Tarry for the Nonce

January 11, 2006

Free-Range Products and Orderly Aisles

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:08 pm

Whole Foods is going to increase its environmental friendliness:

Natural-food grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. said Tuesday it will rely on wind energy for all of its electricity needs, making it the largest corporate user of renewable energy in the United States . . .

The decision follows the publicly traded company’s mission of environmental stewardship without losing sight of the bottom line, Whole Foods regional president Michael Besancon said.

“It’s a sales driver rather than a cost,” he said. “All of those things we do related to our core values: help drive sales, help convince a customer to drive past three or four other supermarkets on the way to Whole Foods” . . .

As of Oct. 1, 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed Whole Foods as the eighth-largest user of renewable energy among U.S. corporations and governmental agencies.

Granted that I don’t know enough about wind energy to comment on its efficiency, but if it is as environmentally friendly as it sounds, I like Whole Foods all the more. This is the ideal way it is done – no legislative measures necessary. Such voluntary measures increase public goodwill and (ultimately) the bottom line.

I know I will continue to shop there.

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57 Comments

  1. I thought you shopped at Meijer!

    Wind electricity generation isn’t very efficient on large scales (a little better than solar). In small operations, it may be enough for their power needs. It would be much more impressive if they setup their own Whole Foods windmills…but alas, they’re just going to buy from energy producers.

    The ideal would be to push for individual homeowners to install/setup alternative sources and then put unused energy back into the grid (which they would get paid for). I envision a house that gets multiple sources of energy from not only wind & solar, but also from a water source.

    Personally, I prefer “Nucular” power meself 😉 We could always just shoot the waste into the sun. it would get there eventually….and with that Warp drive…well, the sky’s the limit on out-of-the-box ideas like that.

    Comment by Andrew P. — January 11, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  2. IIRC, wind power in California is now less expensive than conventional sources.

    At $10,000 a pound, I’m not sure that launching a rocket to get rid of waste is such a viable idea. Not to mention I’d want a damn reliable rocket underneath that waste.

    How about we put in on the far side of the moon after we get a moon base established there? For some reason this strikes me as a bad idea. . .

    Comment by Howard — January 11, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  3. I know we are not morally obligated to boycott companies or services, but it is a shame that Whole Foods (and so many other companies) contribute to the culture of death:

    http://www.earnedmedia.org/ldint0803.htm

    Comment by Matt C. Abbott — January 12, 2006 @ 2:19 am

  4. All this talk of “alternative energy” is 99% utopian wishful thinking.

    The electrical grid must supply at all times exactly as much power as its customers need. It can’t make up a shortage later, nor can a surplus be stored. Power sources have to be predictable, available, and reliable at all times.

    Until we have developed methods of storing energy that are orders of magnitude more efficient than what we have today, you’re not going to rely on wind, solar, or any other source of energy that is not uniformly available 100% of the time. Even more utopian is the idea of “selling” your excess energy back into the electrical grid: if my wind turbine is working, then presumably so is my neighbor’s down the street.

    And that’s before we have to account for the fact that wind power doesn’t just spontaneously turn into current. Most of it is generated by wind farms, which have a whole lot of very large windmills, which require a lot of resources to manufacture, not to mention all the land to place them on, access roads to provide service, etc. etc.

    Whole Foods is very much a profit-motivated company, and this is nothing but a PR move to dupe their largely credulous, politically-correct, upper-middle-class customer base. Good for them — I’m all for anything that separates that crowd from more of their money.

    As for energy, for the foreseeable future we have exactly two choices: fossil fuels and nuclear power. Deal with it.

    Comment by Toly — January 12, 2006 @ 2:53 am

  5. Huzzahs, Toly!

    My initial reaction on reading it was something along the lines of….

    “I wonder how much money Whole Foods is going to make off this ploy from… their largely credulous, politically-correct, upper-middle-class customer base.”

    I shop at Whole Foods, occasionally, but have found that many of the products available there are also available at other yuppie stores (alas, I am not a yuppie, being far too old, but am still very willing to take advantage of the yuppie concept by shopping at stores that succour them) for significantly lower prices. I have no idea if those other stores support wind power or any other alternative energy source, but if it is my pocket book, then who cares? I am a conservative, after all, so the environment be damned.

    I know we are not morally obligated to boycott companies or services, but it is a shame that Whole Foods (and so many other companies) contribute to the culture of death:

    I hate finding these things out……

    Be careful, Matt C. Abbott, you may incur the wrath of Howard R if you continue to tout your pro-life views on this blog.

