August 15, 2009

The so-called "Moderate Voice" supports the Whole Foods boycott.

At what point does that blog's name move from being laughable to outright irritating?
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey shot his company in the face the other day with an anti-health care op-ed screed in the Wall Street Journal. He’s managed to piss off his company’s core demographic: liberals and progressives, and in the process, enabled a boycott that could actually work.
"Shot his company in the face"? "Piss off"? Even if you don't have moderate opinions, shouldn't your "voice" — your rhetorical style — at least be moderate if you're going to call yourself The Moderate Voice. Or was it always sarcasm? You shot your blog in the face. I can say that, because I've never leveraged my reputation with a claim that I'm putting my opinions — which actually are moderate — in a moderate voice — which I think is something to do to the extent that you choose, not to claim to do. But damn, if you're going to claim to do it, you'd better do it. You're pissing me off.
While I don’t normally support boycotts (for the most part, I don’t think they’re terribly well organized or impactful), this one is different, and I do believe it can be very effective.
(Hot link added by me.)
Here’s why: Whole Foods has always marketed itself to a fairly educated and financially secure customer base. This is why they can successfully sell healthy (and primarily organic) foods, at a higher cost. The company has also fostered the image that it has an altruistic streak in supporting progressive causes.

With a single op-ed in an uber conservative national newspaper, this wholesome image has been blown to bits. In the course of writing 1,165 words, CEO Mackey has caused more potential damage to the Whole Foods corporate image than an e-coli outbreak in the meat room.
What? Did you even read the op-ed you are shitting on? Since when is supporting ill-formed, sprawling legislative reform the be-all and end-all of wholesomeness?
In calling for support of the boycott of Whole Foods, I’m making an educated guess that their average customer is very politically progressive in nature. And that is why, if liberals and progressives quit shopping at Whole Foods, the impact would be quickly apparent to the company’s Board of Directors. By quickly, I mean by this coming Monday morning when the weekend receipts are tallied.
What delusion! I'll bet the liberals and progressives keep going to Whole Foods, which is about a high-quality selection of goods sold in a pleasant, slightly posh environment. I don't think people are going there to make a political statement, and I don't think people will boycott it to make a political statement — or at least not to make a statement about their support for health care reform, which, you may note, people are not fired up about. People are fired up against the legislation, and Whole Foods may gain some new customers, but we longtime Whole Foods shoppers go there for personal benefit and indulgence (which may include a smidgen of feeling good about greenness and "fair trade").
On a lighter note, take a few minutes and read the Whole Foods website forums on this topic. The forums have been invaded by freepers and redstaters, with predictably resultant hilarity. If one was to believe the freepers, Whole Foods is going to have an entirely new demographic shopping in their stores. The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.
There's your comedy in a "moderate voice." And of course, Whole Foods does sell cola, cheese puffs, hotdogs, and grits.

UPDATE: We just went to Whole Foods to get our favorite bread — "Seeduction" — and picked up a few other things — for $80+. Not making a political statement. Just doing what we would have done anyway. And, of course, the place was packed as usual — here in lefty Madison. It occurred to me that the boycott will not only fail, it will backfire. Whole Foods shoppers won't give up their pleasure easily. If they are pushed to boycott, they will want to read the Mackey op-ed, and if they do that, they will see it is a brilliant and specific analysis that is stunningly better thought-out than what we are hearing from Obama and the Democrats. Moreover, once they do that, they should be outraged — or at least annoyed — by those who called for a boycott, who sought to enforce such strict obedience to the particular of legislation that the Democrats in Congress have been trying to ram through. Maybe some of the people who want to support Obama and the Democrats will stop and think for themselves about what health care reform should be.

235 comments:

1 – 200 of 235   Newer›   Newest»
Robt C said...

I'm convinced that Mackey's op-ed will be a net positive for his company. As he says, Whole Foods has already implemented much of what he recommended, and nobody was too bothered by it.
He may lose a few "progressive" customers, but many more normal folk will look at Whole Foods in a new, more positive light.

Irene said...

Pigs are flying. Next thing we know, the Moderate Voice will be encouraging those liberals and progressives to shop at Walmart.

Synova said...

Yes, I suppose I'll have to go to Whole Foods a couple of times to make up for their regular customers who now brave the bourgeois rows of Cheetoes and Armor hot dogs and store brand products at Albertson's.

SGT Ted said...

The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

Wow, so no True Progressive buys those products? Hey, I bet Whole Foods carries BACON, which is about as evil as food gets. Maybe True Progressives should just dine on air. Air not shared with Jesusland mouthbreathers, to be sure. They don't approve of That Kind, unless they stay in their place working on the farms that produce their food for them and keep their mouths shut.

DADvocate said...

John Mackey made sense in his op-ed. That's a cardinal sin in the left-wing world.

Rushing head long into a not-thought-out-at-all health care bill with its unforseen impact on the deficit and quality of care is what makes sense to lefties.

garage mahal said...

What delusion!

Hahaha. Then why did they write an apology letter to it's customers?

"We offer you our sincere apology.".

Doh! Ooops.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If one was to believe the freepers, Whole Foods is going to have an entirely new demographic shopping in their stores. The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

Because of course all conservatives and people who oppose the socialist take over of our country and our health care system by Obama and his thugs survive on junk food and eat grits.

What a condescending snot.

SteveR said...

Style over substance, if Chilean Sea Salt or Organic Eye of Newt is really the key to a long life and harmony with Gaia, no boycott should matter

madawaskan said...

You gotta love the irony of this from the comment section over there-

Let me explain in words that a wingnut free marketeer like John Mackey can understand: John, it's my money. I get to spend it, or not spend it, wherever and however I choose. It is entirely my decision, and you have utterly no say in the matter.

Blah, blah, blah....

Remember when they were all going to move to Canada?

Canada were the sales tax is-

13%.


And, now Obama is starting to talk up Denmark as the new model because too many holes were shot through their Maple Leaf-for Health Care.

What the hell are the taxes like in Denmark?

I remember someone telling me the reason they don't have closets over there so often is because they tax you for any three walled enclosure...!!?


Then I guess Obama forgot about this little story in The New York Times-

The problem, employers and economists believe, has a lot to do with the 63 percent marginal tax rate paid by top earners in Denmark — a level that hits anyone making more than 360,000 Danish kroner, or about $70,000.

nyt.com

madawaskan said...

Damn it dyslexia I get Denmark and the Netherlands mixed up.

He moved it to Netherlands, that's Obama's new favorite which he referred to yesterday.

BJM said...

What dwaddle written by one who doesn't shop at WF. Of course WF sells junk food and oodles of empty calorie comfort food too (the bakery produces killer brownie bites).

I was in the Berkeley WF yesterday, as usual had to wait for a parking slot. Some boycott.



wv: "begini" small children used as protest props.

SMGalbraith said...

John, it's my money. I get to spend it, or not spend it, wherever and however I choose. It is entirely my decision, and you have utterly no say in the matter.

Yes, that's Mr. Mackey's point. Or one of them.

But if you oppose a state sanctioned and imposed program, funded by taking "my money", because it's inefficient or unworkable, you're a selfish cold-hearted monster.

Chip Ahoy said...

Speaking of instant grits, , I just bought a tiny box of those for the first time in my life as an experiment. I saw a shrimp 'n grits Bobby Flay Throw Down episode on Food Network and wanted to try with chipotle. They're excellent.

As to the post, this won't have any effect on WF at all. Zero. The writer is delusional. That's not to say there aren't delusional WF shoppers, although the people I've met there are all 100 % of charming. I'm lucky to have a WF a few blocks from my home and I tend to chat it up while there, extending my visit unnecessarily. I ask people what they're buying and what they're making. They're exceedingly friendly.

‹anecdote alert›

I went to an outside party last week. Shortly after I got there and said my howdy-dos an unshaven brutish fellow in shorts entered talking excitedly about a protest he just left. I wasn't paying attention to him but he was impossible to avoid. He was banging on about how much people were yelling at each other and he was still in yelling mode. A woman stood nearby behind him and said in a voice loud and penetrating,

"Did I just hear you say you like Rush Limbaugh?"

The man answered,

"No. I hate Rush Limbaugh. I have a visceral reaction to the sound of his voice. I hate the man. Hate. Hate. Hate."

The woman responded loudly,

"WELL, THAT'S GOOD THEN BECAUSE IF YOU SAID YOU LIKED RUSH LIMBAUGH THEN I'D JUST HAVE TO LEAVE."

