a lot of people in my mailing list to send it to.  Let's start on this.

    A section in the Kosopedia maybe?

  •  Yes, let's Sinclair their a$$es (none)
    Corporations are where this corporatist/fascist government is vulnerable.  I also diaried this, but it was off the list in 2 minutes - back when we were in the "anger" stage...

    America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

    by bribri on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:36:05 PM PST

  •  Don't forget Sinclair (none)
    If you recall, we could barely get people to agree not to advertise in the commercial-free show, while the righties lifted a little finger and suddenly major corporations pulled all ads from "desperate housewives."  We're still lightweights here.

    We should vote with our dollars as much as we can.  We could also avoid buying goods that are produced in red states, which would of course lead to those people losing their jobs but hey they voted Republican so who cares.  [I can't decide whether that last statement is serious or sarcasm.]  But on a serious note, we should not forget sinclair.  We need to find out what stations aired Stolen honor last weekend - I don't care if newsmax "purchased" the time (they probably bought it on the cheap) and challenge their licenses.  Make Sinclair spend a few mill on lawyering.  Make it known to the media that they can't anger the progressives in this country without paying a price.


  •  And APPROPRIATE their greed (none)
    After all, what are patents preventing generic drug production but "intellectual property regulation"?  That's anti-free market!

    What are copyrights?  "intellectual property regulation"  we'll never get good software unless we remove this brake on competition and market forces.

    Why would regulating intellectual property be more important than regulating the food supply or drinking water?

    America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

    by bribri on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:39:11 PM PST

  •  Question.... (none) do we keep the Republicans from specifically supporting the companies we have on our s**tlist? Or is there a reason not to worry about this?

    "That transmitter on his back is SO full of crap" - Randi Rhodes

    by Doug in SF on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:40:52 PM PST

    •  Language (4.00)
      The reason for the boycot shouldn't be because they are Republican, but because they are doing something particularly bad for the United States of America.  We can all nod and wink, but really, even with Sinclair it was about stopping deliberate propogandizing as much as it was about stopping an Anti-Kerry show from airing. Wink. Nod.
      •  Used this in a LTE today (none)
        "The current administration has violated the fiscal values of the conservative Republican Party and we are appalled."   Accruate and truthful statement.  Sounds like an outraged Republican instead of outraged Democrat.

        Proud member of the reality based community!

        by SallyCat on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:17:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  don't get excessive yet (none)
    hit only real bastards like Sinclair right now.
    Otherwise, we have no credibility.
    •  Right. I totally agree. (none)
      This needs real focus.

      Start with CNN, Fox, Walmart!

      One at a time -- otherwise THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN. There can also be a database, but those exist already.

      What WILL WORK is a list on Kos' front page, and focused letter writing campaigns every week until the next election!

      Someone make a diary urging Kos to do this.

  •  Mapping corporate - government connections (none)
    If you don't know the work of the artist Mark Lombardi, take a look at this website:

    " These are the subjects of Mark Lombardi's art -- the hidden global realities of money and power. His artwork, literally as well as figuratively, connects the dots of international high-level white-collar crime networks...
          Lombardi's drawings are mandalas of conspiracy, flow charts of shady deals and shaky agents, and org charts of world-class con men, revealing the genealogy of wickedness in the highest places of corporate and government power...
         Lombardi's web-like drawings show the decentralized nature of the networks of crime and flows of global capital. The key is a multitude of front companies, which add layers of complexity to the conspiracies themselves. "

    Why not follow his lead and build a dkosopedia of the connections between politicians and corporations.

    (Pardon my quotation marks.  I promise to learn how to make the gray box next time I post!)

    •  Wow... (none)
      I cannot thank you enough for this link and snippet.

      A quick Google search and I am beyond words about this man's work and curious demise which strike me as shockingly tragic to the national dialog.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:58:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Completely with you on the economic boycott idea (none)
    But I think that a priority should be placed on boycotting all companies that sponser rightwing slanted news shows (which ultimately maybe all of them with possible PBS and CBS being the lesser of the evils). Any news show that does not voluntarily reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine as its Gold Standard should have its sponsers boycotted.


  •  Production Value (none)
    It is critical that such an enterprise have tremendous production value. If you want to get people away from the tube, you need to look as good as Fox News. The Fox audience is these crazy evangelical Christians who reelected the shrub, but it is mostly people who just tune in to whatever looks the best and gives them some comfort that they are thinking the right way. It needs to be seductive and glamorous to be a part of.

    Think about it. In the 60's, when we really needed a course correction it was Janis Joplin and Jane Fonda (Barbarella) who put a face on the beast and gave hope to the movement, amoung other things. Other things, like music! In the last hours of the election the musicians showed up. I wish they had found their voice earlier, but now that they are hear let them keep playing. We have a lot to sing about. 100,000 thousand innocent civilians dead. A trillion more in debt.

    You know what? If Kerry had won, he would be inheriting this absolute complete mess. Reality bites, and this dog is looking pretty mean.

  •  Focus it (none)

    Great idea but why not start by all atacking one specific company first (like Sinclair)?

    We could post their sales figures like bats that have to be taken down instead.

    •  One Company at a Time (4.00)
      Is probably a really good idea.  Like a "Company of the Week" hitlist.  See how much damage we can do in a week.  After a few successes, companies are going to dred showing up on the hit list.
  •  put it on a site with -slug- appeal (none)
    entertaining - but informative - like fox.
  •  Council of Economic Priorities (none)
    Working Assets
    (hope I am not redundant)
  •  The states idea (none)
    I admit its radical, boycotting red states. Say, at least not vacationing there. Perhaps not buying from companies there. Its designed to cause some economic harm to the state and its people. Obviously, that would include some Dems and all fellow Americans. I understand that.

    But what we saw yesterday calls for drastic measures. Would there be backlash? Absolutely. Perhaps even countermeasures vs. our states from conservatives, who knows. But what else can we do? Simply boycotting corporations who donate to the GOP isn't gonna change much.

    We have to go after VOTING. We have to say "Look Idaho, I am sorry, if you're gonna force me to live under radical jackass politicians, I am not supporting your state. Sorry. Its extreme, but what you are doing to me I view as extreme too. So I will not visit you. I will not ski on your mountains. I will not buy your potatoes. Sorry, see ya. Moderate your views and we'll talk."

    Same for Florida. Can you imagine if we could convince all DKos and other liberal bloggers to stop going to Disney? Stop buying their oranges? If we could spread it to other activists as well (DKos has million upon millions of hits per month)? If it even spread to some mainstream Democrats who don't blog? If we could put a dent in Florida's economy? Would they give us what we want, moderate voting? Who knows.

    I guess that is asking whether boycotts even work? That is unknowable and we'd have to think long and hard about how dire this situation exactly is before implementing it. I know this is extreme, but some people are talking about secession. This is short of that. Fuck 'em, cut the economic spiggot to all those states I say. They have been screwing us politically for decades, you can't deny that. Now its on to economic warfare.


    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:00:29 PM PST

    •  Agreed! Absolutely... (none)
      No more holidays in North Dakota for me. I'm not going fishing in Louisiana either. Hiking trips in the Smokey Mountains are over. Spring Break fogeddaboddit!
    •  Boycott (none)
      If we are really serious about these issues, I have an idea the Democrats are allergic to but we may have reached a stage where REAL change is the only means of survival.
      These ideas have been well thought out and organised in an effective manner by Mr. Nader at and that would save all the organising effort required.
      Isn't it high time that instead of being dyed Blue, we all get dyed in the colours of the Flag?
      •  what? (none)
        If you're point is to ask us to vote Nader, I think allergic is a gross understatement here at DailyKos.  More like righteous anger and contempt.

        If you think the Nader campaign has done something well (that doesn't involve cheating, being a hypocrite and accepting money from Republicans), please say more about it here.  I'd rather not go and rummage thru the site to figure out what you're talking about.

    •  Also, (none)
      Let's not let them come to our vacation spots and feel very comfortable. "Oh, so you are from one of those red states, we have a great room for you in the back by the kitchen..." This won't be very nice to those poor Democratic soldiers from Texas who somehow live in that environment, but once they realize how and why they are being treated that way, they'd say something like, "Hey, don't blame me, I had a big Kerry sign out front until it got ripped to pieces and my cat disappeared. These folks are nuts!" Then, move 'em to a nice front corner room and talk with them over dinner. Pretty soon the Christians will be lying their way to the front room, but they'll have to pretend that they are "reality-based". When we get the crazy Christians to start pretending that they are reality based so that they can vacation in any of the blue states, we will be turning the tide.
      •  no, the idea is to stay solvent (none)
        You serve them with a smile.

        Before the elcetion I talked to a delegate for the Repub election and she loved her visit to NYC she was ecstatic!  She also loved how nice they were to her.  I don't think we should treat them bad, how is that going to ever convert them?

    •  Certain things we need from Red States (none)
      Most of the food in the USA is grown in the Red states.  Most of the domestic petroleum comes from Red states.  (Up here in chilly New England we pay attention to that.)
    •  Don't let The Electoral Collage cloud your mind (none)
      Remember what Senator Obama has to say on this subject. This isn't about states. Sure, I'm mad as hell at Florida, but I don't blame the 49% who didn't vote chimpy into office, and I don't want to punish them either. In some of these states all we need to do is to bring a few thousand people to our way of thinking and that won't happen if our messages is: "California says to New Mexico: Go F- Yourself"

      As the world globalizes, Nations and States are becoming less and less the principal actors in the world. It's corporations and networks that are the key players and we shouldn't discriminate or define anyone based on geography.

      Also, where am I going to buy fireworks?  

  •  dKospedia (none)
    This needs to be a dKospedia function.

    It should be organized several ways:

    By category (financial services, food, airlines, etc.)

    By Region, State, Metropolitan, etc.

    Whenever and wherever possible provide viable alternatives that are either neutral (or better for progressives)


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:01:27 PM PST

    •  NO! (none)
      This will not easily reach the masses if it's a Wiki thing embedded in the DKosopedia.

      that would be a great tool for us but not easy for the masses.

      We need a one-click easily searchable database of products and companies, rated from best to worst, along with featured targeted single product boycotts and letter writing campaigns.

      by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:22:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  While we are being constructive.. (none)
    ...let me point out one of the big problems with this idea.

    Democrats and Progressives do not like to be organized. They don't like someone else telling them what to do. So, you can start out with very good intentions, and before you are done you've got 13 rival groups/websites each competing for the same confused slice of the pie.

    Why not get everyone to focus on one central objective organization. It could be Air America or something like that, but then everyone MoveOn, ACT, Ben, Soros could monitarily get behind the same public media enterprise. I bet it would be a good investment!

