Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More on Whole Foods and Engaging the Left

Some of you may wonder why I keep tabs on DailyKos and occasional other leftist type blogs. You may be surprised that it is not so much to see what they are up to, as to understand what type of arguments might get them to rethink their positions. Further, my libertarian leanings sometimes offer some common ground on which to launch a discussion.

A recent example was a recent DailyKos diary about Afghanistan that I found hard to understand the point. But a commenter made the point that the cost of war there would "break us." While I think that is hyperbole given Obama's 9 trillion, 10 trillion, heck it's only zeroes, deficits. But I do believe that the Vietnam War helped fuel inflation in the 70s and that the Iraq War has had negative economic consequences. So I commented that:

The stagflation of the 70s can be directly traced to the deficits we piled up fighting the Vietnam war. There is no doubt in my mind that the huge spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to our current economic mess.
This comment receive three positive ratings. But note that I have taken their reflexive anti-war attitude and introduced the concept that deficits hurt the economy. I'm not explicitly exploiting the opening, just prepping the battle space.

I recently received an email from a left of center blogger, Simon Owens, pictured, who thought my readers would be interested in how the left used social media to rally against Whole Foods. Please read his piece for yourself. Simon is a self styled media critic, but I note that he utterly uncritical and provides no counter point to the boycott organizers' perspective. Two quotes:

“[The op-ed] lit a fire under me,” Rosenthal said. “This person was using his company as a sort of Trojan horse for a bunch of discredited, bad ideas that we have said no to over and over again.

They’ve begun posting user-submitted photos from people who are taking pictures of receipts from other grocery stores they’re shopping at and on the blog they’re listing boycott events that are taking place around the country. But they’re doing very little to actually organize these individual events.

I noted in a previous post, I quoted a DailyKos piece as to how some on the left itself realize how fickle they themselves are. If you read Simon's post, you will see that even this initial modest success lacked much energy. To quote KT from the comments:

In any case, the guy's post boils down into this: "We're a bunch of children."
But I still seek to persuade, because it keeps me sane thinking that ultimately not everyone on the left is insane.


  1. Glad you're up to it, it drives me up a tree-- I try to stick to folks who are looking for a fight on more conservative blogs, because I know that a lot of folks do that when they already have doubts; even if I can't change their minds where folks can "see," I know that folks like Neo-Neocon exist, so it must work....

  2. Back in 2008, this Whole Foods, CEO John Mackey (how old is this kid?), was caught posting negative comments (trash talk) about a competitor on Yahoo Finance message boards in an effort to push down the stock price. So now I am suppose to take this loser seriously? Please, snore, snore.

    It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

  3. Difference being between "faceless bureaucrats" we can fire at will, rather than those who have a history of using the law to get their way.

    Insurance companies are constrained by the law of the land; beauracracies of government twist the law of the land against their "customers."

    Not to mention when I fire my current insurance company and hire a new one, I don't have to keep paying the old.....

    Your information is rather wrong; Congress gets a gold-plated insurance thing, yes, from their employer, the gov't, but they can use it ANYWHERE. On the other end, but still in that very same federal system, is military medical coverage. You remember, the one where Obama wanted to make wounded vets pay for their own care out of pocket? The one where a kid lost his legs just this year? The one that just told a huge number of vets they have LG's disease?

    Are you insane enough to think that congress can wave a magic wand and make it so everyone gets the hugely expensive health care they get?

  4. Wow, that's some serious non-sequitiring ya got there, Paul! Good job!

    Allow me to condense your position down to something we can all understand. We all need to earn more money. If we did that, we could pay for health insurance for all! There. That's it. Let's all get extra jobs and give our pay to the government. If we do that, we could knock out this deficit and pay for health care for everyone.

    Oh sure, I realize that state-of-the-art health care has been a luxury good since the dawn of time, but isn't it time for change? Since we're the people we've been waiting for, let's stop waiting and start working three jobs to pay for all this good stuff!

    You first.

  5. Paul, wow, I will need an entire post to respond to your comments.

  6. Foxie, KT, thanks for the support.

  7. Paul, as far as the "astroturfing" and "teabagging" obsession the liberal-Left seems to have, I, as one of those aforementioned participants take my marching orders from a stay-at-home mom from Oceanside.

    The top-down structure of it all is brutal. I'm sure you would understand.