What would make these people automatically think that everybody present would be in agreement with them, or that they weren't opening a giant can of worms by way of introduction?

I left shortly after, but not because of that.

But wanna hear what else? I must be becoming awfully goddamn huggable because everybody wanted to hug me and squeeze me instead of just shaking hands like normal. Is it the swine flu thing or what? Even the host, upon greeting and leaving, and since our goodbye was longer than normal that took two hugs. It's embarrassing and I don't like it.

‹/anecdote alert›

Synova said...

Garage: "Hahaha. Then why did they write an apology letter to it's customers?"

If the guy did, how sad. Do you admire people who fold so easily? What did you think of the article itself? It offered a clear alternative and concrete suggestions of what could be done and did it in a non-bombastic, thoughtful, way. A perfect example of a "moderate voice."

If the guy who wrote it backed down that easily, I don't admire him... but I suppose it's possible that he understands the vindictive and extremely shallow nature of his customer demographic. Or does now at any rate.

So... Is Whole Foods going to change the health care that they provide for employees now, since that was the horrible thing held up as a model of how to do it?

Are the perpetually offended "moderate" intellectual highly-cultured special people who buy at Whole Foods concerned about Whole Foods employees being exploited AT ALL?

Well, are they?

Obviously the suggestion to provide health coverage the way that Whole Foods provides health coverage is EVIL.

So...

Are they going to demand justice for Whole Foods employees?

Or are they just in a snit because someone wasn't washing Obama's feet with his tongue.

Synova said...

"He moved it to Netherlands, that's Obama's new favorite which he referred to yesterday."

Aren't the Netherlands the ones that actually *are* euthanizing grandma?

rhhardin said...

feeling good about greenness and "fair trade".

Actually free trade doesn't work.

Podcast with entertaining guest Mike Munger on the whole topic on this page.

On fair trade coffee in fact.

Penny said...

Whole Foods is sending an apology to those customers who contact them. The letter is said to say that the article was not anti health care reform.

rhhardin said...

fair trade doesn't work, not free trade.

Economists agree free trade works.

John Doe, Esq. said...

You have some nerve giving this lecture, professor, after hatching your anti-Obama obsession under the guise of "cruel neutrality."

Nobody fell for that one either.

madawaskan said...

Chip-

Well I fly on an el cheapo airline about every three weeks-something like that.

I think I might look or smell like a hippie because about every third flight or so a Democrat will sit next to me and in order-

First they use to talk about how they hated Bush, everyone hated Bush or how dumb he was.

Then during the election they would make sure that I wasn't a Hillary voter and then talk about how they hated her.

One guy even had a small poster that the guys in his shop had done up of her.

Last Democrat decided to tell me how everyone in Texas was stupid...

{I'm all like -do you troll Althouse, but I keep this to myself}

Sometimes I get lucky and someone pays for drinks, and we laugh a lot and then after awhile sort of admit we're Republican.

I wish I could spot the Democrats...

They're depressing.

MadisonMan said...

I was just at Madison's WF today, looking for charcoal, unsuccessfully, and it was packed, as always.

daubiere said...

when did democrats decide that it was ok to be the party of the rich, urban condescending snob and make fun of the "peasants"??? how long do they think thats going to work?

look for the government to start turning the screws on whole foods. Obama is like nixon, he gets even with his opponents which probably explains the apology letter.

Dont you hate that going to the grocery store is now a political act??

madawaskan said...

Synova-

Man I can't keep up...which I think is Obama's goal.

Ya, wasn't somebody here on a thread the other day saying that they did that by accident over there in the Netherlands to one of their relatives?

And then Obama had the Netherlands as his new favorite yesterday.

But of course he went on to say we want to create something that is-"uniquely American"...

So there was that "qualifier".

knox said...

Very well-written op-ed. Good for him. Once again, someone else does the Republicans' job for them.

Since when is supporting ill-formed, sprawling legislative reform the be-all and end-all of wholesomeness?

Because "liberalism," as it exists today, stands for nothing but pure politics. "Pure politics," meaning massive expansion of government.

I can understand why politicians want power, all of them do. What's harder to understand is why liberal citizens are going along with them on this. In my opinion, it requires unsurpassed levels of uncritical thinking to support a bill that is:

1. Over a thousand pages long. No one can credibly claim that they've read and understood it all.

2. Couched in sometimes incomprehensible language and complexity-- to the point where it is implausible that it can be properly implemented.

3. Currently exists in multiple forms, which are being revised almost constantly.

4. This is the big one: they are trying to push it through so fast, it's patently obvious that it can't stand on its own merits. It has to be passed before citizens can fully understand what it means.

Please note that none of these points even addresses health care itself. The dishonesty alone with which this bill is being presented should be enough to make any reasonable person skeptical. Too bad the Whole Foods crowd can't see it.

Synova said...

"when did democrats decide that it was ok to be the party of the rich, urban condescending snob and make fun of the "peasants"??? how long do they think thats going to work?"

Well... we're going on how many decades now?

Amy said...

I read the piece by Mackey when our WSJ was delivered the other day. It was well-written, interesting, had solid content and opinion and was backed up by facts. He explained the way his company chooses to treat their employees in regard to health care and the choices his employees make re the discretionary funds WF allots to them. He suggested changes that could be made to refine the existing system rather than overhaul it completely. I finished the article and thought "Now THIS is the first article I have read that makes sense and I completely agree with." And I told my husband "Be SURE to read this article, it is really good."
And then the reaction started. I can't believe the knee-jerk protesters have READ the article. It shows exactly HOW a company 'should' treat employees with regard to healthcare.
The whole thing is ridiculous. If there were a WF near me, I would definitely go. I wish there were, because, although conservative, we don't eat cheetos, coke and whatever other junk that bigoted blogger assumes we do.

Prejudice - it's the new liberal mindset. When it comes to those who disagree with them, it's open season apparently.

Paco Wové said...

when did democrats decide that it was ok to be the party of the rich, urban condescending snob and make fun of the "peasants"???

That's the mode they fall into every time they realize that most of the country doesn't actually agree with them about most things.

Big Mike said...

Here’s why: Whole Foods has always marketed itself to a fairly educated and financially secure customer base.

In other words, limousine liberals.

The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

So is the writer going tell us some ethnic jokes next? Or does his ignorant prejudice more or less stop at conservatives? I'm pretty offended, and I'd boycott his stupid web site except for one thing.

I've never been there.

And now I don't plan to go.

Tully said...

John Mackey made sense in his op-ed. That's a cardinal sin in the left-wing world.

Bingo. Even though he provides his employees with one of the best health care packages available to ANYONE of that salary level, he clearly must be crucified for his heresy.

Thus is always the fate of those who speak truth that flies in the face of treasured dogma.

madawaskan said...

The other sin is that John Mackey has-

real world experience.

AJ Lynch said...

Fifty-year old Liberals seem to believe all the things they believed thirty years before when they were in college. I don't think that can be good for your mind or your soul. It suggests one has not learned a thing in 30 years.

I'd like to see Althouse write about how her views and beliefs have evolved since college. Though I am not saying she is a liberal by any means.

dave in boca said...

I used to comment on TMV when it was actually semi-sane. Now it is colonized by "useful idiots" and semi-literate cadres, so I keep dropping billets doux and get many nasty attempts at rejoinders.

I dropped three on the Whole Foods boycott call and will take the inaccurate incoming with glee. The commentators, including a sport-of-nature named Kathy Kattenburg, are descending into a septic tank of libtard nastiness. At TMV, as in septic tanks, the biggest chunks rise to the top.

reader_iam said...

I'm almost tempted to hop in the car drive to one of the two closest Whole Foods stores (in Madison, WI, and Wheaton, IL) just on principle.

How can Blair be so ignorant of what Whole Foods sells? We don't have one in Iowa, but even I have been in the stores often enough (those referenced above, as well as locations in Austin, TX and Philly) to be decently familiar with the company's inventory. And I've never been in one that hasn't been pretty much packed, regardless of what was going on politically.

Mackey's op-ed was a breath of fresh air. It was thoughtful and serious.

Blair, on the other hand, seems so much of a type as to be a stereotype--one I've met any time both in the Iowa City, IA, co-op to which I've belonged since '96 and the one in Newark, DE, to which I've belonged since since, oh, 1980. Blah, blah, blah, boycott! And then life goes on ... .

Bon appetit!

miller said...

The treason of Mackey is that he went against Obama. It doesn't matter what he did or said; if Obama wants it, then all must obey.

Remember, we're the subjects and they are the masters.

