Whole Foods, Ct’d…

Monday, August 17th, 2009

This site has been linked by several lefty blogs, Andrew Sullivan’s blog, and a few discussion boards—all on the Whole Foods topic. So here now, a few disorganized thoughts in response to comments posted here and elsewhere.

1) Several commenters have lectured me on free speech and how using consumer power to punish companies you don’t like is part of the free market (inevitably followed by something like, “some libertarian you are!”).  You’re correct!

But I never said you don’t have the right to boycott Whole Foods. Nor did I say there’s anything wrong with the general principle of spending money at companies whose practices you admire, and not spending money at those you don’t. Here’s how it breaks down: Mackey has the right to express his opinion on health care. You have the right to boycott his company because you don’t like that opinion. And I have the right to say you’re a moron for doing so.

2) The reason the boycott is moronic is that you’re punishing a company that does everything the left thinks a company should do in just about every other area (save for a few, noted below) solely because its CEO expressed opinions about health care that you don’t like. And I don’t mind that you disagree with Mackey’s opinions. But if they offend you, you’re way too damned sensitive. He didn’t say, “I think all Americans should have access to health care . . . except for black people.” That would be offensive. He put forth some proposals that he thinks would make the health care system more efficient. You can disagree with those proposals. But if you’re offended by them, you really have a low tolerance for offense.

3) That’s the crux of why I think the boycott is ill-considered, reactionary, and foolish. You’re saying, “These opinions are so horrifyingly offensive, they outweigh all the good your company does, and therefore, I’m going to punish you, your employees, and all of your suppliers.” See, I find that offensive. And yes, that’s in part because I happen to agree with most of Mackey’s recommendations.

4) I say in part because I also think the general premise is ridiculous. I shop at Costco. A lot. If the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for a single payer health care system, I’d shrug, maybe write a blog post about why I think he’s wrong, and then I’d probably go to Costco this weekend to buy some dog food, some meat, and to try to eat my membership dues in free samples. Now, if the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for genocide against redheads, then yeah, I’d stop shopping there. But calling for a boycott of a conscientious company over its CEO endorsing proven ideas like HSAs and mainstream policies like tort reform is an attempt to push good ideas you disagree with to the fringe. It’s a way of zoning your opponents best arguments out of the realm of civilized debate. In other words, it’s a way to marginalize your opponents without actually having to debate them.

5) Some commenters say they’re boycotting Whole Foods because it’s too expensive. Okay. So. You want a company that pays its employees well, gives them great benefits, demands high environmental and humane treatment standards from its suppliers, caters to a variety of dietary restrictions, offers organic produce, and manages to keep its prices low so working class people can shop there. Oh, and it can’t be part of the “industrial supply chain,” either, whatever that means. Good luck! Of course, you all hate Walmart because it does keep prices low, but does so by paying its employees less and pressuring its suppliers for lower wholesale prices.

I guess we could just have the government grow, process, and distribute all the food. That seems to have worked really well in North Korea. But then if the government is the only food supplier, how could you wage a boycott when the government doesn’t let the food workers unionize?

Hey, just asking!

6) Speaking of unions, a few others have said they’re boycotting Whole Foods because Mackey won’t let his employees organize. But as noted, his employees have high rates of job satisfaction, and they’re paid better and have better benefits than the unionized employees at other grocery chains. So what’s the problem? If Mackey’s opposition to unions is your reason for hating Whole Foods, sorry, but you don’t really care about workers. You care about unions.

7) Some have said the answer lies in farmers’ markets and co-ops. Farmers’ markets and co-ops are swell if you’re a yuppie commune member or an urbanite foodie. But they aren’t going to feed entire cities. If it makes you feel good to shop at those places, go ahead. I love my local farmers’ market. Mine has great heirloom tomatoes. But I also realize that it’s only open five months out of the year, only sells what can be grown locally, and its stock can be limited by bad weather, pests, and just about any other variable that can hurt a harvest.  Chain stores utilize the economies of scale. They replicate suppliers, so if something goes wrong with one farmer or a drought hits one part of the country, they can back it up with food from another. So you can go ahead and feel morally superior by shopping at the farmers’ market, but don’t pretend that you’re helping the poor. Big companies and industrial farming are why poor people in America don’t starve to death anymore. They’re also why America feeds a good percentage of the rest of the world. I too think corporations can be evil. But there’s no question that industrial farming has immeasurably improved and extended our lives.

8) Why is it that the left is so stridently pro-local when it comes to commerce, but when it comes to government, everything must be nationalized, uniform, and one-size-fits-all?

9) John Mackey opposes single payer health care, preferring to keep health insurance private and competitive. Lefties are angry with his decision to write an op-ed in support of this position, so they’re going to take their business to other grocers whose politics are more in line with their own.

Huh.  Just curious, if we get single payer, and the government does something you don’t like, where are you going to take your business?

I think the cool kids call this this irony.

10) A few emailers took offense to the term “leftists,” or “lefties.” Is that pejorative now? Well, okay. What would you like to be called? As I understand it, “liberal” went out of vogue in the late 1980s. Which is fine, because as a libertarian, I’d actually like to have that word back.

Sorry, but I’m not using “progressive.” It’s a loaded term which implies that the people who disagree with you are opposed to progress. I disagree with you more often than not. And I don’t consider myself regressive. I just have a different concept of progress than you. Also, I don’t quite understand why that word is so popular right now. You do realize that the progressives of the early 20th century were generally anti-abortion, pro-eugenics, and pro-prohibition, don’t you? More than a few of them–including progressive hero Woodrow Wilson-were also ardent segregationists.

But I digress. What exactly should I call you that won’t give offense?

11) If you’re coming here from another website and have made snide cracks about Fox News, hating brown people, supporting unjust wars, or otherwise expressed the tired idea that libertarians are just Republicans who smoke pot, you’ve embarrassed yourself. Read up a little on what we do here, then get back to me.

12) Mackey didn’t deliberately offend his customers, as some have suggested.  He didn’t spit in your face, or, as one commenter so delicately put it, he didn’t “squeeze a turd in [your] punch bowl.” He just overestimated you.

You see, he shared his ideas on health care reform, thinking that you, being so famously open-minded and all, might take to a few of them, or that it at least might start a conversation. I guess he felt he’d built up some cache with you, and wanted to introduce you to some new ideas. His mistake wasn’t in intentionally offending his customers. He’s a businessman who has built a huge company up from the ground. I’m sure he knows you don’t deliberately offend your customers. His mistake was assuming you all were open-minded enough consider these ideas without taking offense—that you wouldn’t throw a tantrum merely because he suggested some reforms that didn’t fall in direct line with those endorsed by your exalted Democratic leaders in Washington. In retrospect? Yeah, it was a bad move. Turns out that many of you weren’t nearly mature enough to handle it.

Hey, the guy isn’t perfect!

13) For the record, over the years I’ve had conservative friends who have refused to shop at Whole Foods solely because they don’t like the politics of other people who shop there. I’ve told them I think they’re idiots, too.

MORE: One more point: Several commenters say it was the Thatcher quote at the beginning of the op-ed that annoyed them most. As I understand it, that was added by the WSJ editors, not Mackey. And it’s true! Call it “socialism” or something else, but the federal government is running historically and frighteningly high deficits, as well as unfunded mandates for entitlements amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars for every U.S. citizen. That isn’t sustainable. And that’s before any new health care proposals are added to the mix. And yes, the Republicans are partly to blame for all of this, too.

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351 Responses to “Whole Foods, Ct’d…”

  1. #1 |  Stephen | 

    Wow Radley, I think that is the longest post you have made since I started lurking around here several years ago. :)

    I’ll have to try reading it all again in the morning when I’m sober.

  2. #2 |  Cornellian | 

    I do have to wonder why he decided to express any opinion at all. Most corporate CEOs hate taking a public position on any issue even remotely controversial.

  3. #3 |  Nick | 

    This may help with the smiley face…

    -> dasboard -> options -> writing – > formatting (find the check box for emoticons and uncheck it) -> update options

  4. #4 |  Walt | 

    This may be the best summation of the whole kerfaffle I’ve read.

  5. #5 |  Indi | 

    As one who sits half on the libertarian fence and half on the ‘liberal’ fence (my ass is sore from all the fence-sitting) this post is beautiful. And makes such perfect sense.

  6. #6 |  Sean L. | 

    Wow, man! I’m going to use these as talking points with my leftie, er, progres… hmm.. crap, I’ll just call them “commie” friends.

  7. #7 |  iFiction | 

    Keep in mind, the statements of specific leftists to not necessarily reflect the opinions of all leftists. I consider myself very much a leftist/liberal/progressive/whatever-they’re-calling-it-now, and I think a boycott of Whole Foods is ridiculous for all the reasons you listed, and I love Whole Foods for all the reasons you listed and more (I just wish there was one in my area). I may not agree with John Mackey on health care or on the role of unions in society as a whole, but that does not mean he isn’t doing a damn good job of running his company (which he is) and providing us with a great degree of social good.

    By the way, I can certainly see the term “lefty” being considered pejorative, as it is almost always used as such, but “leftist” is a completely legitimate political classification. “Lefty” implies we’re talking about someone who should not be taking seriously and sounds effete and out-of-touch. I could be wrong, but “lefty,” from my understanding, is a slang variation of “leftist” that is almost always used pejoratively, so I would say it makes sense to point it out as a pejorative term. Getting offended by use of the term “leftist,” however, is completely ridiculous.

  8. #8 |  Eric H | 

    Epic.

    This makes some of Matt Welch’s excellent rants look positively timid.

  9. #9 |  Big Chief | 

    I think the healthcare reform issue has put people more over the edge than any issue I’ve ever seen. I watched part of Meet the Press Sunday morning and it was amazing how comments and questions were immediately misinterpreted by the other side. Reasonable statements were given the worst spin possible and taken as great affronts by the opposition. Unbelievable.

    Radley, I’m with you about those who are “offended” by Mackey’s statement. He certainly didn’t say anything disrespectful to those who favor Obama’s plan. If you were offended by Mackey’s statement you should seek out a good asylum and sequester yourself there for the duration or until you gain some perspective.

  10. #10 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    That’s a rather long response — you almost sound defensive.

  11. #11 |  rightshu | 

    @ #6:

    That’s a rather short response — you almost sound as if you can’t debate the points Radley laid out.

  12. #12 |  Eric H | 

    In terms of democrats’ responses to good-faith dissenting opinions like Mackey’s, it’s funny how similar they are to republicans’ reactions to criticism of the war on terror. Anyone who opposes a public option and the like simply doesn’t care about helping poor people. Just like anyone who opposes torture and indefinite detention doesn’t care about national security.

    Why can’t either side accept the fact that everyone wants what’s best for the country, we just don’t agree on what policies will accomplish that. Those of us who oppose nationalized health care do believe in increasing availability of health care. We just think that the best way to do it is with market-based reforms that will bring down costs for everyone.

    Just like Republicans on the war on terror, these people need to learn that the most aggressive policies rarely are the most effective, and often are counter-productive. And that people who support less aggressive policies do it because they think they will be effective, not because they’re evil-minded obstrucionists.

  13. #13 |  Brent | 

    Well done Balko! You post well with the gloves off too.

  14. #14 |  Packratt | 

    Radley,

    Regarding the question about the emoticons showing up when you use 8 and ) in conjunction. On the version of WordPress I run you can disable that “feature” by going to Settings then Writing and make sure that “convert emoticons to graphic displays” is unchecked.

  15. #15 |  Walker Pfost | 

    holy crap that was awesome

  16. #16 |  John MacNeill | 

    >>Huh. Just curious, if we get single payer, and the government does something you don’t like, where are you going to take your business?

    Isn’t that what voting is for?

  17. #17 |  David Chesler | 

    What Packratt said 8)

    Wow, you make me feel guilty that I don’t already shop at Whole Foods (and I might give them a second look.) (Single Dad, I don’t buy a lot of groceries at all.)

    A lot of commenters (here, I think) were complaining that Mackey’s op-ed sounded like an ad for Whole Foods. I disagree with that: he backed up general principles with concrete examples from his own experience.

    This must be an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. Whenever I’ve disagreed with your positions (most often on immigration I think) your position has been the one more associated with the left.

  18. #18 |  rsm | 

    Thank you, a great response and summary.

    This topic really broke the camel’s back for me. People who have, up until this broke, been fairly rational on gov’t topics just dove off the deep end on it. I guess some people can’t handle a rational argument with good reasoning and evidence.

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    If calling the political Left “lefties” is now bad form I propose we use an older term that sums up their general public demeanor and style of behavior.

    “Swine”

  20. #20 |  Tom Sullivan | 

    Radley,

    What an artful dismantling of the arguments of some on the left; and what a great opportunity they gave you to point out the glaring hypocrisy of their stated positions.

    Your Whole Foods posts, taken as a “Whole” (ouch! just too easy), are classics. Great work!

    Tom

  21. #21 |  Nacim | 

    Oh man, now I’m going to always be on the lookout for Radley at the Pentagon City Costco (assuming that’s his location of choice)!

  22. #22 |  Jason Kirk | 

    I think the op-ed’s headline, obviously not chosen by Mackey (The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare) pushed the progressives over the edge. It seems many of these enraged progressives didn’t realize that editors pick the titles in the newspaper world. Newspapers have been around for, what, like at least 10 years, so you’d think progressive people would’ve figured them out by now.

    Calling them progressives is actually pretty fun.

  23. #23 |  Tsu Dho Nihm | 

    Excellent post! I think that countered every argument in favor of the boycott.

  24. #24 |  Mojopin | 

    Radley, after you got done writing that, did you stand up and yell, “by the power of grayskull!!!”

  25. #25 |  Mary | 

    Man, I love it when Radley get pissed!

    I agree that the term ‘moron’ fits. Let it ride.

    And as a Costco shopping redhead, I thank you.

  26. #26 |  Ira | 

    I prefer Libtard but please feel free to call me and my ilk whatever you want. If others get offended too bad.

    As for this boycott nonsense, my guess is it’s the same issue whores that spent a night in a tent on the Lawn and thought they somehow connected with the homeless or residents of Soweto…

  27. #27 |  Sithmonkey | 

    Damn…it’s posts like this one that are dragging me, kicking and screaming, into the Libertarian camp. Well put, Radley…

  28. #28 |  Bomias | 

    Well done. I may have to drop by our local Whole Foods here in Austin and mention a few of these points to our protesters. I’m a bit embarrassed by the Left on this, Mackey makes a quality argument and isn’t that what we want? Thoughtful discussion and debate? True believers of any ilk are eventually get distasteful.

  29. #29 |  HipHopLawyer | 

    I’m not entirely convinced by point #12. If his intended audience was his (lefty) customers, would he really publish his views in the WSJ? Its op-ed page (rightly or wrongly) is well known as a forum for extreme right wing views.

    If he were actually trying to convince his customers, he might have toned down his rhetoric and posted on Kos or Huffpo. He still might have pissed off a lot of the less open-minded of them, but many would see him as engaging with them on their turf and give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m really not sure what he was trying to accomplish at the WSJ — I’m sure that paper’s free-market-only approach has not suffered from lack of dissemination, and its audience won’t be swayed by adding Mackey’s voice to the mix.

  30. #30 |  Mike T | 

    In terms of democrats’ responses to good-faith dissenting opinions like Mackey’s, it’s funny how similar they are to republicans’ reactions to criticism of the war on terror.

    They’re cut from the same cloth. Most of the left was screaming and kvetching for the 8 years we had Bush, but then fell silent when the Democrats started taking over and continuing those policies or making them even worse.

    The average liberal is a pure hypocrite, just like their conservative counterparts. As long as it is Obama doing it, they’ll support anything Bush was doing or at least excuse it.

  31. #31 |  Bronwyn | 

    Nothing like a beautiful rant to start my Monday off right!

    *standing ovation*

  32. #32 |  Kristen | 

    @#16 “Isn’t that what voting is for?”

    That, my friend, is freaking hilarious.

  33. #33 |  Tokin42 | 

    BRAVO! The whole post cracked me up, just what I needed on a monday morning.

    if the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for genocide against redheads, then yeah, I’d stop shopping there.

    Ginger Genocide would be a great name for a punk band.

  34. #34 |  The Whole Foods boycott « Iterative Process | 

    […] opinions of it’s CEO as in the actions that that corporation takes. Radley Balko makes this point […]

  35. #35 |  Cappy | 

    One of the best things you’ve written in a while. Props!

  36. #36 |  JS | 

    “I guess we could just have the government grow, process, and distribute all the food. That seems to have worked really well in North Korea.”

    lol brilliant! The hardcore idealist never let a little thing like reality get in the way of a good self righteous crusade.

  37. #37 |  Fluffy | 

    The funniest thing about the entire Whole Foods boycott discussion is that most of the people leading it went berserk when ClearChannel boycotted the Dixie Chicks.

    I was on the Dixie Chicks’ side in the argument about the war, but at the time I had to acknowledge that if private citizens wanted to boycott them, that was their right. It was the left that was apoplectic about how unfair boycotts were at that time.

    Everyone always has to remember:

    If the left does it, it’s a boycott. If the right does it, it’s a blacklist.

    If the left does it, it’s a protest demonstration. If the right does it, it’s thuggish intimidation.

    If the left does it, it’s grassroots activity. If the right does it, it’s astroturf.

    If the left does it, it’s a heroic crusading lawsuit. If the right does it, it’s a SLAPP suit.

    If the left does it, it’s freelance investigative journalism. If the right does it, it’s stalking.

    You made the mistake of forgetting that the Whole Foods boycott was sanctified by the leftiness of the people behind it. You would only be allowed to criticize it if there were righties behind it. Try to remember this simple rule.

  38. #38 |  jppatter | 

    Brilliant essay Radley! Great way to start of the day. :)

  39. #39 |  Conservative Compendium » Radley Balko Versus Whole Foods Boycotters | 

    […] Read the whole thing. […]

  40. #40 |  Erin | 

    This is probably your best post ever. Three cheers.

    And I’m a libertarian sympathizer who supports single-payer healthcare.

  41. #41 |  Ginger Dan | 

    Jesus, a guy goes on vacation on comes back to find Radley bending lefties over his knee, spanking them and then sending them to the corner for a time-out. WTF is going on Agitatorians? I guess I’ve got some catching up to do.

    Great post Radley, this was a great way to start the day!

  42. #42 |  Eric | 

    +1 Radley

  43. #43 |  wallster | 

    Sorry, “Progressive” is an appropriate term. “Lefties” have been pushing change forever, while “righties” have generally fought it. Over time, the lefties’ agenda has almost always been adopted and almost always for the betterment of society. Hence progress. It’s actually a more appropriate term than ‘liberal’, IMO.

    That said, don’t worry about using the term ‘lefties’. Anybody who complains is overly sensitive.

    Why is it that the left is so stridently pro-local when it comes to commerce, but when it comes to government, everything must be nationalized, uniform, and one-size-fits-all?

    You know better than that… the left wants to support local commerce, apparently to support the little local guy against large corporate conglomerates. Whether that is justified or rational or not, it is totally different from the issue of local vs. national governmental policies. Conservative policies in one jurisdiction can undo the supposed benefits of liberal policies in another jurisdiciton. (Legal guns from Virginia in NY and Mass, and race to the bottom welfare benefits, for examples). Not that I’m advocating a position on any of those issues, just pointing out that the issues are completely unrelated and being in favor of local commerce does not conflict with being in favor of national policy, and vice-versa.

  44. #44 |  Stephen Smith | 

    You do realize that the progressives of the early 20th century were generally anti-abortion, pro-eugenics, and pro-prohibition, don’t you? More than a few of them–including progressive hero Woodrow Wilson-were also ardent segregationists.

    Not to mention crazed opponents of mass transit and proponents of paving over dense urban enviornments and replacing them with detatched suburban houses with manicured lawns. But never mind all that unsavory stuff…let’s just remember Teddy Roosevelt as the president who designated a few national parks.

  45. #45 |  Mike | 

    “Sorry, “Progressive” is an appropriate term. “Lefties” have been pushing change forever, while “righties” have generally fought it”

    From dictionary.com
    progress – noun
    1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a student toward a degree.
    3. advancement in general.
    4. growth or development; continuous improvement: He shows progress in his muscular coordination.

    Progress does not equal pro-change. I’m sure those on the right would say those changes would not constitute progress. Progress implies change for the better. It can rightfully be said by anyone in america that anyone who is against progress is a generally an idiot. The key difference is the Lefties and the Righties have different ideas about what constitutes progress.

    So nobody really can lay claim to ‘Progressive’. Its meaningless and implies that anyone against you is an idiot. Liberal is also pretty meaningless without at least some issue to give context to the word.

  46. #46 |  scott in phx az | 

    Spot On!

    and to your earlier point –

    Yes (or no), they DON’T WANT TO DISCUSS ANYTHING!

    they want everyone who doesn’t agree with them to shut up and do what they’re told. and if you don’t they will crush you by any means fair or foul (and I think they particularly like the foul part – as Palin found out).

    what does that make them?

    facists.

    ps: read “Liberal Facism” by Jonah Goldberg. this ps is not for Radley but for the faux liberals who post here.

  47. #47 |  Jozef | 

    Regarding point no. 5: I don’t shop at Whole Foods because it’s too expensive. For the same reason I don’t shop at Lacoste and a bunch of other stores. That doesn’t mean I’m boycotting them. I’m exercising my freedom of choice, supported by free market mechanisms that govern the economic system in this country. I guess the lefties got simply scared of the fact that they were utilizing the same freedom and had to come up with a high and mighty excuse, such as boycotts.

