Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Boycott everything

I watched the third debate a couple of nights ago and it went pretty much like the first two. The third debate was about internal policy and the typical issues received attention: health care, education, economy and national defense. The debate was moderated by Bill Schieffer who also moderated the debates in the early 1860s during the start of the civil war. Sorry, I shouldn't joke about his age, I should be so lucky to live to be as old as he looks; and at least he's not a whiney jackass like Andy Rooney.
But about the debate, Kerry was all over Bush for his poor tax policy, cutting health care and education and making their country a more dangerous place to live. Bush, perhaps realizing that his policies are indefensible, resorted to mostly attacking Kerry's character while making feeble attempts to support his own actions. This seems to have been his strategy for quite some time now.
In terms of character assassination, the Republicans just seem better at it than Democrats. Democrats like to think they are smarter by actually discussing issues and topics rather than slinging mud but, considering how well the Republicans are doing in the polls, it seems like slinging mud may be the way to win people over.
On that note, Sinclair Broadcasting will be airing a documentary called "Stolen Honor" just before the election. It's supposed to be about Kerry's opposition to the Vietnam war, and how it denigrated the POWs and soldiers that fought in Vietnam. As I've said before the entire episode: from the assassination of Diem, to the bombing of Laos and Cambodia, supporting the Khmer Rouge, the many My Lai's, and the Kissinger brokered treaty (that was violated right away), was a giant crime against humanity. One for which Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon should be tried (if any of them were alive, that is). Kissinger is alive, and he should be tried for war crimes, but that'll never happen.
But back the point, someone suggested boycotting the sponsors of Sinclair Broadcasting. The problem is boycotting gigantic multi-billion dollar corporations gets really complicated really quickly. Just looking at that list, it includes the big 3 car companies as well as Toyota, Hyundai and Nissan, it includes Walmart, Colgate-Palmolive, Gillette, GSK and Pfizer. These last few in particular would make shopping for regular products fairly difficult; and if you're prescribed some medication good luck trying to boycott the sole copyright holder and manufacturer.
Now I'm not saying it's impossible to do this but it takes some effort, and I'm talking from experience. I decided a long time ago to not support cigarette companies. Kraft Foods happens to be owned by Phillip Morris (now called Altria), one of the giant tobacco companies. Now aside from the creepiness of buying your food from a tobacco company Kraft Foods, and its associated companies, make damn near everything. Post cereals, Jell-O, Nabisco and Mr.Christie are all Kraft. While this makes you very aware of what you're eating, it really cuts into the amount of choice you have.
Furthermore, I also don't drink Coca-Cola or any of its derivative products. This seemingly includes half of all the non-alcoholic drinks in the world (the other half being produced by Pepsi). A short run-down of some Coke products includes: Coke (duh!), Sprite, Fanta, Dasani, Gatorade, Powerade, Fruitopia, Dr.Pepper, A&W, Barqs, Canada Dry, Five Alive, and many more. And Coke ships its products to every blasted corner of the planet. There are some small African villages where it's easier to find Coke than potable water. I know this from experience as well, and it's just depressing.
Now don't get me wrong, it takes some effort to cut these products out of your consumption; but it's not impossible. And I'll definitely continue not using any of these products. Incidentally, I stopped drinking Coke because of their policy against their unions.


  • What about President's Choice or No Name?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:01 AM  

  • Yes No Name products are available in many places, though they are still not as widely available as brand name products. Particularly products with as much recognition as Kraft Foods. For example, I've donated blood and all the cookies that they give you afterwards (and likely the crappy sugary-juice) are produced by Kraft.
    You might be surprised how much easier it is to find brand name products, and even find a load of products in a specific store that are all produced by the same brand. This is particularly true in smaller grocery and convenience stores.
    Like I said, it's certainly not impossible (obviously not because I still do it), but it does limit some of your options.
    Moreover, actually checking labels to see which company produces a product is something a lot of people don't usually do. It's not a big deal now, but when I first chose to cut these things out, I was pretty surprised with the number of products that only had their parent company noted in small print at the side of the container or packaging.

    By Blogger csguy314, at 7:13 AM  

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