WV: destrur, as in Obama seeks to destrur the US economy with his wild ideas.

AJ Lynch said...

Mackey's article was one of the most thoughtful OPED pieces I have ever read.

He offered numerous substantive ways to improve the system.

I guess that is now a crime.

Der Hahn said...

If one was to believe the freepers, Whole Foods is going to have an entirely new demographic shopping in their stores. The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

I don't know about freepers but they could replace all those so-called "Moderate Voices" with Althouse Hillbillies.

Polimom said...

Ann -- did you just skip right over the multiple designations of "guest voice"? TMV runs them fairly often.

If it's any comfort, the Michael Reagan posts also tend to confuse people...

dave in boca said...

Parenthetically, Boca has, according to the manager of the sprawling SuperStore size WF here off I-95, the second largest store in the country after the Mothership in Austin. [I have overheard people from LA and SF both complain that their WFs are nowhere near this spectacular!]

I am a confirmed curmudgeon conservative and shop there twice daily sometimes and avoid the Publix GreenStore which is trying to ape WF.

No comparison, and now that Mackey has proved he's got a super-size celebral set of frontal lobes, I may go 7 days a week. Twice, as it's next to the best B&N & slow-food restaurants between Palm Beach and Miami.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Thank goodness the far left progressives are no longer shopping at WF. Now I'll be able to get my shipping done without their ill-mannered (not shackled with the hateful burden of discipline) children squalling, arguing, running up and down aisles and generally being little pains in the ass.

Although I'll miss seeing people dressed like they were teleported from the 60s, even though they were born in the 80s.

BTW, organic food is no better nutritionally than the other stuff.

somefeller said...

when did democrats decide that it was ok to be the party of the rich, urban condescending snob and make fun of the "peasants"???

Aw, did someone get their feelings hurt? After all, one never hears conservatives referring to liberals as the tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving left-wing freak show, after all. Such class-oriented language never comes from conservatives.

Here's a suggestion to many members (not all, certainly) of the conservative camp. If you don't want people to think you are a bunch of resentful proles, stop acting like it. Removing the chips from your shoulders, learning how to conduct yourselves better in civilized company and dumping icons like Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber would all be good steps in that direction. Doing so might change your image in the eyes of educated liberals, and more a few educated conservatives (we talk when you aren't around). But, if you don't want to take such advice, that image will continue.

And as far as Mackey goes, Whole Foods isn't one of my favorite stores, so I don't care much either way. But, as a rule, it's not a good idea to annoy your prime customers.

miller said...

That's right. We should just shut up and let our betters rule us.

Thanks for clearing that up!

We thought it was a discussion, when it's really re-education.

WV: stulaca, the saint from the lake (St. Ulaca)

Penny said...

I liked where they were encouraging the boycott "just for a little while".

Little boy cotts instead of big man cotts.

Synova said...

Heh... yeah... calling people upper-class is sooooo much worse than calling them lower-class when looking around for an insult.

The reality is... the Democrats focus their entire identity on lifting up the lower classes, on representing the little guy, the downtrodden and unsuccessful... and the first insult that pops into their tiny heads is to accuse people of being lower-class, uneducated and poor.

knox said...

I finished the article and thought "Now THIS is the first article I have read that makes sense and I completely agree with."

Yes, it really was very, very good. It was a clear presentation that hit on just about every sensible idea for reform I've heard since the HC debate got rolling.

miller said...

It might be an intelligent argument, but Obama didn't say it, and therefore he (Mackey) must be destroyed.

Remember, Obama won. So it's his way or the highway.

WV: sycalt, a new type of anemia.

blake said...

Hmmmm.

If I were going to engage in some demographic assumptions, I would guess that 90%+ of the people who shop at Whole Foods have health insurance. Probably awesome health insurance.

This is where the pushback that kills this is going to come from.

They could've given their mythical 47M people health insurance for a lot less money and without any huge restructuring of government or the health industry than taking everyone's healthcare over. Lots of people would've gone for that.

But that was never the point. This has nothing to do "health care". This is about power. It always is, left or right.

SMGalbraith said...

We're for the lower class as long as they shut up and do what we say and vote for us.

If not, then you're just jingoistic white trash.

And, by the way, ditch that American flag on the porch, m'kay?

miller said...

How dare you unwashed white trash think you can have your own opinions!


We are the elite of America. Shut up, pay your taxes, and let us run the country.

WV: dizin, as in "This dizin: Obama to bankrupt America."

Mian said...

Ann,
I had once sent an angry email to Joe Gandleman at TMV accusing him of bias because of a horrifically unbalanced piece he had published. He wrote me back at length and explained the concept of a "Guest Column," which made me say 'duh' in a big way and feel very foolish.

Moreover, he blew me away by offering to run a guest column from me, should I decide to write one. (I never did.)

I must say I am convinced that the TMV is an honest broker and an "equal opportunity offender" in these culture wars of ours: it doesn't endorse leftie political boycotts any more than it would support a right-wing one, like Letterman, for example.

I do wish there were more sites that were shorn of bias like TMV, which attempts to publish all views, and in my opinion, succeeds very well in doing so.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL @ Chip's story.

The woman responded loudly,

"WELL, THAT'S GOOD THEN BECAUSE IF YOU SAID YOU LIKED RUSH LIMBAUGH THEN I'D JUST HAVE TO LEAVE."


I would have just HAD to say. "Well, I like Rush Limbaugh. When are you leaving?" and then wait for the response.


Whether I like Limbaugh or not is immaterial. I would just NEED to push her buttons.

Deb said...

"Whole Foods has always marketed itself to a fairly educated and financially secure customer base."

They may market to that crowd but a cruder element keeps slipping past security. I sometimes showp at WF and my brother and SIL shop there regularly. So I imagine a few other of those trashy evil rightwinger conservative knuckle dragging anti-Obama nuts do too.

foricato. Not going there.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Thanks a lot Althouse. Now I have to drive across town and shop at Whole Foods.

Actually, this will be fun!

madawaskan said...

There's nothing especially noble about being neutral.

That's a special elitism all of it's own.

madawaskan said...

Unless you could have a media that did that-but wouldn't it just be a lie?

Deb said...

Now I have a good excuse to shop there.

telinart: I am thinking of a painting...

madawaskan said...

Jason (the commuter)

blake said...

"What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?" -- Zap Brannigan

madawaskan said...

Wait-

Sorry Jason I just made you sound like a member of an Obama panel...

blake said...

I like the notion that "guest column" somehow relieves The Moderate Voice of their (oft abused) obligation to live up to their name.

Joe said...

I love the irony; "progressives" are exercising a free market right with food because they are not given the ability to deny that right to everyone concerning health care.

class-factotum said...

Doing so might change your image in the eyes of educated liberals,

Are we supposed to care what educated liberals think about us?

I don't.

AJ Lynch said...

"Whole Foods has always marketed itself to a fairly educated and financially secure customer base."

"Financially secure" in this horrible, selfish country?

That can't be right. Most liberals believe there are no secure Americans anymore [except for a few greedy Republicans] and that is why Obama won the election.


wv = diteeti = two-breasted

amba said...

The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

The high-altitude snobbery will take your breath away!

FWIW, the customers at workaday Harris Teeter are far more considerate and courteous than the hypersensitive types at Whole Foods, who are often in a rude hurry and tenderly babying their allergies and food intolerances.

amba said...

John, it's my money. I get to spend it, or not spend it, wherever and however I choose. It is entirely my decision, and you have utterly no say in the matter.

That's the idiot comment on the left. The corresponding idiot comment on the right: "Get your government hands off my Medicare!"

We have what's called "a mixed economy," and should have. The heat and smoke is totally obscuring that what we're arguing about (as we should) is the richness of the mix.

The Republican party is down and out largely because George W. Bush went for big government. The Dems want even bigger government. It is so insane.

rhhardin said...

Neutrality has its good points and its bad points.

pauldar said...

I have never heard of Whole Foods before - Never. I Binged to see where the closest one is in my area and Lo and behold there is one in Mason Ohio 8 miles away. Who knew! Interestingly enough they were voted (from their website) "not once, not twice, but every year for the last 12 years." I thought Obama and his ilk was all about "saving jobs" (as opposed to what is actually happening) - Guess not

Since I too employee several folks, I will go and check them out. I am not promising to "shop there every week and twice on Sunday since it is 8 miles away " but I will go and see what the hub-bub is all about. Would have never known about them if it wasn't for the "Boycott" which I suspect is just a bunch of whining little, well, whiners

Think I will bring my camera and take a few pictures just for laughs. Film at 11

Invisible Man said...