    •  It doesn't need to be so big (none)
      I agree with you about the problem of Democrats and Progressives getting together. It's very important that we do it once, together, and do it the right way, the first time.

      However, it doesn't need to be created, financed, or managed by a big organization or person. This is a simple project and should be left to a community, rather than a small group of people who might later choose to take it in their own direction (i.e. What would stop an individual from getting paid off by corporate lobbyists?)

      A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

      by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:53:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  War Profiteers (4.00)
    A starting point could be companies profiteering from the war. CorpWatch is a web site worth checking out. :
  •  7 companies? (none)
    Is it about 7 companies that control most of the market for just about everything? This is a good idea, but I think we might just be up against too great of a monopoly.

    Poster: Listen to your tone. Do you sound as rabid as the extreme-right wingers? Communicate calmly and rationally. Don't scare off the moderates!

    by Decih on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:08:55 PM PST

  •  Great ideas here (3.50)
    and just in time for CHRISTMAS.

    Why not a list of things that people buy, and the "best" companies to buy them from, with links?

    CD's, toys, clothing (Lands End, for one), food, candles, soaps, books, any and everything you could want for xmas shopping, including decorations.

    There could be a site where you could click right to the vendor who is "progressive."

    Along with that, a way for people to know which items on their grocery list are from the companies we support (taking a point from someone above).

    I am willing to help set this up if someone gets the ball rolling.  No talk, action only.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:13:41 PM PST

    •  This list should be FOCUSED! (none)
      Kos should put a boycott list on his front page!

      Highlight one company a week, make it culmulative! Change takes time. Diehards can do the research and boycott all at once, but everyone else needs something clear and simple!

      Not being simple is one reason we didn't win this thing!

      Keep it simple!

      Kos! Have a vote on who to boycott FIRST!!!!!

      Poll us!!

  •  stick with boycotting companies (none)
    Boycotting states is a bad idea.  There are a lot of blue people in red states - Kerry won around a third in even the most staunchly red states.  All you're going to do is alienate people from those states and make it less likely that they can be won over - you'll be a talking point on Rush Limbaugh and that's about it.

    And 30 or so states is just to big a target to take on anyway.  Companies like General Mills will be enough of a challenge.

    •  How about rewarding states then? (none)
      Let me be the first to invite everybody to visit Chicago!
      Seriously, if you've never visited this utterly magnificent city you don't know what you're missing.

      But you might want to wait until Spring.

      Bush is a messianic, megamaniacal, imperialistic, sociopathic, borderline retarded facist. But there's also a down side.

      by jazzmaniac on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:24:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait until Spring? (none)

        If you come during the winter, you can participate in a Chicago civic tradition that will turn 25 this year:  the winter storm.  Ever since the Blizzard of '79 threw Michael Bilandic out of office, Administrations live or die by their response to the snow.  Indeed, the details and traditions are now as finely regulated as any Shinto celebration in Japan.  

        The celebration starts like Ramadan, when a crescent is observed at sunset -- well, it's really the comma shape of a low-pressure system over the southern Rockies or Alberta on the evening news.  As the storm proceeds toward the city, the city administration opens the ceremonies with a press conference, assuring us that a million tons of salt and thousands of plows are waiting for the first flake to fall.  There's always a picture of plows rolling in formation.  People rush to the store for milk, bread and cat food.  

        Unfortunately the aftermath is not as exciting as the buildup and a good deal messier.  

    •  California is a great place to visit! (none)
      Lots to do in California. Nice beaches, amusement parks, Hollywood, boating in big reservoirs.

      Very friendly to people from blue states and to people from red states who sign a loyalty oath that they didn't vote for Bush.

  •  One thing (none)
    I thought of also.... was for everyone to turn off their cable subscriptions. Its all the same rehashed chatter for hours on end, and it just fills you with all sorts of emotions you just have to process... turn it off. If you are a news junkie like I am, get it from the net. Its quiet, you can go where you want to. It would be a way to show displeasure if everyone did it at once, and with an advanced date, so everyone can put their turn off orders in for that date. Save yourself $70/month or whatever it is, and try it. You may find you can live without it, and smile knowing you are denying a media giant not only your money, but your ear for their ads.
  •  Oh (none)
    And somehow we have to figure out how to get this pinned permanently to discuss the idea and flesh it out.  Talking about it in a diary is fine for now, but these things eventually scroll out of public view.

    KOS can you help us out with that by chance?

  •  Boycott Spring Break (none)
    To all those young people out there who didn't vote and are feeling a little guilty:

    Boycott Spring Break In Florida

    Lot's of other nice places to go and spend your money. Pick a nice warm blue state for spring break, or go to Mexico.

  •  One final thought for now (none)
    I think that we should also collaborate with other large organizations such as if they are interested in buying in to the idea.  It should definitely start with Kossacks, but we need this to spread like wildfire once we get a concept defined.

    We proved we could drop a stock price like a rock with Sinclair, I think we can drop the market like a rock if corporations don't bend to our collective will.

  •  Plus, (none)
    its not a boycott. We are Nurturing Corporations. We'll have a sophisticated list of why we don't, at this moment, buy their goods, and what they can do to change. We're hear to help them. We are Pro-business... why do the redstates hate business??????
  •  Start with COORS Brewing (none)
    drink your local brew and avoid any COORS owned products.

    Start supporting your local mom and pop stores even if the silverware costs 10 bucks more than wal-mart.

    Start buying all your produce from farmers markets and if possible grow your own vegetables during the summer.  

    We have to wean ourselves off of consumerism and materialism.

    I posted some ideas in an earlier thread.  But the point is we have to hurt the thugs where it their wallets.  Also this will be a common theme from me...stop donating to churches, stop perpetuating the religious establishment that is tax exempt and unregulated and only promotes its interests and not the public's interest.

    You don't need to tighten your belts or lose your faith but just try and buy only what you need and when you do make a purchase buy from the store that supports the local economy and not the Walton family political trust fund.

  •  Oh (none)
    Im getting ahead of myself now, but if there was a way to download the list to your palm pilot or cellphone... or even better, if we sold a 25 dollar keychain that had data(that could be updated) that you could swipe on the barcode... it could tell you if we're boycotting that product or not. Best thing about that, is retailers would see that a flip out... They'd be on the phone to the manufacture in a second.. and thats REAL bargaining power.
    •  ok (none)
      im actually going to do this... nobody steal my idea... I wonder if a barcode scanner on a keychain is possible? We'd have to do it so that it would be free, but we could raise money from  non profits maybe? Or maybe people would buy them.
      •  They sell barcode readers. . . (none)
        . . . the size of pens.  I used to have one for checking the barcodes we printed on the products at my last job (making sure they would be legible with a low-res scanner). It had a small LCD screen along the barrel that would display the UPC. So, the tech is available. . .

        When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

        by Robespierrette on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:42:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  awsome. it could have that (none)
          and a usb port, and it just downloads updated infor for the sight. More importantly, it'll be bright blue... so when retailers see their customers using it, we then co-opt the power of that retailer too.
    •  Let's start with a Weekly Boycott (4.00)
      on Kos' front page! I say make it culmulative. This week: Walmart. Next week: CNN, Walmart. Or something to that effect. We can vote every week on what company we want to boycott next.

      Then we can get more complex once we got our machine running!

      Keep it simple folks.

  •  Fantastic Been thinking about this all day (none)
    All day long, I have had the idea of punishing companies that supported Bush by targteting those were execs and/or employees gave to Bush in large amounts or in anyway had anything to do with helping Bush win.

    Let's do it.

  •  Half Right (none)
    Do NOT punish companies because they're in red states.  That is as bad as the hillbillies boycotting Heinz ketchup and buying W ketchup.  It does not get to the heart of the problem and people that agree with you may get caught in the crossfire.

    This should purely be on ideals of the company.  Plain and simple.  

    A company like Ben & Jerry's used to be - good
    Fox News sponsors - bad

    We can make a difference doing this, but let's make sure good people aren't getting caught in the crossfire.  At least if we protest Fox sponsors (as an example) the company can correct the situation by not buying spots on the station anymore.  But if we boycott a company because they're in Georgia, what change can they make?

    Yes, we're all angry, but let's not be unreasonable to the point where nothing is solved.  Some of us seem to be wanting to strike anything "red" right now.  We've got to focus on what we can do right, right now.  We've got a fully-functioning left right now, let's not squander it by lashing out blindly.

    "Serving" Neocons since 1979

    by Johnny Nobody on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:48:04 PM PST

    •  for (none)
      it to be effective. People need to get caught in the crossfire. Thats sad, yes, but true. Redstaters will lose their jobs. All the more reason for them to vote in their best interest next time.
      •  But what if they did? (none)
        As has been pointed out, even the reddest states are really a red-purple, with 1/3 of the voters not really red.  Why randomly shoot at everyone, when it's just as easy to be focused and have a greater result?

        Discriminating solely based on color is not cool.  ;)

      •  If you boycott the bad companies in red states (none)
        then those same people will lose their jobs anyway. But the boycott red states idea is really stupid and likely to cause a backlash from people who would otherwise support the project. This reminds me of southerners who still defend the South in the civil war.

        Now, if you would prefer to spend your vacation money in a blue state, then I think that's great and acceptable. It's just the boycotting businesses in red states that's stupid.

        A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

        by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:00:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  reading these diaries is making me hopeful (none)
    I'm so glad that the recrimination period appears to be short lived.  Kossacks are already working on BETTER SOLUTIONS!  Let's regroup, find our advantage, and go out swinging.
  •  I'd also recommend (none)
    ... that all of us with the ability to do so, spread this idea to your friends, co-workers or on your blogs if you have them.  Once we get it organized it'll already be in the consciousness of everyone's mind.

    I'm officially deeming this Buying America Blue because I LOVE that name and have pimped it out on my blog.  I'd encourage everyone to do the same.

    Karma Mechanic is a damn genius for coming up with this idea.

  •  The big and first boycott (none)


    Diebold makes ATM machines.  Inform your bank and Diebold that we will refuse to use their ATMs until they provide a paper trail for every voting machine.

    American Express traveller's checks are accepted at banks around the world (at least until the dollar starts plummeting).  Even fast food places accept credit cards.  

    •  I like the (none)
      idea that we say "you need to do this" (diebold needs to provide paper trail before we use atm) I think the key is to give the company an option... and once they change, we reward them. It has to show up on their bottom line profit.
      •  Option and reward (none)
        Yes--This is exactly how you are supposed to teach a child to make wise decisions.  Corporations are supposed to be wise citizens.  We treat them the same way.  I was talking to a corporate ethicist (yes, oxymoron) and he said that profits for shareholders was the first priority and good citizenship is second.  So we have to hit them on the first to make them adhere to the second.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."   --  Margaret Mead

        by gloever on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:00:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Better yet (none)
      use banks that don't use Diebold equipment. Are there any?