  48. #48 |  Dave P | 

    Well done. Radley.

    It’s mostly for naught, I’m afraid.

    You’re trying to reason with unreasonable people.

  49. #49 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Some commenters say they’re boycotting Whole Foods because it’s too expensive.

    I don’t think those commenters understand what “boycott” means. Or else I’ve been boycotting Mercedes for all these years without even knowing it.

  50. #50 |  bb | 

    On “leftist” or “progressive” or whatever… I’ll defer to George Carlin – call ‘em “pinkos.”

  51. #51 |  Steve C | 

    “If you’re coming here from another website and have made snide cracks about Fox News, hating brown people, supporting unjust wars,”

    Hey that’s me! Sorry about the brown people thing, over the top. However:

    “the tired idea that libertarians are just Republicans who smoke pot, you’ve embarrassed yourself”

    He doth protest too much. I’m pretty sure libertarian intellectuals would like this to be true, and if you go judging actual libertarians – they’re awfully willing to forgive and forget. Reason itself uses on-the-one-hand-on-the-other language re: Yoo and friends. People around here seem much more interested in state “tyranny” when it comes to their pocketbooks vs physical violence inflicted on others.

    You guys don’t hesitate to cite Instapundit as a source, or give him face time, for instance. Nobody expects an inquisition, but it’s an example that at the end of the day you’ll give torture-supporting intellectuals a pass. I doubt the same is true for people who support public healthcare or higher taxes.

  52. #52 |  Curt | 

    @39…

    You seem to be making the same mistake that almost every lefty was making about a year ago… equating change with progress/improvement. Change doesn’t neccessarily imply making things better. Change can make things better, worse, or just different.

    Obviously, most people want positive change, they just disagree over who provides that. It’s pretty safe to say most readers of this site firmly believe that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have been a shining example of positive change.

    As far as lefty agenda almost always being adopted and almost always for the betterment of society… I’m not sure which I find more comical. Either way, if the lefty agenda was so completely adopted and so wonderful… what are they constantly trying to change? Apparently their own agenda from the past? If their agenda had almost always been adopted, wouldn’t the righties be the party of change?

  53. #53 |  Curt | 

    I guess the numbers on the comments changed. My comment “@39″ was actually @43.

  54. #54 |  rob sama | 

    You should use the ol tag to create a numbered list.

  55. #55 |  Taktix® | 

    At #45:

    The dictionary definition of “progressive” matters less than the context in which it’s being used. One could argue the definition, but it’s little more than a semantic argument, and therefore missing the point.

    In fact, calling something “progressive” when it more resembles archaic forms of governance — those being centralized power and authoritarian rule — is a misuse of the term; calling liberal policies regressive is not only more accurate but also less appealing.

    Do note that a common propaganda tactic is to call something the opposite of what it is to mask it’s true meaning. Just sayin’…

  56. #56 |  JS | 

    “Why is it that the left is so stridently pro-local when it comes to commerce, but when it comes to government, everything must be nationalized, uniform, and one-size-fits-all?”

    Because government is a surrogate god for them. Their highest hope for humanity is bigger government and this blinds them to it’s flaws and deficiencies as well as its’ potential to be abused.

  57. #57 |  Bill | 

    #51, Steve C : “Nobody expects an inquisition, but it’s an example that at the end of the day you’ll give torture-supporting intellectuals a pass. I doubt the same is true for people who support public healthcare or higher taxes.”

    You’ve been reading this site, and you actually believe that? Looks like the libertarians aren’t the only ones smoking pot….

  58. #58 |  tcl | 

    Instead of “lefties” or “leftists” or “progressive”, I think the appropriate word would be …

    “governmentalist”.

    I would preferably call them “statists” (just as one would do with Neo-Con’s, who are not really different than leftists in terms of freedom and individual liberty), but it seems to be too technical of a word to be understood by the politically uninclined.

    Thoughts?

  59. #59 |  Steve C | 

    “His mistake was assuming you all were open-minded enough consider these ideas without taking offense—that you wouldn’t throw a tantrum merely because he suggested some reforms that didn’t fall in direct line with those endorsed by your exalted Democratic leaders in Washington. ”

    I refer to my earlier comment about the op-ed about gun control I’m currently writing which begins “not all libertarians are Michigan-militia style gun nuts”. It’s a fair take on the current state of gun reform. Not only should libertarians not get all offended and throw tantrums (and dude, seriously, the Go Galt / legalize drugs / taxes=tyranny crowd is lecturing other groups on tantrums? You have tantrum-throwing culture in pure crystalline form), you should treat what I have to offer as serious and erudite.

  60. #60 |  Fluffy | 

    I would also dispute that “the left” as it is currently understood has “always” been the motive force behind progress.

    Several centuries ago, the forces arrayed against progress favored massive state intervention in economic affairs, heavy regulation of professions and trades, paternalism on the part of the state and the upper classes, scientific research limited to the bounds set by “social responsibility”, and a naive and nostalgic pastoralism where each man fit into a specific social role marked by “a sense of purpose and belonging” and by well-defined duties and responsibilities to his fellow men and his community.

    The result of all of this, the world over which these forces ruled, was a hellhole. And the people who wanted “progress” got it by destroying all of those things, one at a time.

    After a period of great progress, the momentum of which continues today, a social movement we know as “the left” came into being, advocating a “new” social order that they demanded include massive state intervention in economic affairs, heavy regulation of professions and trades, paternalism on the part of the state and the upper classes, scientific research limited to the bounds set by “social responsibility”, and a naive and nostalgic pastoralism where each man fit into a specific social role marked by “a sense of purpose and belonging” and by well-defined duties and responsibilities to his fellow men and his community. Progress has been blunted and slowed to the extent that “the left” has succeeded in imposing its reactionary agenda on the world.

  61. #61 |  Steve C | 

    “Because government is a surrogate god for them. Their highest hope for humanity is bigger government and this blinds them to it’s flaws and deficiencies as well as its’ potential to be abused.”

    We may smoke pot but you guys are well on your way into the hard stuff

  62. #62 |  Dan | 

    The cool kids do call that irony…but it’s really par for the course when you’re dealing with a group of people that make decisions based on feelings rather than facts.

    I think the smiley face is awesome, if you could start numbering all your posts in emoticons, you’d get some additional lefties who would then know how to feel about each point based on the little picture.

  63. #63 |  tcl | 

    To restate Steve C in #61 and paraphrase,

    “Government is the opiate of the leftists”

  64. #64 |  Fluffy | 

    You guys don’t hesitate to cite Instapundit as a source, or give him face time, for instance. Nobody expects an inquisition, but it’s an example that at the end of the day you’ll give torture-supporting intellectuals a pass. I doubt the same is true for people who support public healthcare or higher taxes.

    They’ll link to Instapundit when he’s having one of his glibertarian moments when he says something intelligent. They don’t link to him when he goes off the reservation because he likes the idea of torturing brown people. That’s because they’re linking to the argument and not the man. If you think that’s not possible or ethical, an argument can be made to that effect, but it’s not an incontrovertible one. I personally would never link to Instapundit either, no matter how good a libertarian argument he made on a particular subject, but I can understand why others do.

    And as for your argument that neither Radley nor Reason will link to anyone who supports public healthcare or higher taxes, I can debunk your claim in merely two words: Glenn Greenwald.

  65. #65 |  Steve C | 

    Refusing to use “progressive” is childish, like refusing to use “pro-choice”. Call them what they want to be called – the word itself doesn’t matter…”pro-choice” brings on immediate feelings of burning hatred in a significant % of Americans when they hear it.

    Similarly, it’s Myanmar. It’s Mumbai. Etc.

  66. #66 |  Steve C | 

    “And as for your argument that neither Radley nor Reason will link to anyone who supports public healthcare or higher taxes, I can debunk your claim in merely two words: Glenn Greenwald.”

    I don’t agree that my claim is entirely debunked, but that’s a solid point.

  67. #67 |  Mike | 

    Perhaps refusing to use them is childish, but it is also somewhat naive to say that it is a ‘correct’ term for the platform. #55 was correct that the my giving the dictionary meaning isn’t very meaningful political party faction names are all chosen for propaganda values anyway. However I was using it to rebut #43s assertion that is was more valid for democrats to use progressive than republicans. It is not they just thought of it first.

    Personally I’d rather people were more honest and say what they actually stand for instead of skirting the issue and using a term to denigrate your opponent before the debate even starts so yeah, I won’t use progressive anytime soon.

  68. #68 |  Stacy | 

    That’s great that Whole Foods supports humane treatment of animals. So do other businesses, without the anti-health care reform op/eds, the intimidation of potential competitors, the false advertising about local farming support, and the union busting. I feel no reason to patronize a business that almost meets me halfway when there are other businesses that are all in.

    I didn’t read the entire comment thread, so there are comments I missed and perhaps that’s what you are reacting to. But this whole dismissal that everyone boycotting Whole Foods is doing so because they are over-reactive shrills is a bit off. I’m not “offended” by Mackey. A lot of people are merely boycotting Whole Foods because they disagree with Mackey’s opinions. We’re not out there throwing eggs at the dude or anything, we just choose not to shop there. I realize that it’s easier to slam the boycotters as “morons” if you paint them as hysterics (North Korea? Not shopping at Whole Foods means I want America to be like North Korea? The hell?) But if that’s the route you are going, drop the self-righteous grandstanding about the need for reasonable discussion.

    It’s rather hilarious that you are lecturing liberals about the stupidity of boycotting something (for what you perceived to be) out of political spite and in the same breath stating that you will shop there to show those silly liberals. Shopping somewhere because your pissed off at liberals seems a bit more childish and moronic to me then not shopping somewhere that doesn’t share your personal values.

    It’s pretty simple for me. I’d rather patronize the businesses that share my values, like I usually do. I’m sorry that upsets you so much, but this attempt to smear everyone that has the audacity to to not want to patronize Whole Foods through repeated ad hominem and strawmen seems, well… overly-reactive and overly-sensitive to me.

  69. #69 |  Brad | 

    Ouch, I’m a “leftie” who often shakes his head at the behavior of his fellow travelers and this was brutal. You made several great points.

    But let’s take this name thing head on. If you won’t call us progressives because it cedes the word progress, then I refuse to call you a libertarian for the same reason. Your definition of liberty is different from mine. Where does that leave us then? Can I call you a “righty” or would you take offense at that? Considering that you seem to have a reflexive distaste for the left of the isle, I think you would.

    That doesn’t mean that you aren’t right with this post. You are. It just means I think you need an attitude adjustment).

  70. #70 |  Peter A | 

    Mackey didn’t deliberately offend his customers

    Nice piece, but you’re wrong on that point. He did deliberately offend his customers, and that’s the crux of the matter. Including that introductory Thatcher quote on “socialism” was like waving a red flag. Like “fascism”, the word “socialism” needs to be retired from political discourse since too many people use the term without any idea what it really means. Obama’s reforms have any number of problems, but they are not “socialist.” If he had not included the Thatcher quote no one on the left would have given his editorial a second thought.

  71. #71 |  garage mahal | 

    Didn’t Jonah Goldberg write a book about Liberal Fascism “The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods”? well, that’s good enough for me.

  72. #72 |  Elliot | 

    Radley, excellent post. On the name thing, I’ve always hated using “liberal” because of the frequent contradiction that denying people the freedom to live their lives on their own terms (so long as they hurt no one else) is diametrically opposed to liberty, and thus it is preposterous to label it with a word based upon the Latin term for liberty. The “leftist” or “lefty” moniker is better than “liberal”, in my opinion, but it also feeds into the idiotic idea that all people fit on some one-dimensional scale concocted in the French Revolution to describe support for or opposition to the monarchy. As if one secretly yearned for restoring a feudal system if one advocates the rights of self-defense, consensual economic exchanges (i.e., free market), and the right to voice words criticizing government in general. Or, more insidiously, that in addition to “conservatives” (another stupid word), libertarians have more in common to with fascists, who imposed government control over everything and murdered millions, than the fascists have in common with the socialists, who impose(d) government control over everything and murdered millions.

    I prefer terms like “collectivist” and “socialist”, or even “commie”, to describe those people who base their political philosophy on the repugnant principle that your life is not your own, that it belongs to the collective–whether the hive is described by words like “community”, “people”, “country”, etc.. (To be fair, those who advocate the draft or who hold up “Country First” placards also invoke this premise, and could accurately be described as a different flavor of “collectivist”, even if their variety is not so overarching as the universal mandate government worshipers.

    Of course, using terms like “socialist” or “communist” often triggers a mindless dictionary war, with the clueless ones fervently reading definitions and insisting on rigid adherence to details based upon theories–theories which, when put into actual practice, have always been quite different monsters, not to mention utter failures at achieving their purported goals (e.g., USSR, North Korea, Cambodia, etc.). Also, the red herring of McCarthyism is often tossed out to stink up the debate and avoid actually discussing important matters like individual liberty.

  73. #73 |  Mary Car | 

    You may call me a liberal. I totally agree with your opinion. In my perfect world, a person could express their opinion without being attacked personally or professionally. Then we could talk about our differences and mediate our policies.

  74. #74 |  Mike | 

    Out of curiousity then where do you plan on buying your groceries? Personally I don’t shop at Whole Foods as it certainly doesn’t fit into my budget. I shop at Hannaford/Stop and Shop/Occasionally Big-Y the chain supermarkets. As a high school college kid I worked at 4 different supermarket chains invariabley union or not they all treated their employees like crap. As a consumer I admit I still support them as it cheaply gets food on our table. They don’t have a lot of local food but then again they don’t really claim to either. I certainly don’t consider this a moral win for the workers though.

    So which grocery store chain is “all in”? If there is one I don’t think one exists in my area.

  75. #75 |  Sue | 

    Yay Stacy! You said it so I don’t have to, and you did it calmly, which I wouldn’t have managed.

    And yet … must add .. trying to restrain myself …

    I think the only reason this blog author is against the people boycotting is because he agrees with Mackey. Kind of like Orrin Hatch loudly protesting that the townhall agitators must be respected for their involvement in democracy, although he didn’t share that respect for civic involvement when liberals were protesting the Iraq war.

  76. #76 |  Sid Schwab | 

    Two points, one to you and one to a commenter:

    I don’t see much evidence that competition between insurers has provided meaningful “choice,” nor done anything to keep costs under control. I’d say it’s the opposite, as insurers suck out of the system, and keep, money meant for care. Medicare, our single payer system, seems to keep most of its consumers happy; and there are, in fact, various supplemental plans which do provide some choice. I’d see that as a model for the rest of us.

    To the commenter who suggests we accept that both sides want what’s best for the country: it’s a hard case to make when one side chooses as policy — supported from top to bottom — to lie about proposals. I do mean that literally: the “death panel” trope is the perfect example. Promoted from Michael Steele, many congressfolk, the media organs and organelles, with practically none on that side calling it out. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the plans currently on the table. To lie about them is to suggest something much less than good will and a desire for what’s best.

  77. #77 |  tcl | 

    Wow, Stacy, you don’t seem to be able to differentiate between the values of a business (Whole Foods as a business, I’m sure, lines up quite narrowly with what you want businesses to be – otherwise, explain what has Whole Foods does that is contrary to your ‘values’) and the suggestions of ONE of its officers.

    Btw, let us know the businesses that are ‘all in’ and are accessible to most people every day of the year.

  78. #78 |  Ted | 

    I’m firmly in the category that you call “leftist,” and I’m fine with you calling me that. It’s a convenient shorthand, nothing more.

    I hope that you’ll follow the same rule on the other side and refer to the set of political views currently espoused by the US political right as “rightist” or “rightie” rather than “conservative.” I think it’s clear that the label “conservative” misrepresents the current mainstream Republican party far more than “progressive” misrepresents Democrats’ stance.

  79. #79 |  Mike | 

    #67 says, “then I refuse to call you a libertarian for the same reason. Your definition of liberty is different from mine. Where does that leave us then? Can I call you a “righty” or would you take offense at that? Considering that you seem to have a reflexive distaste for the left of the isle, I think you would.”

    First I’d say about a got 70% of this blog is dedicated to police misconduct and overexpansion of police powers (swat teams, drug war, killing puppies etc). I would tend to think these issues would have stronger ‘lefty’ support than ‘righty’. So it seems disingenious to say radley as a reflexive distaste for things left of the isle.

    As for libertarian I’d say at least there is a grain of truth in the moniker. If you had to sum up libertarian in one sentance something like “Let people do what they want and the governments most valid role is to preventing others from taking away that freedom”.

    I’m curious what your definition of liberty would be. I am mostly libertarian with some leftie leanings myself. However I definately recognize the leftie leanings usually are sacrificing liberty. The definition of liberty doesn’t change.

    I have no personal problems with someone who is for universal health care, I personally don’t think it will work and I definately don’t believe it in any shape or form increases liberty. It is absolutely a sacrifice in liberty as somewhere sometime somebody will end up footing the bill.

  80. #80 |  Curt | 

    @Brad,

    To answer your question, yes, I think Radley and most of the readers of this site would take offense at being called a righty. I think that generally the rightys would argue that this site demonstrates a reflexive distaste for the right side of the aisle. Read some more of the articles that are posted and you will find lots of strong opposition to the politics of the right.

    And out of curiosity, how do you define liberty? Increased government intervention into the free-market isn’t generally associated with liberty.

  81. #81 |  Phil Smith | 

    “So do other businesses, without … the intimidation of potential competitors, the false advertising about local farming support, and the union busting.”

    If all of the above weren’t reason enough for any self-respecting left/liberal/progressive to not only boycott a business, but do so noisily, does anyone really expect to sell the idea that one editorial was the tipping point? Seriously?

  82. #82 |  Michael | 

    Radley,

    You avoided discussing the Thatcher quote at the top of the Op/Ed which many of your readers had cited. Why is that?

  83. #83 |  Stacy | 

    “Out of curiousity then where do you plan on buying your groceries?”

    Is this to me? I’m assuming it is. The Twin Cities is lucky in that we have numerous neighborhood co-ops (Wedge, Seward, Eastside, etc), so I usually go to those. Been thinking about doing CSAs for meat, but I need more research on them (and find someone to go in on it with me, cows are expensive). In the summer I garden and do Farmer’s Markets, and freeze a lot of it for winter (although I really need to learn canning). There’s a Trader Joes as well which I’ve heard recommended, but I can’t honestly say I know too much about them and they’ve been kind of skeevey here lately. If I’m lazy (and want some cheddar popcorn) I’ll go to Lunds.

    And yeah, a lot of it is what my finances allow. Sometimes my paycheck doesn’t quite match up with my ideals. :) But I try when I can.

    My husband was in the UFCW for years, there are good things and bad things about it. He did like the health care and wished he used it more. He said once that people didn’t really seem to care enough to be active about it either, which creates a problem – you have very few people calling a lot of the shots. Unions aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker for me, I realize that they are a kiss of death for smaller businesses, I realize some businesses can feel they can do better by their employees without their constraints. Where Whole Foods crosses the line for me is that they tend to be hostile to them though, they fired workers for trying to form one in Madison, WI, and they had UFCW members arrested in Austin, TX for passing out flyers about a grape boycott in front of the store. That’s just kind of an asshole thing to do.

  84. #84 |  Brad | 

    Curt,

    I was making a rhetorical point regarding liberty. How would do I define it? As an abstract concept or even a sensation that can not be described in political terms. I think our debates would be a lot better if we just stopped using these words altogether. But beyond that, my objection is that the word liberty carries positive connotations that automatically place your the person who carries it in their title as on the side of a positive idea. This is exactly Radley’s objection to the word progressive. In the end, I think you’ll find that once we get into these arguments, there’s no end and it’s best to just let everyone call eachother what they want. I would contend that Radley is being deliberately provocative by calling people lefties and one of my rules of thumb is: if you say something that’s meant to piss someone off, don’t get offended when they – well, get pissed off.

    As far as the righty comment – that’s exactly my point. There are a lot of us out there who fall on to the left of the spectrum who don’t fit conveniently into any of the categories that people have described. I consider myself a liberal or whatever in the veign of Jon Stewart. I will use the term progressive because it is the most convenient and the one most associated with what I believe at this time.

    But I think you’d also be hard pressed to find “lefties” who see the core of their philosophy as “government intervention for the sake of government intervention.” Again, you’re attempting to define the other side with terms that carry inherently negative connotations. That would be like me saying to a libertarian “what’s so liberating about social darwinism?”

  85. #85 |  Brad | 

    BTW, I apologize for the “reflexive distate for the left side of the isle” comment which doesn’t seem borne out by the facts.

  86. #86 |  Curt | 

    @Stacy,

    Right from the start, you refer to Mackey’s writing as an anti-healthcare reform op/ed. His op/ed is very clearly pro-health care reform. He just advocates a different type of reform than you do. Do you support reform or do you just support Obama’s style of reform?

    @Sue,

    This site has spent lots of time mocking the right for its hypocrisy while it was in power. People like Hatch are laughable hypocrites. So are people like Pelosi and Boxer in their demonization of recent protestors.

    @Sid,

    Until you mentioned a specific example, I wasn’t sure which party you were referring to when you said one side chooses as its policy to lie about proposals. I was getting ready to applaud you for pointing out that that is standard procedure for both parties.

  87. #87 |  Stacy | 

    @ Phil Smith:

    I actually didn’t shop there before, I’ve only been to the one in Boulder with a friend. But unlike some of the other issues with Whole Foods, this op/ed got a lot of traction, and I think people started looking more into the company because of it.

