Anti-Bush groups push
The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 7
DETROIT (AP) - David Livingstone says the idea behind the eco-
nomic boycott he's organizing is simple: If people don't show up at work
or buy things, companies lose money. As he sees it, that's money the
Bush administration can't tax, and can't use to run the war in Iraq, pro-
tect polluters or chip away at the Constitution.
So the Detroit Democrat and a handful of other anti-Bush groups
across the country are urging others of like mind to withhold their cash
and labor on Inauguration Day - from all businesses. They don't think
they'll inflict a huge economic pain, but they do want to make a point.
"I view the inauguration of Bush as a black Thursday for this coun-
try," Livingstone says. "We've tried marching in the streets to stop the
war, we tried writing letters, we tried initiatives on the Web, but Bush
doesn't listen. It seems to us the only thing Bush and the Republicans
will listen to is money."
Livingstone, a 41-year-old writer, hopes to be in Washington for the
Jan. 20 festivities, which for him means protests, black armbands and
backs turned to the parade route.
And he's vowing not to buy gas, food or use his credit card that day:
He wants the GOP, big oil, big banking, big box stores and any other
"bigs" to know they can't push him around or ignore him - at least not
on Jan. 20.
The White House is taking all the boycott talk in stride. Bush "is
proud that we live in a society where people are free to peacefully
express their opinions," spokesman Jim Morrell says.
Other groups nationwide, many loosely connected through the Inter-
net, have put out calls similar to Livingstone's. Jesse Gordon, 44, of
Cambridge, Mass., spreads the word through his Web site, Not One
Gordon doesn't expect to shake the economy, but does want to see the
president recognize dissent.
"I think Bush should acknowledge the boycott. If we're effective, he'll
know about it, and he should acknowledge it," Gordon says.
In New Orleans, Buddy Spell says his January 20th Committee eager-
ly endorses the idea of an economic boycott. He remains primarily con-
cerned with organizing a jazz funeral procession through the downtown
to mourn a second Bush term and what he calls the death of democracy.
But he says a boycott is worth pursuing, in part because it can help unite
disparate anti-Bush forces.
The groups hope to see several million people eating brown-bag
lunches and dinners on Inauguration Day. If people don't want to boy-
cott all business, the groups suggest buying from just those that support
Democrats. The protesters say they'll measure success not in economic
terms, but by whether people know about the boycott and if it sparks
And if there's by chance a blip in the Gross Domestic Product, that would
be a bonus. A bonus indeed, say economists and historians.
"I can't imagine it would have any impact whatsoever," says David
J. Vogel, professor of business ethics at the University of California at
Berkeley. "Even if everyone didn't buy on that day, they'd make up for
it the next day."
Historian Lawrence Glickman says boycotts rarely accomplish any
substantial economic goal, and if they do, it's usually because they are
tailored to a specific product. Boycotts tend to have more success apply-
ing political pressure, but even that is limited.
Still, he said, their record of failure never seems to stop Americans
from launching them.
"There's this appeal about boycotts, anyone can take part in them
and you can use your pocketbook to express your dissatisfaction," says
Glickman, who studies labor and consumer activism at the University of
South Carolina in Columbia.
"It's a way of feeling like we're participating in something bigger
David Livingstone, 41, of Hazel Park, displays the home page to his website on Saturday in
Detroit. He is organizing an economic boycott to coincide with the presidential inauguration.
Continued from page 1
cheer never bothered him or his family, but Berenson
argued that it reflected poorly on the University's stu-
"I would hope that our Michigan students would
represent themselves as well as they can and repre-
sent our program as well as they can," Berenson said
earlier this week. "They give us a great boost by their
presence and their enthusiasm and the fact that they're
into their game, and that's a great home-ice advan-
Some of the students at yesterday's meeting sug-
gested creating an organized student group that has
a good relationship with the athletic department, like
the basketball team's Maize Rage. They said a free T-
shirt with a suggested cheer written on the back might
be an incentive for fans. But others were skeptical that
drastic changeswould be successful.
"It's got to be done subtly," Engineering senior
Brian Kornfeld said. "Any quick, sudden movements
by the athletic department are really going to scare
In addition to the offensive nature of the cheer,
Stevenson also cited Michigan's inability to host an
NCAA Regional as a reason to stop or change the
cheer. In the 2002 NCAA Regional, Michigan upset
No. 2 Denver at Yost Ice Arena, 5-3. Stevenson said
that, after the game, Michigan was fined. And Michi-
gan has not hosted a Regional at Yost since then.
A media spokesman for Tom Jacobs, the NCAA Direc-
tor of Championships, said that the reason the Regionals
have not been at Yost has less to do with the offensive
language than the fact that having the game at Yost gives
Michigan an unfair competitive advantage.
Mich. legislature kicks
Continued from page 1
dents of their right to remain silent via the Statement
sets up or further reinforces the stereotypical notion
that OSCR serves as University police force."