      A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

      by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:01:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It Is Difficult But Refuse to Withdraw Money (none)
      from Debold ATMs. Find out where the competitor ATMs are and plan your withdrawals accordingly.  You could also create stickers that we put on the ATMs recommending customers to do the same.
  •  That's right! (none)
    We need to stop paying them for taking away our right!

    As Dean would say: YEEEEAAARRGGGHHHH!!

  •  Here's another angle (4.00)
    Plan long term. What results do you really want from a boycott? Simple economic revenge? Why not try to make it inclusive of voter appeal?

    I noticed no one has suggested a way to frame this approach, with an end to appealing to more voters in the next cycle. Since we know what many voters professed were their concerns, we could tie that in to a boycott approach.

    Form something like a "Real Christian Values" type group that would examine the "Sleaze Factor" of targeted companies (maybe on a scale as suggested above) using our "social concerns" - centered on RW supporters - and we could POINT OUT the HYPOCRISY of these companies in their own RW terminology, rather than simply labelling them by the Progressive terms we've always applied, which the RW has spent considerable effort "disgracing".

    Give it back to voters in their own language as a reason to boycott, make them uncomfortable for supporting the "bad guys", give them a reason to work WITH us, and an argument why, that they can't refute without knocking their own moral positions.

    Example: WalMart. Why would we boycott a nice, profitable "All-American" company? Here's an angle to exploit and a way to explain it they can't refute:
    Average employee has no health insurance, so she DEPENDS ON STATE HEALTH CARE programs: "States Are Battling Against Wal-Mart Over Health Care"
    Overhead saved by Wal Mart, and paid by taxpayers? $10 million/yr in Georgia, $32 million in California! Nice way to make bigger profits, by unloading their costs onto taxpayers!

    NY Times, 11/1/04:
    A survey by Georgia officials found that more than 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees were in the state's health program for children at an annual cost of nearly $10 million to taxpayers. A North Carolina hospital found that 31 percent of 1,900 patients who described themselves as Wal-Mart employees were on Medicaid, while an additional 16 percent had no insurance at all.

    And backers of a measure that will be on California's ballot tomorrow, which would force big employers like Wal-Mart to either provide affordable health insurance to their workers or pay into a state insurance pool, say Wal-Mart employees without company insurance are costing California's state health care programs an estimated $32 million a year.

     (BTW: Costco DOES provide health care, despite what it costs them: a 2.7% pre-tax margin vs 5.5% for Wal Mart.)

    Use framing properly; we can make more voters see why they should "join" us in the boycott, you get control over the language again, they are more receptive to us in the next discourse, and we still get to hurt RW backers - only maybe even more....

    Theory is when we know everything and nothing works. Practice is when everything works and nobody knows why. (Einstein)

    by CodeTalker on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:26:19 PM PST

  •  To be really effective: (none)
    This needs to be simple and focused.

    How about every week we add a new company/conglomarate to boycott based on their environmental and political policies and behaviors. Then we end up with an every increasing boycott list. But one person should be in charge of it. I nominate Dean or Kos.

    •  How about a Rapid Response Group (none)
      to go along with the website. You'd have a group to maintain the site and a list owner for the group. I like the idea of it being a progressive organization rather than red vs. blue.
  •  Exactly how it worked out in the US Civil War (4.00)
    And, look at the map. Things don't change that much. These Red States don't have that much economic power, but they do have a lot of bluster, and some pretty evil ideas about how to treat their fellow human being. It is time to stop being pushed around by the Red States.
  •  Think local (none)
    i like this with rating companies

    but with regards to the election, remember that there is another election in just 1 year!  

    It will be for seemingly unimportant positions but we need to start putting progressive people in at the ground levels.  We need to fight every year!  Hell I might even run for one of these positions.  Michael Moore ran for some local office when he was 18 and won.

    •  I see this as... (none)
      ... marginal short term benefits (unless we can get organized quickly), but huge long term benefits.  If this catches on and gains momentum then it will be huge.

      Oh, and I'm still pushing for BUYING AMERICA BLUE, that name rocks :D

  •  I just diaried this, but I want to put it here too (none)
    The BUYING AMERICA BLUE idea is a fabulous one. But I feel like we are making it too complicated. Here is my take on what would be the most simple and effective.

    We use this Kos site because we are all already united here.

    On the Front Page here we have a Boycott List.

    We start with one company, and every week we add a company to the list!

    The Company of the week also gets a letter writing campaign shoved down their throat explaining why they are being punished, and how they can get taken off the BLACK LIST! (or RED LIST).

    I say one company a week so that we can be FOCUSED. If we don't keep this simple IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Evil corporate lists already exist all over the place. A concentrated weekly boycott effect for all Democrats and Progressives does not!
    This is our chance to have that! Let's do it!


    •  Email sign up (none)
      WE need to have a list to get an email each week with the info and sample letters, etc. This will be forwarded virally way beyond even our substantial numbers here.
      •  I'm just concerned many people will try to do this (none)
        and the effort won't be coordinated. If it's not coordinated, it won't work.

        Also, the great thing about this site is that Kos can poll us each week to decide who we boycott next.

        I agree we should also email everyone -- but we need a central base of command, and a decision making process that we can unite behind.

        •  That's a good idea (none)
          But we still need an offsite site. The reason is because it could be more elaborate in detail on why we're boycotting and it would be viewed as a seperate entity from dkos by others. We could do both together, but I think if this is going to suceed on a wide level, then we need to have a seperate site.

          A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

          by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:04:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          • (none)
            Too radical?
            •  yes (none)
              we aren't trying to tank the economy!

              that would be foolish.  we are trying to separate out and punish polluters, abusers, and Bush supporters, and support with those SAME dollars good companies.  The net result to the economy could be zero.

              although I also strongly support avoiding paying state tax to red states, and cutting down on your federal tax by donating that money instead to progressive causes.  If the feds won't support Planned Parenthood with your tax dollars, well, DUH, donate to them yourself, and save a pile in federal income tax.


              by kate mckinnon on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:28:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  In that vein, boycott MBNA (none)
    I've published a diary entry on the boycott of MBNA, with a short guide on why & how.
  •  What about setting up an associated index fund? (none)
    I don't know what's involved in creating a mutual fund or index fund, but it could be a great way to help out" good" companies with investment dollars as well as consumer dollars. And it could be a way to influence companies that don't directly offer retail products.
  •  I'll help!!! (none)
    I've ran a few websites myself and could be of some help if needed. Email me by clicking on my nickname.

    A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

    by rogun on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:08:21 AM PST

  •  This is Awesome! (none)
    I here by nominate Wal Mart as the first company we should bring down.  This organization fits every stereotype of a blood sucking, poluting and pro-rethug company.

    Let our money do our talking and walking for us for the next four years.  I know we can do this!

    The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. -Plato

    by FreeAtLast on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:14:26 AM PST

  •  Seceshes (none)
    Secession is obviously not a serious idea in this day and age, but let's face it:  Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey all chose blue this election.  As did Pennsylvania.  I think when we get detailed returns in from places like New York, which has a diverse upstate with many strongly blue/purple regions in addition to red (see the map on my blog), we'll see that the purple regions got a little bluer.

    I live in a purple area of a blue state, and so I'm sensitive to the needs of red state Democrats.  I also am used to hearing from moderate Republicans.  Perhaps it would be a good project to fully map the regions of various red states to see where the "colonies" are.

  •  Project "Tank the Economy" (none)
    I mentioned this in another diary.  My plan
    1. No spending unless necessary. Sorry kids, we're scaling back Christmas this year.
    2. Use it up, wear it out - just like WWII.  Hey, we're in a war here aren't we?
    3. Identify corporations that support conservative causes and contribute heavily to Republicans and boycott their products.

    Any other suggestions?
  •  Great Idea! (none)
    So you would organize brief boycotts of a day or a week to show these companies what they are facing?
  •  We need to pick ONE company only (none)
    If we choose a hundred companies to boycott, there will be no noticeable effect. We need to pick one. Let's vote what company that should be. Make the boycott huge. Once we established a reputation of doing this successfully, all we need to do is pressure others with fear that they might become the next target.
    •  My recommendation (none)
      I think selecting a single company is a good idea and I recommend a large credit card company such as Citigroup.  There are plenty of smaller companies to which accounts can be transferred.  The large company would feel the pain more quickly than a manufacturer since its profits would more immediately decline.
    •  Yes Yes Yes Yes (none)
      Can we have a brainstorming, a debate and then choose one and only one?

      We can hurt them bad, and take them down one at a time.

      I suggest Exxon. Because I'd like to take down a petroleum company, and because they're really bad, even for one of them. They have nasty anti-gay employment practices, they're still fighting to get out of paying for Prince William Sound, and they're in cahoots with precisely the sort of propped up dictators that Al Queda hates us for supporting.

      I'll pledge to support the boycott no matter which company we decide on.

  •  Let's include media ban too (none)
    This is a great idea. I know dozens and dozens of people--including myself--who would boycott. Let's give economic sanctions to this administration.

    Let's also include a media ban, including any newspaper or network that we think is being either controlled by the GOP or or too starry-eyed about power and celebrity to report real news. I used to be part of the media, and watching it die was really hard. Those of us who believed in balanced reporting and the attempt to be "watchdogs" of society were left holding the bag.

    Until we boycott the big corps., they are going to maintain control. The media = control. Without the media swaying rural voters in OH with perception and archetpypal spin, Kerry might have won.

  •  Sign me up! (none)
     This is a fantastic idea! I agree that we need to target ONE company at a time to be the most effective. I alos like the idea of doing the same thing with ONE political issue at a time ex.(social security,overtime ect.) find out which state reps. plan on voting "for" or "against" and have all Dems in that state band together to make the difference.
     I would also like to say that I too believe that we need to really SUPPORT all those who have been with us lets buy all our friends stuff like Bon Jovi,Cher,Bette,and best last the BOSS CD's for Christmas! Let them all know how we love and support them! They must NOT lose by their choice to help us!
     Sorry so long!
  •  My Idea - Seal of Approval (none)
    This may have already been said but I don't have time to read through 300 posts.  

    This is a great idea.  We should also introduce a seal that could go on products that would highlight it as being approved.  Similar to the real seal for dairy.

    The seal could also include different versions that also give credit for the product being made in the USA and made by union laborers.

  •  Buying Blue (none)
    I think if we just make sure the word gets out, a buying blue campaign, for example, until something more formal gets up and running should be good.  We can draft an email today and send it around the country by tomorrow.

    One company that is in all red states is Walmart.
    For one thing, you never see a news magazine there, no Time, no Newsweek, (maybe in Blue states)  so the information people get is totally slanted as well.  We should compile a list of complaints about walmart, and, and offer alternatives  ( if near you, Target and COSTCO are good choices).  