At what point does that blog's name move from being laughable to outright irritating?

The fact that Ann can say this with no irony whatesover is downright hilarious. The self-professed liberal with a love for all things conservative, and a love-love relationship with the most rabid of right wingers is criticizing someone for "misrepresentation". That takes the cake.

AJ Lynch said...

I don't think I have evah shopped in a Whole Foods. Of course, I have a servant who does all my shopping for me.:)


wv = fershni [how they tag the "freshest" produce at Whole Foods}

peter hoh said...

I'm going to boycott Althouse until she gives us another clue to this puzzle.

amba said...

Oh -- my vw back there was stummulv

An ailment contracted by scarfing too many free samples at Whole Foods.

now the remedy -- (pepto) bristrol

Richard said...

"She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats."

blake said...

Invisible,

This blog is called "Althouse". Not "The Liberal Althouse". Nor even "The Moderate Althouse". Just "Althouse".

She's not under any obligation to fulfill anyone's criteria for "liberal" or "conservative" or "moderate". Her self-definition has always been forthrightly idiosyncratic.

Fine, if you don't want her in your club. She's never shown any interest in joining.

amba said...

I was startled when Pauldar said "I binged to see where the closest one was" . . . I thought, yikes, is s/he a bulimic? And then: yikes, didn't it occur to them that their name would make an unfortunate verb? "Googled" sounds like "ogled," but that's downright appropriate.

vw: couggat. A gun packed by an older woman on the prowl?

madawaskan said...

amba-

I've just noticed all of my grammatical errors.

Really bad...

Anyways my only excuse is-I was trying to come up with a smart ass post that went something like-

Higher Taxes=Higher Life Expectancy-

Figuring out the tax rates of other countries-it's a real bitch.

[wv:sublit-oh great that's what I iz subliterate]

peter hoh said...

Hell, I don't have a comment -- my personal boycott, and all that -- but the WV is "eurowirr" and I can't help myself from mentioning that.

AJ Lynch said...

Amba said:

"The Republican party is down and out largely because George W. Bush went for big government. The Dems want even bigger government. It is so insane."

Very good observation! It's as if no matter who runs DC, they assume the only way to fix things is spend, spend, spend.

peter hoh said...

AJ, of course that's what they do. There's no money in the alternative.

Big Mike said...

Nice little piece of condescension there, somefeller. The trouble is, you limousine liberals really are a "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving left-wing freak show." No, that's not right. These days you're more apt to drive a Prius, when you're not driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee or a Cadillac Escalade.

Really, my dear latte-drinking, tax-hiking, sushi-eating friend, I can't even begin to grasp why I should give up anything in an effort to be liked by you. You seem to expect that we conservative commentators should come bounding up to you like some puppy dog eager for any piece of affection you care to condescend to show.

How about if you give up Daily Kos and stop trying to get government to do what it can't possibly do well? How about if you stop sending your children to private, nearly lily-white, schools while you emote all over the teachers unions and water down the curricula in the public schools?

Then maybe we'll talk.

NKVD said...

I've known people who have become wealthy from working at WF and selling their WF stock options at the proper time. Never met Mackey, but I hear he is wealthy too.

Hate on, haters.

kub said...

Read Mackey's piece. It was ok. Note his WF stock went down on Fri...likely go down more next week. Ann's article doesn't note post on Moderate Voice was a Guest Voice written by Richard Blair from "All Spin Zone (allspinzone.com). Ann's quoting Blair's words about 'shot in face', etc. He's also at AlterNet.

Whole Foods is overpriced, and reg supermarkets already offer organic. All will survive.

Thanks.

Mark said...

"Removing the chips from your shoulders, learning how to conduct yourselves better in civilized company and dumping icons like Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber would all be good steps in that direction. Doing so might change your image in the eyes of educated liberals, and more a few educated conservatives (we talk when you aren't around). But, if you don't want to take such advice, that image will continue."

Is that you, David Brooks?

Seriously, some of us are all educated and urbane and even eat sushi, and still respect the Palins and the Wurzelbachers of the world. Some of us even believe that the ability to "switch gears" and operate within or at least appreciate different cultural milieus is the mark of true sophistication. (Bill Clinton was probably the last politician who really took this ability to heart.)

But you educated conservatives who coughed up Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chafee onto the Republican Party, you folks just keep talking amongst yourselves. Soon enough you'll be the only ones listening.

LoafingOaf said...

I clicked the link and it says it was a "guest voice" post. I don't know anything about The Moderate Voice blog, but I don't think I should've had to click over there to find out that the piece was a "guest voice" that doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the blog. Is the complaint that they shouldn't post guest posts that aren't moderate?

Other than that, this Whole Foods boycott campaign is one of the dumbest things I've heard about in a long time. Some people take their politics way too seriously.

I've only been in Whole Foods once, and didn't look around. I was just there because it was next to a hotel I was at and I wanted to get some beer for my room. Strangely, they just had stacks and stacks of Pabst Blue Ribbon everywhere. Pabst is okay, but I prefer the massively diverse selection at the refigerated walk-in beer room at my local Giant Eagle. I also like a local chain called Heinen's, who still pack the grocery bags into your car for you. :)

But this YouTube from the Lazy Man chef makes me wanna check out Whole Foods again.

Be said...

Let the Moderate Voice shop at GUM, then. Whatever. (sigh).

As a former accountant for a not-for-profit, can only say that in terms of employee relations, the only places I'm looking right now are places like WF, Starbucks, TJ, etc.

(Before anyone gets on my case - quit my job due to harassment - legally only an issue if you're a boutique ethnicity whose boss is a white male; live in "Skip" Gates territory.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'm back from Whole Foods and I saw no signs of any protest or boycott. If anything the store was crowded and it was hard to get around.

I think the boycott is a fraud. People are talking about it, but not doing anything worse than sending e-mails.

By the way, Whole Foods has an amazing cheese selection and if you ever have a hard time finding good cheese where you live, Whole Foods is the place to shop.

AJ Lynch said...

5...4...3....2.....1

Countdown to when Joe G. of the Moderate Voice will show up to berate Althouse [this should be fun].

wv = terta

Invisible Man said...

She's not under any obligation to fulfill anyone's criteria for "liberal" or "conservative" or "moderate". Her self-definition has always been forthrightly idiosyncratic.


Your missing the point. Ann guards her self-definition pretty tight to the vest, yet she's perfectly fine with attacking someone else's. Of course she's under no obligation to fulfill anyone's definition, but its hard to argue that and then be ok holding someone else to her obligation for what's moderate. That's called Hypicrosy with a capital H.

And anyway, as someone noted, it wasn't even a regular contributor. But that didn't stop her from trying to take away their self-definition as a moderate site.

Maguro said...

The only problem is: last I checked, Whole Foods doesn’t stock Coke, Cheetos, Armor hotdogs, or 365-brand Instant Grits.

Those damn hillbillies wouldn't know organic, fair trade couscous if it bit them in the ass!

knox said...

"Well, I like Rush Limbaugh. When are you leaving?"

LOL

They may market to that crowd but a cruder element keeps slipping past security.

LOL

There's nothing especially noble about being neutral.

Thank you! Self-righteousness sucks in all forms.

Jason (the commuter)

Good one!

Are we supposed to care what educated liberals think about us?

Good one!

their allergies and food intolerances.

Imagined allergies and food intolerances, you mean . . .

The Republican party is down and out largely because George W. Bush went for big government. The Dems want even bigger government. It is so insane.

I echo DBQ again: "We are so screwed"

Neutrality has its good points and its bad points.

LOL

Richard, hilarious avatar. Sir Van der Beek of the Giant Head.

Fine, if you don't want her in your club. She's never shown any interest in joining.

Blake, Althouse owes you for this brill comment!

What a great thread.

section9 said...

Joe Gandelman and that whole crowd over there at TMV are basically liberals trying to do the David Brooks fan dance. Nobody is really fooled. They are about as moderate as Ernst Rohm on Putsch Night.

However, if you call yourself "moderate", you're taken "seriously" by the commentariat and you have an outside chance of getting invited on Matthews or Olbermann. Hell, that's how Brooks keeps his job!

It's all a fucking con, and one aimed at self-promotion. These people have their head so far up Obama's ass the man would need the best proctologists on the planet to get them out. Starting with Gandelman.

blake said...

Ann guards her self-definition pretty tight to the vest, yet she's perfectly fine with attacking someone else's.