    @tcl

    Mackey is the CEO. He also ties in Whole Foods in his opinion piece. I’ve read that the other officers weren’t thrilled about it though.

    Also – I realize you are being snarky, but seriously, I don’t know what area you are in, so I can’t suggest anything. I told Mike above where I shop. Keep in mind that I’m not shitting on people for not boycotting Whole Foods, it’s your dollar, do what you want with it. I’m just asking you don’t shit on me for not doing so, and I feel some of the characterizations in Balko’s post are a tad hyperbolic. That’s more what I’m taking issue with here – I don’t think it’s “moronic” to shop somewhere that lines up closer with your values.

  88. #88 |  Stacy | 

    Damn, you people comment too quickly!

    @Curt

    Fair enough, that’s a poor choice of wording on my part. I don’t favor reform in the form of total deregulation like Mackey does.

  89. #89 |  Balko nails the Whole Foods boycotters « The Quick and the Dead | 

    […] Balko nails the Whole Foods boycotters ..in 13 points. My fave: […]

  90. #90 |  PaulG | 

    I used to be a regular reader then, a couple of years ago, when I switched computers, I dropped your feed and a number of others completely by accident. I’m happy that, as a result of Andrew Sullivan’s posts on the subject, I’ve come back!

    With regard to the happy face, it looks completely appropriate to that particular paragraph. If there is a bug in the software, then at least it’s a bug that manifested itself at an appropriate point.

    I generally prefer to use the terms “left wing extremist” and “right wing extremist” to describe the more idiotic branches of the political spectrum.

    Finally, I used to consider myself a libertarian but that term is subject to so many different interpretations and frankly any ideology taken to extremes produces poor results. The world just isn’t as simple as ideologues would have us believe. I’ve taken to calling myself a pragmatic skeptic. Show me the evidence, then make your argument, and I’ll form my own conclusion about what the optimum course of action ought to be.

  91. #91 |  Barry | 

    #51 | Steve C | August 17th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    “…People around here seem much more interested in state “tyranny” when it comes to their pocketbooks vs physical violence inflicted on others.”

    “…Nobody expects an inquisition, but it’s an example that at the end of the day you’ll give torture-supporting intellectuals a pass.”

    Steve C – You’ve managed to provide by far the most clueless comments in this thread. Have you read anything on The Agitator other than Radley’s Whole Foods rant? That was (of course) rhetorical as the answer is obvious. I suggest you get to it then come back and see us…there will be a quiz.

  92. #92 |  superflat | 

    Boycotting Whole Foods is not moronic, as Mackey’s statements AT THIS MOMENT are damaging to true health care reform. I don’t think his suggestions/beliefs are on target, especially given the number of uninsured farmers his company relies on. AND, there is an easy solution to the problem that would not cripple the company — either publicly apologize for Mackey’s op-ed (their bogus email doesn’t count), or ask him to resign.

    Regardless, I am able to procure all of my organic produce elsewhere and for less (and it’s better) — I’m not actually concerned with which systems are capable of feeding this entire country. Really, that’s for the market to figure out, isn’t it?

  93. #93 |  Morgan Bird | 

    I actually thought Mackey made some good suggestions in his op-ed. What I found objectionable (not offensive, objectionable; is anyone actually offended or do you find it easier to write them off as silly if you claim they are?) is his and your framing of the debate as being for or against single payer health care.

    Single payer is not even remotely on the table. There’s a very good chance the final bill won’t even include a public option, let alone anything resembling single payer. To claim otherwise is just dishonest.

  94. #94 |  MPH | 

    I liked the explanation, and agree with most of your points. But (you knew that was coming, didn’t you) I have a problem with the following: I too think corporations can be evil.

    Corporations are neither good, nor evil. A corporation is a legal entity made entirely of inanimate objects.

    The people who run a corporation may be evil (or good), but a corporation itself is amoral, as all inanimate objects are.

  95. #95 |  Curt | 

    Brad,

    You’re certainly right that the name-game is silly. People refer to their party in a positive way and the people they oppose in a negative way. With regards to “progressive”, I think every political affiliation sees themselves that way and that the big two are stretching the truth the most by using it… they are both the symbol of entrenched political power.

    With regards to “liberty”, it’s another positive term that I’m sure all political belief systems would love to associate themselves with. But, I think that libertarians have much better claim to it (at least as compared to the main two parties). Both of the main parties vigorously support “liberty” when it’s a freedom to do things they support and vigorously oppose it when it’s a freedom they don’t support. Republicans support liberty in things like gun ownership. Democrats support liberty in things like Pro-Choice. Both are completely opposed to the opposite.

    Either way, I agree with you and think that you, me, and many other commenters are currently proving the point that the meat of the argument tends to get lost in the semantics and name-calling.

  96. #96 |  b-psycho | 

    Can I agree that the North Korea reference was a bit overboard while still generally agreeing with Radley’s overall point?

  97. #97 |  CraigS | 

    ummm…Brad, “my objection is that the word liberty carries positive connotations that automatically place your the person who carries it in their title as on the side of a positive idea.”

    Libertarians support ideas and policies that will increase individuals liberty. Is more liberty not a positive ideal in your world? I think most regulars of this site perceive that both the political left and right are ultimately forces against liberty. Both sides seek to control indivudauls lives, just different aspects of it; so it is not at all surprising to see hints that leftist really have a distaste for policies that advance liberty – there is nothing liberal about most on the left.

  98. #98 |  Mark | 

    Balko dodges the main point. Mackey’s piece was divided into two pieces:

    1. Some rather mediocre suggestions for reducing health care expenditures, some of which have already proven irrelevant

    2. A big wad of misinformation pulled from, among other places, poorly-researched articles in Investor’s Business Daily.

    The part of his op-ed that wasn’t scare tactics is basically unobjectionable. The rest displays how wacko he is.

    Something people – particularly those who call themselves “libertarians” need to admit – is that when adults who still believe in Ayn Rand dump their brain contents out on the printed page, they scare the shit out of people who feel some empathy for their fellow man and don’t believe exclusively in self-interest. Mackey should know that by now.

  99. #99 |  b-psycho | 

    BTW: I do wonder what statist-left Whole Foods/Trader Joes shopping types think about agribusiness critiques like Joel Salatin traffics in…

    If I lived somewhere where farmers markets, co-ops & truly local stores that had truly local products abounded, and I had the income to afford to shop that way, I would. But I don’t.

  100. #100 |  mark r | 

    I’ve never shopped at Whole Foods and I never will. I’m dubious about the benefits of Organic Food, am a big believer in GM foods, and the good they could do if the government would lift the restrictions preventing smaller labs from competing with Monsanto.

    That said, I’m biased against whole foods and the people who shop there, but Mr Mackey’s comments were still offensive. Not because he listed a bunch of stuff that I disagree with (that part was good! though misinformed) but because he insinuated that his products are part of the solution to the nation’s health care calamity. I fail to see how overpaying for overproduced food is going to shave any billions off the future expenses of Medicare.

    i would also find it offensive if a snake oil salesman came around after my grandfather died of a heart attack and said something to the effect of ‘if only he’d been using my all natural remedy, perhaps i can interest you in some?’ My nation is on a precipice of its own creation, and this dude is huckstering national snake oil packaged in bazooka joe like (in their cartoonishness) suggestions for its salvation. Offensive.

  101. #101 |  Euler | 

    Shorter version of Mark @ #92

    I don’t have an intelligent response to the article. Ad hominem. Ad hominem.

  102. #102 |  Curt | 

    One more and then I need to go get some lunch.

    Brad,

    With regards to government intervention, I don’t believe that anyone is a fan of intervention for the sake of intervention. I firmly believe that the intervention is intended to be the means to a positive and worthwhile end. Chances are pretty good that I support the end that is trying to be achieved. It’s just the means to that end that I disagree with and their unintended consequences.

    The two entrenched political parties generally support achieving goals through increased government intervention. I support accomplishing that goal through less intervention.

  103. #103 |  b-psycho | 

    @92: I didn’t see anything Objectivist in that column. Though I do agree about the problem with Rand enthusiasts. Objectivists are to Libertarianism what drinking bleach is to gastrointestinal health.

  104. #104 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    It was the Thatcher quote that set most of us off.

    Pick someone your progressive leaning customer base despises, quote her, and in the process insult your customers as socialists, then express shock and surprise that anyone would object.

    The reason the boycott has traction because a huge portion of Whole Foods’ customer base are liberals, support Obama, and have zero problem with single payer health care.

    We dislike being tagged with a label as incendiary as socialist and because we have options, and a communications system like Twitter we can easily replace WF in our lives.

    He has apparently missed the seismic shift towards locally produced produced, urban farming, and a recent election.

    To help, I am re-skinning my recently submitted iPhone application Quakewood to support the very information flow I described, to help WF boycotters find local alternatives such as farmers markets and small scale entrepreneurs.

    Mackey stepped on his dingus and helped my make some money in the process. Excellent.

  105. #105 |  Tim C | 

    Hey, I’m a “lefty” (at least at writing, oddly enough I’m a righty at most things, guitar etc) and I resent being lumped in with all the commies etc!

    As far as “progressive” goes, it’s been hijacked because it’s such a perfect whitewash – covers up the icky leftist/commie/fascist stuff that is embraced by all big-gov’t/nanny-state/power-luster/etc types (note, INCLUDING most Republicans, neo-cons, etc; the “left” has no monopoly here) and indeed, as Radley points out, implies that anyone that doesn’t buy into that sh*t is “regressive,” sub-human, selfish, blah blah etc.

  106. #106 |  b-psycho | 

    The above was directed at Mark. WTF, what’s changing the numbers on this?

    @MPH:

    A corporation is a legal entity made entirely of inanimate objects.

    Exactly. Which means that corporate status in and of itself is a regulation, an intervention by government. People should keep that in mind before they hold up the actions of corporate entities as example of a free market, whether they see that as a good or bad thing.

  107. #107 |  mark r | 

    “Exactly. Which means that corporate status in and of itself is a regulation, an intervention by government. People should keep that in mind before they hold up the actions of corporate entities as example of a free market, whether they see that as a good or bad thing.”

    +1. Every example of government interventionism in free markets short of war is a distant second to the empowerment of limited liability corporations and their status as humans with equal rights in a court of law.

  108. #108 |  Trish | 

    Ah, Radley…this is a perfect example of why I love The Agitator. Awesome post. But you do realize that now you’ll be classified as just a paid member of the “Angry Mob”, right? Legitimate counter points be damned, you’re divisive and un-American because you defend someone that doesn’t support Obamacare.

  109. #109 |  Joshgeek | 

    As a left voting, left leaning, libertarian minded advocate of a free market AND a single payer healthcare system (more on that on a second), this debate leaves me even more perplexed than my political stance. Disenfranchising the opposition without actually debating them should never equal an intellectual win. Passing any healthcare bill in such a manner won’t end up with both a fixed system or a happy electorate ( the ideal win-win-win). A new system must be supported by it’s own merits and not partisan gobbledygook. The whole foods approach has it’s own merits, which is why the “lefties” got all in a fit. It works, but doesn’t fit into their idea of what ought to be- i.e. A threat. However, the whole foods approach does hold te problem of not solving exactly how to insure those uninsured and especially those who are underinsured. It offers some ideas to create efficiency but not much else. That’s as much of a critique as I’ll offer and leave it at “nice ideas, but no fix.”
    The reason I support a single payer system (which doesn’t seem a likely outcome anyway, but I’ll entertain the notion nonetheless as it seems to be most “righties'” biggest feared outcome) is based mostly in my experience of helping hapless plumbing novices in my line of work ( mom and pop hardware clerk), it is most wise to plan on replacing large sections of plumbing when going at a leak in an antiquated plumbing system. As it stands now, we are paying for repairing the system as it breaks, instead of putting up the money to replace the system first and only needing half of it, for example. Maybe that’s a confusing analogy, but the point is that we’re already running on a one payer system, only we pay on the back ( and most expensive) end. If we could cover everyone first and worry about abuses later, at least those honestly in need of coverage would have it.
    Anyway, feel free to lambast me as a commie liberal. (it’s ur right and I can take it.) Now for lunch, which as the saying goes, is never free.

  110. #110 |  Bart | 

    Sue and Stacy,

    I can agree that Radley took a couple of points to the edge. It is hard not to. But I must ask you this.

    If you knew nothing of Whole Foods business practices and you read the WSJ article – would that article be enough for you to boycott the store?

    Clearly many democrats ARE boycotting WholeFoods simply because of the WSJ article and that is what is so amazing.

    Yes, they have a right to boycott whoever they want, but their boycott shines a very bright light on what really matters to many democrats.

  111. #111 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Apologize for calling us socialists already and most folks will drop the whole thing. Doesn’t go much deeper than that for some folks.

    This is only an issue because so much of Whole Foods’ customer base is made up of liberals who loath Margaret Thatcher (she being only the second worst person he could have chosen to quote, Reagan being #1).

  112. #112 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    But you ARE socialists.

  113. #113 |  Fluffy | 

    Every example of government interventionism in free markets short of war is a distant second to the empowerment of limited liability corporations and their status as humans with equal rights in a court of law.

    Sigh.

    I could very, very easily [with about ten seconds of thought, and I’m not even an expert in the field] devise debt instruments that would allow people to invest in the success of an enterprise without risking their personal capital beyond the amount of their investment. So if you did away with the limited liability corporation, I could duplicate its most salient characteristics without breaking much of a sweat.

    Know how I know I could do this? Because it was done before, back when the state was not in the business of formalizing that process by issuing corporate charters. I would refer you to the appropriate sections of Previte-Orton’s The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History and Lopez’ The Commercial Revolution of the Middle Ages for further information on this.

    You may consider allowing the limited liability corporation to exist to be an intervention into the market, but it would take an equally large intervention into the market [in the form of invalidating certain contract types or ruling certain debt instruments to be duplicitous ownership instruments] in order to stop me from bringing limited liability back after you killed it.

  114. #114 |  Tyler | 

    Well, at least in San Jose, California, the boycott doesn’t seem to be hurting them much. I went shopping at Whole Foods yesterday and nearly clocked someone with a turnip because of total cart gridlock. Now THAT is a reason to avoid Whole Foods.

    I think Stacy is the only “progressive” on this thread that even approached a legitimate response. I am curious, how (specifically) does Whole Foods treat it its workers and suppliers in ways that are below progressive standards?

    Having the grape-boycotters arrested does sound thuggish, but I’m not bothered at all by firing workers who try to unionize. If the pay and benefits are fair, why is there a need to violate Whole Foods’ policy?

  115. #115 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “As a left voting, left leaning, libertarian minded advocate of a free market AND a single payer healthcare system…”

    I also like liver except that I don’t like liver. I’d challenge that you aren’t libertarian-minded/free market advocate AND supporter of collectivist health care.

    I’ve only rarely seen so much effort to derive euphemisms. “Single Payer”??

  116. #116 |  Fluffy | 

    Pick someone your progressive leaning customer base despises, quote her, and in the process insult your customers as socialists, then express shock and surprise that anyone would object.

    The reason the boycott has traction because a huge portion of Whole Foods’ customer base are liberals, support Obama, and have zero problem with single payer health care.

    We dislike being tagged with a label as incendiary as socialist and because we have options, and a communications system like Twitter we can easily replace WF in our lives.

    He has apparently missed the seismic shift towards locally produced produced, urban farming, and a recent election.

    That’s very nice, but not really to the point here.

    The point is that out of one side of your mouths [when talking about the town hall protestors, for example] progressives have bitched and moaned about how they just want to have a productive debate, and can’t everyone stand up and give their opinion without acrimony, wah wah wah wah wah.

    But out of the other side of your mouths, someone who hasn’t attended any town halls or shouted anyone down or chased any Congressmen back to their cars wrote an opinion piece where he offered his ideas about the health care debate, and because they aren’t yours, progressives immediately leap to the boycott tool and the picket tool.

    On that basis, I don’t ever want to hear any complaints about the political tactics of your opposition from progressives ever again. If businesses start culling progressives from the ranks of their employees and throwing them out in the street, I don’t want to hear any complaints. If town hall meetings are shouted down, I don’t want to hear any complaints. If Congresspeople are hung in effigy by protestors, I don’t want to hear any complaints. Even if the President is hung in effigy, I’m not listening to any complaints and anyone who wants me to clutch my handkerchief and gasp at the racist symbolism can fuck off, because I honestly don’t give a shit any more. Because as Radley said and as many have reiterated, you don’t actually want a “reasonable debate”. You want the right wing to throw away political tools of direct action while you retain them. And since that’s all you really want, you can blow me.

  117. #117 |  Jonathan Howard | 

    The first sentence is a quote about socialism. He also uses phrases like “government takeover” to frame his points before he makes them.

    This is not the even-handed suggestion article you make it out to be.

    This is a business man positioning the debate toward a direction that benefits his company

  118. #118 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    But you ARE socialists.

    And you wonder why progressives dismiss libertarians as Republicans who smoke pot.

    What I am is a vet who has served his country, a man who has benefited greatly from the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    I am the son of a woman who is healthy and alive today because of Social Security and Medicare. So sorry, I have no fear of Obama coming to kill my mom or of leviathan devouring my rights.

    I did watch the former occupant of the White House spend a trillion dollars on a war he worked really hard to lose while maiming 35,000 troops, getting 4,000 of them killed along the way.

    Where were you guys while that was going on?

  119. #119 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’ve been with Mackey since his first store in Austin (used to get wet with the central Texas floods). Sure, I’m biased towards anything born in the greatest city in the world. But beyond the bias, the lefty-commies have exhibited an inability to discern between a challenge to the merits of a specific boycott and a discussion on the right or effectiveness of a boycott.

    This boycott is a retardation of epic proportion.

    The good news is that the lefty-commies are as devoid of reason as ever. Except Noam. He’s pretty disciplined…just wrong.

  120. #120 |  Voice of Reason | 

    HSA’s aren’t a ‘proven’ idea unless you mean ‘proven to help healthy upper-class people shelter a chunk of money tax-free’. Their benefit to people working in the trenches at Whole Foods is nearly zero (their marginal federal income tax rate).

  121. #121 |  Euler | 

    @ Boyd

    The corporatism that is present in the Democrat’s current proposal is probably closer to the economic ideas of fascism, not socialism. Perhaps that is why they are upset at being called socialists.

  122. #122 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    ut beyond the bias, the lefty-commies have exhibited an inability to discern between a challenge to the merits of a specific boycott and a discussion on the right or effectiveness of a boycott.

    Socialist, Communist, can we get a trifecta and get Fascist as well? As any rational person knows it’s possible to be all three at once.

  123. #123 |  wunder | 

    #115. Richard, you haven’t been coming here long, have you?

    Radley was right there railing against Bush and war-mongering the whole time. And “enhanced interrogation” too. And Bush’s spending. And the medicare drug bill when that was going through, too. I could go on and on.

    And the proposals being bandied about are socialist. If you believe in the proposals, why not own up to what they are and defend them on their merits, instead of being offended by the term itself? We could call them something else I guess, but that doesn’t change their substance.

  124. #124 |  Fluffy | 

    I did watch the former occupant of the White House spend a trillion dollars on a war he worked really hard to lose while maiming 35,000 troops, getting 4,000 of them killed along the way.

    Where were you guys while that was going on?

    Opposing it, which is more than can be said for the Democrat party, which voted for it, and kept voting to enable it, year after year after year. And still hasn’t ended it.

  125. #125 |  Euler | 

    @ Richard Bottoms

    When you have corporations meeting in private with the government to develop policy, what else do you call that but corporatism? Corporatism is the economic policy of fascist governments. Sorry you don’t like the term, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….

  126. #126 |  wunder | 

    #117

    Where have you seen anyone say, but these are fascist proposals, not socialist? The people screaming boycott are angry that Mackey proposed something different, not that a government insurance option is being called the wrong name. If anything, they seem to be upset on one hand that people havae the gall to think that a government “option” is a terrible idea, and on the other hand that the proposals don’t go far enough. So hold on to the semantics argument.

  127. #127 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “And you wonder why progressives dismiss libertarians as Republicans who smoke pot.”
    I don’t wonder why at all, have never smoked dope, have never been a Republican, and am not a libertarian. And the progressives are not progressive.

    “What I am is a vet who has served his country, a man who has benefited greatly from the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
    How does this pertain? What you right (and the position of many in support of this boycott) is a support of socialism. The VRA has nothing to do with spit, but continue.

    “I am the son of a woman who is healthy and alive today because of Social Security and Medicare. So sorry, I have no fear of Obama coming to kill my mom or of leviathan devouring my rights.”
    Utility argument. I got to work because I stole your car. The fact that SS provides any service at all does not end the discussion as to the efficiency, effectiveness, Constitutionality, or competitiveness vs. alternatives. Mob boss gives out turkeys to the poor, they look the other way at mob killings, mob viewed as effective.

    “I did watch the former occupant of the White House spend a trillion dollars on a war he worked really hard to lose while maiming 35,000 troops, getting 4,000 of them killed along the way. Where were you guys while that was going on?”

    Are you serious? This pertains to the argument how? This defends you as NOT a socialist how? Where were you when Michael Jackson died!!?? Focus, old timer, focus. Your numbers only include US soldiers, why? Not interested in 300K+ of fer-ners? Where were you while THAT was going on?

    Before you get your knickers twisted at being called a socialist, exam thy self. Never too late to learn.

  128. #128 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “write”, not “right”. Damn.

  129. #129 |  Euler | 

    @ wunder

    You might want to take your sarcasm meter to the repair shop. It appears to be broken.

