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Monday, December 12, 2005


1. Do some Holiday shopping at Costco.

Most giant retailers are purveyors of Corporate Evil. They donate heavily to Republicans and exploit their workers. Not so with Costco. 99% of Costco's donations go to Democrats. In addition, Costco treats their workers right. Unions are allowed, but only 13% of Costco workers are unionized because the high wages and good benefits make it mostly unnecessary. After 4 years at Costco, a cashier can earn $44,000. Costco covers 92% of health care costs. Finally, they give you the savings without having to sell your soul. Please shop Costco -- the only way to win the War on Corporate Evil is to help the good corporations and injure the evil ones.

2. E-Mail Bill Frist and tell him not to Eliminate the Filibuster

Yesterday, Bill Frist promised to try and eliminate the filibuster for judicial appointees should Democrats try and filibuster Samuel Alito. This would mean a frightening imbalance of power. The Republicans would be able to appoint virtually any right wing judge they please without so much as a peep from the Democrats. The public is overwhelmingly pro-choice, but the far right Republicans in Congress are determined to steal a woman's right to choose and rewrite the Constitution. Samuel Alito is just the kind of man who must be filibustered: an activist judge who boasted that he felt great working for causes he personally believed in, such as trying to dismantle Roe v. Wade.

E-mail Bill Frist, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, and tell him that he should not eliminate the filibuster. Here's my email; feel free to just copy and paste it:

To Senator Bill Frist,

I am a concerned citizen writing to express my fear regarding the potential elimination of the filibuster. The filibuster is a tool that has existed since the beginning of this great nation and has served as a limit on the power of both political parties. This limit is crucial for democracy because the American people prefer incremental change, not revolutionary change. Without the filibuster, both liberals and conservatives alike will see drastic changes in our judicial systems because extremists will be allowed to become judges.

Senator Frist, we need to retain the filibuster as a key element of democracy. Judges will still get up and down votes; only extremists face the potential for filibuster. If the Republican majority eliminates the filibuster, I will never vote Republican again. In addition, I will work as hard as I can to defeat any and all Republicans in 2006 and beyond should your party take this drastic measure.

The future of America is at hand, and I fear for our democracy should you decide to eliminate the filibuster.

Obviously I never have and never will vote Republican, but the email will get more attention if they think you are a swing voter. It's wrong to lie but not wrong to spin the facts in your favor.

3. Visit Buzzflash, Forget Corporate News

I've linked to Buzzflash since this site's inception, but it's worth mentioning again. Buzzflash is a 100% independent news source. A small band of progressives monitor news headlines and provide links to them on Buzzflash. In addition, Buzzflash has some of its own original editorials. They also have a great weekly feature: GOP Hypocrite of the Week.

Of course, the War on Corporate Evil now provides headlines as well, but Buzzflash! is great for when you want to know everything that's going on right now. Patronize their store as well -- they take ZERO money from corporations and rely upon donations to continue.

4. Ditch the plastic bags.

Next time you are at the supermarket, say "No plastic, I'll take paper." If you buy a small item, just carry it out and save the bag. Here's what I wrote about plastic bags on August 5th:

Corporations don't account for costs to society in their ledger book, just costs to themselves. So while a plastic bag may have a total cost of $1 -- $0.01 to the corporation for manufacture and $0.99 to the environment due to the fact that the plastic bag wasted gas and will never biodegrade -- the corporation's ledger just lists the cost of the bag as "$0.01". I'm sure most of you prefer the nice paper bags with handles to plastic ones (or like them equally), but stores mostly don't even offer paper anymore and if they do, the bags are handle-less so as to keep the corporate cost low and discourage paper bag use.

It's all still true. Plastic bags are made with oil and take millions of years to biodegrade. Paper bags contain zero oil and degrade in about 100 years. We need to preserve this planet for our children, so quit it already with the plastic bags.

5. Visit Oakland's Grand Lake Theatre.

Grand Lake Theatre, in Oakland's Lake Merritt district, is a real rarity: an independent, progressive, activist movie house. On the outside it looks the movie theatres of yesteryear; on the inside, various remodels have kept the building and it's 20s d├ęcor in pristine fashion. The owner, Allen Michaan, has preserved 2 other historical Bay Area theatres.

What makes the Grand Lake so special is its' marquee. On the outside of the building, they always have a message attacking Republicans and/or corporatists. Here's two examples:

Check out more marquee photos here. Allen Michaan is a great man to use his small position of power to help spread the message that Bush and his cronies are a bunch of criminals ruining our great country. He risks losing business and offending conservatives, but he doesn't care. For this, we need to support this great theatre. Take in a great movie in super comfortable chairs and take pleasure knowing you are fighting the War on Corporate Evil.

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