Ah. So if I don't say that I'm an Antidisestablishmentarianist, I can't criticize you for publishing a blog called "The Zoroastrian Voice", even though you're all polytheists who don't believe in good and evil? Or if I do, I'm a hypocrite

I find that unpersuasive. Facts have objective value and do not (by definition) depend on the mindset or character or the observer.

And anyway, as someone noted, it wasn't even a regular contributor.

Hey, you know? None of those guys pointed to a similarly themed far-right essay, either.

But that didn't stop her from trying to take away their self-definition as a moderate site.

Yeah, that's called "expressing an opinion". Some would even refer to it as "calling a spade a spade" I know that seems very oppressive to some.

Self-proclaimed liberals come here all the time to tell Ann she's not one of them. I must have missed your spirited defense of her right to call herself whatever she wants.

Michael Hasenstab said...

John, it's my money. I get to spend it, or not spend it, wherever and however I choose. It is entirely my decision, and you have utterly no say in the matter.

After a slight bit of editing: Obama, it's my money. I get to spend it, or not spend it, wherever and however I choose. It is entirely my decision, and you have utterly no say in the matter.

There we go. Fixed it.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I have had business relationships with WFM for well over a decade, as a customer, as a supplier, and in discussions with upper management about ecological production systems.

It has been my experience that these people know their demographics and target customers very well.

It has also been my experience that a goodly number of quite conservative people such as myself actually shop there. I saw dozens of Palin buttons last fall.

I suspect Mackey's people told him that pissing off extreme liberals -- the only people who support nationalizing our bodies -- would be, at worst, a wash.

Mackey and his senior management are very sharp people, and far more rational than the feverish clots of rabid lefties now soiling themselves over his very much to-the-point op-ed.

Childish minds.

rcocean said...

Wow, we shop at WF *and* drink coke and eat Cheetos (well the kids do)

Fortunately, none of our friends know how declasse we really are. We're even hide our peasant origins from WF's clientele.

Mrs. RC likes their fish - but I never see any Asians buy fish there - that worries me.

kcom said...

That is so hilarious. To you, apparently, its a given that we live for the appreciation and praise of "educated liberals" just like you (and your cocktail crowd in DC). Sorry to disappoint you, but we don't. I know you're all stuck on yourselves, but you really need to get out more. There's a big world out there outside your echo chamber. Start showing any evidence of wisdom to go along with your "education" and then we might start to care about having a "good image" in your eyes. In the meantime, start taking the meds, wait for the voices to go away, come back to us, and we'll talk.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Why is Althouse against health care reform? Multiple posts now clearly show that she is opposed to it, and that she anticipates/hopes for its failure.

Why?

If Althouse, a smart and articulate person, could explain clearly why she is against the current health care legislation, she might be able to convince someone like me, who has no idea what it is all about, to pick a side.

Or, she could just go on making fun of people who support health care reform without explaining why she doesn't like health care reform.

kcom said...

"These people have their head so far up Obama's ass the man would need the best proctologists on the planet to get them out."

I think there's a pill you can take for that. And it's cheaper, too.

EDH said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Mackey's most strident critics never got past the title and Thatcher quote at the top of his OpEd.

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

By JOHN MACKEY

“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

—Margaret Thatcher

WV - "worthe"
As in, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."

somefeller said...

No, that's not right. These days you're more apt to drive a Prius, when you're not driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee or a Cadillac Escalade.

Nah, the Cadillac is a CTS and the SUV is a Lexus. It's predecessor was a Grand Cherokee, though, so good guess. I'm not a Prius fan, as they don't look to me like a car that would do well in a freeway accident.

Is that you, David Brooks?

Perish the thought. He's kind of lame. I'm more of a David Frum fan, even though we don't vote the same way.

In any case, the class warfare rhetoric goes both ways, and isn't a simple issue of income and wealth, as any good social scientist will tell you. And as any social scientist will also tell you, the side that dominates the professional upper middle class is usually the side that dominates the ideology of the age. Reagan owned that group during his era, and Obama did during the last election. If he manages to continue to do that, it'll be a rough ride for conservatives for some time. The David Frums of the world are trying to get that point across, but seem to get labeled as elitists for doing so.

JAL said...

Peter @ 3:16

Here

That help? (Pogo is a smart Althouser.)

skesse
A pickled fish only available at WF

somefeller said...

That is so hilarious. To you, apparently, its a given that we live for the appreciation and praise of "educated liberals" just like you (and your cocktail crowd in DC). Sorry to disappoint you, but we don't...In the meantime, start taking the meds, wait for the voices to go away, come back to us, and we'll talk.

I don't live in DC, and neither do most educated liberals. Some of us even live in GOP-leaning states like Texas, like yours truly. (Though we mostly live in the urban parts of such states, which went blue last election, like in Texas -- you can get good sushi and barbecue in such places.) But your repetition of standard low-church conservative cliches and tropes was amusing.

JAL said...

It is clear that the enlightened washed non Coke drinking masses who shop at WF want to redistribute Mackey's and the WF stockholders' wealth -- and food --to the unenlightened junk food eating, grits 'n shrimp Walmart shopping hillbillies.

And trash the WF employees' great health care coverage too.

That'll win points when the washed masses end up having to shop at GUM (as someone mentioned above).

nessall
When we all nestle. Especially at Christmas.

blake said...

Really, Zeeps!

Why is Althouse against health care reform? Multiple posts now clearly show that she is opposed to it, and that she anticipates/hopes for its failure.

Being against this circus of horrors does not make one against health care reform.

wv: hotifyin

It sure is.

Michael Hasenstab said...

ZPS - To which part of McKay's op-ed do you object?

Please take his points one by one and explain your objections to each.

Adrian said...

"amba said...
FWIW, the customers at workaday Harris Teeter are far more considerate and courteous than the hypersensitive types at Whole Foods, who are often in a rude hurry and tenderly babying their allergies and food intolerances."

Funny, when I moved here to Virginia, my landlord advised me to stay away from the snobs at Harris Teeter and shop at workaday Kroger's!

wv: javocan (German Obama supporter?)

garage mahal said...

Why is Althouse against health care reform?

Great question, she won't say. Just something about it! Anyways we trusted Althouse with the Birther Ring, but its allure and seductiveness was just too much. And she went and kissed it. Moderate.

Jason (the commenter) said...

After reading all the anti-libertarian attacks by commenters over at Whole Foods I don't see how I will ever be able to vote for a Democrat again.

So much for the Democrats having a big tent. If you aren't a Liberal the Democrats don't want you to be able to speak or even have a job.

I guess when Conservatives call Liberals Socialists and compare them to Nazis they are correct.

Will Cate said...

The liberals will keep shopping at Whole Foods. Where else are they gonna go?

It's like whenever a Dem. politician take a stance that is "too conservative" for liberals' taste. They just suck it up and keep voting Democrat. Where else are they gonna go?

madawaskan said...

Jason-

Ya, I stopped voting for Democrats when at Elgin AFB I saw Democrats challenge the vote of every member of the military sitting in Korea on the DMZ and overseas elsewhere.

Welcome to the club.

Neutrality is a luxury until they aim at you.

Sweden and Switzerland were never targeted-that's how they got to be so special.

madawaskan said...

Wait I'm kinda full of it I called myself an Independent who naively voted for Perot ...
About the same thing as throwing my vote to the Democrat though.

Never again.

Ralph L said...

Harris-Teeter is the swank store in my burg, too. Except for meats, I never get anything there that isn't discounted. Food Lion is taking a beating from Walmart at the lower end.

WF has a small, crowded store in Winston-Salem that my b-i-l took me to once. Didn't see anything I wanted to buy, but my squiffy digestion narrows my interests.

WV= propi Who isn't?
Iron Peter certainly is.

rcocean said...

"The liberals will keep shopping at Whole Foods. Where else are they gonna go?"

They could shop at the Farmer's Market - but they'd risk meeting the the wrong sort there - like Farmers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wait I'm kinda full of it I called myself an Independent who naively voted for Perot ...
About the same thing as throwing my vote to the Democrat though.

Never again.


Me too!

This is my big fear about Sarah Palin. If she were to do a third party route like Perot did, the votes from the Republicans would peel off and go into her camp.....BUT not enough to actually win.

I'm afraid that such a move would cinch an Obama second term. GOD FORBID!!!

So, unless we get a real conservative in the Republican ticket (and it could even BE Palin) with no third party in the picture, we are doomed even more than we are now.

wv = exitu seriously? the computer must be psychic

madawaskan said...