  130. #130 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    The corporatism that is present in the Democrat’s current proposal is probably closer to the economic ideas of fascism, not socialism.

    No wonder we have wackos showing outside the town halls carrying weapons. One thing we learned from watching Kerry get reamed by the Swiftboaters and bile spewed at McCain/Palin rallies during their doomed struggle was to never, ever take this kind of crap lying down.

    I was a soldier, I am not a fascist, communist, socialist, nazi, or thug.

    I am a consumer, and I’ll spend my money where I damn well please.

    I am a citizen, and a voter. My side won, your side lost. So eat it.

    We watched for eight years as George Bush practically destroyed the United States military, grinding down their equipment, sending 35,000+ to be maimed, and 4,000 or more to be killed, year after year unable to admit his ideology had failed.

    And while a second war teetered on failure, further draining our resources along comes the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression as blind greed and unfettered deregulation led our country to the brink of oblivion.

    Now, not even eight months after clocking in to fix this debacle you whine about Obama the facist, the destroyer of freedom and liberty.

    Well screw that. If by God he can save this country from the utter calamity you and others helped bring about this country will have barely deserved it.

  131. #131 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Euler,
    Socialism always trends toward fascism, true. The frog boils slowly. Socialism is the first step…with all those wonderful promises of security, utopia, and free stuff.

  132. #132 |  Euler | 

    @ Richard Bottoms

    I have never voted in a presidential election, so don’t blame me for Bush. Sorry the truth about the Democrat’s current plan hurt your feelings. Here’s a bottle of water to get the sand out of your vagina.

  133. #133 |  Justin Davis | 

    I agree with Stacy… I think it’s the classic anti-patriotic ranting… “Stacy YOU must hate America… YOU must be working for the terrorists!” ha ha ha same old story.

    Justin Davis
    Freight Quote

  134. #134 |  Tyler | 

    @Voice of Reason…

    As someone “in the trenches” I can absolutely say that HSAs are helpful. They allow me to save and invest a portion of my money without pouring it down the monthly premium toilet. Of course, the system isn’t perfect. I am still stuck paying a moderate premium because my company doesn’t qualify for the discounted rates available to larger corporations. Of course, this is another direct consequence of chaining health care to employment.

    HSAs allow some employers (like mine) to pay their employees more because they spend less on a wasted monthly premium. You wrongly suggest that an HSA’s only benefit is as a tax shelter. And along those lines, $5650 (the maximum contribution to an HSA for a family) isn’t exactly an off-shore tax shelter for the super rich.

  135. #135 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “…which is more than can be said for the Democrat party, which voted for it, and kept voting to enable it, year after year after year. And still hasn’t ended it.”

    But one cannot argue against Obamaniacs who now know that to quit would be terrible (after all they are excused because they inherited this…like Bush inherited a legacy of not addressing national security by Clinton). No blame anywhere at anytime. Hands are tied. This time is different. Cannot hold members of Congress accountable regardless of their voting record. Too complex to understand.

  136. #136 |  Jocko | 

    They don’t pay their people well at all at Whole Foods.

    Whole Foods is no different than Walmart. The people who shop there just don’t bother the elitists like the shoppers at WalMart do.

  137. #137 |  wunder | 

    #129. Apologies, Euler. Sarcasm meter definitely broken. I’m used to seeing that mainly from D. Krueger here. Plus it’s a LONG thread.

    #130. Again, those are not arguments for the merits of what Congress/Obama have proposed, nor against the merits of what Mackey proposed. So what’s your point exactly besides telling us who you are and how much you hate GW’s policies?

    Where in the world do you see unfettered regulation?! Please elaborate, cause it really isn’t anywhere to be found in this country – not that I can find.

  138. #138 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Sorry the truth about the Democrat’s current plan hurt your feelings.

    Recognizing an insult and having hurt feelings are not the same thing. This is a political fight, one in which the label of socialism is one we can, and will not lay down for.

    What’s it to you anyway? All we’ve done is choose to shop elsewhere, we didn’t kidnap the man.

    He pissed us off by his attempt to marginalize and demean our political argument and since he brought Whole Foods into it, we decided to do the same.

    Mackey could have written a letter to the editor as Joe nobody, but he did it as CEO of Whole Foods so we choose to express our displeasure with via via that same entity.

    It’s my money, I’ll do whatever the frak I please with it.

  139. #139 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Richard is fun!

    “I was a soldier, I am not a fascist, communist, socialist, nazi, or thug.”
    Being a soldier doesn’t remove the possibility that you are also a thug, red head, doper, fascist, socialist, or gay.

    “I am a consumer, and I’ll spend my money where I damn well please.”
    A statement of a premise which no one is contesting.

    “I am a citizen, and a voter. My side won, your side lost. So eat it.”
    Bravado revealing the limited view that there are only two-sides. The two sides Richard sees are counting on Richard to never learn of any other options, thus ensuring the game continues and his pocketbook remains open to them.

    Enjoyable.

  140. #140 |  Euler | 

    Here’s a link for you Richard (and any of the other visiting left leaning commentators) in case you forgot about Obama’s meetings with health care industry representatives.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/07/22/obama_lists_health_execs_consulted_about_overhaul/

  141. #141 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Ranking Radley’s Best Comment Streams

    1. Abortion: traffic gold!
    2. Obama criticism: ANYthing critical of the smoove mac-daddy makes the servers sweat.
    3. Gay Marriage/Wolf Shirts: between the two, there be nothing they can’t do.

  142. #142 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    But one cannot argue against Obamaniacs…

    Not Obamaniacs, Democrats, who kicked the GOP’s ass in the last election, and will very likely do so in the next one so long as they continue to blubber about ‘Death Panels’ and have their supporters show up brandishing pistols at political events.

    Please much more of that and louder so the %2 of the population who swung our way will continue to ask WTF is wrong with these people?

  143. #143 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    smoove mac-daddy

    So is you goal to make a political argument, be a Libertarian or piss off a specific segment of the population?

    So I’ll take your analogy, and say we’re quite happy to have you on the ho’ track and at the end of the the day, the bitch better have my money.

  144. #144 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Now, not even eight months after clocking in to fix this debacle you whine about Obama the facist, the destroyer of freedom and liberty.

    Here’s a quote: “Judge not a man by time, but by his action.”–Boyd Durkin (right now).

    Obama wastes not the crisis to advance American socialism (FDR II) and increases the debt obligation to “fuckload”.

    Bush invades Iraq because Saudis crash planes into WTC.
    Obama launches $10 trillion in programs because the economy crashes.

    Yes, they are both lying.

    I only call Obama a Socialist (and sometimes a Marxist). Fascism won’t happen until another crisis or two. So, there’s that.

  145. #145 |  Tyler | 

    Poor Richard. He must be new.

    Go back a few years and start reading posts. Reference “Radley Balko Rant” sub-paragraph 11.

    And GEESH, no one says you can’t do whatever the hell you want with your money. Radley’s saying that boycotting Whole Foods amounts to shooting yourself in the foot.

  146. #146 |  BamBam | 

    I love how any time someone mentions USA occupations (they aren’t wars), there is rarely a mention of the tens of thousands or more of the citizens of the country is being occupied that are killed. How about the body bag count of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan? Does that not factor into the equation, of fomenting dislike/hate of all things Team USA?

  147. #147 |  Emily | 

    The headline was added by the WSJ editors (including the term “Obamacare”). The Thatcher quote was Mackey’s.

    Mackey posted the unedited version of his op-ed, including the Thatcher quote, on his blog: http://www2.wholefoodsmarket.com/blogs/jmackey/

  148. #148 |  Archer | 

    I’m as left as you can get without carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, and I just bought my lunch at WF. I mean, I use Dr. Bronner’s soap because it’s good soap, not because I believe in the Moral ABC of Mark Spitz as taught to Rabbi Hillel by Jesus.

    OTOH, you can get use to “progressive.” What conservatives are trying to conserve has always been a tad unclear to me, except maybe ammo.

  149. #149 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Exactly BamBam. But, Richard is plugged in and knows things.

    “Team America: World Police” has a scene where they massively murder dozens of locals to get a couple of bad guys. Outside the puppet-love scat scene, it is the best of the movie.

    USA #1!

  150. #150 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Does that not factor into the equation, of fomenting dislike/hate of all things Team USA?

    Yes it does, and don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy. Third time’s a charm. Anyway, I did a video that included an interview with an Iraqi doctor talking about the maimed children at the very outset of the war so it makes quite a big difference to me.

    However, the 35,000 maimed soldiers who we are barely ready to begin providing services for matter more to me. I believe Max Cleland will server them better than the last guy however.

  151. #151 |  Archer | 

    Used to. I mean, here I find a right wing site where people can actually spell and blow my entrance.

  152. #152 |  JS | 

    Boyd Durkin “Bravado revealing the limited view that there are only two-sides. The two sides Richard sees are counting on Richard to never learn of any other options, thus ensuring the game continues and his pocketbook remains open to them.”

    That’s what is still so frustrating-that so many people still see things in the liberal/conservative dichotomy, as if there were never any overlap or other view than these two somewhat outdated classifications.

  153. #153 |  Joshgeek | 

    @#115

    you could have just come out and called me a commie liberal. It would have made for a much more succinct post. Ad hominem does nothing to dispel the points I ( admittedly, poorly) made.

  154. #154 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Radley’s saying that boycotting Whole Foods amounts to shooting yourself in the foot.

    I believe I’ve mentioned severla times that Mackey’ rant has caused a segment of his customer base to re-evaluate how important it is to support local produce channels.

    How this will cause a set of entrepreneurs like my self to grow our own businesses to support those beliefs.

    Isn’t that the type of spontaneous capitalism that this country is based on? I realize I can serve my needs and make a buck at the same time. I am re-skinning a nearly finished iPhone app to serve that very purpose courtesy of Mackey’s big and insulting mouth.

    Thanks John Mackey.

    p.s.

    Download Quakewood free from the iPhone AppStore once it’s approved and use it to find local markets, small scale providers of personal products, and other foods. We’ll make our money via advertising if you’re curious.

  155. #155 |  tcl | 

    To sum up Richard Bottoms posts,

    “I believe freedom is the problem and government is the solution – we can do wrong because ‘you’ did wrong before us on a different issue; and help those who believe this stay in power by speaking out against leftists who wish to take what crumbs of liberty remain for the people. And even if you choose not to, it doesn’t really matter, because politics should be based upon the emotions of the citizenry anyways.”

  156. #156 |  Jerry | 

    #98 | Mark | August 17th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Something people – particularly those who call themselves “libertarians” need to admit – is that when adults who still believe in Ayn Rand dump their brain contents out on the printed page, they scare the shit out of people who feel some empathy for their fellow man and don’t believe exclusively in self-interest. Mackey should know that by now.
    __________________
    What lefties and righties need to understand is that I have empathy for my fellow man/woman, but I don’t have enough cajones to think I should be able to tell him/her how I can better their life. If they want help ask, and I’ll help, if not so be it.

    I want the government to go away and leave me the hell alone. I didn’t ask for your help, nor do I want your help. Thanks for the offer, it’s nice on your part, but I’ll pass. End of story.

  157. #157 |  BamBam | 

    However, the 35,000 maimed soldiers who we are barely ready to begin providing services for matter more to me.

    It matters about how many people “on the other team” are killed/maimed because it shows:
    1) Disproportionate use of force
    2) It’s not a war, it’s an occupation
    3) That one needs to contemplate what the fruits of our labor will bear, e.g. plenty of hatred of Team USA
    4) And then force one to think “why are we there, and what are we killing for?”

    If your thought process doesn’t lead you down this path, then you have shut your mind and choose to LALALALALA not consider that maybe you don’t have all of the answers. Slamming the door and saying “I don’t care, only USA matters” is indicative of lack of thought, and thus one who does this doesn’t care AT ALL about the ramifications of their actions or actions they support.

  158. #158 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I want the government to go away and leave me the hell alone. I didn’t ask for your help, nor do I want your help. Thanks for the offer, it’s nice on your part, but I’ll pass. End of story.

    Just as soon as you send back you part of the cost of paving the roads, setting up the electrical grid, the police department, fire department, air traffic controllers, and DARPA (the internet).

    We’ll also want your piece of the FDA, FCC, meat & poultry inspectors, produce inspectors, and those ports don’t run themselves.

    Silly fantasy and precisely why Liberterians have microscopic representation in elected office.

    Oh and you stop using all satellite based communications and entertainment right about now. Who needs phones anyway.

  159. #159 |  Bart | 

    Pareto’s Principle of Blog Comments

    The first 20% of comments contain 80% of the intellectual value.

    (If only I could just stop reading there.)

    But I will stop now. Bye

    Bart

    P.S. I recognize the fact that my comments are located in the remaining 80%.

  160. #160 |  Fluffy | 

    Richard:

    This is not a pro-Bush site, nor is it a Republican site. This means that every last word you wrote about the failures of the Bush administration were fucking pointless and a waste of your time. I imagine that the hatred of Bush in the hearts of libertarians burns a lot hotter than it does in the hearts of Democrats. Showing up here and trying to hang Bush on us is about as stupid as it would be if I went over to Kos and starting demanding that the people there atone for all they did to support Bush.

    And as has been said multiple times, spontaneous capitalism is all fine and dandy, but social or economic ostracism is a pretty dramatic tool to bring to bear over policy differences. As long as you wouldn’t complain if a major employer went through their list of employees and culled and fired all registered Democrats, I guess no one should complain about your little boycott.

  161. #161 |  flukebucket | 

    I have been shocked to read how many of Whole Foods customers can buy better product at lower prices since the article was published.

    I can’t help but wonder why anybody has ever bought anything from them in the first place if cheaper and better stuff is and always has been out there.

    Quality, price and service, in that order as far as I am concerned. And I don’t even care to know what your political or religious preference is.

  162. #162 |  JB | 

    Epic post. I hope you made their sensitive parts hurt.

    Leftists just care about squealing about caring; they get off on how they think they care so much. They hate most people including themselves and their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    Leftists by far are the most close-minded people I know. I can see the cloth Stalin and Mao were cut from and that fashion hasn’t changed much.

  163. #163 |  harry | 

    Call me a liberal.

    I wasn’t ‘offended’ by Mackey’s opinions, I just thought they were ignorant, primarily functioned in support of Republican obstructionism, and were not offered in good faith.

    RB, you seem to believe that Mackey is a proponent of health care reform, but that he only wants to take a different route to a common goal. So, ho-hum, he writes an article on how we should finance health care in America.

    I disagree. I think John Mackey has an entirely different goal– to prevent health care reform from happening. I think when he put out a misleading, ill-informed and self-aggrandizing (eat the food I sell and you will be healthier!) article in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, which has to be considered the primary mass media publishing venue of the American Republican Party for several decades, at the height of an intense national political battle between right-wingers and Republicans vs a new Democratic president, John Mackey just enlisted in the battle. That’s his right, I’m fine with that. But not surprisingly, lots of people in the opposite trenches feel strongly, and don’t have access to the editorial pages of the WSJ, so they fight back in one way that is available to them.

    I refer to Mackey’s bad faith because I can find no evidence that he ever had any desire to work for change in health care financing in the several years this previous decade when Republicans controlled Congress and the presidency. There were no Wall Street Journal op-eds at that point, no national-scale advocacy for HSA’s, nothing from Mr. Mackey’s pen that I can find. Like the rest of the right wing, he had his people in power for years, and they did NOTHING to improve the finances of our health care system. They got their war through Congress, and their supreme court justices confirmed, and increased drug coverage to put EVEN MORE financial pressure on Medicare, but somehow never had the wherewithal to gear up for health care reform (except for occasional Republican congressmen advocating for the demolition of Medicare, Medicaid, etc., but then I guess they just forgot to bring it up for a vote when they had majorities).

    RB, you also seem to think that the policies of Whole Foods should immunize John Mackey from any retaliation on the part of liberals, that we should continue to support his brand even when he USES THAT BRAND to propagandize for a nefarious and damaging system of health care financing. Why do you think the WSJ chose him for the op-ed?

    You’re quite wrong about the import of Mackey’s store policies. Whole Foods is a very small player in the US economy, and it’s vaunted ‘liberal’ store policies for charities, etc. in the broad scheme of things have no fundamentally different consequences from any other corporation donating to United Way, for example. In my opinion, ALL corporations should provide high quality merchandise, pay their workers well and adhere to rigorous environmental protection standards, etc. I’m relatively indifferent to their corporate charitable work, I really don’t think that’s the job they are supposed to be doing. Health care, on the other hand, is a multi-trillion dollar business, and improving the system is much more important to the American people than anything which happens with Whole Foods.

    By the way, RB, who are you to say that Whole Foods became such a corporate exemplar out of the goodness of John Mackey’s heart? I think the reality is the opposite: liberals have been and are the ones pushing for a higher wage scale for unskilled workers, for stricter environmental regulations, globally sustainable farming practices, etc. If years ago Mackey made a savvy business decision to establish HIS BRAND along those lines, so he can sell more organic-branded food, then it’s inacccurate to portray Mackey as a corporate iconoclast who is being betrayed by the liberals. I should note that Mackey seems more than happy to keep a non-union shop, to fire his workers if they try to unionize, and to advocate against unionization anywhere and everywhere in the US economy. We liberals do NOT owe Mackey anything.

    For my own personal case, Mackey’s company took over a local store I liked (Wild Oats) and replaced it with one which is clearly inferior (Whole Foods). I’ve been spending less and less at Whole Foods over the past year, so his political alliance with the Republicans on health care was just the proverbial icing on the cake. From a political perspective, it’s less important to knock down his store revenues, than it is to help DESTROY HIS BRAND as being somehow associated with liberal policies and a compassionate world-view. Because John Mackey, in his heart of hearts, desires neither.

  164. #164 |  tcl | 

    To restate Richard in #158, “The federal government ought to be the sole monopoly for all goods and services. Whether they do perform their non-essential functions effectively is besides the point. Just so long as they control my life, your life, and the lives of everyone else, I’m content.”

    Indeed, I submit that “governmentalist” is the appropriate word.

    Responsibility is the truest form of radicalism today. Face it, Richard, you demand others genuflect to the white house because you know whats best for everyone.

  165. #165 |  Euler | 

    Fluffy, your post reminded me of someone I know. He runs a small business, and he said that if Obama enacted any new policies that forced him into layoffs that he would go to the parking lot and people with Obama/Biden bumper stickers would be the first to be let go.

    I’m not sure if he was joking or not.

  166. #166 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    RB, you seem to believe that Mackey is a proponent of health care reform, but that he only wants to take a different route to a common goal.

    Nope. He insulted me and Obama by calling us socialist. I really didn’t read any farther than the Thatcher quote. Others did and subsequently drew their conclusions.

    I believe we can not ever let charges like ‘socialists’, or ‘commie’ go unanswered because we have a lot of stupid people in this country (Keep government out of my Medicare!!) and politically we must stand up whenever ridiculous charges are leveled.

    RB, you also seem to think that the policies of Whole Foods should immunize John Mackey from any retaliation on the part of liberals,

    No. I said his comments caused us to learn about his Libertarian views, which are really just GOP views+no license plates+pot and we decided not to spend our money with him.

    By the way, RB, who are you to say that Whole Foods became such a corporate exemplar out of the goodness of John Mackey’s heart?

    is there another RB positing here I don’t know about? It’s a company, companies are not good or bad. Mackey is CEO, I don’t like his political views, he rolled his company into expressing those views, thus I am taking my money to other companies.

    he federal government ought to be the sole monopoly for all goods and services.

    I really need to find that other RB person and ask him to stop positng.

    If I trusted Aetna and other companies to stop denying coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions, really have competition lower prices so I don’t get quotes of $1800 a month for my health insurance and I didn’t know that without COBRA I would be uninsurable, I’d be happy with whomever provided it.

    Since the insurnace companies routinely deny care for trivial reasons merely to save a buck and I trust them less than the folks running Medicare, I’ll take my chances with them.

  167. #167 |  JS | 

    tcl good post! That’s the essence of the governmentalist-he demands everyone bow down to his god the same as any other religion does because after all, he knows what’s best for the rest of us.

  168. #168 |  Fluffy | 

    Richard, you really aren’t very smart.

    “RB” is Radley Balko, the owner of this blog, and the person you are arguing with. That other poster is ALSO addressing Radley Balko.

    You are deeply confused. That explains why you thought this was a Republican blog, though. You can’t be bothered to know anything about the person you’re bitching at, including their NAME.

  169. #169 |  angulimala | 

    And I have the right to say you’re a moron for doing so.

    Don’t censor me!!!!

    :).

  170. #170 |  CraigS | 

    ummmm, Richard…RB kinda runs the show here

  171. #171 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Darn, must be all those years if having the name RICHARD BOTTOMS.

    Why would I ever assume RB means me.

  172. #172 |  JS | 

    Where the hell is DK? I mean, Dave Krueger? He would have enjoyed this one.

  173. #173 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    For the future I will assume capital ‘R’ ‘B’ is referring to Mr. Balko.

    Thanks for the tip.

  174. #174 |  The Crossed Pond » The Whole Foods Boycott | 

    […] Balko has been, dare I say it, en fuego on this one. 1 and 2. posted in: […]

  175. #175 |  joe | 

    Dear Radley,

    The average wage at Safeway, a union shop, is $89,000. the average wage at Whole Foods, a non-union shop, is $37,000. This and other matters, high-deductable insurance for instance, leads many to think that Whole foods is not a company that distinguishes itself to “leftist” causes, as you say, in any distinguishable way. So you can disagree with the boycott, but calling us “morons”? That’s, well, moronic.