    I, too, support getting our energy from Nuclear Power — a safe, cost-effective, efficient and clean energy producer.

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 3:14 am

  6. Does it strike anyone else as odd that a conservative (who by definition is against change) wouldn’t want to preserve the status quo in the environment?

    Pro-death culture? Hey, we’re just following in the footsteps of the big man upstairs. He seems to have no problem killing “innocents.” On another note, I did notice that Jebus left The French Quarter standing while killing men, women, and children. Sheesh.

    Comment by Howard R — January 12, 2006 @ 7:53 am

  7. Does it strike anyone as odd that so-called “liberals” — supposedly standing for liberty and permissiveness — are the ones pushing ever-more-intrusive tax laws, wage floors and ceilings, speech codes, racial quotas, the sexual-harrassment hysteria, prohibitions on smoking, humongous government agencies that prohibit building a house if there is a wet patch on the ground, and lionize such stalwarts of liberty as Fidel Castro? Has anyone else caught onto the fact that someone who no doubt prides himself on his liberal “tolerance” is perfectly comfortable showing flagrant disrespect to the religious beliefs of others, resorting to puerile comments that make Pat Robertson’s seem downright thoughtful by comparison?

    Now that I’m done being flippant, environmental stewardship was at one point the province of rich conservatives. It was Teddy Roosevelt, after all, that established the first national park. The Left didn’t discover its nature-loving side until the 1960s, when its membership began to change from working-class union activists to mostly spoiled middle-class college students. To them, being “pro-environment” was mostly being anti-establishment and anti-capitalism. Today, they are the establishment, but the anti-capitalism persists. Like many other companies, Whole Foods has managed to subvert this drive to its own (very capitalist) ends, which is what makes me so amusing.

    And for the record, auntlori, I shop at Whole Foods regularly. Their fresh bread section is unbeatable.

    Comment by Toly — January 12, 2006 @ 10:40 am

  8. As a confirmed conservative, I say..

    destroy the environment!
    kill all the animals for my food!
    pump carbon monoxide into the highest reaches of the atmosphere!

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 10:59 am

  9. While I fully expect to get flamed on this, I hate with a passion religious people who try to impose their beliefs onto other (Christian, Jewish, or otherwise). If you ask them why something is right or wrong, they answer with “God says so.” Hey, you want to worship something supernatural like people who lived thousands of years ago did, fine. Do it in your home. Do it where you pay homage to the invisible sky man. If you want to stick a cross in your year, more power to you. The day you try to impose that on me is the day I fight back. “Culture of death”, indeed. As if “god” presents a different example.

    There are all manner of “liberals” as there as all manner of “conservatives.” Example: The Clinton White House removed how many thousands of lines of tax code? The tax law is meant to encourage some activities while discouraging others. If you can think of a way to do so while making it easier, as someone who has to pay an accountant to do his taxes, I’m all for it.

    In terms of some of the other things you quoted, I agree that some of these are being taken to extremes. I think we can adapt a common sense middle ground to protect everyone’s rights.

    Comment by Howard R — January 12, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  10. Putting aside the obvious connections between abortion and wind power, I applaud Whole Foods’ move and agree with Laura that this is part of the ideal solution.

    Due to the undeniable (in my view) problems (e.g. environmental, national security, health) associated with fossil-fuel based energy, it is critical that we increase the portion of energy provided from renewable sources. Because the price of fossil fuels does not incorporate the many costs, it is necessary to pay a premium for sources like wind power. Even if wind power, solar, etc. cannot 100% replace fossil fuels, that does not mean we should not continue to use it more, to reap its benefits and build economies of scale to make it even cheaper. The fact that the price is close enough today to permit the purchase of 100% wind power makes it a no brainer in my mind.

    And, yes, I put my money where my mouth is, purchasing Green Tags (www.greentagsusa.com) to essentially do what Whole Foods is doing.

    I also agree with Andrew P. that local, micro-generation and storage of power is the way to go.

    Comment by Troy — January 12, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  11. Interesting that some proponents of the religion of secular humanism end up “imposing” their beliefs on the very people they criticize for (supposedly) doing the same thing.

    Besides, the protection of innocent human life in the womb is not just a religious issue. It is also a civil rights issue.

    Comment by Matt C. Abbott — January 12, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

  12. *sigh*

    Howard, if posting one’s position on a blog forum constitutes imposing one’s values on another then you are equally guilty of that practice.

    And if the tenor of this blog is so abhorrent to you, it begs the question: why do you post to it multiple times per day?