    Walmart is the largest retailer in the country.  focus on them this week, so we have the time and energy to compile the data.  Otherwise we are all over the place, and disorganization sets in.

    The also gave a lot of money to the Republican Party, like to dig up burial grounds, cause massive sprawl, and have horrible labor conditions.  So I say-walmart gets it.

    In the meantime, we can just call it the buying America Blue Campaign, and get used to it a little at a time.

    Let all you friends know to check out the companies they buy from, invest in, and support, from where they vacation, and so on.

    Open has a lot of info too.

    •  Walmart (none)
      Three years ago I moved to a town of about 10,000 in Arkansas and the only major retailer is Wal-mart.  I have been boycotting them for years but I was wondering if I could do that in the middle of nowhere.  It has been easier than I thought.  All it takes is a little bit of forethought.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."   --  Margaret Mead

      by gloever on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:19:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right (none)
        Local retailers benefit when you boycott walmart.

        There was an article in the local paper about buying from the local people, and supporting them, so many are going out of business.

        In any case boycotting Walmart is something every Dem can do, even if it is just cutting back what they buy there, and every Dem in every state can "flex their economic muscles"  to quote Ahhhnold.  

        the other thing is that kids don't get to vote, not teens anyway, so we can get them to boycott their cds, toys, video games, get people to buy  Christmas stuff at, or somwhere else, walmart could have a shitty Christmas.

        •  Buy locally (none)
          I belong to an organization that is for local and independently owned business. For every dollar spent in a mom and pop store, .45 goes back to the community as compared to .13 when spending at a chain. We are rolling out our campaign for Unchain America to begin before the holiday blitz. Check to see if there is an organization like this in your area and if there isn't, make one! If you don't have a business, check a local directory to find out who your independent merchants are. This is a very powerful way to support who we believe in and maintain the integrity of our communities.  If you're interested, check into for our local group.  Maybe this can give you some ideas.  If a large group of people only shop independently for one week alone, that would make a huge impact.
  •  Media (none)
    The first company of a boycot should be the media, and it should be Sinclair. How amny times has Bush gotten away with (Litteraly) murder because the media won't call that SOB to the carpet?

    Air America would be all over this. Kill Sinclair and companies have no other choice to switch advertising to other media outlets. Air America would certainly get some and therefore increase thier listener base.

    Sinclair FIRST, beat them, pound them make them scream like a 10 year old boy in the hands of the Catholic clergy. (Bad analogy I know, but hey, they got it comin).


  •  The answer is ......Tune in AirAmerica (none)
    Radio stations do not require huge market shares to be viable, they do require evidence of listeners.  

    Seriously folks.  AirAmerica is the only serious effort at creating a liberal beachhead on NaziAmerica's shores.  The challenge we face is no different than that Murdock and the Res Moon faced in creating Faux News or the Washington Thymes .... customers!

    Promote AirAmerica, patronize its advertisers.

  •  HOME DEPOT = REDS (none)
    I haven't seen it mentioned here, but the corporate managers of Home Depot are huge Bushies, and were the largest corporate donors to the Bush campaign. I have really enjoyed shopping at Home Depot, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to switch exclusively to Lowe's.

    If no one has mentioned it, is a great site to find out who in the corporate world is giving money to Repug campaigns.

    •  I don't like Home Depot (none)
      It is too much like a wharehouse, and I always have a hard time finding stuff.  I had a horrible experience at one in LA, the family ahead of me had about four kids, and they were very well behaved, the family had a lot of little things they were buying, and the wife was checking to make sure that every price rang up okay.  It was taking extra, but well there was just my husband and I and it was no big deal.

      I have kids so I know how it is with prices, and all, you have to watch it.  Well, after they finished paying, the cashier went on a rant like I have never heard before.  She wished she had a gun for customers like that!  I wasn't sure I heard right, and said "pardon?"  And she said "a gun would take care of people like that", and "people like that deserve to be shot."  

      Now I do not know what she meant by "like that" because they were either hispanic or Indian, I am not sure which, maybe she just meant difficult customer.  I have never been in a Home Depot since.  I was going to call the manager, but we had just moved down here, and I wasn't sure what to do, or if that was normal.

  •  Can We Agree on WALMART???? (none)
    Respond here if WALMART IS OKAY.

    We can get a site up and runnning, an email campaign by tonight, but we need an agreement!

    As for alternatives on the email, I suggest links to, and need other alternatives to link for e-purchases for Christmas.

    We need to so this before Christmas season Kicks in!!  If Walmart has a crummy christmas EVERYONE WILL TAKE NOTE!

    So I volunteer to help construct the email, but need some approval.  So respond here.

    •  I'm on board with boycotting Wal-mart (none)
      If we forward the link to colleagues and friends, perhaps we can each spend a few addition minutes personalizing it and suggesting local alternatives.  Support those independent businesses!

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."   --  Margaret Mead

      by gloever on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:54:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Target is a great alternative (none)
        Mark Dayton of MN (the most liberal member of the Senate) spent a large portion of his personal fortune to get elected.  That fortune was earned through Dayton-Hudson Dept. stores and Target Corporation.  We could hit Wal-mart where it hurts and help Dayton at the same time.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."   --  Margaret Mead

        by gloever on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:57:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf` (none)
          Don't forget to reward Costco for their progressive employee policies.  

          Most news stories about Wal-Mart's poor employee policies contrast them with Costco. And some even point out that it is getting harder for Costco on Wall Street because their bottom line is less than Wal-Mart's.

          •  Shareholding (none)
            I don't know how many shares are held by funds and how many by individual investors, but maybe that is another way to support progressive businesses.

            Buy their shares, let their CEO know why you bought and assure them that you have their back.

            Then they can tell Wall St to FOAD.  

            •  this is called SRI (none)
              Socially Responsible Investing.

              It's what I do and who I work for:


              You guys, this whole boycott thing is great, but if you don't do it in a way that also appeals to the red-states' values, it won't work.  That, or it will be met by almost immediate competition by red-state supporters doing the same thing (Dems DO have corporate sponsors you know).

    •  Wal-Mart is a great target, but ... (none)
      There are many reasons why Wal-Mart is a great target: labor concerns (here and in overseas factories), impacts on local economies, and political donations.

      However, many groups have been urging Wal-Mart boycotts for years, but the company is so huge and omnipresent that they take no notice of a few hundred thousand consumers directing their dollars elsewhere. They're driving local businesses under, and already many communities have few alternatives to shopping at Wal-Mart.

      I know that several nonprofits have been discussing the idea of a national, coordinated Wal-Mart campaing for a while, basically arguing that it is the most important thing to tackle for everyone. I'm pretty sure that they've asked that groups hold off on isolated Wal-Mart campaigns until a broader coalition effort can get underway.

      So, I do think Wal-Mart is the best target, but I think we should be mindful of existing efforts before starting something new. I'll see if I can find more info to post later.

      •  We need to make it appealing (none)
        First of all, plenty of people who voted for Bush, also want to support their local businesses, but find it difficult to support alternatives due to pricing.  

        However think of the millions who voted for Kerry, plus a few disgruntled Republicans, and if they just said NO to corporate fascism, at least for the Christmas season, then we could help change the way Walmart treats its employees.

        My big thing is the health care situation, if say New Yorkers are paying for some walmart employees kids insurance in Kansas through the state medicaid fund, and walmart benefits, then it is corporate welfare.  The insurance problem effects everyone.

        Let them tell walmart employess they have to start a savings plan to pay for their own health care and see how far that takes them.

    •  not walmart (none)
      We should pick a company that's easy to boycott and small enough that they'll notice.  Walmart is the only option for one stop shopping (or any shopping) in a lot of places, and their prices are cheaper than anywhere else.  You're asking people to make a sacrifice when you ask them to boycott Walmart.

      On the other hand, Dell computers and Dr. Pepper are owned by wingnuts, and they're easy to boycott.  There are competitors selling the same products for roughly the same price.  It'll be easier to get lukewarm people to join a boycott of those companies, and we need the lukewarm people.  A boycott by a few thousand hardcore kossacks will have no effect.

    •  Walmart Definitely Should Be Avoided (none)
      I know it's tough in some areas, but there's a lot of reasons to not give your dollars to Walmart.

      Their labor practices are obscene.  

      My only problem with boycotting them is that they're weakest in "bluer" areas.  Plus, I already don't shop Walmart and would like to feel like I'm doing something.

      Boycotting Fox is definitely on my agenda.  Murdoc worships wealth.  If Fox stops making money, whatever his politics he'll jump ship.

      Our "neo-conservatives" are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.

      by mijita on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:33:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  PETA as an example (none)
    Keep in mind that animal-rights nut jobs, such as myself, make up a very small percentage of the population.  And when most people hear the name PETA, they immediately associate it with fringe, lunatic elements.

    Yet PETA is very successful in getting companies to change policy, such as McDonald's, by:

    1. Being well organized and funded
    2. Shining a big, bright spotlight on adverse and negative policies of companies by using media effectively

    Sign on Truman's Desk: The Buck Stops Here Sign on Bush's Desk: Buck, what Buck? Karl, what the hell is this about a Buck?

    by wry twinger on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:45:53 AM PST

  •   another way to stop feeding the repug machine! (none)
     I noticed someone above mentioned co-ops and farmers markets. I think this is a great idea and part of the larger plan to stop feeding the corporate giants!
     We need a website where we can find each other. Do you know that I only pay about .50 cents- $1.00 for meat!
     I raise my own and it cost approx. .25 cents to raise and .24 to butcher out. I also KNOW that the meat is GOOD!
     Also is ebay an alternative to walmart for rural people? I don't know if they endorse any party maybe someone could find out for me.

    Alexander the Great on Destiny:
    Upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.


    •  We need a friendster of our own (none)
      I mean a progressive social network, which in no way would compete with kos, anyone familiar with Friendster, knows that it could be tailored to fit our needs.  

      People could put their own issues, organizations, talents and all, and an email to find them.  It would be progressive oriented, not a hookup center (you know)what I mean, no nudie pics.  Anyway I think we need this, and have proposed it before, but it didn't get much play.

    •  Co-op America - possible model (none)

      They have a searchable online green business directory (not just co-ops) that's oriented towards environment and labor.

      Also they have a retailer scorecard oriented towards identifying sweatshop abuses, and they give Target a D+ -- not surprisingly, Walmart gets an F.

  •  Thoughts on on boycotts, secession (none)
    Apologies in advance for this Tolstoy-sized comment.  There are three core issues I see from the treads above.

    Regarding boycotting corporations as a generality is a good concept.  How exactly to do this, though, is really open to debate.