    We want affordable health care, and we’re fighting for it. That’s all this is about. And part of the fight is taking it to the corporations and industry shills – Mackey, Lanny Davis – that are fighting against us.

    Why does this bother you so much? Does your heart really bleed for wonderful, generous, benevolent Whole Foods, Inc.? I’m willing to bet it’s something else that has you in a snit. I hope that you’ll figure it out, and share.

    Thanks for the interesting topic,
    Joe

  176. #176 |  Euler | 

    joe, could you cite your source on those average wage numbers?

    Thanks.

  177. #177 |  tcl | 

    The average wage earners at Safeway are earning way too much for unskilled labor!

    I demand that half of their salaries be taken from them, in the form of a voluntary tax, to be used to pay for the government monopolization of medical services.

    Because my heart tells me this is the right thing to do!

  178. #178 |  Rick | 

    The average wage at Safeway, a union shop, is $89,000. the average wage at Whole Foods, a non-union shop, is $37,000.

    Any links for this claim? In particular, that 89k figure has got the skeptical hairs rising on my forearms.

  179. #179 |  Mike | 

    “Nope. He insulted me and Obama by calling us socialist. I really didn’t read any farther than the Thatcher quote. Others did and subsequently drew their conclusions.

    I believe we can not ever let charges like ’socialists’, or ‘commie’ go unanswered because we have a lot of stupid people in this country (Keep government out of my Medicare!!) and politically we must stand up whenever ridiculous charges are leveled.”

    Technically speaking a large public healthcare system IS socialist, so is medicare and social security. That doesn’t automatically make them bad programs but the fact the government runs mandatory retirement benefits program for all workers (excluding politicians of course) does make it socialist. Certainly there was a period where these words were considered highly derogatory but I’m not even sure that still is the case. I think you’d have to read the rest of the article to see if the author was really trying to insult you or just offering a different point of view.

  180. #180 |  CraigS | 

    according to google:

    http://www.salarylist.com/all-real-jobs-salary-at-safeway-inc.htm

    Look closely though, the wages they are showing are for highly skilled workers – IT Engineers, Pharmacists, C-level executives, etc…

  181. #181 |  Joshgeek | 

    lol@ Richard bottoms: radley balko just happens to share your initials.

  182. #182 |  tcl | 

    Oh, and by the way Joe, if you want affordable healthcare, tell the government to drop the barriers of entry into the insurance markets.

    And if you want affordable healthcare, earn it. Don’t have the government put a gun to someone’s head because you demand the goods and services provided by private people. You like the word ‘voluntary’ but you don’t think it’s acceptable to apply it to the income earned by private people.

    Healthcare is not a right. A right is the freedom to act. It is not an unlimited demand on private goods and services.

    To reiterate what Radley has said before, you start with the conclusion that government must run the medical field, and work your way backwards. Clearly, you aren’t even interested in the more viable alternatives to reforming healthcare that don’t include government.

  183. #183 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    I did watch the former occupant of the White House spend a trillion dollars on a war he worked really hard to lose while maiming 35,000 troops, getting 4,000 of them killed along the way.

    Where were you guys while that was going on?

    Opposing it, which is more than can be said for the Democrat party, which voted for it, and kept voting to enable it, year after year after year. And still hasn’t ended it.

    What fluffy said (again).

  184. #184 |  Euler | 

    Either joe is pulling numbers out of his ass, or the average Safeway worker makes more than the majority of assistant and associate math professors at the top universities in the country. I’m going with the former.

    http://www.ams.org/employment/2008Survey-FacSal.pdf

  185. #185 |  Mike | 

    “”The average wage at Safeway, a union shop, is $89,000. the average wage at Whole Foods, a non-union shop, is $37,000.

    While your looking up the 89K figure show me an 89K wage earner at safeway who IS in the union. Al of those 89K+ job slots at Safeway are likely VPs of this or skilled labor who are in a salary position and is not in/elegible for a union.

  186. #186 |  Fritz | 

    #173 Richard Bottoms,

    An easier solution would be to go to a Republican blog and *attempt* to make some points there so we can carry on.

  187. #187 |  bend | 

    lefty socialist type here-
    this was a pretty great post.

  188. #188 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Technically speaking a large public healthcare system IS socialist, so is medicare and social security. That doesn’t automatically make them bad programs but the fact the government runs mandatory retirement benefits program for all workers (excluding politicians of course) does make it socialist.

    That may be so, but that word poisons the debate.

    We can not let it stand.

    Ever.

    (I’ve got people in this forum calling me a commie for crissakes.)

    Like I said there are stupid people out there and even stupid people vote so we must fight, always respond, never , ever allow us to be labeled as something we are not.

  189. #189 |  ChrisC | 

    While I agree with you on the whole and find the Whole Foods boycott to be misguided and petty, I think there are good rebuttals for a few of your points (and yes I’m a democrat/liberal/progressive/whatever):

    #7: There is ABSOLUTELY question whether industrial farming has “immeasurably improved and extended our lives”. Industrial farming and the subsidies that go with it have massively distorted the market and have resulted in our population eating far, far more sugar than previous generations. It’s almost impossible to find processed products with HFCS, for example, even foods that you wouldn’t normally think of needing a sweetener.

    Yes, modern farming practices allow us to feed a lot of people. Whether they allow us to feed a lot of people WELL is very much open to debate.

    #8: Come on, that’s apples-and-oranges and you know it. The left supports local farming because it’s good for the environment, arguably more nutritious, and helps support small businesses and farms rather than large corporations that their obscenely paid CEOs. Their favoring federal government over state government (which can hardly be called “local”) obviously is entirely unrelated to the reasons why they support local farms.

    You’re smarter than this, it was a bad-fath cheap shot and you know it.

    #9: If a company does something we don’t like, we don’t support them with our dollars. If the government does something we don’t like, we don’t support them with our votes.

    The cool kids call this BAD FAITH, because, again, you’re smart enough to know this. It’s not like government is this evil entity you’re powerless to stop, as much as conservatives like to bogeyman it as such.

  190. #190 |  Cutting Off Your Nose… « This Ringing Bell | 

    […] – Additional comments from Balko about this story – 3) That’s the crux of why I think the boycott is ill-considered, reactionary, and foolish. […]

  191. #191 |  Euler | 

    CraigS, that site is awesome. $728,000 for a pharmacist. That’s nearly 4 times as much as the listed CFO’s salary. Those numbers seem legit.

  192. #192 |  tcl | 

    “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    This is what you meant to say, Richard. You don’t have to accept you’re a socialist. But your cognitive dissonance isn’t going to change that fact.

  193. #193 |  Euler | 

    That should be 5 times, not 4 times.

  194. #194 |  wunder | 

    Richard, why are you so offended by being called Socialist (or by these proposals being labeled socialist)? What is it about socialism that’s offensive to you?

    Maybe that will help us understand why you’re fighting so hard against the label, instead of arguing why the government’s insurance proposals are likely to increase the availability of healthcare while decreasing the cost.

  195. #195 |  Bill | 

    Regarding the $89,000 “average” salary at Safeway, looking at the numbers on that page, I did see pharmacists, graphic designers, various middle managers, and many other skilled, experience-required, or at least connections-required positions. I didn’t see “girl who rings up your arugula” or “guy who puts your stuff in grocery bags”. Is it POSSIBLE that those folks aren’t salaried, and therefore aren’t included in this list? In any event, a wise friend once pointed out to me that the average person has one breast and one testicle, so “average salary” might not mean much in this context.

  196. #196 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    An easier solution would be to go to a Republican blog and *attempt* to make some points there so we can carry on.

    I am taking time out of needling Rod Dreher because he posted about Mr. Balko’s comments. As one of the boycotters I came by to give my point of view.

    If the Thatcher quote was added by the WSJ, I am not the least bit surprised and suspect Mr. Mackey can do himself a world of good by taking the WSJ to task for distorting his views by the additon of that quote and the accompanying headline.

    A few emailers took offense to the term “leftists,” or “lefties.” Is that pejorative now?

    Of course it is, don’t play dense.

    It is not a mild phrase, it is used and intended to be as inflammatory as socialist and commie and as such must be responded to in the frame of mind as intended.

    We’re not communists, we’re not creating death panels or internment camps, we did win the election and as such you have the opportunity to do something about in in 2010.

    The utter meltdown of the GOP and swooning over a brainless hack like Sarah Palin is an indication they will have a serious problem should unemployment stabilize at %8 by the next election.

    George Bush presided over a slide into financial Armageddon, his polices of slashing taxes for the wealthy while losing two wars did not go over well with the public.

    If, as several indications show, the recession is over, the economy will likely stabilize by next year which means the GOP will take it in the ass yet again. Sans lube.

    So yes, we challenge every single representation of Democrats as socialist, communists, fascists, nazis, or what have you everywhere, every time.

    We learned that lesson well and will not ever again attribute ignorance of the depth of meaning those words have in debates.

  197. #197 |  Bill | 

    Richard (and other new friends),

    Maybe one reason that we are having trouble communicating is that many of us are libertarians, and we really don’t feel any more at home with Republicans than with Democrats. We’ve discovered that we believe something fundamentally different that isn’t really “left” or “right”. For heaven’s sakes, I’m sure that we’ve called Republican proposals “socialist” on a regular basis!

    My personal experience has been that Republicans use libertarian rhetoric but govern far differently; Democrats (okay, Clinton, at least) sometimes govern more like libertarians than the Republicans do, despite campaign promises to the contrary. If you’re really interested in what libertarians believe, you might want to check out http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html . But it would be great if you’d at least read some of the non-health care related posts on this site to understand where we’re coming from.

  198. #198 |  Mike | 

    “That may be so, but that word poisons the debate.
    We can not let it stand.
    Ever.”

    How else can you describe them? I don’t believe there is a more applicable new word that could describe such a program. Mrs. Thatcher’s quote was perfectly relavant and I don’t think it was meant to offend. It is a legitimate concern to ask where does the money come from? A government that is already running in the red and wants to spend more money seems like a problem.

    I personally think Communism/Socialism is a great ideal. I’d love to live in a utopian society where eveything was taken care of for me and everybody has a comfortably high standard of living. It just doesn’t appear have a strong track record of actually working out.

  199. #199 |  wunder | 

    ChrisC,

    Industrial farming and subsidies do go hand in hand now, but Radley argues against those subsidies and has often decried the exact result you bring up – increased consumption of HFSC do to the distorted price of sugar. He is not for subsidies, but is also against the knee-jerk reaction to industrial farming (separate from subsidies).

    There is also evidence that local farming is not better for the environment due to the fact that it requires more land to produce less food. The question is which issue is worse – more food/less land and the energy required to move product from one end of the country to another, or less food/more land and local travel. My opinion is that the first is best because land is more scarce than energy, but that’s another argument. Yes I know I’m over-simplifying here.

    Your argument for #9 is laughable just considering our “choices” when it comes to election time. It’s much more productive to “vote” with our money (he’s not arguing against that, by the way, just calling it counter-productive and/or hypocritical in this case) than it is with a ballot. The choices are much broader in the marketplace than in the ballot-box. Just look at how many of GW’s policies Obama has maintained.

  200. #200 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Richard, why are you so offended by being called Socialist (or by these proposals being labeled socialist)? What is it about socialism that’s offensive to you?

    Maybe that will help us understand why you’re fighting so hard against the label, instead of arguing why the government’s insurance proposals are likely to increase the availability of healthcare while decreasing the cost.

    Becaue:

    A.) Being labeled socialist in American political discourse is a one way ticket to losing whatever fight you are in

    B.) I am not a socialist, neither is Obama any more so than the Republicans who voted for the Medicare drug benefit are socialists. We know what the word means, why it is used, and will not tolerate our views or policies to be dinged with that word, not any more not ever again.

    C.) You may think it’s a harmless rhetorical flourish. I do not.

  201. #201 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    How else can you describe them?

    The political initiatives we beat the GOP’s ass with last November.

  202. #202 |  Bill | 

    “We’re not communists, we’re not creating death panels or internment camps, we did win the election and as such you have the opportunity to do something about in in 2010.”

    I’m not going to call you a communist, or a fascist, or any of that, Richard. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for those of us who have not hitched ourselves to the Rs or Ds to win an election, in part because as the incumbents, they have rigged the game. For me, I tend to develop a stronger dislike to whatever party happens to be in power, and root for the “other guy” to win the next election, if I have to pick between the two major parties. For instance, I wasn’t thrilled with McCain or Obama, but if I had to pick, I would have gone for Obama, out of sheer disgust for what the Republicans have done over the last eight years.

    The problem isn’t that you, or those who agree with you, are evil. The problem is largely the unintended consequences of all this effort to do good. To paraphrase CS Lewis, evil people are sometimes checked by their consciences, but if you think you’re saving the world, you can do some serious damage.

  203. #203 |  wunder | 

    Ugh – “due” to. I’m sure there are other typos, too.

  204. #204 |  wunder | 

    Do you deny that a government-run program (yes, I lump the Medicare drug benefit in there, too) is anything but a socialist program? How?

    And, yes, I get the semantics that corporatism is close to fascism too, but they do tend to meet up in the end. If the government didn’t plan to get its grubby paws on health insurance even more than it already has, then the corporates wouldn’t be so desperate to get in on the action. The corporations haven’t invented this game, they’re trying to play along and create the rules (something else that this site argues against) in order to survive.

    And if it’s not socialist, what is it?

    I mean, the flagship is call SOCIAL Security, for pete’s sake.

  205. #205 |  Euler | 

    I will not allow the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke to be tarnished with the label of racism!

  206. #206 |  Mike | 

    “C.) You may think it’s a harmless rhetorical flourish. I do not.”

    So I assume you are also offended when ‘Progressives’ use the term Progressive? after all if its not harmless rhetorical flourish and words do have power it is offensive to choose a word for your movement that denigrates those that don’t support your views.

  207. #207 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I’m not going to call you a communist, or a fascist, or any of that, Richard. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for those of us who have not hitched ourselves to the Rs or Ds to win an election, in part because as the incumbents, they have rigged the game.

    And when your guys stop running on privatizing the roadways and eliminating license plates you might have an opportunity to do something about it.

    Do you deny that a government-run program (yes, I lump the Medicare drug benefit in there, too) is anything but a socialist program?

    Yes.

    How?

    I’m not sure how a program you call socialist got passed by the GOP. Guess their smarter than me on that front.

    I do know that when screaming hordes at town hall meetings are asked would they give up either Medicare of Social Security not a single hand stays up.

    And when the stupid are told Medicare is a government program so please STFU they tend to at least develop a period of cognitive dissonance that causes them to STFU.

    So whatever it is they are mad about, one thing they aren’t demanding the government do is get rid of Social Security and Medicare. It’s your argument that the programs are evil, so you figure out how to convince them t kiss them goodbye.

    Me, I’m just glad my mom can go see her doctor. At last until Obama works out the details of euthanizing her.

  208. #208 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    So I assume you are also offended when ‘Progressives’ use the term Progressive?

    Why should I? We figured out the word liberal makes your colon spasm so we use progressive instead. We decided to stop bring rhetorical knives to a rhetorical gunfight.

    Same with gun control. If you want to bury your Ar-15’s in your back yard be my guest. We decided to stop losing elections over the issue.

  209. #209 |  wandaG | 

    Wow, CEO makes obvious, stupid PR move and pisses off a large percentage of his customers. And it is all the customers’ fault.
    Brilliant.

  210. #210 |  wunder | 

    OK, so no real answers. Got it. Thanks.

    We’re not saying “STFU” on this site. The regular commento(e?)rs actually demand point-by-point rebuttals instead of ad hominem attacks. That’s the most refreshing thing about this site – at least in my view.

    And neither was Mackey. He was actually proposing alternatives. You can disagree with the alternatives and argue the points, but now it’s many on the “left” saying “STFU” – not the right or the rest of us.

    Calling a program socialist that is actually socialist by nature does not equal “STFU”.

  211. #211 |  CraigS | 

    Euler #191 – “CraigS, that site is awesome. $728,000 for a pharmacist. That’s nearly 4 times as much as the listed CFO’s salary. Those numbers seem legit.”.

    Just to be clear, I am in no way endorsing those numbers – just showing where the other poster got his info from. My point was that the figures cited were pointless becasue they don’t apply to unskilled workers.

  212. #212 |  Rick | 

    I’m not sure how a program you call socialist got passed by the GOP. Guess their smarter than me on that front.

    Apparently so.

    Do you even bother to read the comments that come before you? Both of your beloved major parties are socialist in the sense that they want to expand government’s domain into every crevice of human life.

    You’ve posted several comments baiting Republicans, directly addressing Republicans, accusing those to whom you are speaking of being Republicans and/or supporting Republican policies on a site where most people detest them. It’s particularly galling to be lectured thusly when we spent the last eight years opposing Bush, and then see your fancy new president actively continuing almost all of the worst policies of his retarded predecessor.

  213. #213 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    OK, so no real answers. Got it. Thanks.

    My side won that debate sixty years ago. You’re one having a problem pushing you agenda.

    We’re not saying “STFU” on this site.

    I was referring to people like the guys, tears streaming down his cheeks because he’s scared Obama is going to euthanize his soon. If it was me I’d tell him he was being stupid and to STFU, but then I’m not a politician.

    And neither was Mackey. He was actually proposing alternatives.

    And he did it in the WSJ which has an agenda that the furthered by adding an inflammatory headline and an even more incendiary quote from Margaret Thatcher, whom a good chunk of his customer base loathes right up there with St. Ronald and G.W. the Wise.

    It’s a P.R. disaster, one that they have a glimmer of hope to fix by issuing a second apology letter (yes they already sent one) pointing out Mr. Mackey did not choose either the headline or the quote.

    I know it’s as far as I read, because I detest Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, and Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich and a host of other so-called conservatives whose opinions I care nothing about and susequently those who share them.

    The GOP took the Southern Strategy and used it to almost bankrupt the country & almost loose two wars. Their side lost in November, our side won. See you in 2010.

  214. #214 |  Greg N. | 

    Not shopping at a place because it’s too expensive is not “boycotting” that place, lefties. It’s just “not shopping there.”

  215. #215 |  flukebucket | 

    And when your guys stop running on privatizing the roadways and eliminating license plates you might have an opportunity to do something about it.

    Now that is as funny as hell. I have waited all damn day for a good laugh and finally got one.

  216. #216 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Both of your beloved major parties are socialist in the sense that they want to expand government’s domain into every crevice of human life.

    And when the charge is made the GOP merely has to say, no were not and people just say, okay.

    Democrats have to say no we are not f*****g socialists and be prepared to say it over, and over and over again.

    It is not a rhetorical flourish, it is not a debating point, it is not a difference of opinion. It is the difference between getting elected and passing our agenda or not. People who think it is get beat: John Kerry, people who say hell no, not this time win: Obama.

    Our audience isn’t you people. My audience isn’t you people. I’s the 2% who read blogs like this and Rod Dreher’s who need to see us standing up for our ideas and to say we are not going to take it up the a** for the sake of semantics.

  217. #217 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    BTW, my iPhone app is almost done.

  218. #218 |  wunder | 

    So, since the socialist policies won “sixty years ago”, we should no longer debate their merits and just shut up when new ones are being proposed. Makes sense in your head, I guess.

    I think, Richard, that actually IS Socialist/Fascist/Communist. I’ll be curious to see if you hold the same views when it’s your “side” that’s losing. That will happen again. It may be a while, but it will happen.

  219. #219 |  Euler | 

    It’s not cross burning. It’s a holy bonfire! Stop trying to marginalize us with your semantics!

  220. #220 |  flukebucket | 

    When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

    That is what I have been told anyway.

  221. #221 |  Fluffy | 

    Richard, you have gone beyond being stupid and are now just a cunt.

    You have been told several times that this is not a Republican blog, but a libertarian one.

    The Libertarian party never nominated George Bush for any office. The Libertarian party never nominated Sarah Palin for any office.

    The fact that you persist in demanding that we justify George Bush or Sarah Palin makes you pretty much nothing more than a cunt.

    How can you have the fucking stones to demand that people stop calling you a socialist when you won’t stop calling us Republicans?

    Don’t bother to answer that question, I already know that the answer is because you’re a cunt.

  222. #222 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    So, since the socialist policies won “sixty years ago”, we should no longer debate their merits and just shut up when new ones are being proposed.

    Yes, if you’re an old coot screaming that the evil government needs to keep its paws off your Medicare I am going to call you stupid and tell you to STFU.

    As far as what to do about eliminating those evil programs:

    I’ve known Bob Rumson for years. And I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it!

  223. #223 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Richard, you have gone beyond being stupid and are now just a cunt.

    You have been told several times that this is not a Republican blog, but a libertarian one.

    I can read just fine bitch.

    My opinion is Libertarians are just slightly more selfish versions of Republicans and as such I don’t usually engage with them because they have no hope of winning elective office anytime in the near future.

    This thread is about an issue I do care about and as such I have chosen to post about it. Who the fuck are you anyway?

  224. #224 |  wunder | 

    But we’re not those old coots here, and you’re telling us the same thing. So quit trying to say that’s who you’re talking about in this forum. You’re lying – maybe to yourself, too, but you’re lying.

    You refuse to debate at all and are just saying, “Shut up; don’t call me a socialist” when that’s exactly what these programs are. But you say you’re angry with the right for doing the exact same thing, so you’re as big a hypocrit as anyone else. It’s like an insane circle. I don’t even know why I’m still here, but I’m kind of having fun.