Dust Bunny Queen-

Yep. I'm afraid of the same kind of split and it could very well happen.

[wv:isonfula! Oh come on man I just confessed to being full of it!]

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann -- did you just skip right over the multiple designations of "guest voice"? TMV runs them fairly often."

No. But: 1. It is a post on TMV and 2. Joe Gandelman ads a whole section of his own to that post.

Jeremy said...

I think everybody should follow John Mackey, another fabulously wealthy Republican buffoon's advice, and forget about any insurance or even seeing a doctor.

Just buy up his incredibly overpriced mix of what he tries to represent as "organic"...and you won't have any health problems.

Ann Althouse said...

"The self-professed liberal with a love for all things conservative, and a love-love relationship with the most rabid of right wingers is criticizing someone for "misrepresentation". That takes the cake. "

Uh, look at the title of my blog. It's "Althouse." That is a 100% correct characterization of what this blog is. I don't say anything I don't actually think and I never claim to follow an ideology that I'm going to adhere to. The closest thing to that I ever did was to embrace cruel neutrality in the 2008 election up until October, which I did. And the people who thought I was lying were the ones who were so sure I'd vote for McCain, which I did not. I have never misrepresented myself here.

Feel free to apologize.

Loser.

libhom said...

Ms. Althouse:

Just because someone isn't a far right extremist like you doesn't mean that the person isn't moderate.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just buy up his incredibly overpriced mix of what he tries to represent as "organic""

I agree that "organic" is bullshit. And all those vitamins and especially all that homeopathy are a giant waste of money (and worse).

Jeremy said...

...alongside the organic carrots and bags of granola, the shops "sell a bunch of junk".

J.M.

Joseph said...

I agree that the Whole Foods demographic is people who don't mind spending a lot of money to get good quality food. But Whole Foods sells itself as something much more righteous. I'd be happy paying too much money for reliably good food, but I resent their dishonest self portrait as a grocer that focuses on local and organic produce, etc. in the same way I resent Walmart commercials that pretend the "give back" so much to the local community. Bullshit. Whole Foods is successful with the high-quality-high-price-low-wages model and Walmart is successful with the low-quality-low-prices-low-wages model because the satisfy a market welll. I say own it. But if you throw all that bullshit about how righteous and socially conscious you are, then you should expect people to spit on you when you prove otherwise.

Jeremy said...

Not only is Whole Foods pricing absolutely ridiculous, they represent foods that are no better than those much less expensive:

The largest study to date comparing organic to non-organic food concluded that, nutritionally, it matters not which one you choose.

A report on the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes, “Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”

Polimom said...

Ah! Ann emerges!

"No. But: 1. It is a post on TMV and 2. Joe Gandelman ads a whole section of his own to that post."

It is indeed a post on TMV. Have you slammed Joe for being immoderate when the conservative guest pieces run, and I just missed it? If so, I apologize.

And yes, Joe added commentary. Did you read it? Because (you no doubt already know this) he is, in fact, pretty darned neutral in his remarks. (Dare I say moderate?)

I'm not going to say that TMV writers only post moderate pieces. Some are much less so than others. But putting up an entire post, Ann, for the sole purpose of slamming TMV and Joe Gandelman -- on the basis of a guest post for goodness' sake! -- is pretty low.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is the complaint that they shouldn't post guest posts that aren't moderate? "

Huh? POSTS are part of the blog. Period.

Alex said...

Feel free to apologize.

Loser.


Althouse is fun when she starts talking like a catty teenager. Go Althouse!

Ann Althouse said...

"It is indeed a post on TMV. Have you slammed Joe for being immoderate when the conservative guest pieces run, and I just missed it? If so, I apologize."

Bullshit. I don't read TMV and do commentary on it. I see TMV posts via Memeorandum and comment on what interests me. I don't monitor the site. I used to read it regularly when it was just Joe, but after I received nasty attacks from one of the other bloggers there, I quit.. In my view, if the place is to be creditably called The Moderate Voice, the posts should all be in a moderate voice.

Alex said...

Rich liberals shop at Whole Foods, while middle class Republicans are relegated to Safeway.

Ann Althouse said...

"And yes, Joe added commentary. Did you read it? Because (you no doubt already know this) he is, in fact, pretty darned neutral in his remarks. (Dare I say moderate?)"

He added his voice to that post, and he did not disagree, so he added a stamp of approval in addition to the support that comes in the form of allowing it on the site.

Ann Althouse said...

"But putting up an entire post, Ann, for the sole purpose of slamming TMV and Joe Gandelman..."

Did you read THIS post? Sole purpose? Huh?

Reread this post and apologize. "Sole purpose" is flat wrong.

Maguro said...

"We are too moderate, wingnut motherfuckers!"

Ann Althouse said...

"ads" should read: "adds"

Alex said...

Ann - this is what happens when you dare go after the left. They bring the knives out.

TRO said...

I used to read Joe Gandleman a lot and in fact an old blog of mine was actually on his blogroll a long, long time ago under the Voices from the Right category I believe.

He's changed a lot since then.

Moderate . . . not so much.

jelink said...

Where I live, a WF (Known locally as "Whole Paycheck") is next door to a liquor store. A clerk in the latter tells me the Foodies regularly stop in to buy the junk food stocked at the front, and make sure to ask that it be put in a bag.

Agent Orange-enriched "Cheez Doodles" are a favorite Guilty Pleasure, says he.

yashu said...

ZPS: your question to Althouse is what's called a 'false dilemma' or 'false dichotomy'. One of Obama's favorite rhetorical gambits. An either/ or with no basis in logic or reality. It says a lot that this is what supporters of Obama's "health care reform" must resort to. (As far as I can see, the only clear arguments I've seen promulgated *for* this bill are ad hominem: look, its critics are a bunch of Nazis. Or racist hate-filled hilbillies. Or paid operatives.)

Either you blindly & mutely accept this bill [a gargantuan monstrosity, the supporters of which don't even know the contents-- let alone the consequences; being rushed through without adequate analysis or discussion; in a campaign filled with deceptive claims, attempting to silence/ demonize/ intimidate questioners and chill free speech, abetted by a worse than useless media; and which, as far as its critics can see, is apt to have catastrophic consequences, literally involving our life & death, and none of the economic benefits advertised-- in fact, just the opposite], or: you're against health reform. The very article under discussion in this post is a direct refutation of your premise.

The onus is on its supporters to defend the specific contents of the bill, explain how it would makes things better or less bad-- not on its critics to convince you of the perfection of the present system (an absurd straw man). There are worse things than doing nothing-- namely, making things much much worse. Irrevocably.

Even if you supported something like this version of health reform... wouldn't you want that bill-- something of such momentous consequence-- crafted carefully, thoughtfully, transparently, open to constructive criticism, in its best possible version? Or do you think our political class should just get it passed, as is (whatever that is), quickly and in the dead of night, like a Trojan horse?

(PS I'm a "hillbilly"-- heh, I like that designation even better than "wingnut"-- who lives in San Francisco and loves Whole Foods. Especially the cheese section. Incidentally, I saw an Obama-Joker poster for the first time a few days ago, on Market St. in downtown San Francisco. Topsy-turvy wonderful.)

Jeremy said...

Alex, Quit whining...and sucking up to Ann is childish.

Alex said...

Jeremy - you could learn a thing or two how flattery works alot better then insults.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, Alex, please explain how debating someone is bringing out knives.

Sheesh.

Ralph L said...

The author makes the common mistake of calling the WSJ a conservative paper. The news pages were once rated more liberal than the NYTs, and their reporters always disavow any connection to the editorial page. I guess since Murdoch bought it, it must be evil.

modisock

Polimom said...

"Reread this post and apologize. "Sole purpose" is flat wrong."

Ann, thanks so much for directing me to re-read. That first paragraph, in which you pretty much ranted yourself into an apoplectic fit, seemed much less inflammatory the first time around -- probably because I, like you, really really disagree with the TMV guest poster also.

Upon careful examination, however, I conclude that you did, in fact, use this post to attack another blogger without personal provocation.

Having kindly invited me to peruse with a tad more focus, you'll understand why I'll have to decline on that apology.

Crimso said...

It is possible that organically grown produce is higher in carcinogens than that treated with synthetic pesticides, although there are other reasons why synthetic pesticides might be undesirable (ever hear about those suspected Iraqi WMD sites that initially tested +, but were then said to contain pesticides? There's a reason pesticides would give false +, although why pesticides would be stored in bunkers in military depots is an interesting question).