    Do you boycott a megacorporation like Wal-Mart, even if unlike WalMart it is not a Thai sweatshop import, on the most basic grounds of it being harmful to local economies?  This requires more complex thinking because the boycotts will fail if people do not realize buying their products is like voting Republican: people shop at Wal-Marts through the country, even though they've destroyed whole towns' local economies, simply based on something being a dollar or two cheaper.  They've chosen saving money over saving local businesses who treat their employees well, essentially voting against their communities' interests because it's cheaper.  And it is obvious that that hurdle is a tremendous one and would require a very expensive, very coordinated PR effort to budge peoples' opinions.  It cannot be identified as a democrat organization/liberal organization, period.  Do not assign politics to it.

    Why?  I'm just as sick of people saying liberal is more profane than f**, but by identifying it as a liberal two things happen: automatic prejudices are triggered, and *real Republicans (yes, there are some left) will not want to contribute.

    On the other hand, there's the boycotting simply because a corporation's ethics/values and how they treat their employees.  Perhaps this should be a separate site, because this sort of boycotting is politicized.  The information is there - there's a book I recall seeing, for example, that rates employers specifically on gay issues.  This will require a huge research team.  The trick here, just as with media, it to trace it to the top and follow all of its subsidiaries first to get a list of what xxx corporation does.  Take for example GEICO Insurance.

    According to Idealsnetwork, it's actually owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns Benjamin Moore, Justin Boots, Kirby (??), National Indemnity, Shaw Industries.  What researchers would need to do is use opensecrets when it's actually back up and check political contributions linked to those seven corporations, then research their products, etc., and use all the resources to figure out their compatibility with a certain set of values.  (Which is in and of itself complex beyond belief).  Once the profile is created, there would have to be, like on the consumer advocacy sites, a way to accept input from readers regarding that corporation. Complaints regarding possible prejudicial employee treatment would need to be researched; consumer complaints related to values-based issues would also need to be researched.  

    And all seven corporations involved, in this case, should be linked somehow together so there is a broad picture.  If for example, the good corporate citizen Brand Z is owned by Brand Y which also owns Brand X, who dumps toxic waste into rivers, then the actions of Brand X should reflect poorly on its brothers and parents.

    The biggest challenge is not the complexity here - it's translating very complex issues into something your average consumer could understand (and the cynics among us might suggest communicating with grunts and chest-beating would be best here :-) ).

    Finally, someone brought up secession.  Maybe a  nice dream, but only one State Constitution I know of - NH - makes it legal.  The Federal Constitution does have a home rule clause which I don't believe has been seriously brought up except in Vermont and I think one or two midwestern states' secession movements.  In either case, it's too drastic and sudden and would undermine the message intended, nice as it may seem, should we secede and then have second thoughts.

    Interdependency is accepted as a fact forever, even though at this point most states I know of have less coming in from federal government sources than they put out (highways/transportation, for example).  What I would suggest as the most effective thing to do is like the wife who tells her husband if he does that one more time, she's leaving him.

    Hit where it hurts - use the existing economic blocs in the Northeast, for example, to put a premium on trade with other states.  Government is going to be fairly ineffective here at first until the trends become apparent.  Economics, however, has potential in many areas.  Between the Northeastern States, I am pretty sure with some work most of the food needs for example could be kept internal.  Wal Mart is not a necessity for us.  New England started thousands of miles from any state support, and survived.  Why can't it now?  In time, it could be mostly self sufficient, and New Englanders in general would not need much arm-twisting to shop local.  This is a powerful concept, I think, because it can get its momentum at a grassroots level, and once it gets momentum, the laws of supply and demand will allow new businesses at increasingly high levels to start up because the demand is there to serve a Northeastern market.

    Want to buy a big-ticket item?  Why slam European countries who are more politically inline with us?  What does Buy American mean?  Nothing much anymore.  It's like saying "Buy Korean."  Leverage the bigger Northeastern chains - i.e., CVS out of Rhode Island - to get them to consider the values of our region as a whole, and let's say, buy direct from Braun or Siemens instead of going with some other brand made in Texas.  Get them to add an export surcharge to sales in places that don't share our values.  After all, a big part of this mess is corporate irresponsibility.

    Talk local industrial development boards to make extremely good deals for foreign companies from countries whose values are like ours.

    Organics are one area where at least in Vermont there is traction.  So why is Shaw's importing Wild Harvest Organics from Vancouver when there's a ton of organic farms here?  (No offense, Canadians - I'd say that the first order should be if it's from New England, second order in places/states/countries that share the values of most of us?)

    The basic idea: vote with your pocketbook.  New England is huge.  If we dropped out of the red economy, there would be huge consequences for red states.  If they want to make the Presidency and Congress a mandate on their values and consider our values less important, or irrelevant, starve them out.  Europe doesn't rely on American consumer products in such a drastic amount - so why do we need to rely on red American products ourselves?

    A self-sufficient Northeastern bloc then becomes a real influence.  It's a useless excuse and ultimately ineffective to say "you don't share our values, go screw."  It's a big message when we can say to the red America, we don't rely on you any more.  Goodbye.


    •  right not party oriented. (none)
      I do not think associating it with party would be wise anyway, for the reasons you mentioned.   The issues cross party lines, although yeah I guess I am getting used to being painted a "liberal" all of a sudden in this life (never was called one before this cycle)
  •  So... (none) anybody starting a list and action plan, as suggested by the diary?  Or is there just a lot of discussion about "wouldn't it be great if..."?

    Where's the site?  Should be a domain by now at least...

  •  Political organization (none)
    There is nothing stopping states of like-mindedness from self-organizing.  Here in Illinois, the former Republican governor went to Cuba on a trade mission.  The current Democratic governor is negotiating to buy drugs from Canada and Europe.  Individual states, or a blue state group, can work to circumvent the power of the federal government.

    We should consider all forms of legal protest.  A model for techniques could be culled from Quebec.

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:33:33 AM PST

  •  A good idea, but less important than...... (none)
    A good idea, but less important than reclaiming God, and "traditonal" values for the Democratic Party -

    NOT through ANY political concessions whatsoever - but through the reanimation of the spirit of progressive Christianity and the use of language - re: Lakoff - to wrest the religious mainstream back from the christian right.

    Mere websites on consumer purchasing choices will not defeat the religious right.  

    •  Change or die (none)
      A good idea, but less important than reclaiming God, and "traditonal" values for the Democratic Party -
      NOT through ANY political concessions whatsoever -

      If you won't make any political concessions whatsoever, why do you think anyone voting for the other side will vote for us?

      If we want an electoral majority, we're going to have to genuinely change, to broaden our appeal.  And that's not just a question of phrasing things differently or getting better P.R.

  •  Bigger than just boycotting companies... (none)
    We have to further than just hitting them in the pocketbook. We must also look at Media reform and Tax Reform as in keeping the federal tax money that the blue states send to the fed in their own states so we stop subsidizing the red states who take more Federal dollars than they contribute.

    Then there is the "values" issue - this too needs to be addressed and I think this could be worked to our advantage as well.  Start writing editorials in the red states requesting that when you are laid off from the Walmart job, don't look to the government for that handout - that money needs to go to funding the troops and war effort, instead, look to you faith and places of worship for the help you need.

    Now that the repuglicans have it all with essentially nothing in the way to stop them I believe they will start feeding on each other and we need to help that effort along.

    Check out this website of a friend.

    Here is the summary from his site

    Corporations are people that have gained control of most of the Earth's resources including its human resources.

    Of the world's 100 largest economies, 51 are now global corporations, rather than countries. (see chart on his website)

    "I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."

    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816.

    This is too late to change.

    Corporations still have to answer to their stockholders. If you don't own stock you have no right to vote.

    The World's stock markets set goals for corporate performance, including the whisper number. These numbers do not include environmental impact, social impact, use of non-renewable recourses. Those are not part of the this picture.
    Most corporations who fail to meet their numbers will have a quick & large drop in stock value.
    C.E.O.s & C.F.O.'s must do whatever their ethics, if any, will allow to meet those numbers and usually have personal income packages tied to that performance.

    When the C.E.O.s & C.F.O.'s know they can not meet the whisper number, they may bail and take their golden parachute. If if that is not the case Corporation's who fail to meet their numbers will have a quick & large drop in stock value.
    THIS IS CYCLIC though not in regular cycles.

    Update Royal Dutch Shell Oil just hit the cycle 9/22/04 Electrolux hits the cycle 9/23/04
    There are some large corporations who work outside this box. They subscribe to an ethical base (we do not have to agree with their ethics) and have continued to be immune from the projected profit numbers set by the World's various stock markets. While they do not profit from the large gains possible, they also do not suffer from falling short of expectations on a quarterly basis.

    If these ethical corporations are aggressive, they will have the opportunity to buy desirable portions of the cyclic corporations on a regular basis.


    Recognizing which are the ethical aggressive corporations (endoskeleton) that can and will consume the (exoskeleton) during their molt is the key to gaining control over the Earth's recourses. Investing & becoming stockholders in those ethical companies is the solution.


    And there is more - he has a plan too.

  •  don't go all negative (none)
    shouldn't we balance the boycott of the bad with positive purchasing advice? I don't think it is in our interest to be seen as anit-business. So I agree about the targeting of one group per cycle (but think it should be of the 6 week variety) but also that a clear alternative should be offered. We need to also have a reward system.
  •  They want it divided (none) give it to them divided.  Drop out of the red economy.  Form blue economic blocs.  Shop locally or from blue states' local companies.


  •  We need to do something about Diebold (none)
    We don't know who won this election and
    will never know.
  •  I'm for it: (none)
    Massive, sustained boycotting of any company whose CEO actively supports Bush.  

    That will mean hardship for some of us (E.g. anyone know where NBC stands?  No more Monday Night Football if they're on the list, etc.)  We have to be resolute and steadfast and willing to make sacrifices.  

    No more shopping at Wal-Mart (Costco is okay)
    Oil Companies include: Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, and BP-Amoco. Buy gas from Shell or a local facility. Phone companies include Verizon, BellSouth, Sprint and MCI. AT&T, and are safe. Tech companies include Ebay, Gateway, and Texas Instruments. Everyday companies include Coca Cola products, Pepsi products, Anheuser-Busch products, Hallmark Cards, and Tyson Foods. Transportation companies include Ford, Chrysler, UPS, Fed Ex, Delta, Continental, Southwest, and Enterprise. Safe companies are GM, USPS, American, United, and Northwest. Few financial institutions are safe. Look into local banks or credit unions.  Some banks and financial institutions (e.g. Bank of America) have supported Kerry I believe. Go a step further and write/call/fax the companies about your intentions to boycott and explain why. There are many more companies that favor Bush. Visit to learn more.