    (Dammit – where are Cynical and DK today?!)

  225. #225 |  bb | 

    Now, now Fluffy, I can’t have you calling Richard Bottoms a cunt…

    By his own given name, he’s a DICK and an ASS. It’s all about proper nomenclature and anatomy, in this discussion on health care. Bring out a Proctologist and Urologist, we’ll get to the root of this…

  226. #226 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    But we’re not those old coots here, and you’re telling us the same thing.

    You must be using some kind of filter where when I write something this clearly about someone else you actually see me writing about you.

    Maybe your browser is broken.

    Try typing in all caps, that seems to fix it.

  227. #227 |  HC Carey | 

    It’s interesting that you call my decision to boycott Whole Foeds “moronic.” You are of course free to do so. But would you say the same about, say, my preference for Mazda over GM? Or my preference for jazz over pop music? I boycott Brittany Spears, in exactly the same way I boycott whole foods–by not buying the products. By boycotting Brittany I’m sure a lot of really nice people make a little bit less money. I like to imagine that buy not buying Brittany’s music, I’m encouraging the music biz to make stuff I like. Doesn’t seem to be working, but Im still not buying Brittany.

    There are actually a lot of products I don’t buy, some because I don’t like, say, the way they taste, and others–inorganic fertilizer, for example–because I don’t like the politics involved. It’s a spectrum from “this tastes like crap” to “Sam Walton is a thug.”

    What business is my consumer choice of yours? Is it ok for me to prefer one consumer product over another, but not choose to patronize Whole Foods because I think the CEO is a dick? If you argue that I SHOULD patronize Whole Foods because it’s politics are mostly good, then surely you have to admit the legitimacy of boycotting it on political grounds? That, I daresay, is moronic-your argument is incoherent.

  228. #228 |  BamBam | 

    Mr. Bottoms, who is this magical WE that you keep referencing?

  229. #229 |  Manny | 

    “My opinion is Libertarians are just slightly more selfish versions of Republicans and as such I don’t usually engage with them because they have no hope of winning elective office anytime in the near future.”

    A) You engage people based on whether their political party has a realistic shot at office?

    B) As a libertarian, I’m able to have civil discourse with my friends, most of them being liberals and a few conservatives. Your mouth-breathing attempt at discussion is what’s wrong with discussing these issues in 98% of venue; you’re more interested in yelling your POV and plugging your ears than anything else. Both sides do it; we come here to engage each other, not troll.

    C) And if you’re trolling, you’re doing a very weak job of it.

  230. #230 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Now, now Fluffy, I can’t have you calling Richard Bottoms a cunt…

    By his own given name, he’s a DICK and an ASS. It’s all about proper nomenclature and anatomy, in this discussion on health care. Bring out a Proctologist and Urologist, we’ll get to the root of this…

    Whoa, I’ve never heard that one before. I’m stunned into Junior High School-like shame that the mean people are talking about my name.

    Boo. Hoo.

    You must have me confused with some other motherfucker who will lay down for this crap. That peace, love, dove hippy shit went by the way a long time ago.

    Barack Obama won, what ever delusional Libertarian down 37 places on the ballot you voted for lost. Get used to it.

  231. #231 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Mr. Bottoms, who is this magical WE that you keep referencing?

    You mean the Editorial We?

    The Democratic Party We?

    The 53% of the electorate We?

    The Nintendo Wii?

    Take your pick.

  232. #232 |  wunder | 

    You’re right, Richard. You haven’t explicity said that you’re talking about the regular commenters on this site with whom you’ve been debating, but the fact that you’re still here repeating the same thing over and over again and not actually engaging in a meaningful debate certainly does IMPLY (there, are you happy?) the point.

    You’re arguing with us as if we are those same people, simply because we’ve dared to think and express that a government health insurance plan will not achieve its idealistic claims. We say something rational, and you say “but those horrible people at the townhalls are angry and stupid.” Doesn’t exactly make much sense, does it? Pardon me for trying to bring you into an actual discussion since you clearly have no interest in partaking.

  233. #233 |  Franklin | 

    The 53% of the electorate We?

    Actually, it’s 53% of eligible voters that voted. Since only 62% of eligible voters voted, the 38% that did not vote for either of the statists is greater than the number of people who actually voted for either one. So, if this were a true democracy, there would be no president (since that is what the greatest number of eligible voters want).

  234. #234 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    You’re arguing with us as if we are those same people, simply because we’ve dared to think and express that a government health insurance plan will not achieve its idealistic claims.

    I’ve done nothing of the sort. The OP is about the boycott of Whole Foods. It was put forth that most of the people joining the boycott did so because that want to shut down any debate about health care.

    It as later revealed in an update that, like myself it was the headline and Thatcher quote that caused a sizable majority o people to join the boycott, something WF can remedy by making it more widely known John Mackey chose neither the headline or the quote.

    Later I was asked why fight so hard against the socialist label and I stated the obvious that whatever Libertarians may thing of the label or how evenly they may apply it to Republicans and Democrats alike, it is political suicide to accept that label. And we as a party are done commiting polical suicide.

    Further because so many people support the programs already in place I maintain it isn’t us who have to make the argument concerning the good or bad Social Security & Medicare bring to the country, it’s you who have to do it if you hope to make Libertarianism anything more than a political footnote.

  235. #235 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    we say something rational, and you say “but those horrible people at the townhalls are angry and stupid.”

    That darn filter is acting up.

    I pretty clearly said that any single individual who starts heaving sobs over getting the government out of his Medicare is clearly, and plainly stupid. And in particular that the crying guy with the son in the wheelchair is in fact a dimwit for believing that ‘death panels’ will kill his son. Since I am not running for elective office I don’t have to sugar coat it. The guy’s a dummy.

  236. #236 |  Fluffy | 

    I can read just fine bitch.

    Apparently not.

    My opinion is Libertarians are just slightly more selfish versions of Republicans and as such I don’t usually engage with them because they have no hope of winning elective office anytime in the near future.

    And you know what else? Your blessed “public option” health care plan has no chance of passing in the near future. Because you guys got clotheslined by a handful of Ron Paul movement veterans who yelled at some Congressmen.

    I’m sitting here twirling my moustache in evil delight as I think of all the Democrat voters with no health insurance and no public plan coming to help them. Their tears taste so sweet!

    This thread is about an issue I do care about and as such I have chosen to post about it. Who the fuck are you anyway?

    Someone not stupid enough to go to a libertarian site and yell about people who like Sarah Palin. Why not go to a Green Party site and do that? It would make about as much sense.

    But I realize that “sense” is a concept without much meaning to you.

  237. #237 |  Nick | 

    Here is a view on healthcare reform that “could” be described as “libertarian”….

    http://www.strike-the-root.com/92/allport/allport1.html

  238. #238 |  wunder | 

    It seems to me like a shortcoming on the part of the Dems (and possibly even Repubs) not to accept the label. Why not just own it? If it’s really what the people want (by your lights they do, since “they” don’t want anyone to touch SS or Medicare), then it will be embraced by the people.

    But perhaps the parties are scared that owning up to the word may actually make people sit up and realize they’ve been lied to for decades about the nature of our government and economy – and heaven help us – actually do something about it by kicking the current power-mongers’ sorry asses out of DC.

    A girl can dream, can’t she?

  239. #239 |  Nick | 

    The healthcare reform debate has gotten so crazy that the left disagrees with Whole Foods but agrees with big phara….

    The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on TV commercials supporting President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.

    http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/article1026001.ece

  240. #240 |  Jeff | 

    Your analysis is spot on as a rational argument, but the two sides are not competing in a contest to identify the most rational analysis; they are political opponents in a political battle. Politics is about winning, not airing all sides. Even if it makes no sense otherwise, a boycott makes political sense. From a tactical point of view, shutting down anyone who makes your opponents seem reasonable makes perfect sense. Both sides are doing it.

    Do I wish that people would recognize and reject irrational positions? Of course. But until the human race changes, politics will be a bare knuckle sport with tactics and strategies designed to win votes, not arguments.

  241. #241 |  Joshgeek | 

    Richard Bottom’s idiocy is pushing me further from the dem camp than 8 years of Clintonian populism could ever do. Please, for the sake of everything liberal, just stop digging that hole. I believe 2000 sq. ft. is plenty big for a grave. He’s done nothing to remedy the image of a dufus liberal.

  242. #242 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    It seems to me like a shortcoming on the part of the Dems (and possibly even Repubs) not to accept the label. Why not just own it?

    In a where all that mattered were philosophical arguments both parties might. But this is the reality of the 30 second sound bite and excuse us if we don’t just unilaterally disarm.

    Get the GOP to stop demonizing any attempt to make drug laws more sane and perhaps even decriminalize marijuana, and the Democrats to say they really don’t give a shit about capital gains taxes.

    But that’s not going to happen.

    This is a %2 country.

    I am a Yellow Dog democrat, mainly due to the 1965 Voting Rights Act and again after the King Holiday fiasco (calling King a commie as a real effective way to court black voters). If Jesus and Satan were running for congress and Jesus was he Republican, well I don’t know if I’d vote for Satan, but might since we could impeach him later.

    The point is were it not for once in a 1,000 year utter disaster that was the Bush presidency those extra %2 GOP voters who came our way would never have done so.

    We still would have won but by less.

    I am not going to vote for any Republican ever, and I am certainly not going to waste my vote on a Libertarian or Green, because we see how well voting for Nader worked out.

    So there you have it, the chance of a lifetime for Libertarians to seize the 2%. Are you going to continue to harp of eliminating two of the most popular government programs in history?

    Or come up with something else?

    I just keep hoping the GOP continues to wink and nod when guys show up with guns at public events. (Yes he was a Paul supporter. Do you really think 99% of the public knows or cares). Please more shouting, crying dads and Medicare recipients who hate the government because, well they’re stupid.

  243. #243 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Richard Bottom’s idiocy is pushing me further from the dem camp than 8 years of Clintonian populism could ever do.

    Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.

  244. #244 |  mandt | 

    “Big companies and industrial farming are why poor people in America don’t starve to death anymore.” Been homeless lately? America has the best used food in the world. Now, that’s progressive. Also, —like the idea that readers lurk around your site.

  245. #245 |  Mattocracy | 

    I like how repeating over and over again that Obama won some how legitimizes someone’s point. “We won so there!” A lot of GOPers said the same shit for 8 years and they were dicks too.

    Obamacare is corpoate welfare on an epic scale. I’ve stated this before; I really believe that if health care reform supporters (I won’t say lefties because it’s more dynamic than that) actually read the bill being proposed, they would realize that they are supporting a bill very different than they think it is. It’s the Patriot Act of the Obama Administration.

  246. #246 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I like how repeating over and over again that Obama won some how legitimizes someone’s point.

    It might not. But we did win so we get to do things our way for a while. I get you’re not Republicans.

    Now what are you doing to be in any way relevant?

    Medicare and Social Security aren’t going away. People who are on unemployment don’t want to hear about privatizing roads. They might want to hear about being paid to pave them.

    Which is more important to me, your Libertarian philosophy or knowing that right now I have COBRA at $950 which I can barely afford and the $1800 I know these bastards would be charging me if I didn’t that 18 month heat shield.

    This whole thread came about because John Mackey inserted himself in the healthcare fight and singed his company in the process.

    I don’t give a damn about how he treats his employees, I care about making sure the insurance giants won’t try to hit me with a bill that is impossible to pay in a matter of months.

    The magic hand of competition is not going to fix it. The government imposing rules that make them cover the really sick, the old, the AIDS sufferers, those with cancer, and Alzheimers, all the ones they’d rather kick off their rolls will.

    Now, convince me otherwise?

  247. #247 |  Mattocracy | 

    Obamacare is not going to do the things you say it will. If you want those things from the government, fine. But rallying for Obamacare is counter-productive to your goals.

    You don’t have to be a Republican or a Libertarian to oppose the proposed HC reform. Likewise, you can still want HC reform without having to support Obamacare. Pointing out the flaws in the proposed bill doesn’t make you a sell out. I would saw the opposite is true.

    Further, I see that the HC reform is starting to look a lot like the war in Iraq. Whereas Hannity and co. would say things like “why do you hate America!” to war protestors, the Daily Show and co are saying things like “why do hate affordable health care!” Those kinds of actions aren’t going to win converts. It’s about how you say it. The previous comments above from everyone haven’t changed anyone’s minds. It was all for nothing.

  248. #248 |  BamBam | 

    I still don’t understand this heavy adulation of WE, whatever definition you want it to be. When someone so strongly identifies with a label, and believes that those that also identify with the label are their buddies/comrades/philosophical brothers-in-arms, it is almost always a strong indication of an identity crisis. Believing that WE=A,B,C is easily refuted, as the We=Democrat party label=agenda items A,B,C can easily be shown to be false. The one party system in this country proves it over and over again that the label means nothing, that those with a label vote inconsistently on categorical issues, and thus strong identification with WE is foolish at best.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” says it all, at all government levels. Nothing ever changes except how you get screwed. If you don’t realize this, then you are only fooling yourself into believe you won the lottery with WE.

  249. #249 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Pointing out the flaws in the proposed bill doesn’t make you a sell out.

    Would you please find and quote back to me where I said it did?

    Recap:

    OP: Boycott of Whole why???
    ME: The Thatcher quote pissed us off.
    OP: Seems some boycotters were pissed off by Thatcher quote
    ME: WF, please issue clarification and new apology

  250. #250 |  mattt | 

    FARC and the Shining Path are leftist. Steve Carlton and Sandy Koufax were lefties.

    I prefer to be called liberal, but many like-minded folks prefer progressive. Of course, you’d be within your rights to call us whatever. You prefer to be called Radley, but I’d be within my rights to call you Dick.

    [Hey, this lib loves him some libertarians, I just thought you needed a little Straight Talk. Of course Lefty and Leftist are perjorative. And it’s amazing to me that you didn’t see Mackey’s editorial as basically a pitch for people to meet all their health care needs by eating macrobiotic organic whatever, provided by….Whole Foods. You bring a lot to the conversation, but Libertarians do tend to have a blind spot for the corporate line].

  251. #251 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Democrat party label=agenda items A,B,C can easily be shown to be false.

    I guess you aren’t a Democrat because the party I grew up with fractured over all the letters of the alphabet. Once we allowed conservative Democrats to pander to the anti-abortion zealots and said keep your damn guns we started winning.

    Still fractured, but less so.

    The Blue Dogs are just inoculating themselves against attack.

    The GOP will continue to have insane rhetoric about death panels which == health care bill this fall.

  252. #252 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    A man was spotted Monday afternoon carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle and a pistol at a pro-health care reform rally next to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Arizona where President Obama was speaking.

    The local paper The Arizona Republic reported:

    A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at 3rd and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip, and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault rifle) on a strap over his shoulder.

    “Because I can do it,” he said when asked why he was armed. “In Arizona, I still have some freedoms.”

    Two police officers were staying very close to the man.

    As I was saying.

  253. #253 |  scott in phx az | 

    I’m going to step up my purchases from Whole Foods just to piss off the left.

    What a bunch of deranged morons. Except for R Bottoms here. As another poster pointed out – he’s a c*&t.

  254. #254 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    What a bunch of deranged morons. Except for R Bottoms here. As another poster pointed out – he’s a c*&t.

    No, that would be your mother.

  255. #255 |  Danno49 | 

    @ #252

    As I was saying.

    And saying. And saying. And saying.

    But you aren’t listening. Or processing. Or even give the impression that you are able to process.

    Good luck with that.

  256. #256 |  standfast2 | 

    Good summary of the WF situation, the message seems to be that “liberals” won’t allow any disagreement on HC, regardless of the balance or content. As you rightly pointed out, Mackey, gave several ideas, did not call names nor question Obama’s birth place. Because he choses to disagree with some of his customers, they want to boycott his business. Nice example, great way to encourage debate in a area where we need ideas from people who have accomplished something vs. those who have not…(politicians, journalists..ect…).
    I wonder if liberals would be happier if we ended all debate and just allowed the MSM and WH to run endless town halls with only “soft ball” questions form union members, special interests and those who support this ill-defined legislation. Lets make the NYT and WaPost the only 2 newspapers of record, limit posting to HuffPo and DKos…and “liberals” will be happy.

  257. #257 |  scott in phx az | 

    oops, made a mistake.

    R Bottoms is a socialist c*&t.

  258. #258 |  Mike | 

    “Which is more important to me, your Libertarian philosophy or knowing that right now I have COBRA at $950 which I can barely afford and the $1800 I know these bastards would be charging me if I didn’t that 18 month heat shield.”

    Well if you had bothered to read Mackeys op ed instead of stopping after a quote you found offensive his very first point addressed this issue. He wants to make private health insurance the same price as employer sponsered insurance. So you wouldn’t be on COBRA right now.

  259. #259 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    R Bottoms is a socialist c*&t.

    Not a cunt, I’m a dick, a big one. Just ask your mom.

  260. #260 |  Psion | 

    The left/liberals (“progressives”? that’s a crock) sure seem worked up over this issue and they’re circling the wagons on it and even eating their own. Let them. There’s so much blight infesting that bunch that all the astro-turf on social networking sites in the world won’t keep people from coming to the conclusion that the current regime is not only no better that the last, but it’s supported by reactionary idiots who don’t understand how to think for themselves without handholding by folks like Olbermann, Maddow, or Stewart.

    Let the democrats join the neo-cons on the rubbish heap of history. There’s got to be light at the end of this tunnel /somewhere!/

  261. #261 |  Mike | 

    Sorry its his 2nd bullet

  262. #262 |  JS | 

    What Fluffy said.

  263. #263 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Well if you had bothered to read Mackeys op ed instead of stopping after a quote you found offensive his very first point addressed this issue.

    Guess that what you get for writing in one of Rupert Murdoch’s rags.

    You seem to think I’m all worked about all this. I’m not. I write software for a living so in between compiling I’m hanging out here.

    Anyway, I’ve found a new source for my wife’s bread, Thanksgiving is a few months away, and I found a way to re-purpose my iPhone app to make some money off of the new awareness of local produce & non-corporate farming. (Quakewood).

    Regardless of why people are doing something about it, supporting independent growers is a good idea.

    Nothing but win from my perspective.

    Mackey’s a millionaire, he’ll get over it. I suspect WF will issue a further clarification that he didn’t write the headline or pick the quote, the boycott will mostly end.

    Meanwhile, right wing nuts will continue to bring weapons to the Obama rallies thus continuing to freak the shit out of the 2% swing voters further helping to pass the legislation.

    Been a great couple of days.

  264. #264 |  scott in phx az | 

    R Bottoms,

    You should go over to HuffPo or someplace like that. Those blogs are at (or probably even above) your intellectual level.

    However, you’re likely in the running over there for being the most personally despicable poster on any given day. Maybe that will make you happy. But Radley doesn’t give out awards for it over here nor does it impress the rest of us.

  265. #265 |  Kino | 

    steve c #54

    “at the end of the day you’ll give torture-supporting intellectuals a pass.”

    uh … not really …. sigh

    theres overwhelming evidence contained in the Agitator archives that suggests ………you don’t know what the FUCK!!!! you’re talking about .

  266. #266 |  Kino | 

    ooops it was steve c. #51 not #54

  267. #267 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    You should go over to HuffPo or someplace like that.

    As I mentioned earlier I don’t normally engage on Libertarian boards because of how little actual political power you have as a group. I may disagree with Rod Dreher’s views… on just about everything.. but he influences Republicans and so I have my say there from time to time.

    I understand Radly Balko’s done some good work on issues like the “drug war”. Keep it up.

    As for this debate, I’ve uploaded the new iPhone app to Apple for review and so I’ve got other things to spend my time on the rest of today, like editing my movie.

    See ya.

  268. #268 |  links for 2009-08-17 « Overton’s Arrow | 

    […] The Agitator » Blog Archive » Whole Foods, Ct’d… (tags: Whole Foods healthcare insurance reform food Mackey)   […]

  269. #269 |  JS | 

    Richard bottoms “As I mentioned earlier I don’t normally engage on Libertarian boards because of how little actual political power you have as a group”

    So you only speak to people who have political power? hahahahaha! What are you, a lobbyist?

  270. #270 |  joshgeek | 

    don’t let the door hit u… ah. too easy. so nice this place was finally relavent enough for an esteemed troll such as yourself, Dick Bottoms. (can I call u Dick?) gl with that app, it sounds marginally useful.

  271. #271 |  Andre Kenji | 

    “Its op-ed page (rightly or wrongly) is well known as a forum for extreme right wing views. ”

    There are several liberals and democrats that writes there. George McGovern, for instance. The point is more a matter of public. if we are talking about public policies and business there ins´t better way to get to your public than the WSJ.

  272. #272 |  Tsu Dho Nihm | 

    Damn, some of these comments got ugly. On the positive side, I did learn a few interesting things about this “debate”.

    The “debate” is focused in the wrong place.
    What I liked about Mackey’s op-ed is that he actually talked about some of the reasons why health care is so expensive and possible ways to lower the price. Far too many of the people discussing “health care reform” are ignoring those very interesting points and just going on about paying for health care at it’s current artificially-inflated price. Some of Mackey’s ideas have merit and some (tort reform, most notably) are irrelevant. If people want to have this debate (or pretend to have it), I suggest they focus on the cause of the problem.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names are an unforgivable transgression on all I hold dear!
    And now after reading some more comments, I see that the Thatcher quote is what has really upset some people. You know, the whole “If you support a government enforced social program that is intended to benefit society, then you’re a socialist!” Well, I understand that the term “socialist” has rather negative connotations, so I won’t use it.

