Howard Schweber, an assistant in the professorial ranks at the U., squeaks and squawks about hair-splitting definitional stuff: primary and secondary boycotts.
Screw that stuff. This is war. WMC and its Board (which once included David Wittwer, President of TDS Metrocom and Cullen, the head of J.P. Cullen & Sons) have a right to organize and spend WMC money and deploy WMC staff to carry out programs and policies and objectives of the group. Both Wittwer and Cullen were members of the Board of Directors of WMC during the run-up to the recent Supreme Court election. They made policy, spent money, hired an executive to carry out those policies using the budgeted money. All part of their war--with other fronts including Annette Ziegler and the attempt to sabotage important elements of the Great Lakes Compact--on us.
Wittwer and Cullen and the rest were not merely a bunch of friends debating issues and issuing white papers, speaking for like-minded right wing guys. They were leaders of a big, powerful, moneyed gang that set out to work against the interests of working people in Wisconsin, that set out to buy a Supreme Court that they could count on to back their political program.
I think I may have been the one to get the "boycott" started last March 13, when I wrote to Wittwer, at TDS. I had been a customer (a very satisfied one, I might add), but I told him I was dumping him and his company. Why? Because he was making policy, spending money, deploying and directing WMC staff to try to stick it to me. Out there in the political arena.
Wittwer wobbled, then caved in-- quit the WMC Board. And I have stayed with him as a customer. Cullen, apparently did the same thing when he got a vaguely similar ultimatum from Epic. I admire Epic CEO Judith Faulkner's delicately stated approach to putting the same shape up or ship out ultimatum to Cullen.
Different style, but we did the same thing. I've talked here in the language of war. In fact, I'm a pacifist--fiercely combative, but a pacifist nonetheless. And, I'm a fairly cooperative anarchist, to boot. When I refer to engaging in "war" I'm talking about doing it within Gandhian precepts. They use thug tactics, we respond with non-cooperation. They act as mercenaries for huge unnamed, out-of-state interests, we call them on this and refuse to patronize their commercial outlets. They do stuff that threatens our livelihoods and freedoms, we squeeze them economically.
But, war it is. And Howard Schweber sits on the sidelines squeaking and squawking and picking nits over the definitions of different kinds of boycotts. No thanks, Howie. We've sifted and winnowed. Now it's time to act.
WMC is waging war on us. They started it; we'll finish it. We'll win.
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- Jim Bouman
- Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States
- Of my biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I'm a "somewhat combative pacifist and a fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay some portion of them). And I always, always vote.