    •  Gateway? (none)
      I know GatewaY got bought out so I am not sure if Ted Waite(sp?) is still involved in the co but he's a Dem and he was a possible pick for Commerce Sec. in a Kerry admin. Plus I remmeber looking him up on OPenSecrets a while back and he had given some major money to the Dems and Daschle. I wonder if you are confusing Gateway with Dell. Michael Dell is a wingnut and one of Bush's Pioneers. Also I thought Anheuser Busch went anti-Repub this year.

      BTW one more co. if you are considering a refi on your property the Ameriquest owners are big wingnuts. It made me sick when I saw that cuz I did a refi with them a couple of years ago.  
      Two more - Dominos and Godfathers Pizza. I believe the Carls Jr. owner is a big wingnut too(not a 100 percent sure about that.)

  •  BABY BLUE I LOVE IT (none)
    I love the baby blue project idea.  I'm a computer programmer with database and web experience.  Let me know what you want me to do to help.  My e-mail is

    I would suggest using OPEN SOURCE products.  MySQL might be a good candidate for the database back end.  Apache web server and make the web interface browser friendly to firebird and mozilla, etc.

  •  how about (none)
    Can't we just find what companies are the biggest donators to the republicans, make a list of products they make and make a easy to use web site so that half the country can boycott their products.  Hit em where it hurts, they will reconsider very quickly being so generous in the future. Look at the blue states, anyone who knows economics knows THATS where all the money is in the country.

     We ahve the power, lets us it.  

    First and Foremost, the easiest thing is NEVER shopping in WALMART, next... lets get that site up and see what else I can easily avoid.

    •  The best place to start (none)
      may be with companies that advertise on specific right wing mouthpiece television programs: Hannity, OReilly, Scarborough, etc... Rather than targeting companies that support the republican part outright, if we can put the hurt on some of these television programs, we'll have much better success getting our message out to the general public in the long run.

      Would it be possible to choose a company each week and sponsor a massive letter writing campaign stating in the simplest terms that we refuse to support said company so long as it continues to advertise on the targeted program?  Would other left-leaning blogs be willing to participate in a coordinated effort to "get the letters out?"  We could post contact info for the company and the program in question in a prominent place here at DailyKos (and anywhere else that will help get the word out) and bombard them with letters from "dissatisfied customers" demanding accountability.

      I'm convinced that our biggest problem right now is a complicit mainstream media that unabashedly repeats republican talking points ad nauseum while gleefully smearing the opposition.   Even if we can get them to tick slightly to the left from where they are right now, that could make all the difference in 2006.

      It worked with Sinclair... imagine what thousands (TENS of thousands?  Is it possible?) of letters (and I think actual letters would have more of an effect than email alone) could do to help change how advertising $$ are spent on networks like Fox News.

      Hit 'em where it hurts!  Sure the red states decided the election... but I'd be willing to bet that there's a LOT more money in the blue states.  Let's let companies that support this right wing media drivel know how we really feel.

      •  These sites are cool (none)
        and will make for good links and also good resouces for information on who to reward or punish.

        I think having a running tabulation of howmany people are actively participating in the action would be one big difference.

        I suggest simplicity also. With more complexity if you want it. The thing I didn't like about this site is it hits you with too much info right away. You have to learn how to use it.

        I like sites like, which are simple, yet very informative. That's why Buzzflash is so popular I beleive.

        J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

        by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:17:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Remember that many red states went 49% for Kerry (none)
    Boycotting any red state business would be kind of silly - kind of like people in other countries hating us because we are Americans, assuming we all support our government's policies. I speak as a resident of a very blue state - but I live in a rural county which has become more and more right wing in the last twenty years.
    •  Yes I don't think anyone would (none)
      suggest Revenge Marketing.

      The key there is we need to find out who that 49% is and identify them and turn them into activists.

      I have another idea which I am fleshing out for this purpose. "Eight Minute Activist" od

      Based on the 8 minute Abs craze. For those of us with hectic schedules who'd like to participate
      but don't have the time.

      We will provide you with things you can do for 8 minutes per day that will make a difference.

      I think it's important that we get a political movement going in the south, education and awareness. Somethng like this would be good for a left-minded busy farmer in Oklahoma.

      Some of them might even become uber-active. We need to build a progressive rural base.

      This is to be one of my new causes.

      Would love anyhelp I can get.

      Check my diary for my email address if interested.

      George Bush is a better motivator than Tony Robbins

      J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

      by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:24:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pick a *vulnerable* corporation (none)
    I agree with those who say forget Wal-Mart (for now).  Not only do you need to target red corporations, but you need to pick one that would actually be vulnerable to even a relatively modest effort.

    I hate to say this, because it sounds so brutal, but you need to create economic fear in the small fry first.  Attacking a big-name corp because it's so big and so hated is not going to work.

    •  I disagree (none)
      This will be a long term effort and if this grows enough Big Businesses will take notice.

      There's nor reason Big Business and Small business can't be targeted simontaneously.

      We could even divide them up like the stock market does. Small Caps, Large Caps, Mega Caps etc.

      I see Wal-Mart as a prime target. ( No pun intended, Target probably has some dirty laundry too )

      The idea is not to put them out of business, but to make them change their ways.

      J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

      by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:28:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Diebold must go first! (none)
     I think the most important first step is diebold! Because it is a big corp. it may take longer and we need this fixed before the 2006 elections. But whatever company we choose to start with lets get started where is the website?

    Will Rogers on Decision Making:
    Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.

  •  I believe this needs to be (none)
    a long sustained effort. I don't think we should be about just publicity. The dream here is to force corporations to change the way they think about profit. Right now it's by any means necessary.  We want change, not reaction. We want to punish the bad corporations and reward the progressive. Sinclair reacted to our protest and didn't air the tv show, but now that it's over is there any doubt that they will continue to alter their myriad local newscasts throughout the country to create a right wing slant. They are successful in brainwashing America because their pressure is sustained - as must ours. We must continually educated Americans on the dangers of companies like Sinclair and what their existence means to democracy. The dream here is to create a database with thousands of damning stories on Sinclair broadcasting so it can be used as a resource by consumers, organizations and journalists. The one thing they fear is total transparency that's why they spend millions on lawyers and pr firms. I always felt that corporations wouldn't do half of the things they did if they knew we were watching them. Now we will be - with millions of eyes...

    We're not scaremongering, this is really happening

    by Karma Mechanic on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:15:54 AM PST

  •  My thoughts exactly! (none)
    This is what I have been thinking about ever since last night. I admire your restraint in not wanting to punish the red states.  I know you are probably right, but right now, let's just say that I'm in the anger (rage!) stage of grief.  I will contribute to this worthy project.  Thanks for taking action!
  •  Diebold to patent "+1" operation (none)
    I just found the story below and it seems to lend more urgency to the argument that diebold needs to go NOW! Hope it is ok to reproduce here if not I am sorry and hope someone will remove it. I am new here and don't want to break any rules.

    Diebold to patent "+1" operation
    Posted by scottxyz

    Added to homepage Thu Nov 04th 2004, 08:48 AM ET

    Ed: This is kinda funny.

    Diebold, ChoicePoint and Sproul - in a new partnership between government and business involving unprecedented interagency cooperation between the RNC/PNAC, the Patent Office, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security - and funded in part by venture capital from Microsoft's capital-markets division - have announced plans to form a joint venture to leverage core software patents and other intellectual property for the purpose of maintaining America's strategic edge at providing "the best democracy money can buy."

    Diebold's flagship product - their distributed "black box" implementation of what assembly-language programmers used to refer to as the "INCR" operator, better known to the rest of us as "plus one" or "addition" - will to be the first of several strategic arithmetic operators to be included in the joint venture's portfolio of vital information-technology (IT) trade secrets, which will soon include implementions of other core mathematical functions, such as subtotal, percent, and greater-than-or-equal-to.

    Meanwhile, ChoicePoint's proprietary software-based disenfranchisement algorithms, whose Florida 2000 rollout transparently scrubbed tens of thousands of undesirable second-class citizens from the voter rolls, are expected to provide the perfect "synergy" with more prosaic, paper-oriented Jim Crow technologies such as Sproul's circular-file-based voter-deregistration methodologies, and the RNAC's innovative use of mail fraud and racketeering successfully deployed against the 2004 voter-registration drives in Ohio and other states.

    Gone is the primitive, labor-intensive "addition" operator many Americans recall struggling with in elementary school and the messy, error-prone process of counting dangling "chads" in antiquated punch-card vote-tabulation systems: With Diebold's state-of-the-art paperless touchscreen technology - complemented on the back-end by their modem-based wide-area-network protocols for addition, subtotaling, and numerical comparison - all audiences ranging from local county poll workers to vendor personnel to Secretaries of State can quickly get up to speed and enjoy an unprecedented level of ease and quality control for delivering precisely targeted electoral results.

    Unlike Diebold's bank ATMs, which many users have criticized for being "stodgy" or "lacking upside" due to their overly rigid reliance on pre-Enron accounting standards such as double-entry bookkeeping and paper trails, Diebold's voting systems division has wisely gone with a more "virtual, interactive, open-systems" computing philosophy featuring dynamically reconfigurable memory cards, freely published polling-station telephone numbers, short, easy-to-remember passwords and standard dialup modems sending unencrypted data over common carriers for greater transparency and efficiency. Avoiding the "heavy iron," high overhead and inherent inflexibility of outmoded client-server systems favored by the global financial networks and airline-reservation systems, Diebold has decided to go with agile, "off-the-shelf" desktop components such as Windows and Access which can be easily customized by anyone willing to master Microsoft's popular VBA programming language - increasing interactivity and reducing the learning curve for key players in all phases of the electoral process, as well as enhancing flexibility with exciting new features such as anonymous remote access and unlogged updates.

    "People might be quite surprised if they knew how big a chunk of our revenue stream is due to our exclusive proprietary implementation of the 'plus' operator, which has been an essential component of our strategy to deliver Florida and now Ohio as promised to our partners in government in the last two Presidential elections," Diebold's president stated at a recent press conference. "Diebold's cutting-edge implementation of the '+' operator is the result of years of painstaking research and development by the kind of highly-paid Harvard MBAs who have been keeping America's GDP strong with innovative product rollouts such as New Coke and Windows XP Service Pack 2. Diebold's AoIP - Addition over Internet Protocol technology - has been proven to demonstrate the kind of 99.999% reliability required by America's Fortune 500 and White House CEOs for the most demanding desktop applications. America's national security and technological prowess are predicated on a robust defense of our vital intellectual property rights. We can't allow key state secrets - such as our formulas for computing sums and percentages - to fall into the wrong hands," he added.

