Monday, September 26, 2011

11/11/11 - Boycott an ALEC Member Company

Thank you Kathy Barton
Thank you Boycott Scott Walker Contributors

We search for information on Wall Street protests and similar protests taking place across the country.  We may wonder what precisely the goal is and what We the People can expect - should expect - Wall Street to do in response. Nevertheless, we admire the demonstrators' pluck, dedication, and sheer audacity of getting up off the couch and doing something.   We cheer their decision to represent the 99% and hopefully – finally – bring real change to the sad, sick, Hobbsian culture that is the “financial sector”.

Sitting in my warm kitchen with a cup of fair-trade coffee I feel guilty; you may too.  We know we should be “doing” something.  Many of us cannot spend days, weeks or months protesting - even for such a noble cause.

Perhaps we can do something and we can fight back against another type of Corporate Greed.  Perhaps it is time to put on our big person underpants, if only for one day and do something.   

Yes, you’re busy.  Yes, you have a LOT to do.  Worry not; this will take less than 30 minutes to plan and only a few minutes to “do.”  Further, for both the perpetual planners and procrastinators, you will have time to prepare.   

You will be home in time to feed the dog, check your email, post something to Facebook, Tweet, and watch Rachel.  I am calling it the busy-but-socially-responsible person's day of boycott and protest heretofore referred to as  "11/11/11 Boycott an ALEC Corporation Day"

Watch-dog organizations have long been pointing to ALEC as a primary “reason” our state legislation has been so out of touch and so far to the right.  It is likely a major contributor to the obstructionism in Congress as well, these folks being state-level ALEC Alums.  Citizens are angry.  We do not understand why our state and national leaders have chosen to focus on seemingly “non A-list priorities” and ignore job creation and the housing market.   No, Virginia, they are not tone-deaf morons; they are puppets dancing for corporate masters.  We the People must ask whether what we are witnessing is the GOP agenda mirroring ALEC's agenda, or is it the ALEC agenda being promoted by its bought-and-paid-for servants.

We the People now understand why state legislators (and Congress) have “suddenly” taken up very similar and out of context legislating regarding voter fraud, workers’ rights, environmental protections, corporate taxation, prison reform, food labeling, debt, school privatization, and of course “Obamacare.”  The veil has been lifted from our eyes and we now see the strings of the puppet masters.  The goal is simple: Corporate Profit - other factors and consequences to our lives, our planet, our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are irrelevant. 

This is no coincidence; this is ALEC - the puppet master extraordinaire.  To learn more, use your search engine or start with:

Corporations understand PROFIT - Money - Cold Hard Cash (and credit!).  It’s time to for David to stand up to Goliath, if only for one day.  Use your wallet to make your voice heard.  Take an extra few minutes and tell the ALEC member you “frequent”, your legislators, your local paper, and/or your local on-line site WHY you are taking action.   The ALEC member list is HUGE.  We cannot un-build Caligula’s Rome in a day.  But together we CAN do one thing for one day.  Pick one ALEC member corporation and make a statement.

Don’t believe you support ALEC?  Bet you do!  It is frightening to learn how pervasive ALEC is, how it invades our daily life, and how much MONEY (embarrassingly and inadvertently) we spend with these companies - to say nothing about how much money ALEC spends to influence our legislation and change our Nation. 
A Day in the Life with ALEC 

Take out recycling and trash for Waste Management pick up.  Jump in the car serviced at Pennzoil branded repair shop; pass farm with ADM sign in corn field and Coldwell Banker “for sale” sign out front.  Fill up tank & gas can to power the John Deere lawnmower at Shell.  Drive to Walgreens for Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids & grab a Diet Coke or Pepsi on the way out.  Continue on under the watchful eye of American Traffic Solutions red-light camera to the Jewel/Osco*.  (*Jewel Osco bothers me, though, as they are the ONLY Union grocer in the area…)

Run though the aisles to grab some Koch-Industries Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towel, Kraft, Sara Lee, P&G, Dove/Unilever, General Mills, Frito-Lay, Budweiser, Coors, & Seagrams,  products.  Pay for same with Visa debit card. 

Get in car, offer middle finger salute to Wal-Mart store ;-) pull out AT&T smart phone, check tracking on UPS or FedEx package containing Express Scripts meds.  Ignore Wall Street Journal pop-up ad on phone. 

Head for home, passing Abbott Labs, Takeda, and Motorola; wait for Laidlaw Bus at rail crossing – who is in turn waiting for a CSX and CN train to pass.  Arrive home, turn on ComEd and Microsoft powered Dell notebook and HP printer; connect to the internet via Comcast and pay BCBS & People’s Energy bills.   

Answer telemarketing calls supported by GTE technology from State Farm, Farmer’s, Traveler’s, Geico and Liberty Mutual.  Shoo away neighbor (who had recently been a “guest” at a Corrections Corporation of America run prison facility) selling Amway and Shaklee. 

Consider self-medicating with Nestle chocolate and a bottle of Miller Lite or take-out from Outback Steak House.   Pet the dogs who are on Pfizer and Bayer doggie-type meds.  Turn on GE oven.   Consider buying a book from Amazon or booking trip to Vegas via United Airlines on Boeing or Northrop Grumman plane to hang out in the sports book of Boyd Gaming and play some IGT Slots.  

Decide instead to put on big person Non–Lycra-containing Non- Fruit of the Loom underpants and get to work.

If you, too, are ready to boycott ONE ALEC member organization – be it Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Shell, etc. for one day, consider using the letter below – borrowed in LARGE part from Kathy’s letter to State Farm available publicly on Facebook via the Boycott Scott Walker Contributors page. 

If the exhaustive list of “every day” companies has inspired you to do more – change insurance, switch phone carriers, etc. Good for you and please report back.  Be well, be safe, and be inspired to take one small action.

November 11, 2011

Dear ______________,

I/We have been loyal customers of ­­­­­­­­______for a long time.  We estimate that since (year), we’ve spent/paid over $ _______with your company.

Today, (and moving forward), we will not be patronizing your business/shopping here because (Name of Business) supports ALEC. 

ALEC is the acronym for the American Legislative Executive Council.  One of ALEC’s stated purposes is to draft “model bills” used by state legislatures as templates for actual legislation.  While the group states it is non-partisan, ALEC bills are on the far right of the political spectrum and serve only the interests of big business.  These bills disenfranchise voters, harm the environment, take away worker’s rights and interfere with good governance.  A summary of this organization’s activities can be found at:

You may be asking what does this have to do with (Your Town's Store/Company Location).  Unfortunately, (company name) is a member of ALEC.  (if said company has a “director” on “the board” please note it here)  Your organization has been made aware that ALEC's activities cause real harm to YOUR customers but, disappointingly, (Company Name) has indicated it has no desire to withdraw its support for, or collaboration with, ALEC. 

(Company Name) has used a portion of (my/our) money to engage in political activities that harm your customers – that harm my family.  I feel betrayed and misled and cannot in good conscience do business with you today, 11/11/11 (or any longer) – a day we the people have chosen to boycott ALEC Corporations.

Please forward this letter to your Corporate Office.  I look forward to a response.


cc:  Your State Legislator
       Your Local Newspaper/Local On-line Site

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