Bruce Ames has done work relevant to this possibility, but I honestly don't know whether it's actually been tested or not. The logic is that produce that don't get synthetic pesticides will upregulate production of their endogenous pesticides (some of which are carcinogenic in at least some assays), whereas those treated with the synthetic won't need to make as much of their own (and the synthetic can be washed off; at least some of the endogenous can't). That having been said, I am on the fence regarding "organic" foods. I am not, however, on the fence regarding a much more serious subject:grits.

FWIW, no self-respecting Althouse hillbilly would eat instant grits (sorry Chip). Oddly, no one who lives around here (TN) seems to like grits much. I love them, but only when prepared properly. If I see someone putting sugar or syrup on grits, I start ruminating on the 2nd Amendment.

Meade said...

"WELL, THAT'S GOOD THEN BECAUSE IF YOU SAID YOU LIKED RUSH LIMBAUGH THEN I'D JUST HAVE TO LEAVE."

I like Rush Limbaugh.

And Dick Cheney too.

Alex said...

Yes, Alex, please explain how debating someone is bringing out knives.

Because the left doesn't debate, they engage in ad hominems and boycotts.

MadisonMan said...

I hope you appreciate the irony in your statement.

Alex said...

I hope you appreciate the irony in your statement.

After the last 8 years of incessant bashing from the left, I have no more irony left.

Synova said...

They always had grits in the cafeteria in the AF... I probably tried them once because I seem to remember they're gross.

But I don't know how they *can* be, because it's just Cream of Wheat or Malt o Meal but made from corn, right? Only not polenta, but near enough. Maybe it's the "made the right way" part of it.

In any case... even with oat meal... there is NO breakfast porridge that should be made from "instant."

Penny said...

"(As far as I can see, the only clear arguments I've seen promulgated *for* this bill are ad hominem: look, its critics are a bunch of Nazis. Or racist hate-filled hilbillies. Or paid operatives.)"

That was part of Robert Reich's concern in the column Ann linked to this morning. Perhaps his point is well made, however it was made by a man who, like most progressives, wants a single payer plan to be passed as quickly as possible by a Democratic house, senate and presidency.

Maybe we should be careful of what we wish for, yashu.

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."Jeremy - you could learn a thing or two how flattery works alot better then insults."

Where did you "flatter" Ann?

Do you even know what the word means?

Alex said...

Jeremy - shut up and bring me my slippers.

Jeremy said...

Meade said..."I like Rush Limbaugh. And Dick Cheney too."

There;s a real shocker.

I bet you like Savage, Coulter, O'Reilly and Beck, too.

Penny said...

Obama was well aware the right and left were lining up in opposition to each other as usual. I suspect that is why he rebranded the discussion from universal healthcare to healthcare reform.

Neither side is against "healthcare reform". At least we found one thing that most of us can agree on. It's a start...

wv: deble The deble is in the details.

Alex said...

I bet you like Savage, Coulter, O'Reilly and Beck, too.

How do you know that? I think those are all putzes with Beck being lead-putz. But the #1 putz on TV is.... Jon Stewart!

Alex said...

I'm just steamed that Whole Foods charges up to $15 for a pack of organic chicken breasts. Do they think I'm made of money? I'm not a rich liberal like Jeremy!

traditionalguy said...

What a thread. To think that I missed all this fun for a day of hillbilly golf which, unlike snipe blogging, is a game with rules. We also went to see the new movie Julie and Julia with friends. That movie is really about a blogger like our professor who shares her blog for a year with inserted highlights from the biography of Julia Child (played perfectly by Meryl Streep). That explains why the big newspaper critics all panned it. The movie is primarily about the great thrill of blogging, which is the activity that is killing off the big newspapers influence as we speak. I highly reccommend that all see that movie after shopping at Whole Foods for a perfect weekend.

daubiere said...

most people bashing organic produce are ignoring the best reason to buy it: it generally tastes better. there are also good environmentalist arguments in favor of organic farming. the nutrition aspect is a canard.

former law student said...

I was in the Berkeley WF yesterday

Is it as full of weirdoes as the Berkeley Bowl is?

BTW the new Berkeley Bowl West makes any WF I've been in look sick. And it's next to OSH for your hardware needs. Further it is not far from Emeryville and the seductions of IKEA.

I go to the poor man's WF, by the way: Trader Joe's. I only go to WF for uncured turkey dogs to cut up for training treats for the puppy. Their 365 products are good quality at a reasonable price, so sometimes I will pick up a half gallon of orange juice.

traditionalguy said...

Prices are too high at WF for everyday shopping. But their selection of wines and cheeses is no where near to being matched at any other grocery stores. Free speech does have consequences: people who you trusted and did favors for will distance themselves from any hint of controversy or socially unacceptable thoughts, but on the other hand surprising good friends worth having will also suddenly appear at your back both now and for many years to come.

Alex said...

I will continue to do most of my food shopping at Trader Joes, while stopping in from time to time at WF for.... what exactly? Trader Joes carries a very fine selection of wines and cheeses too!

rhhardin said...

to get our favorite bread.

Multi-grain flat bread from the Kroger short-dated half-off bakery shelf, with cheese, salsa, Romaine lettuce, and soyburger. Fold up and it's better than on a roll.

The lettuce could have been crunchier.

Ralph L said...

no self-respecting Althouse hillbilly would eat instant grits
Oh, dear {hangs head}

I just bought some at Walmart in the paper sack to save a few pennies over the cardboard tube.

After they cool, you can insulate your house with the leftovers.

From the comments at TMV: Il Dufe
I'm going to steal that one.

ledustio = common disease among armament workers

rhhardin said...

How am I supposed to be able to afford health care in this system? Well, what if I gave you $1.77 million? Recall, that’s how much an insured 22-year-old at my company could expect to pay—and to have paid on his and his family’s behalf—over his lifetime, assuming health-care costs are tamed. Sure, most of that money doesn’t pass through your hands now. It’s hidden in company payments for premiums, or in Medicare taxes and premiums. But think about it: If you had access to those funds over your lifetime, wouldn’t you be able to afford your own care? And wouldn’t you consume health care differently if you and your family didn’t have to spend that money only on care?

Another hate-filled rant from the right wing!

via marginal revolution.

rhhardin said...

the nutrition aspect is a canard.

Woman in French restaurant (in American English) ``I'll have the canard.''

blake said...

Er, daubiere, you might want to watch a recent Penn & Teller show on organics.

"Organic" farming is notoriously brutal on the land. It requires a lot of water (and a lot of land).

it generally tastes better.

Well, P&T did a blind taste test thing, and most people preferred non-organic, heh. But I wouldn't really dispute it, it except to say "generally" is not right: It can be.

rhhardin said...

Cheney was the only decent Republican candidate around in the last election, and he wasn't running.

Jeremy said...

Alex - "How do you know that?"

Id he likes the fat man and Cheney...the others aren't far behind.

Numbnut.

Jeremy said...

rhhardin said..."Cheney was the only decent Republican candidate around in the last election...

Yeah, a real prince.

Probably why he lugs around an approval rating of about 20%...because he's such a "decent" guy.

Jeremy said...

Blake - The largest study to date comparing organic to non-organic food concluded that, nutritionally, it matters not which one you choose.

A report on the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes, “Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”

Meade said...

That's right, RH. That's why I say 'Cheney/Bush 2012'

Ralph L said...

basis of nutritional superiority
Sometimes a carrot stick is just a carrot stick.

I gather the appeal of organics is what's not in them. And the bugs add extra protein.

The big difference in taste is commercial produce is bred and picked early for long-distance shipping. This works for bananas and apples, doesn't for tomatoes. Non-local organic will have the same problem.

sublype - the nirvana of advertising

former law student said...

Meade's comment raises a new issue in my mind: The happily married couples I know tend to share the same political POV for the most part. Meade and Althouse seem to be an admirably well-matched couple. Thus I'm tempted to classify Professor A as the moderate conservative that Meade appears to me to be.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@ Meade. Re C/B 2012 - print and sell the bumper stickers. Sell them for cash only. I'll buy the first three.

Meade said...

Thanks, Michael, but I'm already too late:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/05/cheney_2012_campaign_gaining_s_1.asp

blake said...

Yes, Jeremy, that's what Penn and Teller said, too.

I even blogged about it.

I suspect nutritional differences would be found based on soil. Sure of it, actually. But "organic" is just a dogma.

Matt said...

