Monday, August 13, 2007

My Letter to

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I am writing to let you know that I am thoroughly disgusted to learn of Amazon's policy of selling cockfighting magazines and materials as well as dogfighting DVD's. You are well aware that such cruel practices are immoral--not to mention illegal--in most if not all states, yet you are apparently claiming First Amendment protection for yourselves, saying that you have the right to publish and sell written and videotaped material about anything and everything, including illegal, cruel activities.

I maintain that I, too, have a right: the right to take my business elsewhere. I've been a loyal Amazon customer since the late 1990's, spending a not-small fortune, especially on holidays and for birthdays. But now I will wait for a local bookstore or Barnes & Noble online to carry the item, or use my local library; or I will go without.

I would consider returning to your bookstore if and when I learn you have banished cruelty-based items from your virtual shelves.

I hope to hear from you one day soon and learn you have cleaned up your collective act. In the meantime, I thank you for the opportunity to express my displeasure with your online store and its policies.

Deborah Newell Tornello


I urge you to visit the Humane Society of the United States' action webpage and let Jeff Bezos, CEO of, know how you feel about his mega-corporation's inexplicable and unconscionable support for animal cruelty by selling such heartless, disgusting products as dogfighting DVD's and publications like Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior.

If you're interested in adopting a Pit Bull--and what a fine, noble, and gentle breed it is!--here are numerous regional Pit Bull rescue organizations.

On behalf of those who can't say it out loud, Thank You.

via Minstrel Boy.

UPDATE: Right on cue, a form-letter reply from landed in my In box (they must be receiving lots of complaints if such a huge corporation can't take the time to issue personal responses to their customers). Anyway, as Minstrel Boy warned, it contained a load of blather about them not wanting to engage in censorship by banning "controversial" subjects from their inventory. Hmmm...I do so love it when people try to play semantics games with me...

"Oh dear, look out," warns Mr. litbrit, "Mess with language and you're about to lose an argument in a BIG way, for your life!"

...since there is no controversy here: Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a felony offense in almost every state; cockfighting is illegal in all but two one states--New Mexico and Louisiana, where it is "partly legal", whatever that means (thanks for the update about NM Gov. Richardson's recent accomplishment, Stephen of The Thinkery)--and, I'm proud to say, Florida stands with Michigan and Colorado as having the toughest penalties for cockfighting in the nation.

Illegal. Not merely objectionable or "controversial", which means "subject to controversy; debatable; arguable; questionable". Against the law--as in, already decided, argument over, debate finished.

Ergo, what is doing is no different than if they were to sell a magazine entitled, say, Bank Robber's Manifesto Monthly or DVD's of child pornography--the making of which, like the hosting of dogfighting, is also illegal in all 50 states--and then pathetically try to claim First Amendment privileges because committing bank robbery or making child porn were "controversial".

It's nothing more than obfuscatory lawyerese--in other words, bullshit.

Hey, Mr. Bezos, here's a statement about which there's no controversy whatsoever: You're an irresponsible, heartless, and weak-willed asshole who clearly has morons for lawyers, and you're going to lose a lot of loyal customers over this.

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