    Actually, I think it’s too nice of a term. They way I look at it, any such program is clearly theft.

  273. #273 |  JB | 

    Dick Bottoms, list your address, let’s see how tough you really are.

    I have a feeling that you are a ‘yellow-dog’ Democrat: willing to yap his mouth because it gets him off and not willing to do anything besides that. How many checks have you written to the US Treasury, hypocrite?

  274. #274 |  Harry Jarvis | 

    Mackey included the Thatcher quote himself:

    http://www2.wholefoodsmarket.com/blogs/jmackey/

  275. #275 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Dick Bottoms, list your address, let’s see how tough you really are.

    BART station, Powell street, San Francisco.

    How’s tomorrow?

  276. #276 |  JB | 

    ‘Theft’? It’s rape and they expect you to sit back and enjoy.

    Well fuck that. They are going to get it where the sun don’t shine and they won’t enjoy it one bit.

  277. #277 |  JB | 

    ‘BART station, Powell street, San Francisco.’

    You live in the subway? San Fran, where even the hobos have wifi.

    Though at least it makes sense why you want all-government, all-the-time, in every orifice.

  278. #278 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    San Fran, where even the hobos have wifi.

    And the problem with making sure citizens are connected is what exactly? I am shooting footage for a movie, not sure what it is you have to say to me, but you’re welcome to come do it.

  279. #279 |  JB | 

    I hope someone shows up and calls you a hypocrite to your face.

    How many checks have you written to the US Treasury to pay for all these programs you profess to love?

    I’m willing to bet not one check. Put your money where your mouth is.

  280. #280 |  Fritz | 

    Seriously? “Your mama” insults?

    I don’t know about any other regular readers, but to me, the quality of comments has really plummeted around here in the last few months.

    I’ve read a lot of good, thorough debates on this site for several years, but lately it seems like trolls and uninformed visitors are derailing any serious conversations about the issues.

  281. #281 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I hope someone shows up and calls you a hypocrite to your face.

    How many checks have you written to the US Treasury to pay for all these programs you profess to love?

    I’m willing to bet not one check. Put your money where your mouth is.

    I’ve paid quite a bit in taxes, and as entrepreneur I’ve had to pay extra self-employment taxes as well. Then there’s property taxes, sales taxes, lot’s of gasoline taxes.

    Before that, as a soldier I was not exempt from all kinds of taxes even while stationed in Germany.

    I give to charities every now and then. No money to the homeless, but I’ll buy anyone a sandwich if they’re hungry.

    The government costs money and more of it needs to go to shape a health system that encourages prevent over costly care after the fact.

    Someone has to pay for the poultry inspectors, meat inspectors, the police, firefighters, air traffic control, the people who pave the roads, the infrastructure that keeps the ports open, the government programs the spur creativity (DARPA created the internet we’re now using), the CDC, Head Start, pre-natal care programs, Medicare, Social Security, and a host of other things.

    We as a country can always found money for hyper-expensive pentagon programs, like stealth planes designed for an enemy that no longer exists, missile programs that after 25 years still don’t work, all manner of vehicles that didn’t keep troops safe, and now ones that do.

    Peeling off a few billion to ensure coverage for the millions without, changing the mandates to insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage to keep their profits up is a good thing long term.

    If you disagree, meet me during election season 2010, and again in 2012 and may the best man win. I happen to think we’ll kick the GOP’s ass again if the best they have is Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.

    You’re welcome to run Libertarian candidates too, though I am pretty sure they will continue be irrelevant. But then relevance isn’t a requierment for public office, just the will to run.

  282. #282 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I’ve read a lot of good, thorough debates on this site for several years, but lately it seems like trolls and uninformed visitors are derailing any serious conversations about the issues.

    I was called a name nd I responded. I am not some wimpy peace-love-dove caracicture. Unless c**t has become a compliment, I don’t take shit from anyone.

  283. #283 |  Kino | 

    #212 congrads. you just won the internet ! Bravo

  284. #284 |  JB | 

    So you want more money for these programs except you have not sent $1 for them?

    That makes you a hypocrite.

  285. #285 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    So you want more money for these programs except you have not sent $1 for them?

    I’ll type slower.

    I pay taxes, when the programs kick in I’ll probably pay more taxes and I’m all that burned up about it because government costs money.

    You can’t take everything from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Interstate Highway System and Telstar (it didn’t get up there by itself) and opt out of the system because you personally have had enough.

    I thought the trillion dollars send to Iraq was rather ill spent, twice I watched fools vote for George Bush, the second time because the other guy spoke French or something.

    Well now the election wheel has swung my way so we try things in a manner a little closer to what I believe.

    It isn’t me you have to convince because as I said earlier, I’m not voting for the GOP ever, and a third party vote is a waste (see above re: George Bush)

    You need to convince the persuadable middle that there is something useful in voting Libertarian.

    Do that, and when you have twenty or thirty Senators and a hundred or so congressmen & women, drop me a line. Don’t get pissed at me because you can’t sell me what you’re pitching.

    You can’t even sell Republican seniors that they should give up their Medicare & Social Security even when they philosophically have some affinity for your message.

    Gene Burns, the 1984 LP presidential candidate even given up on you guys and registered democrat:

    A listener of the Gene Burns talk radio show says the one-time 1984 LP presidential front-runner announced on-air today that he is re-registering as a Democrat because he was tired of participating in a “quixotic effort”.

    LP

    If you can’t sell you message now, you never will.

    Best of luck.

  286. #286 |  Steve C | 

    “Steve C – You’ve managed to provide by far the most clueless comments in this thread. Have you read anything on The Agitator other than Radley’s Whole Foods rant?”

    Yes, Radley is the exception. I’m speaking of libertarians in general.

  287. #287 |  Rimfax | 

    I think that “progressive” is a very apt term. It is every bit as apt as “libertarian”.

    If you agree with a libertarian, does that mean that you oppose liberty? A libertarian is someone who values the principle of liberty above all other considerations and considers any utilitarian-style calculus of policy to be measured with maximizing liberty for every single individual, not collectively or summatively. A libertarian accepts, as does anyone disagreeing, that this will lead to ugly anecdotes, at the very least.

    [nonstandard definition] A progressive is someone who values the rights of those at and below the average of wealth and income above those who are above the average. The premise being that every bit of wealth or income that one has over the average is essentially taken away from someone else below the average and that injustice undermines one’s claim on that value. Therefore, the more one owns or makes over the average, the progressively less one can ethically claim that extra bit of value. Every policy that takes from the above average and gives to the below average chips away at this differential and is therefore called “progressive”. Any policy that fails to pull mostly from the above average or fails to pay out mostly to the below average is called “regressive”.

  288. #288 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    The premise being that every bit of wealth or income that one has over the average is essentially taken away from someone else below the average and that injustice undermines one’s claim on that value.

    Umm, no.

    We believe that capitalism without rules means people get medicines that blind them, chemical plant disasters that kill them, financial firms that fleece them, and insurance companies that do their best not to pay up.

    You having a billion dollars doesn’t mean I get half of it, but it does mean you pay some portion of it cover the infrastructure of the country that does everything from deploy a military to protect you to running a Food & Drug Administration to keep you from being killed by the lettuce you eat.

    Wailing about Stalinism because someone making $300k a year might have to shell out another $4,000 is silly.

  289. #289 |  Jeff | 

    Radley, I loved this. Both Mackey’s article and your post were so refreshing. For some reason, my work internet blocks this site, and I was in such a foul mood all day after reading Gregory Rodriguez’s op-ed in the LA Times. I couldn’t wait to get home and read something written by a person who wasn’t somehow born without a brain.
    I would love it if you wrote a response to that op-ed, in which Rodriguez calls the town hall protesters “obnoxious”, “idiot right wingers”, “anti-intellectuals”, “misinformed”, “self-righteous”, “fools” (the whole piece is pretty much nothing but name-calling) and generally subscribes to the idea that everyone should admit that health care reform is much too complex to understand, so we should leave it up to politicians.

  290. #290 |  Dahveed | 

    I agree this boycott is silly. I also agree with Mackey’s points in his op-ed peice. His plan my not be perfect, but it can hardly be worse than what we currently have.

    This whole stink seems to be how the lefties/liberals/progressives like to argue. If you don’t agree with them, then they skip right to name calling and a boycott (if applicable). Others have suggested this is their only option, since many of their policies don’t make sense and are difficult or even impossible to defend rationally.

    One thing I would have to disagree about is that while whole foods is a progressive company with generous benefits, they do expect their “team members” to actually work. So, they really don’t fit the socialist model that the liberals seem to favor these days.

  291. #291 |  Standfast2 | 

    # 288, your description of ‘capitalist disasters” sounds more like a summary of problems from the Soviet Union and/or China than current day America. After all, capitalist economies have feedback mechanisms, some choice and more representative governments.
    Our system is not perfect, care to find a socialist or totalitarian one that is better when it come to supporting 300 Million people, absorbing countless immigrants,….,and is the second largest source of GDP for next door Mexico as well. Anything in the EU does not count.
    Obama is the triumph of style over experience and image over substance. You can’t ” fool 57 % of the people, all the time”
    California, New York State and Illionis, great monuments to one party liberal government systems are ready to implode, care to guess the political results after 2010 ?

  292. #292 |  JOR | 

    “My side won that debate sixty years ago. You’re one having a problem pushing you agenda.”

    You keep repeating variants of this silly argumentum ad baculum/argumentum ad populum. As if electoral or cultural victory says anything at all about truth value.

  293. #293 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    288, your description of ‘capitalist disasters” sounds more like a summary of problems from the Soviet Union and/or China than current day America.

    Death Toll Rises In Texas City Refinery Explosion
    Officials at BP’s Texas City refinery raised the death toll Thursday to 15 after a powerful explosion at the sprawling facility.
    Posted: 2:17 PM Mar 24, 2005

    A worker who officials thought had clocked out from BP’s Texas City refinery is evidently the 15th victim of the powerful explosion that rocked the sprawling complex Wednesday.

    Plant officials raised the death toll from the blast Thursday from 14 to 15, but provided no other details.

    Earlier they said one worker was still unaccounted for after the blast, but said they believed the worker had clocked out before the explosion.

    Another 100 workers were injured Wednesday in the massive explosion, which was so powerful it broke windows out in homes five miles away from the refinery.

    As Enron’s former top executives face criminal trial in Houston Monday, the legacy of Enron — the most sensational corporate fraud scandal in recent history — still ripples through the business world.

    The company remains a symbol of corporate greed and hubris and one of the costliest U.S. bankruptcy reorganizations ever.

    The point of the post isn’t that there are no regulation, it’s that what regulations there are lax due to corporate influence, on both parties.

  294. #294 |  Jim Treacher | 

    This site has been linked by several lefty blogs, Andrew Sullivan’s blog

    Dept. of Redundancy Dept.

  295. #295 |  BobC | 

    “John Mackey opposes single payer health care, preferring to keep health insurance private and competitive”…so how’s that been working so far? Hope you’re not one of those denied due to pre-existing conditions or one of those dropped from the roles when your condition became too expensive. Or simply one who cannot afford any care at all. Health care for profit is an aberration! That being said it is absurd to boycott a business doing the right thing because of the opinions of any staff member. We must remember though that Mackey’s opinion swings more weight than most others or we would all be published in the WSJ, so we should not hesitate to call him out on the fantasies upon which his arguments are based.

  296. #296 |  Quick Bites – Crispy on the Outside | 

    […] Support Whole Foods, just like “Radney” Balko does at The Agitator. […]

  297. #297 |  JB | 

    “I pay taxes, when the programs kick in I’ll probably pay more taxes…”

    Dick, you can pay more now. Send a check to the US Treasury and they will cash it. Put your money where your mouth is and express your love for these programs with your checkbook.

    Until then, you are nothing but retarded hypocrite. So STFU.

  298. #298 |  Bill | 

    All good points, but searching through your blog I find very little about the idiocy being demonstrated at the town hall meetings and coming from major Republican figures like Palin, Gingrich, and Steele. I certainly have my problems with public health care, and I am interested in creating incentives to lower costs and give consumers choice, but the idiocy displayed by these “Tea Baggers” or whatever they call themselves is far far greater than this Whole Foods boycott. If I missed your posts about that, I apologize, but otherwise you seem quite blind to the idiocy of those who are advancing your own political interests (as many people are).

  299. #299 |  Doesn’t Quite Have That Cesar Chavez Feel To It « Around The Sphere | 

    […] Balko again: Here’s how it breaks down: Mackey has the right to express his opinion on health care. You have the right to boycott his company because you don’t like that opinion. And I have the right to say you’re a moron for doing so. […]

  300. #300 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    As I woke up this morning I just came to a realization, you folks really don’t understand that no Democrat is going to say Social Security and Medicare is socialism.

    Or put another way, I am not ever going to voluntarily drink poison.

    Medicare is socialized, like pepper on steak, it tastes like pepper but it is not itself pepper.

  301. #301 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I came to this block because of a post by Rod Dreher supporting Mr. Blako’s position on the Whole Foods Boycott. Nevertheless, Mr. Dreher today says he supports health care reform. An excerpt:

    Rep. Bart Stupak’s House committee investigated insurance company “recissions” — the practice of yanking coverage from people for having provided false information to insurers, or other reasons — and found that the practice is widespread, and for the most spurious reasons. Stupak lists some of the outrageous findings here. This stuff is absolutely indefensible — and yet, when Stupak put the top insurance execs in the spotlight, and asked them to commit not to kicking people off unfairly (e.g., the cancer-ridden Kentucky woman who was forced to wait for a double mastectomy because her insurance company decided acne on her breast was reason to yank her coverage), every one of them refused, saying that state law let them do it.

    This rang a bell with me. Back in 1995, I took a new job. In the confusion of the move, I forgot to file a certain document with the group health insurance provider. Admittedly, this was entirely my error. And yet, when my boss went to the company’s health insurance provider as soon as I discovered my mistake, the company refused to insure me. I had no pre-existing conditions, and was a healthy 28 year old man. But they refused, simply because they could. Because they wouldn’t budge for anything, I went three years without health insurance. Thank God I didn’t get sick during that time (except for the flu once, which I treated with a trip to a doc in the box). Still, it amazed me that because of my oversight, the insurance company denied me health insurance. Again, they were totally within their rights, but that experience taught me something about how insurance companies operate. Not even my company, which spent tens of millions every year with this insurance giant, could make them budge.

    Froma Harrop tells a vastly more consequential story involving her insurance company trying to stiff her husband after his liver cancer diagnosis. Here’s how that concluded:

    My husband underwent the arduous chemo. Meanwhile, powerful people were pulling strings for us with the insurer. Upon learning we had “connections,” United Healthcare finally said it would pay.

    The cancer came back. This treatment was never a sure thing, but I often wonder how much the delay affected the outcome.

    An ex-Marine, my husband was a tough customer. Toward the end, he said to me, “You know, fighting the insurance company was worse than fighting the cancer.”

    A year after my husband died, I was still receiving medical bills for some of the treatment that United Healthcare had agreed to cover. Oh, they eventually paid. The game is to break you down.

    To be fair, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with insurance companies over the past 10 years or so. I don’t think it’s fair to paint them all as devils. But I really do fear that my family and I are just one corporate bureaucrat’s decision away from being left to face catastrophic bills on our own, if something went wrong. I believe that people like me, who are covered by adequate insurance, try not to think about how fragile our coverage really is; part of the knee-jerk response against the prospect of reform is the understandable fear that we who are covered will lose what we have. But what about those who have lost it already, or who never had it? And how sure are we that what happened to Froma’s husband, and to the innocent people who testified before Stupak’s committee, won’t happen to us? As Froma points out, we already have “death panels” in the insurance companies.

    Right thinking.

    We will always have more to fear from these bastards than anything Obama can get through congress.

  302. #302 |  flukebucket | 

    Richard Bottoms I would never, ever characterize you as an uninformed visitor. You have made your case plainly and it makes good sense to me.

    Anybody who has ever had to fight an insurance company knows what I am talking about. Insurance companies exist to make money. Just as with any other capitalistic venture the object of the game is to take out more money than you put in. I have no problem with that and I understand how it works.

    If you have a newsletter I would like to subscribe.

    I will continue to visit this site daily and read the articles and the comments. One of these days I hope to be able to better understand the libertarian viewpoint. That is my goal.

  303. #303 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    >If you have a newsletter I would like to subscribe.

    I’m honored. I think I’ll stick to occasionally informing others about the liberal point of view and challenging preconceived notions.

    Democrats have no special lock on being right, but this is a two party + 2% country and as such those are the choices right now.

  304. #304 |  K. Wilson | 

    Wait, what is this I read? Sanity? On the web?

    On a serious note, I am a writer and I subscribed to a website for writers that caters to a lot of main-stream journalists (In these days I am happy to report that I am not a journalist). I’ve had to stop posting there because the level of hate and irrational thought directed toward anything resembling “conservative” bordered on abusive. This boycott is more of the same. No sitting down to reason an idea through, just a knee-jerk reaction “fall out be damned”. It’s precisely one of the things I hate about both parties.

    So on the right you have the possibility of Palin becoming the presidential nominee (shudder).

    And on the left you have the possibility of government controlled health care (double shudder).

    Which is why I’m happy to find sanity on the web.

  305. #305 |  JS | 

    K. Wilson “Which is why I’m happy to find sanity on the web.”

    But not for long. The Republicrats’ll regulate that out of existence too eventually.

  306. #306 |  Whole Foods, Health Care, And The Morons Who Threaten To Boycott | iamnotachef.com | 

    […] I was going to write a long rant about how stupendously stupid, reactionary, unthinking, troglodytic (is that a word?), and embarrassingly moronic all of those granola eaters are who are incensed that the CEO of Whole Foods had the temerity to express an opinion on a topic about which he is quite knowledgeable. But then Radley Balko beat me to it, with two excellent posts that skewer these fools far better than I could. Read the first one here, and the second one here. […]

  307. #307 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    I’ve had to stop posting there because the level of hate and irrational thought directed toward anything resembling “conservative” bordered on abusive.

    Abusive in what manner? Does Whole Foods have som eentitlement to me shopping there?

    I don’t support the GOP, I try not to let my money go to people who support the GOP, and so I take me money elsewhere. That Whole Foods internally does some of the things I support is irrelevant. Helping Mackey make one extra dollar which he can use for donations to the GOP doesn’t advance my political causes.

    So I take my money elsewhere.

    Not exactly sending Mr. Mackey to the guillotine now is it?

    Speaking of, I hear at least twenty corporations have decided to take their money elsewhere other than support the Glenn Beck show.

    Moronic too I’m sure. Beck is within his rights to call Obama a racist who hates white people. I guess GEICO decided against subsidizing that speech.

    And before we hear about the 1st amendment, remember what it’s for. The 1st amendment doesn’t exisit so Glenn Beck can say Obama has a pathological hatred of white people, it keeps the government from telling him he can’t.

  308. #308 |  BJC | 

    This is truly and excellent post, Mr. Balko. I too have been greatly puzzled over why the heretofore-happy crowd shopping Whole Foods would refuse to consider that Mr. Mackey has provided them with products and a business model they have liked — so why not give serious consideration to his ideas about medical insurance coverage? His experience is at the intersection of real healthful living and providing healthy-living employees with good medical insurance options. Is it because he’s challenged the robotic mantras his Leftist customers chant inside their heads, confusing that with actual thinking?

    And, of course, Mr. Mackey wants both his employees and his customers to have the option of informing themselves about healthy living and using their “health care” dollars as they see fit in pursuit of healthy living — from the nutritional standpoint first, to exercise and self-care for exercise strain and injury, and then to education about nutriceutical use to alleviate conditions and illnesses. With all the claims being tossed about regarding how “prevention” can save money and reduce medical costs, why not give Mr. Mackey a listen? Whole Foods is all about prevention from good diet on up. I guess if your blind faith is in government control and one-size-fits-all, you really can’t even admit that the people you admire might make better choices on their own behalf than government would force upon them.

  309. #309 |  CEO Offends Customers by Advocating for Their Best Interests « Free Market Mojo | 

    […] Unfortunately for Mackey, his wisdom was not appreciated by many of his customers. Radley Balko of The Agitator has an excellent take on the negative reaction: Mackey didn’t deliberately offend his customers, […]

  310. #310 |  K. Wilson | 

    Richard, I was talking about a specific forum where some people who posted were blatantly and childishly hateful toward conservatives–and I found it offensive so I left. By abusive I meant their language toward me or any conservative thought, which was insulting and aggressive in excess (I’m all for a little ribbing, but there is a line). I don’t necessarily find a boycott of Whole Foods offensive, just very reactionary and a bit silly.

    Of course you have a right to protest Whole Foods for Mackey’s personal opinion, and of course I have a right to think people doing so are loopy and misguided.

    I am constantly reminding people what the right to free speech really is, so no need to explain it to me.

    The irony is that so many on the left often see no problem with the fairness doctrine, but drone on about free speech in issues where they think (either real or imaginary) that if affects them. Oy.

  311. #311 |  GP Blog » On John Mackey | 

    […] of them; they’re just too technical. Some people say health savings accounts are a “proven idea,” and others say they’re “low-coverage.” Not a debate I can confidently […]

  312. #312 |  st | 

    i read the article again. john mackey could have listed his points in a neutral, informative manner that would have added to discussion. instead he starts off with very incindiary quote by Margaret Thatcher that rush limbo would have been proud of. he makes at least one misleading statement about healthcare in canada and britain.
    the baggers, birthers and loons DO NOT tolerate a business they think is undermining them, heck they curse the entire hollywood industry.
    i REALLY like seeing this lefties showing a backbone and and are not taking any more crap.

