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June 26, 1997

Monahan's Well

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By Jerry Curry

Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas took a big step
last week in Dallas when they adopted a resolution to boycott Disney
Inc., an international, perhaps universal, money-making machine.
Delegates took the action because they are appalled with Disney policies
the messengers believe promote and encourage a catamite life-style
which contributes to the continuing degradation of what used to be
called American values.
Disney, founded by acknowledged genius Walt Disney and now operated by
people whose only goal is a thousand percent profit margin, is not the
same company that produced Bambi. It is not even the same company that
opened Disneyland back in the 1950s.
I will not concern myself here with the advisability or non-advisability
of whether anyone should follow the Baptist convention lead and boycott
Disney products and services.
I will leave that issue to others although I have not purchased a Disney
product (unless you count the Kansas City Star) nor watched a Disney
media event (unless you count Monday Night Football on Disney-owned ABC)
in a long, long time.
Messengers to the Baptist convention may be right that Disney is one of
the reasons for the downward plunge of Western Culture. into a cyclone
of sensuality in which there is no right-or-wrong.
Instead, I will concern myself with the tactics of confrontation. And
make no mistake, the Southern Baptist Convention threw down the gauntlet
to Mike Eisner and dared him to pick it up. Do not mistake me. I have
spent a lot of my life doing things others said couldn't be done. I also
have spent a lot of my life failing in doing things others said couldn't
be done. I have, maybe a .500 average. That is pretty good in any
league. But there are several things I have learned in these nearly six
decades I have strived.
1. If the thing I am about to attack is bigger than me, I want to know
it before I kick it in the shin. I might kick but I want to be able to
move. Before any group takes direct action against another entity,
whether that action be boycott, litigation or aerial assault, it always
is a good idea, assuming the aggressor wishes to survive, to gather
If they had done a little information gathering, they would have found
Disney owns a lot of stuff the messengers didn't even know they owned.
This includes ESPN, which has Saturday morning fishing shows and
football games. I don't care about the fishing shows. It also includes
ABC, as noted earlier, and Monday Night Football. Disney owns a whole
bunch of stuff. I would not be surprised if Disney does not own Africa
and has an option on Mainland China. Disney might own the Russian Army.
This is a big outfit and to carry a Disney boycott to a logical
conclusion, you must also boycott any group that gives aid and comfort
to Disney and that includes several restaurant, lodging and toy groups.
You know who they are.
2. To work, a boycott must be popularly supported. The United Farmworker
boycotts of table grape growers in California a couple of decades ago
worked. Any California politician or grape grower who says otherwise is
either stupid or a liar, most likely both. That boycott worked because
Americans resented slave labor. The Farmworkers used this and built a
national force.
Before this Disney boycott action was taken, there should have been a
little more planning and a lot more consensus building. Let's face it,
Disney is big and Disney is pervasive. Besides are you going to throw away that Bambi video or stop watching Monday Night Football?

Letter from the editor

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By Steve Patterson

I guess it was only coincidence or perhaps just unfortunate timing, but it seemed our two visitors from China picked the one day that their nation would be the focus of the U.S. s national media.
Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved giving Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status to China, a move that has apparently angered the pro-labor forces in this country. It must still go through the Senate, which probably will not happen until next fall.
Also at the top of the news Tuesday, President Clinton and his party are catching increasing heat for the way in which Chinese businessmen have been given access to the White House after making several hefty donations.
Meanwhile in Ward County, a Mr. Wang and Mr. Li came to investigate whether their multi-million, multi-national, multi-faceted company wanted to gamble $3 million in a West Texas shrimp farm operation. They asked to visit some working shrimp farms.
They were not allowed to visit any working shrimp farms. Excuses were made. Conspiricy theories revealed. Alternative plans made. It was embarassing.
Now, I m not going to sit here and use our ink to try and tell our local shrimp farmers how to run their business, but I would like point something out.
Mr. Wang s Shandong company had $400 million in sales last year. He has sucessful aquaculture operations in places like Argentina. He employs 12,000 people, a few of whom are probably research scientists.
Do you think Mr. Wang may have some knowledge about the subject of shrimp farming? Do you think that the presence of a huge shrimp concern may open up markets for local product in places that never even knew Ward County had shrimp? Do you think your refusal to allow Mr. Wang to visit your sites was of benefit to anyone... including yourselves?
Whether we like it or not, the U.S. is going to be forced to participate in the global economy. Do you remember the alarmists jingoism Ross Perot used in an attempt to panic working people with his dire warnings about NAFTA.
”The giant sucking sound as jobs go south to Mexico hasn t happened as Ross predicted. In fact, as we watch the current crackdown on corruption and the strengthening of opposition parties, it appears Mexico may be on a path to a workable democracy.
Unlike Mexico, the U.S. does not share a border with China, but we may as well. It contains a third of the world s population. Our government has to make a decision on whether we will treat China with cooperation or isolate ourselves from its presence.

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107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
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