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“Free trade means sweatshop labor,” received quite a bit of press. The man carrying it screamed at me when I passed by in my “Enjoy Capitalism” tee. I stopped to ask if he’d prefer starving in the streets to working in a sweatshop, a real possibility in countries that still allow such labor practices. He looked as though that alternative had never crossed his mind, but he righted himself by calling me a fascist.
NOT LONG AFTER, I bumped into a Bureaucrasher who was selling Che Guevara T-shirts made in Honduras. (“Hopefully in a sweatshop,” he said.) Before the march had begun, they sold out of all the Che shirts, and even the Enjoy Capitalism ones, which were meant to provoke the crowd. Instead, several lefties took the statement as a sort of faux ironic dig, and happily paraded them around.
These Whitmanesque contradictions rendered the whole event more performance art than protest. A girl on her cell phone telling her friend to meet her at the anti-capitalist march; a man selling T-shirts accusing Bush of being a draft dodger next to a woman selling books that hailed draft dodgers and card burners as heroes; a crowd of girls who appeared to be from Swarthmore shouting, “Are you hungry? Eat the rich! Are you horny? F—k the rich!” — only in America, as they say.
When the event finally got underway about a quarter past one, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 marchers, it felt like a parade. Rather than outrage, the mood was a kind of jubilant resignation, as though it were a celebration of the protesters’ very, very principled opposition to the World Bank and IMF, not a denunciation of those bodies’ policies. So no one seemed to mind when I ducked out of the march and ran into Starbucks for a vanilla latté.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?