judy b.

Damn the Dimes

Four people have sent me the e-mail – it's making the rounds – imploring us to protest Bush's inauguration and the war in Iraq by spending "not one damn dime" on Thursday, Jan. 20. The idea is that if the capitalist machine grinds to a halt, Bush and company will finally wake up and smell the patchouli, ushering in a thousand years of peace and love. If I had one damn dime for every cockamamie scheme my fellow liberals cooked up, I'd spend them all this Thursday, in one impudent shopping spree.

The ten cent posse suggests you print a flyer, available on its web site, and give it to businesses you do not patronize that day, so that, for example, Aquarius Records – a locally-owned San Francisco record store – will know that you did not buy any CDs that day to show support for the troops in Iraq. I have a couple of problems with this whole plan, beginning with the act of making local merchants pay for a federal policy they may not even support. If the protest amounted to an inconvenience, say, creating noise by shouting or blowing horns in front of a store that happened to be right next to the White House, I would be more sympathetic to the protestors, but their acts will cause calculable harm to their neighbors, the people, frankly, who serve them and add in a quantifiable way to the quality of their lives.

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