Friday, December 3, 2010

 Boycott Amazon Some More


In 2007, I think it was, I heeded a call to boycott Amazon.com because of the treatment they were giving former President Jimmy Carter's new book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which was a pretty honest assessment of the situation in Palestine. It didn't go as far as I would have gone in telling the sad truth about the ethnic cleansing and the inhuman treatment that Israel has been visiting upon the Palestinians for the past 60 years, but it was a significant book in that it was the first time such a figure as Jimmy Carter had attempted to tackle the subject. Amazon had given preferential placement to a scathing, dishonest review of the book by Israeli citizen, former IDF member and ardent Zionist, Jeffrey Goldberg, without even displaying a review that might have balanced Goldberg's out. I canceled my Amazon account and got used to a world without Amazon.

It took some doing to find other sources to get what I wanted as easily as you can get it at Amazon, but it wasn't all that hard. You can almost always find it somewhere else, and almost always find a lower price than Amazon's, too. I still sometimes use Amazon to find a book and read the reviews, but I buy it someplace else. In fact, I now have an "add-on" for my Firefox web browser that, whenever I am on a web page that sells something, like a book, automatically gives me a list of other web sites selling the same thing.


So I hadn't bought anything from Amazon in a long time, then, just last night, I remembered that boycott and looked up the Amazon page for Jimmy Carter's book. Jeffrey Goldberg's review wasn't even there, and the reviews I saw were all favorable ones. So I looked around on the internet to see what had become of the boycott, and it had ended when Amazon capitulated and balanced out the reviews of the book. I don't know when, but it was a couple of years ago, at least.


So today I have been considering opening up another account at Amazon. I thought that maybe when a case arises where that is the only place I can get a book, and I really want the book, then maybe.


Now all of a sudden there are calls to boycott Amazon because they caved to pressure by Senator Joe Lieberman to stop hosting the WikiLeaks web site on their servers.


Did I mention, another good place to buy books online is


Powells.com and barnesandnoble.com


And if you want to support local independent booksellers, who can order any book you want - http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder


For CDs - CDuniverse.com and CDbaby.com


And if you really want to broaden your world view and knowledge base beyond the pablum we are fed on TV and in the mainstream press, look around at these places -


http://www.haymarketbooks.org/
http://www.akpress.org/
http://www.sevenstories.com/
http://leftbooks.com/store/


And there's this little gem of a publishing house in El Paso -


http://www.cincopuntos.com/


I've bought a lot of books from them as I try to educate myself on the history of my adopted home in the Rio Grande Valley, with its rich Hispanic heritage.


You can live without Amazon. You don't need them any more than you need Wal Mart, McDonald's, Best Buy, Burger King, a big boil on your ass, etc, etc, etc....

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