  313. #313 |  K. Wilson | 

    “i read the article again. john mackey could have listed his points in a neutral, informative manner that would have added to discussion. instead he starts off with very incindiary quote by Margaret Thatcher that rush limbo would have been proud of.”

    As a writer this kind of thinking irritates the hell out of me. NEVER, and I do repeat, NEVER assume that anything you read in an article originated with the author. We are often at the complete mercy of the editor. In this case I’ve read numerous times that the Wall Street Journal put the quote from Thatcher in. That said, it’s a brilliant and very true quote, so I don’t see the problem.

  314. #314 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    The irony is that so many on the left often see no problem with the fairness doctrine,

    I think this is one of those generational things, like going on about Alger Hiss.

    Most of the young people who voted for Obama have never even heard of the Fairness Doctrine. It’s a Bogeyman, dead and unlike Michael Meyers, it’s not coming back.

  315. #315 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    As a writer this kind of thinking irritates the hell out of me. NEVER, and I do repeat, NEVER assume that anything you read in an article originated with the author.

    Mackey’s blog has the verbatim article as he wrote it, starting out with the Thatcher quote:

    I fully realize that there are many opinions on the healthcare debate, including inside my own company. As we, as a nation, continue to discuss this, I am hopeful that both sides can do so in a civil manner that will lead to positive change for all concerned. You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below. (Just remember our comment guidelines prohibit vulgarity and personal attacks.)

    Here is the original unedited version that I submitted.
    Health Care Reform

    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”-Margaret Thatcher.

    Mackey takes his foot off his dingus and then stamps down even harder.

  316. #316 |  The Angry Optimist | 

    Because you guys got clotheslined by a handful of Ron Paul movement veterans who yelled at some Congressmen.

    By far one of the funniest things I have ever read.

  317. #317 |  thefreedomjury | 

    Great commentary, Radley, from a philosophical standpoint, and without considering that Whole Foods has a “zero tolerance” policy toward free speech (including Libertarian Party ballot access petitioning) at its stores.

    That said,

    I’m boycotting Whole Foods because John Mackey claims to be a both a Libertarian and a libertarian but has his Whole Foods security guards kick out pro-freedom petitioners (along with anti-freedom petitioners). He will happily have his armed thugs tell me to shut up, immediately after I’ve bought $100 worth of life-saving stevia, salmon, whole apricots, and unsweetened soy milk from his store.

    …With friends like these!

    (And keep in mind that Giant Foods on the more liberal and tyrannical east coast allows ALL petitioners, even if they disagree with their message. Also keep in mind that there are thousands of grocery stores nationwide that trust their managers to support free speech while giving them the power to remove the truly offensive and odious. So Mackey’s typical bullshit about “I had no choice” or “If I allow one I have to allow them all” is exactly that.)

    Let’s just say that Mackey actually wanted freedom: he could perhaps not join in on the side of those initiating force and attempting to eliminate HIS ALLEGED CHOICE from the ballot. (I understand that he has a right to initiate force on his own property, but it is still the mark of a chimpanzee who desires to control rather than converse. –Just give him his fuckin’ FRNs, and fuck off!)

    I understand he has a *right* to silence ballot access petitioning on his own property. But to exercise that right is moral/intellectual cowardice of the worst kind.

    That said, here is a message for those who have not even arrived at Mackey’s “nerf-Republican libertarianism” yet:

    Replacing sugar with extract of Stevia rebaudiana in one’s diet will prevent type II diabetes, and save approximately 100 thousand innocent Americans per year: but the FDA (government working for Big Pharma) disallows one to print advertising that informs customers about this. Read http://www.stevia.net/ and http://www.fantastic-voyage.net In fact, healthfood stores in Texas who were competitors of Whole Foods were raided by the FDA, and the FDA burned their books on Stevia. Literally.

    Apricot pits contain laetrile, AKA vitamin B-17, which releases a cyanide molecule upon interaction with cancer enzymes, thus killing the cancer cells. This is a literal cure for cancer found in an unpatentable natural food. But again, the AMA, ACS, and FDA have made offering advice about dosage and treatment using laetrile ILLEGAL. Hundreds of doctors who found out the truth, and began saving lives have been shut down, or forced out of business by these thugs. The cost in human lives? 7.6 million people per year, world wide (and you have to understand that the information not allowed in “the freest country in the world” would eventually circulate worldwide, if it were allowed to). Read http://www.realityzone.com/worwitcan.html or watch: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4312930190281243507

    Eating a healthy diet rich in Omega-3 fats (by eating fresh-caught wild salmon) has been shown to stave off heart disease, silent inflammation, and aid in proper methylation, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. As has supplementation with NO, (found naturally in eating asparagus). But doctors can’t prescribe natural cures, or risk being labeled as quacks, because the goal of the government thugs is to play “CYA”. If a few million people die every year as a result, they could give a shit. …So long as everyone keeps paying their government-jacked-up medical bills.

    Western medicine excells only at treating trauma, because it’s harder to disguise the cause of a bullet wound than it is the lifestyle errors and lack of knowledge that lead to cancer, stroke, and heart attack. The FDA, AMA, and ACS were all created by big pharma around 1910, by the pharmaceutical industry / government cartels. It always amazes me how morons like Richard assume we would have worse medical care if we had freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of thought. I guess they resist such freedom because they realize they’re the ones who would be buying the “snake oil” if it were legalized.

    So Richard Bottoms, please fuck off and die. Die a painful, horrible death, and watch your children die horrible painful deaths on chemotherapy. I sincerely hope you get to experience the full benefits of the FDA, AMA, and ACS, and every other goddamned big-government intrusion into MY life that YOU voted for.

    Your army has more thugs in it, true. But there is always the risk that you will pay for your evil DIRECTLY.

    Please, keep that in mind while you are shilling for brutality and “might makes right”.

    As distasteful as I find Bottoms and Mackey, there is always a third option: withold support (and indeed aid and comfort) from both of them. That is the libertarian option, writ large.

    I will continue to shop at Giant Foods, and at K-Mart, since they are two places that actually respect my freedom of speech (usually). I will also shop at Wal-Mart or Whole Foods if it is convenient, while never failing to mention that they are scummy and un-American companies, in practice.

    I will never hesitate to gun down someone like Richard Bottoms like a dog, if he and I meet in private, knowing he paid his goons to shoot “gun nut” Randy Weaver’s wife down in cold blood.

    May the internet multiply my message a trillion times, and may my side have more guns than Richard’s side, and John Mackey’s side, and the side of all people who believe that might makes right.

    Might only decides which side wins, but it doesn’t decide which individuals win.

    If we want to stop Government coercion in its tracks then we would do well to listen to Richard Bottoms, and take winning elections more seriously. We would also do well to listen to his complete contempt for debate, and understand that he has already thrown down the gauntlet in the arena of force: His “better luck at controlling the guns in the next election!” is an appeal to brute force: so long as we fail to grab the gun in the hands of our oppressors we will be oppressed, and Richard and our other oppressors will laugh.

    My advice: 100% contempt and aggression towards people who reject the libertarian philosophy, after having been exposed to it with ample time to absorb it. While that might not mean the swing voters who are apolitical and blitheringly uninformed, it DOES mean Richard, and those who support the Fuhrer.

    If you are willing to wear a swaztika, then to hell with you, you are responsible for the actions of that swaztika. The same goes for “W” bumper stickers, and “O” bumper stickers, until tax forms come with a checkbox next to everything one wishes to support, and it is perfectly acceptable to not pay a dime, and to never see a court for “mala prohibitum via state prosecutor”.

    History holds that the nuremburg defense is not valid.

    Why then, do libertarians enter into “debate” with those who proclaim it to be?

    Richard Bottoms has made clear his views: “If your medical services company is bankrupted because you cured a dying child’s cancer, and you are incarcerated for a ‘regulatory offense’ and imprisoned, and your kids and wife starve when you die of type II diabetes caused by prison food, then fuck you, you deserve to die because Richard’s favored group of assholes won an election.”

    I do agree with Richard about one thing, though.

    It’s time for libertarians to stop being beaten by cunts like Richard.

    It’s also time for John Mackey to “walk the walk” instead of being a nerf-lib / Republitarian.

    Word.

  318. #318 |  K. Wilson | 

    Yep, looks like he did use the quote. More power to him. As I said before, I don’t see a problem with it, since it’s a fundamental objection that Mackey has with the whole ponzi scheme that is this bill. :)

  319. #319 |  Brian | 

    …I haven’t even made it to the 2nd point, and I already love it. Don’t give up the fight.

  320. #320 |  Barry | 

    http://www.samefacts.com/archives/health_care_/2009/08/the_point_of_the_whole_foods_boycott_and_what_john_mackey_should_do.php

  321. #321 |  JOR | 

    Bottoms,

    I think all the problems people have engaging with you just come down to one thing:

    “It might not (be reasonable/right). But we did win so we get to do things our way for a while.”

    Well. You were a soldier, so it’s to be expected that you’d habituate that sort of thuggish pseudo-thinking. Too bad you didn’t get sent to some bodybag factory, with all the rest of the trash that signs up.

  322. #322 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Too bad you didn’t get sent to some bodybag factory, with all the rest of the trash that signs up.

    Are all of you people here deranged or just some of you?

  323. #323 |  John Henry | 

    I can’t link to this post enough (I think a few people I’ve slung it at may actually have read it, too). A slew of fine points, powerfully expressed. Cheers, cap’n.

  324. #324 |  Voice of Reason | 

    @Tyler:

    An extra $6K of annual tax-free savings for an executive at Whole Foods, say, earning, say, $150K is actually worth quite a lot. Which, again, is why these people insist it’s the solution for everybody.

    If you’re truly ‘in the trenches’, you aren’t paying enough in marginal taxes to make this worth anything. Even at the 10% marginal tax rate, the additional hassles inherent in high-deductible plans + HSA make it not worthwhile.

  325. #325 |  ravenshrike | 

    Y’know, it’s amazing. You get all these people who bitch and moan about the way the insurance companies do business, and then come out and say the government will do better. Clearly these people have never dealt with the IRS or BATFE. The best run government organization is the military, and that’s because it has the harshest possible penalties and on average everything is clearly delineated. Even with that there remains plenty of corruption and graft, especially in the parts most influenced by politicians. Why anyone would think government run insurance would be better amazes me.

  326. #326 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Why anyone would think government run insurance would be better amazes me.

    See above:

    Froma Harrop tells a vastly more consequential story involving her insurance company trying to stiff her husband after his liver cancer diagnosis. Here’s how that concluded:

    My husband underwent the arduous chemo. Meanwhile, powerful people were pulling strings for us with the insurer. Upon learning we had “connections,” United Healthcare finally said it would pay.

    The cancer came back. This treatment was never a sure thing, but I often wonder how much the delay affected the outcome.

    An ex-Marine, my husband was a tough customer. Toward the end, he said to me, “You know, fighting the insurance company was worse than fighting the cancer.”

    A year after my husband died, I was still receiving medical bills for some of the treatment that United Healthcare had agreed to cover. Oh, they eventually paid. The game is to break you down.

  327. #327 |  X | 

    the Libertarians should be excited that the “other side” is taking part in the splendiforous workings of the beloved “free market”… but I beg to differ that Whole Foods “does everything the Left wants”… Mackey has always been open with his Libertarian, “free market”, anti-Union mentality… people are finding out about it wholesale and are making the consumer choices “free-marketeers” advocate so strongly for… I worked at Whole Foods and it ain’t all that… just another massive corporation exploiting “progressive” ideals as a marketing scheme… here is an interesting article on the Libertarian Party :

    http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/NoLibert.HTM

  328. #328 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    It’s time for libertarians to stop being beaten by cunts like Richard.

    “Good luck with that.”

    ~ Wolverine

  329. #329 |  Why You Should Boycott Whole Foods - Politics and Other Controversies - Page 5 - City-Data Forum | 

    […] […]

  330. #330 |  MikeN | 

    I also stay away from Whole Foods and hate the politics of people who shop there. But I stay away primarily cause those shoppers smell. Plus they stopped giving out plastic bags.

  331. #331 |  RGD | 

    After a couple days thought, the reaons I brought it up in the first place made themselves clearer.

    Here’s how it breaks down: Mackey has the right to express his opinion on health care. You have the right to boycott his company because you don’t like that opinion. And I have the right to say you’re a moron for doing so. Etc. etc. Explanation of why the boycott is silly ad nauseum.

    That seems all right and proper a claim until you look at the larger picture:

    A group of wingnuts on the right are disrupting townhall meetings over nonsense like “death camps” and “socialism”, and you cheer them on, saying you’ll support that nonsense because it is their right to dissent by making up stupid shit and starting fist-fights over it: Indiana congressman says town hall protests are “political terrorism.” Maybe I should start pitching my “Support Dissent” gear to the right, then leftists can give me dirty looks…

    Leftists get crazy over a CEO and nonsensically boycotts their otherwise left-friendly company, and you call them idiots and claim the only reason they are protesting is to force everyone to lock-step with them: These people don’t want a dicussion. They don’t want to hear ideas. They want you to shut up and do what they say, or they’re going to punish you.

    To any neutral observer, this makes your statements purely and obviously politically motivated, severely biased to an untrustworthy level, despite your later attempt to “explain” your meaning. Hence why you ended up being called out for talking out of both sides of your mouth: because there was a clear “get out of jail free” card being casually handed to the right, while you spent thousands of words bashing and villianizing the left for doing the very same stupid shit.

    So you can say “I said that because their boycott is stupid”…but what it comes down ot is that you can’t dodge around the fact that you gave one stupid protest a cheer and a pass, but painted another stupid protest as an attempt to push people around.

  332. #332 |  billy-jay | 

    How did this entire thread not have a Roxana Mayer reference?

  333. #333 |  ricketson | 

    The Thatcher quote is in Mackey’s original writing:
    http://www2.wholefoodsmarket.com/blogs/jmackey/

  334. #334 |  Rose | 

    These are ideas that should have been coming from our Congressmenpersons. Pure and simple.

    Medical Savings accounts allow you to pay for your medical care with PRE-TAX dollars, thus up to doubling their value. Government taking your money and distributing it back to you does the opposite, with so many bureaucratic middle men eating it up.

    Tort reform should be at the top of the list. That Congress refuses to consider it is only one reason why this whole thing is so bad.

    Mackey is my new hero.

    As are the American People who have FORCED the Soros/Progressive Congress to HAVE the debate. They tried to ram this through without it – NEVER FORGET THAT, despite their claims that the people who are showing up at Town Hall meetings are trying to stop the debate.

  335. #335 |  Radley Balko on the “Whole Foods Fiasco” « Occluded Sun | 

    […] Radley Balko on the “Whole Foods Fiasco” See here. […]

  336. #336 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Medical Savings accounts allow you to pay for your medical care with PRE-TAX dollars, thus up to doubling their value.

    a.) Of little use if you’re poor (which I’m not, but a lot of people are)

    b.) Of little use if you have anything more severe than everyday bumps, scrapes, colds. My pending operation is at least $200,000, an MSA would do what, knock $5k off of that?

    c.) Of no use if you get kicked off because of policy recision

    d.) Of no use if your deemed uninsurable (normal people hit with premiums of $2,000 a month+ means exactly that)

  337. #337 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Damn, Mackey is going to put some money in my pocket. In the course of discussing the implications of the boycott my line of reasoning has been, we don’t really need Whole Foods because local growers and individual natural product makers can generally be found and we can buy their products directly.

    And then it just hit me five minutes ago: Version 2.0 of my iPhone app Quakewood will have have a listing of as many of the current products on the Whole Foods shelves as possible and contact information so we can buy directly from the maker as much as possible.

    Oh yes, there will be money.

  338. #338 |  Thomas D | 

    I just read this entire comments thread.

    Richard Bottoms: You’re one of the worst debaters I’ve ever witnessed online. Your stuff here has been just really weak sauce, man.

    I genuinely feel kind of bad telling you this, because you appear to have a big personal investment in this idea that you’re really “engaged” with the “issues.” Clearly this self-perception is important to you. But honestly — you’re just not very good at this stuff. Many of your political allies have been posting in this thread; can you not immediately discern how much better their posts are? Is it not apparent to you? Does it not hit you that this whole writing/rhetoric/logic thing isn’t really what you’re carved out for?

    You don’t seem to have a grasp of the fundamentals on either side of the issue, the premises from which the assorted arguments spring (including your own). It’s all just a bunch of surface stuff with you. Which makes your contributions a cliche, and boring, and ultimately irrelevant to the debate.

    This post by me adds nothing to the debate, either. But then, it doesn’t purport to. It simply is what it is: an assessment of your rhetoric skills and your contributions to this thread. Sounds like you enjoy working with software. Maybe that’s where you should devote your energy, rather than clogging up political forums where skilled arguers are trying to have productive conversation.

  339. #339 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    Does it not hit you that this whole writing/rhetoric/logic thing isn’t really what you’re carved out for?

    And I should care what you think because why?

    So far the rebuttal here has consisted of:

    – My name is funny
    – San Francisco has WiFi for bums
    – Good cop/bad cop routines to make me say socialist
    – A demand that I take back saying we won the election
    – Whining that I better stop posting here or, or , or… something

  340. #340 |  Thomas D | 

    No, actually, you’ve been rebutted far more soundly and comprehensively than that. The fact that you’re unable to see it, let alone counter with your own relevant rebuttals, has spoken volumes throughout the thread.

    Also: You should not care what I think. I’m just some stranger writing on the Internet about your flaws. My real audience, as one might say, is the 2% of onlookers whose opinions we’re all trying to sway.

  341. #341 |  Richard Bottoms | 

    My real audience, as one might say, is the 2% of onlookers whose opinions we’re all trying to sway.

    Yes, the only thing that does matter is the 2% in the middle. Each side is out there this summer making its case.

    Your side:
    It’s Socialism, Stalinism, Nazism, Communism, Euthanazia, rifle toting mobs plus allies like Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich, John Ensign, Rick Santorum, Lyndon LaRouche and Michael Steele.

    Our side:
    We just point out: insurance companies have a long track record of denying care, canceling or reneging on coverage, your premiums for all this are already close to $20,000 a year for some people, you’re often one late payment from disaster, medical bills is the leading cause of bankruptcy, Medicare is already government program.

    We say try this experiment. Call a friend and tell them you really believe Blue Cross Blue Shield has their interests at heart.

    When the 2% decides they will no longer accept Medicare, Cash for Clunkers, Social Security, Pell Grants, the Mortgage Deduction, Food Stamps, and Unemployment Insurance then you will win the argument.

    Until then your influence on the electorate will be close to nil.

    And concerning the OP, this isn’t about bringing Whole Foods to its Knees. It’s realizing we don’t need them and by extension we don’t need to help a GOP stalwart with our money.

    My rollout of my Quakewood iPhone app is in keeping with the finest traditions of capitalism: Find a need and fill it.

    Over the next few weeks I will work to identify every supplier of goods to Whole Foods and make my app a tool to allow liberal consumers who share my views to go directly to the very same suppliers WF uses.

    WF may barely notice our departure as a percentage of their profits and since no one realistically thinks Whole Foods will go out of business it’s hardly a disappointment.

    We do gain allies for progressive politics in 50 states, put our support behind local farmers, and in the end spend less than we were before by taking this action.

    I’ve yet to hear how that is in any way a bad thing.

  342. #342 |  The easily offended… « Time for Thorns | 

    […] Balko takes them to the woodshed,  but read Shawn Macomber first so you have the entire […]

  343. #343 |  Standing Applause « Incessant Dissent | 

    […] 2009 August 21 by Aaron For Radley Balko.  The Whole Foods boycott is moronic.  Why is it the same people who claim to want an open, civil debate are the same ones offended by […]

  344. #344 |  Grammar Police | 

    That’s “cachet” not “cache”.

    Loved the rest of it!

  345. #345 |  Joy | 

    “So you can go ahead and feel morally superior by shopping at the farmers’ market, but don’t pretend that you’re helping the poor. Big companies and industrial farming are why poor people in America don’t starve to death anymore.”

    There’s so much wrong with that statement I don’t even know where to begin.

  346. #346 |  Yachting Through the Quagmire of Political Semantics | ICED BORSCHT | 

    […] puzzles me too. While discussing all the backlash from his critique of the John Mackey boycotters, he writes: A few emailers took offense to the term “leftists,” or “lefties.” Is that pejorative now? […]

  347. #347 |  MDRblog » On John Mackey | 

    […] of them; they’re just too technical. Some people say health savings accounts are a “proven idea,” and others say they’re “low-coverage.” Not a debate I can confidently […]

  348. #348 |  The Best Journalism and Blogging of 2009! | ICED BORSCHT | 

    […] Foods,” by Radley Balko (Part 1 and 2) the […]

  349. #349 |  Sunday Links | The Agitator | 

    […] to find a company more active in various social causes than Kenneth Cole. But as we learned with the Whole Foods debacle, the outrage mobs tend to live in the […]

  350. #350 |  How To Run a Protest-Proof Grocery Store | The Agitator | 

    […] I pointed out during the last backlash against Whole Foods (because CEO John Mackey dared to have non-leftist opinions about health care) that the evil corporate giant treats its employees far better than grocers with union labor, or in this case, the quaint neighborhood store everyone is trying to save. […]

  351. #351 |  Simon Wilby | 

    One adjective that defines Simon Wilby is smart. He is the CEO of Smart Power, Inc. He developed

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