    To enhance the user acceptance of Diebold's addition algorithms among the so-called "reality-based" community, new legislation dubbed the "Dipper Chip" bill is being drafted in Congress which will now formally require all "systems of mass summation" such as opinion surveys and exit polls to include a "back door" allowing RNC/PNAC officials sneak-and-peek-and-delete access for the purpose of "dipping in" to continuously monitor and update poll results so as to guarantee backward compatibility between Diebold-computed vote tallies, "news" reported in the media, and individually perceived "reality."

  •  I haven't even read this whole diary yet (none)
    I have webmaster experience, some graphic design, some php programming and a little mysql knowledge.
    Will contribute. I'll add more after I finish reading this.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:33:25 AM PST

  •  I've got a name suggestion (none)

    Based on the fact that a Boycott punishes companies, it stands to reason that the same kind of action that rewards good behavior could be called a Girlcott.

    Just a suggestion.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:40:05 AM PST

  •  This is awesome (none)
    People in Iowa City already have this approach but not a massive targeted campaign.  It's more - shop at the co-op, avoid the mall mentality.  I for one didn't know how evil MBNA was until I went to the website you all posted from the Sinclair thing showing how much money they give to the repugs.  I have now transferred a rather large balance to another card and am closing two accounts I have with them.  I really think this could be powerful, if it is massive, organized, and targeted.  If we put as much energy into this as we did the Kerry campaign, wow imagine what could happen!
  •  Other suggestions (none)
    My suggestion would be to post companies to boycott or girlcott on a page for all to see, but also have a membership section. I would suggest a nominal fee to be a member ( to defray costs )

    Members would then be able to agree to boycott certain products on the site, which could be added to the companies total members participating total.


    info: 1.Gave $2,000,000 to RNC, $100.00 to DNC in 2004
    2. Contributes to GOSMOG an organization committed to deregulating polluters
    Action taken: BOYCOTT
    Members Participating:12,456,789
    View Member reciepts of competitors*

    *Members could also upload copies of reciepts of competitors to be viewed by anyone. For instance if Boycotting McDonalds, but Girlcotting Burger King, members could scan their receipts from Burger King & upload the image  to the database.
    This would serve as PROOF that the companies products are truly being affected by the actions of this site.

    This would work particularly well with a Bill of Sale from an Automobile Company for example.
    To me that helps with one of the main problems of boycotts, is that there is no way to prove that people are following it.

    The member participation could be a way for the members who find it impossible to participate in a certain product ( you'd have to have a real good reason ) to be able to abstain from certain action.

    For instance, I make a considerable part of my living using EBAY. There is no possible way I could boycott them. However, if there is an alternative that can be GIRLCOTTED, and can be promoted, I would be willing to wean off of EBAY and start transferring my business over to the alternative.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:59:41 AM PST

  •  The Free Market that I love (none)
    is the Free marketplace of Ideas!!!

    I love this idea.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:08:06 AM PST

  •  Suggestion: don't make it a DEM thing (none)
    •  I think (none)
       the idea would be a Progressive thing.
      That encompasses much more than just Democrats.

      Punish things that are evil. Reward things that create positivity.

      This raises an intersting thing though:

      The funny thing about Wal-Mart is that you never see that Smiley face who slashes prices in their commercials anymore.
      Now every commercial is a soft focus explanation of how they help retarded children. They are literally using retarded kids as a shield.

      I say, Killing small businesses and not offering health insurance to employees trumps what they do
      with charity, especially since they exploit there genorosity so obviously.

      I think my idea for a Members Participating
      figure would take care of this, because no one is forced to take part in a given boycott or girlcott. By participating you are agreeing with the action and vote for or against the action in this manner.

      So if you don't want to boycott Wal-Mart, you don't have to. But you can go ahead and Boycott DieBold.

      Viewers could sort companies by various criteria, like "Most members participating" or "Contributes to nefarious causes" and such.

      Sorry, overflowing with ideas here.

      J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

      by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:47:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've said it before... (none)
        ... I'll now say it again.

        We really need to focus, people. I live in Santa Cruz, CA. I've seen plenty of green, anti-globalization movements here. THEY DO NOT WORK BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO BROAD!!!

        We need to do this, but we need to target one company a week with a serious boycott letter writing campaign. Every week we can add another company to the Black List!

        We have to focus. Like a bullet. A big BROAD flat bullet doesn't make a difference.

        Make a Database. Fine. But those exist ALREADY! What we need is focused, precision boycotting and corporate protesting so they FEEL it!

        Focus! Like a laser. The less surface area the more pressure people!!!

  •  Can we get a place to add our email addresses (none)
    for updates on the progress of this idea? Can we at least get the domain up and add our address so we know what's happening?
  •  We need a way to vote on these suggestions (none)
    If someone has a good idea or a bad idea, how will we come to a consensus??

    Has to be something more efficient than responding in the thread.

    Any ideas ( I think I've created an endless loop )

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:34:08 AM PST

  •  Should probably wait for Karma Mechanic (none)
    to return. I love the idea so much I could have it half-way worked on before he get's a say.

    This is his baby, and I am just a servant.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:36:17 AM PST

  •  KARMA MECHANIC (none)
    lots of good ideas here, need to filter them.

    I suggest you pick the ideas you like and then make a new diary when you've compiled them.

    Then email all of us and let us know when you do.

    This is a great forum for ideas and a difficult forum for actually getting things done.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:06:45 AM PST

  •  Similar idea (none)
    I always thought it would be a good idea to have a website where you could enter in your zip code and up would pop a list of the top doners to the local Republican politicians (corporations, not individual donors). Along with basic information about these corporations would be good stuff like call-in numbers to local radio stations and mail addresses of local newspapers where you could complain about that corporation in as public a fashion as possible.

    This idea is similar to the one being discussed here, but the "voting system" is simply replaced by an easy lookup to a republican donor database.
  •  Get the Europeans to boycott FL -tourism (none)
    Not sure if this idea is out there, but when you find a blog on a European website, go in and make the suggestion to boycott Florida and any other red state.  The lost tourism dollars should hurt, badly.

    The blue states have all the progressive fun cities anyway.

    Politics is not about ...predictions. Politics is what we create by what we do, what we hope for, and what we dare to imagine. Paul Wellstone

    by bronte17 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:11:54 AM PST

    •  Get everyone to boycott Florida (none)
      tourism. They're real sensitive about it here...If you can get enough people to avoid Florida that it has an impact, it will be noticed. Also, there are lots of other good reasons not to come to's not that warm, the prices are high and the traffic is impossible. If you want warm weather, you're better off going to Mexico or Belize/Costa Rica or the islands.

      But it would be great if some kind of organized boycott could be brought to bear on Florida for its banana-republic-like elections system. We'll never have fair elections as long as the county elections machinery is in the hands of partisan hacks.

  •  Just to repeat... (none)
    Everyone that has the ability to do so should be getting this meme out anyway they can to get it in people's minds.  If you have a blog, post up the concept and encourage people to share it, but direct them back here.

    Tell your friends and co-workers, have them log on.

  •  Long time lurker... (none)
    First time poster.

    Could you add sponsors at Faux news and MSNBC to the list? Regardless of the channel, the message, or the bias, all news is about making money and ratings. If we refuse to buy from companies that sponsor Fox, et al, and let them know why, it might make a difference, maybe?

  •  Good Idea (none)
    I joined CoOp America about 15 or 16 years ago, put my retirement into Calvert funds and have not looked back.

    But then I also live in a straw bale house my partner and I built and grow a lot of my own food.  Left the city in '92 when I realized that the greatest and most effective change one can make is in the conduct of one's own life.
    "Live simply so others may simply live."

    "Talking points - they're true because they're said a lot" -Jon Stewart

    by SarahLee on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:00:50 PM PST

  •  Overall, I like it... (none)
    We need something to make progressive consumerism sound easy. We lose a lot of people who want to support companies with ideals that match theirs, but finding that out gets maddening quick. We've got to find a way to make it easier and more appealing to spend your money on brands with progressive values.

    Also, we should try to have a way to verify companies' claims. If company x says they're product is eco-friedly, it'd be cool if we could say, "Yes they're cool, it's not just a marketing tagline."

  •  Great! This is way overdue (none)
    I do not have time today to read all these comments, but I am really excited about this idea (I've been thinking about it for a year now), and wanted to throw in.

    Please, don't use the name BUYBLUE - something more like ETHICAL CONSUMER is so much less divisive.  We need to think Metro v. Retro, Progressive v. Reactionary, Positive v. Negative.  Don't dump on the Red States. We are all Americans.

    Other name ideas:
    The Progressive Consumer
    The Ethical Shopper
    Buying Power
    Free The Market
    Your Moral Money

    Much the way Kos and his front-page crew direct the agenda of DailyKos, an ethical consumer site ought to have some "editors" to prioritize the content.  To maximize effectiveness the front page ought to set the shopping/boycott/etc agenda for users, and keep it up to date.  If the site becomes a huge database with huge threads of user comments, it will need front page framing to keep priorities straight.

    Given the size of sites that track companies who are outsourcing employment - the huge lists you see at Lou Dobbs' site, for example - I can imagine this site you want to make will become very big, and very powerful.  It will be AMAZING.  But with size and complexity, the need for leadership will become more and more important.

    This is such a great idea, thanks so much for putting it out there.  I'll be in touch to help out.

    "If anybody ever tells you that one vote doesn't count, you tell them to come talk to me." - Al Gore

    by Prog Grrl 68 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:31:50 PM PST

    •  Yes. And No. (none)
      I think it does need to be a Democratic Campaign. There are already plenty of anti-corporate movements out there.

      Our goal is to castrate Bush, right?

      Well, then this is political. Period. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it might actually work because it is so mainstream political!

      It's not Red State versus Blue State, of course. That is the dumbest thing I've heard come out of this thread.

      But it IS red corporations versus blue corporations! That's the key. We want to force them to donate blue, and act green, for money!!

      Mess the the Dems, lose money. Period.

  •  World Comunity Seal of Approval (none)
    This is an idea like the good houskeeping seal of approval. Companies would use this to promote their business etc. This would certify the company is working for a better world.  They would have to do mostly good for humanity, not just the environment but workers rights, pay equity, CEO to worker pay ratio. Organics, local support, purchasing from small farmers, businesses etc. We could put all our wishes into the criteria and establish guidelines for good corporate practices.

    The World Community orgainzation would rate the company on all kinds of critera and would be scrutinized on its practices. I know I would look for and shop at places that displayed that seal. There could be a program to keep monitoring and reporting on the company and it's progress to obtain the highest ranking. There would be a website for shoppers to shop online if a store was not close to their home. It would have all the latest information about the company positive and negative.

    We now have a database of half the country -that's a lot of buying power. Use churches to promote this, its a great tie in to their values. The more people are treated with dignity, the more likely they are to have good morals. An Ad campaign would be essential.  Perhaps MoveOn would like to help out there.