While OSCR did not support inclusion of proposal
4R in the code, it agreed to begin informing students
that statements made-to OSCR can be disclosed to a_
court if they are subpoenaed. MSA members were not
completely reassured by this.
Despite the communication that has taken place
between MSA and University offices, Akerlof said he
is concerned about the breadth of MSA's proposals.
"There's quite a few changes that are being pro-
posed. I am concerned that (the MSA's code advisory
board) only meets once a month and that there are
limited opportunities to debate these issues. I'm con-
cerned this is a heavy burden for a relatively slight
committee," Akerlof said.
MSA proposes amendments to the code every two
years and tries to persuade the Office of Student Con-
flict Resolution to recommend these to SRAC. The
proposed changes are then reviewed by SRAC, which
recommends some of these proposals to Coleman.
Coleman will ultimately decide if the amendments
will be adopted.
The original proposals were made on Nov. 1 and
were modified on Dec. 2 and again yesterday. The
amendments proposed by MSA cover a variety of
areas, including disciplinary action by OSCR, which
enforces the student code of conduct.
Despite the two amendments OSCR did not sup-
port and the four that it supported only in principle,
MSA members said they are pleased with the results
of their meeting with OSCR.
"Substantively, MSA has gotten almost everything
it wanted - important new procedural rights and
much greater transparency," Gewolb wrote in an e-
Mahajan said she was much more optimistic about
some of the other proposed amendments.
"Since we have been working so closely with SRAC
and OSCR, we feel like things are running smoothly,"
she said. "Two years ago we didn't have the support
of OSCR we thought we did, and a lot of the amend-
ments didn't pass. Last time there wasn't enough stu-
dent support. If we have more student support this
time, we hope they're going to pass the amendments,"
SRAC will hear OSCR's recommendations and stu-
dent concerns at the meeting on Friday.
off new ses.
LANSING (AP) - The 2005-06 legislative session
begins today, and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm
and Republican leaders in the House and Senate are
bracing for another round of spending cuts.
They'll also face a more intense political environ-
ment that makes it harder to work together, since the
House, the Senate and the governorship are all up for
re-election in 2006.
But new House Speaker Craig DeRoche, (R-Novi),
DeRoche, a 34-year-old former city council mem-
ber, will give a short speech during today's ceremo-
nial kickoff of the 93rd Legislature. He plans to talk
about the tough choices facing lawmakers in the new
"Our decisions, our actions and literally our finger-
prints will mark the pages of Michigan's history and
will show everyone how we responded to the challeng-
es before us," he plans to say, according to excerpts of
his 15-minute speech obtained yesterday by The Asso-
DeRoche takes over a slimmer GOP majority than
Republicans held last year. Democrats picked up five
seats in the November election, dropping the House
split to 58 Republicans and 52 Democrats.
House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum, (D-Onon-
daga), said she already is working well with DeRoche.
Her relationship with former Republican Speaker Rick
Johnson of LeRoy became strained after he dumped
tens of thousands of dollars on her opponent in the
"It is a new House, and we have new members," she
said. "One of the first things we have to do is establish
a working relation with each other."
Granholm said she is looking forward to a year of
challenges and opportunities.
"I think this is a great moment in our history to
really work together," she said yesterday during a
The governor on yesterday sent a letter o all law-
makers urging them to pass legislation that had bipar-
tisan support last session but failed to make it to her
Before they tackle anything else, lawmakers should
remove restrictions on absentee voting, expand the
bottle bill to include deposits on water and juice con-
tainers, set up regulations controlling large-scale water
withdrawals and raise the age teenagers can drop out of
school from 16 to 18, she said.
Then they should move onto the budget deficit and
finding ways to create more jobs, but only after they
"clear the decks" of the other legislation, she added.
Representatives for DeRoche and Senate Major-
ity Leader Ken Sikkema, R-Wyoming, said they will
consider the governor's to-do list, but want to focus on
improving the state's economy. Michigan's unemploy-
ment rate hit 7 percent in November, the highest mark
"The No. 1 issue facing this state is getting its residents
back to work," Sikkema spokesman Ari Adler said.
Lawmakers also must deal with budget shortfalls.
The House and Senate Fiscal agencies have projected
that this year's $8.8 billion general fund budget is a lit-
tle more than $400 million in the red. The deficit could
be even bigger for the fiscal year that begins in October
if no additional spending cuts are made.
Lawmakers and the governor will get a clearer pic-
ture of the budget situation on Thursday when state
economists lay out their revenue estimates.
Granholm, Sikkema and DeRoche have said they
want to cut spending rather than raise taxes and fees to
balance the budget.
DeRoche will touch on the issue in Wednesday's
"Our decisions affect real people and their lives,"
he says in his prepared remarks. "And we must always
understand that those decisions may not always feel
like the most politically popular thing to do."
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