I have to say a boycott of Whole Foods Market is indeed silly. Who cares if the CEO has an opinion about health care? The key is to debate his points. But it's just dumb to boycott the store. And yes, I'm a crazy lefty.

Meade said...

former law student: It isn't only those of us who didn't vote for Obama, I've been listening to more and more people who did vote for him who are getting more and more annoyed.

Obama and Emanuel are wasting precious political capital on a transparent doomed half-baked "health reform" initiative that will do little more than take from the Have-Mores to give to the Haves.

Pushing the nation closer to insolvency and redistributing wealth were not the changes they were hoping for when they voted for a candidate we all knew all along was short on qualifications such as experience and competence.

If only McCain had been someone less erratic and flakey.

somefeller said...

If only McCain had been someone less erratic and flakey.

Yes, and if only my uncle had been a woman, then he would have been my aunt. Such is the nature of things.

Big Mike said...

Any day, now. Any day. Time to put on my "Don't blame me I voted for McCain" sticker.

@Meade, Jeb Bush in 2012. You read it here first!

Meade said...

That's right, somefeller -- next time, the Republicans need to run your steady experienced competent aunt instead of your dopey old uncle.

somefeller said...

That may well be true, if such a creature exists.

But, as the saying goes, things are what they are, and John McCain certainly is what he is. No point in expecting otherwise or in wondering how else it could have played out.

JAL said...

Hey y'all. Seen the latest about how the IRS will be tracking who you have your healthcare with, how much, how long and who is covered?

Your employer -- or your self -- has to report it. And after they report some of the info to the HHS sec. (or whoever the czar will be) they can fine you if you do not have the appropriate coverage which they decide.

Cool, huh!!1!!

WV = hopetall
It's hope to all from the Hope and Change POTUS. Bringing sunlight and joy to you every day. Really!

JAL said...

WV is conin

Hint: Someone is conin the American public about how easy this whole healthcare reform [sic] will be.

Fun, too.

Ralph L said...

I'm a crazy lefty.
That's redundant.

abally--a Palestinian jockstrap.

LoafingOaf said...

At first I felt this Whole Foods boycott was just really dumb. But I was thinking about it tonight (I hadn't heard of it till today) and it is worse than dumb. I recall that Obama wanted people to put forth their ideas on health care reform. All the Whole Foods dude did was put forth his thoughtful opinions. Why should someone be demonized for this, and then have his company boycotted for this?

He didn't say anything crazy in his op-ed. It was good food for thought.

I like Barack Obama. I think he means well and is a nice man and is trying to do some good.

But I'm starting to see why I should be alarmed by how he's going about this health care reform. It feels like being pressured by a used car salesman to buy the car but then he says you're not allowed to take a look under the hood. What's up with that? I'd walk away from that used car lot. And I think I have to walk away from what the DEmocrats are selling on health care. I don't like how they're going about things!

Furthermore, I am a daily reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog. I like Andrew Sullivan and think he has a good blog. But, one problem. Andrew Sullivan was one of the main reasons I backed the invasion of Iraq, something I feel embarassed and regretful about today. And now I see Andrew Sullivan's blog agressively trying to get me to back this health care reform, and demonizing people who raise concerns about it. I was a dupe to this kind of blogger-in-campaign-mode in the past (and ti was the very same blogger!) and I don't wanna be again.

If Obama wants me to support his health care reform, I need to be able to understand and digest what is being proposed. Which I don't think is possible in the way they have gone about things. I think legislative malpractice is occurring before our eyes and it could have a great impact on all of our lives for years to come. So...count me amongst those who say we must put a stop to this before it's too late.

And, I'll say again that I'm sorry I've been attacking Althouse in recent weeks in the occassional thread I've chimed in on (doubtfult hat anyone has noticed). She's been making good points, but I didn't realize it until I thought about it more. MY great uncle also took me aside recently and had a big talk to me about why he's concerned about what is coming as an elderly American, and it was persuasive.

I still think Obama is a nice guy who wants to do good, but I don't think he knows what he's doing on health care and his strategy of keeping the details secret until the 11th hour is scary. People are right to fear the worst.

blake said...

I'm sooooo reporting you, Oaf!

wv: schalst

(Who I'm reporting Oaf to.)

Meade said...

"wv: schalst

(Who I'm reporting Oaf to.)"

I think you should also report him to Sgt. Schultz.

Er... same difference.

Ralph L said...

Oaf, you're probably too young to remember the late 80's, when Congress quickly passed, and Reagan (post Iran-Contra) signed, Catastrophic Insurance (nursing home care) for Medicare recipients. It went into effect in 1988 and cost all seniors $800 / yr, deducted from SS. Old people started jeering congressmen and chasing them into their cars. It was repealed as quickly as it passed.

Daniel Fielding said...

visited the main Ann Arbor WF today around 7pm. The shop was full of rich libs wearing Obama t-shirts,and a lot of skanky hippies who were there grazing on the samples,and scarfing up food for free in the bulk food section. There were a few redneck hillbillies carrying concealed weapons too.
Asked the shift manager,and he said that neither of the 2 WF stores in the city of Ann Arbor had seen a drop in sales volume.

John Lynch said...

moderate=liberal

the end

John Lynch said...

Living in the sticks here in Durango, there is no Whole Foods. We do have a couple small organic themed grocery stores.

However, I can't go there with 100 bucks and feed the family for two weeks.

Organic food is just higher quality food for more money.

Mark Daniels said...

Ann: I occasionally contribute to The Moderate Voice and believe that I have always been moderate in voice. Most of the other seem to approach things in the same way.

Ralph L said...

Moderation is in the ear of the behearer. Careful with that Q tip!

rhhardin said...

When the nice guy (clean and articulate) act doesn't work, the interesting thing will be how it intensifies.

What does it become.

I'd predict some shading of nice into devastating.

Start a battle of the late learners against the earlier ones.

Deb said...

"FWIW, no self-respecting Althouse hillbilly would eat instant grits (sorry Chip)... If I see someone putting sugar or syrup on grits, I start ruminating on the 2nd Amendment"

Now, now. My dad ate his grits (cooked on the stove, this was before microwaves) with sugar and butter but then, he was from Atlanta.

"I love them, but only when prepared properly"

Thick or thin?

Crimso said...

Well, if he was from Terminus, then that's okay. It's those damned Yankees putting sugar on grits and ketchup on scrambled eggs that really riles me up. And some things I somtimes do to grits would probably get me run out of the sovereign State of Tennessee were it to become widely known (e.g. soy sauce instead of salt).
Thick, thinned with thick pats of butter covering the surface of the serving. Govt.-run healthcare will surely put an end to that.

Dan from Madison said...

If the "boycott" isn't happening in places like Madison and Berkeley as some commenters have stated, it isn't going to happen, period.

sierra said...

While it's true a healthy diet should lower the rate of certain chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes), this statement on Mackey's part is overreach: "We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age."

Also, "Enact Medicare reform" is not a very useful recommendation.

Other than that, way to go Mackey!

Michael Hasenstab said...

I am still waiting for one of the liberal commenters on this thread to take Mackey's op-ed point by point and expalin what's wrong with it (without using words like Repbulican, wingnut, capatalist, etc.)

If you don't like it, expalain why you don't.

traditionalguy said...

The puzzel that Congress is working includes the actuarial viability of Social Security which is already zilch. IMO extending good health to 65+ year olds so that they will live another 10 years longer past the extra 20 years that miracle medicines have already endowed them with (I.e., another 120 months of checks written on our BankChina Card ) is not really Congress' goal or Obama's goal.

Michael Hasenstab said...

And by the way, why are there no anti-war protesters at Obama's "town hall" appearances? Where's Code Pink?

We are still at war, you know. In Iraq and in Afganistan, where Obama is committing more troops than did Bush.

So where are the anti-war screamers? The war didn't end January 20, 2009. It escalated shortly thereafter, with civilians dying from American bombs.

I know, protest is complicated and difficult. Maybe the anti-war protest energy is being re-directed to typing incisive anti WFM screeds on various forums. Such commitment!

And isn't Hillary Clinton just the most lousy excuse for a cabinet official since Robert Reich? All she does is fly around apologizing and losing her temper.

AllenS said...

Does the name Whole Foods sound corny? My local grocery store is now called Family Fresh. That's worse.

Crimso said...

"Does the name Whole Foods sound corny? My local grocery store is now called Family Fresh. That's worse."

"With a name like Painful Rectal Itch, it has to be good."

TW: kning. What they do to you
in Singapore when you spray paint people's cars.

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