  •  Resources in a diary (none)
    This is a great discussion. I've pulled out some of the resources people have been mentioning here, plus a few I've thought of since and some general suggestions for steps we can all take right now, and put them in a new diary.

    Please add to my list of resources -- sites that are already putting up info on corporations' records, organizations that promote economic activism, etc.

    •  **In Tears** (none)
      People... people... people.

      Remember how we brought down Sinclair? It was a focused boycott. One Company. One Unity. One Victory. That is the ONLY way this is going to work. You think the Green folks here haven't tried these little, consumer choice movements before? They have. They FAIL.


      You may be already able to guess the answer to this question:

      Lack. of. Focus.

      Every week, we need to seriously hit -- with energy -- an evil Bush supporting mega-corporation. We hit them BECAUSE they are support Bush, or Bush policies. That is the only way this is going to work.

      I beg of you to hear me.

      •  Two approaches, not mutually exclusive (none)
        First approach, narrowly focused: I think we should hit Diebold hard, the way we did Sinclair, and keep doing the same for other corporations when they do egregious things like Sinclair did. Eventually, companies might realize that they shouldn't be using underhanded tactics to elect a certain politician or creating an energy policy that's to their advantage.

        Second approach, broadly focused: We should support businesses that are doing the right things -- so maybe 20 years from now, we won't have to choose between Wal-Mart and Target, because we'll be able to shop from locally owned stores that provide decent wages and benefits for their workers. We all spend thousands of dollars on food, clothes, personal care items, etc. each year, so why not channel that money away from the worst companies and toward the better ones?

        I say we do both of these at the same time, though not necessarily with the same vehicle.

      •  I hear you (none)
        Have a little patience and stick with this idea instead of letting something distract you and moving on. I think this may take a week or so just to get through the idea process.

        I would strongly agree that the best place to start is with One Company like Sinclair.

        If we succeed there, it will evolve.

        J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

        by Brian Nowhere on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:07:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I remember (none)
        I ran it.

        And with all due respect, Sinclair was a SHOTGUN operation, not a laser. There was no focus. We undertook the LARGEST boycott in history!

        1500 Companies!

        We did not succeed by picking the 10 biggest advertisers, we succeeded by picking all 1500 and using massive amounts of people to apply pressure.

        That's the key: Massive amounts of pressure. Positive OR negative pressure..

        Nick Davis,

  •  LOHAS Journal... (none)
    Here's a potentially good resource I found:

    I'm sure there are a few more good resources like that... perhaps we should try to bind them into a united force to make progressive consumerism an easy option?

  •  Not Buying It... (none)
    .... the election results, the "unity" actions of the Bush Administration and the name of our new boycott group....goes hand in hand

    and I'm still voting to go after Clear Channel first...

  •  My thoughts on it (none)
    This really has to be a two pronged approach in my opinion.

    Firstly, nomes has a very valid point in his post a few lines up - this requires focus.  We absolutely must invoke the Sinclair model and focus on one company at a time, hit them hard for a month with letters, emails, phone calls, calls to advertisers and sponsors, etc.  We also need to have a place to track the fruits of our labor such as pulled sponsors, dips in stock price, press releases, etc.

    The second prong of all of this is creating an extensive database of companies and ranking them according to various factors such as donating to Republicans, environmental policies, labor policies etc.  We need to get a City Search-like profile built up about these companies, list what is wrong with them and how they need to fix it.  We need to list their mailing address and contact information for exectives so we can lodge complaints easily.  We need some automated tools on the site to help out with this.  We need sample emails and letters people can use and add their own words too like places like the ACLU and use.

    I see this second prong as being much more of a personal boycott than a focused one.  If Citibank is on the list, maybe you email them or call them and tell them you are cutting up their card and transferring your balance elsewhere because of their support for Republicans.  There could easily be a "share your stories" section here too.

    But the most important in the short run is to focus intensely on one entity and maybe we just vote each month or pick the top ranked company to focus on.  They not only have to be a big offender, but we have to have the ability to hurt them.  We can't waste our time if our efforts will be in vain.

    Sinclair worked because we all dedicated a lot of time to agressively going after their advertisers.  It wouldn't have worked if we had diluted it and went after "the media" in general.  That is the lesson we all need to keep in mind here.

    The other thing we eventually need to be talking about here is what kind of organization this is going to be - non-profit, 527, c-corporation, others?  People will come after us and we need to ensure we are insulated from that, plus someone or something has to "own" all this because it'll get big.

    We can learn from the mistakes that the green sites have made, we just take the best of the breed and combine it with the Sinclair model.  Bam! Kick it up a notch!

    Just my two cents.

  •  Yes, Focus (3.50)
    Once again, its seems we are spreading ourselves too thin. Despite what KOS says, I don't think we have anything to pat ourselves on the backs about regarding our ineffective attempt to impact elections across the country. Buying GoogleAdwords or spending money to defeat DeLay did what exactly? Brought Delays winning majority down to 55%? We really are at war here and we took a beating.
    So while I agree in principle with the economic boycott strategy, I think we need a complete and coherent strategy that is focused on consolidating and fortifying our positions of strength. Um, no offense to the flyovers, but I'm talking about the Coasts here. There was a good point made today on Air America by one of the political editors at Time. And I paraphrase, "Wake up Democrats, you live in a predominately religious country and when you talk abortion and gay rights at a Federal level YOU WILL ALWAYS lose. You will lose even at the state level in most cases." It's just plain math folks. So what do we do? Again, we consolidate, fortify, and take advantage of the Republican's predilection for state rights. It's the fundamentalist, rural vote that re-elected Bush. The same people whose kids will continue dying in Iraq, who will continue to lose manufacturing jobs, will continue to work service jobs at McDonalds. They are the fuel that makes the Bush agenda's imperialistic economic agenda burn brighter than a Fulluja car bomb. It's a sad and cruel way to look at it. I know. But it impacts me very little (well other than $200 billion spent on war, budget deficit, etc., etc.). But lets be honest with ourselves. Sorry for being a realist here, but if we don't focus we will continue to die a death by 1000 cuts. What potentially impacts me more is the fact that my governor is a misogynist Republican and the Idiot took 43% of the vote here. As of today I could not find one Defeat Schwarzenegger website. If we don't start mobilizing in California to stop an unsettling trend, we may be in even more trouble over the next few years. We need to hold on tooth and nail to any gains we have here. We need people like Boxer and Feinstein so they can filibuster any of the Idiot's Supreme Court nominations. We need to get rid of the Idiots surrogates and heirs. Sorry, I am beginning to rant, but back to a strategy that encompasses more that an economic boycott and is focused on playing to our strengths. A few thoughts.

    • Economic: NY and California combined probably equal the southern state's economies. I agree we need to take advantage of both the money and consumer power. But please, lets focus. I live in California and we need to identify the companies that supported Arnold and start boycotting. The Sinclair boycott was one of the few bright spots of this colossal waste of energy. Instead of throwing money into useless places like defeating DeLay in Texas, we need to divert the money back to our local and state races. Fortify, defend, and hold out people. We didn't win the Civil War because we had better generals. We had more money and more people. We outlasted the South.

    • Political: We wasted millions of dollars and hours in states we had no hope of winning. It was stupid. Democrats thought that one year of activism could counteract 20 years of republican activism. We need to work at the local and state level to ensure progressive candidates are put into power and continue to push a progressive agenda from the local and state level. Take advantage of the fact that the Idiot may continue to push power to the state level. Get rid of Arnold, for example. If we DO look outside our local or state government, it should be to support proven, effective and successful political change agents like Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance ( One of the ONLY reasons there are any national parks in Utah is not because of Utah legislators, it's because of these guys. We need to identify others that we can give our finite dollars to. Not 1,000 little new activist groups. Focus.

    • Media: Continue to fight the lies and manipulation of the Republican spin machine. Up until the very last day Bush was spitting lies about Kerry allowing global institutions to make decisions about US security. The national media said jack. At the RNC, Arnold spoke about growing up with tanks in Austria for pete sake. Nobody called him on the table for this bullshit

    My point, again, is focus. In Cali, for example, lets get a Defeat Arnold website up. Lets contact Boxer and find out how to leverage her democratic apparatus. She traveled to all 58 counties here in Cali. So she must have a network that we may be able to start leveraging.

    Finally, the point is we need action. A short list of things we need to do by state. And cross them off, one by one. And we need to start today...

    •  All due respect to your post (none)
      but yours is a diary in and of itself.
      No one is saying that what you are saying is not true, but this thread is ONE IDEA. It is not being proposed as THE SOLUTION TO ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS. ( I'm not shouting just emphasizing )

      Kos has provided this forum for us and it's great that we can brainstorm like this and come up with unique ideas. The wheels are in motion on this and it will get done by those of us who would like to work on it.

      Your ideas are good too, so rather than coming to a thread that really doesn't have anything to do with what you are talking about, I would suggest you open a new thread and see if more people rally around your ideas.

      That is democracy in a nutshell mi amigo, no?

      J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

      by Brian Nowhere on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:57:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  turning reds to blues (none)
    excellent diary.  let's get it going!

    this morning i came across this map in the sf chron:


    it occurred to me that blue staters could pour support & $$ into the blue counties in the red states, while starving the reds. could list the blue counties as well as blue business.  when these counties thrive, they will attract more people & more business.  we could also open communication with the blue counties & support their candidates.  

    maybe we could start a general fund for blue counties.  

    "..The question was, who was going to attack us, when and where, and with what." ..."now, watch this drive."

    by x on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:10:40 PM PST

  •  For a start (none)
    I made a list of the links that Kossacks have given on this thread to send around to my friends.  I also printed out lists of the companies & products therein and found everything that I purchase and made a database of the companies to avoid that i often deal with.  I shrank it way down and printed it up to carry with me.  

    I hope all the websites will contribute their databases to our pilot project, as it would be a huge task to enter them all into a comprehensive database, but it could be done.  

    Then, we need lists of the good companies, too.

    Anyway, here are the links I collected together from the above threads:

    I also have been sending around the link to this diary.

  •  I like what I'm seeing... (none)
    Great Idea!  I like it.  :)


  •  If anyone is still monitoring... (none)
    ...there is a follow-up to this diary here:

    We have gotten organized and are calling for additional volunteers.

    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -Aesop

    by Raven Brooks on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 09:45:39 PM PST

  •  Gasoline companies are an easy target (none)
    After 9/11,  I decided to minimize my contribution to Saudi terror schools by buying my gasoline at the company that uses the least middle eastern oil.  My investigation at that time determined that Texaco/Exxon/Shell  bought most of their oil from Saudi and Citgo bought most from Venezuela/Canada etc..  I decided to fill my Hybrid Prius with only Citgo gas.

    Maybe someone can research it better and find out what the current import breakdown looks like.

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