    Comment by janice — January 12, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

  13. And for the record, auntlori, I shop at Whole Foods regularly. Their fresh bread section is unbeatable.

    I love their cheese section best but their veggies are certainly nice too!

    Of course, Toly, you not being a confirmed conservative as I am (somewhere on the fringes?), what would you know about the destruction of the environment.

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

  14. I’m not forcing my beliefs onto anyone. I’m not saying that you don’t believe in abortion you still have to get one because of what I believe. However, if you believe that brain activity isn’t needed for life, you don’t have the right to impose that onto someone else.

    I always enjoyed Whole Foods and now I have two more reasons to shop there.

    Why do I post here? Because, again, if everyone agreed with me, it’d be pretty dull.

    Comment by Howard R — January 12, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  15. it is a shame that Whole Foods (and so many other companies) contribute to the culture of death

    Drat and tarnation.

    However, if you believe that brain activity isn’t needed for life, you don’t have the right to impose that onto someone else.

    I still think you are looking at the anti-abortion argument from the wrong point of view.

    Look at it this way:

    We would (I presume) both agree that certain societal laws are necessary in order to protect person and property. We would probably (also) agree that each of us has a certain level of obligation to protect, promote and abide by these laws to foster a sense of social justice.

    Now, if I understand your abortion argument correctly, you believe that a fetus is not a person with a protectable right to life until (perhaps) brain activity is detectable and (definitely) when you see a living, breathing human child. Your position is consistent with that belief.

    I, on the other hand, believe that a fetus is a person with a protectable right to life at the point where its genetic makeup is different from that of any other individual, namely the point where the zygote forms. My position is consistent with that belief.

    We disagree on the point where life is entitled to protection, but the manner of protection would be the same. As a person functioning within this society, I am compelled by my belief to protect the life of a fetus in the same way I would protect my right to life or your right to life. You may consider my measurement of life to be silly, but you can not consider my protection of it a “religious imposition” unless you consider any protection of life to be a “religious imposition.”

    As for energy, for the foreseeable future we have exactly two choices: fossil fuels and nuclear power.

    I will agree with you whole-heartedly that nuclear power is waaaay underutilized. If there’s one thing France does right . . .

    Comment by laura — January 12, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

  16. Very well stated, Laura!

    Comment by Matt C. Abbott — January 12, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  17. Some minor points…

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that a conservative (who by definition is against change)…

    Wow. I’m a conservative, and I embrace change. However, being a conservative, I also plan for the future, and do a lot of contingency planning in case things don’t go as planned. I’ve never heard this statement before, and I find it strikingly disturbing that such a progressive idealist would generalize in such a way. Its quite disturbing. I’d go into similarly ludicrous over-generalizing statements, but I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression. Its almost like saying all actors, by definition, are good at acting. Some folks reading this would definitely disagree with that statement.

    As for Whole Foods, well, I don’t shop there. I prefer my cows and chickens to have added hormones. I’m hoping to have children that could one day go into professional sports. Have you ever been to Europe and stayed in a trashy hotel? Ever wonder why their beds are so small (not to mention a number of the people)???

    Lastly, Toly, I agree with you that the power is on the grid and if its not used, its wasted. You are correct to remind us that there is no really good way of storing energy; however, I think that if we all did our little part, it might make our world that much better. Of course, replacing old coal facilities w/ nuclear plants is, IMHO, a good thing; however, most people are NIMBYish about that sort of thing.

    I’m just hoping all of GM/Toyota/Honda/Ford’s talk of cold fusio…err, fuel cells… is real. There’s nothing quite as annoying as getting smoke blown up your…. :o)

    Of course, if we all conserved as we ought to have conserved, we wouldn’t even have this global warming ghost nipping at our environmentally-friendly heals.

    Comment by Andrew P. — January 12, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  18. Once again I kick myself for missing out on so much this week. Work has kept me away from this delightful place.
    Mr. R you’re a fool. You are an arrogant little man who can’t seem to deal with the fact that no one could care less about your opinion. You are also a self-righteous bigot who has taken it upon himself to insult everyone else’s view on life, and therefore insulting the people themselves. Then when people, as people are want to do, strike back, you get all uppity (not sure if that’s the proper spelling with that) with them. Falsely claiming that they deem themselves worthy to “push their religious view on other people” when it is you who is constantly rubbing your “Jebus” and “flying Pasta freak” crap on everyone else.
    You are nothing more than a little man who only lowers himself more in everyone’s eyes every time you try to belittle everyone else. You might have had a strong voice when you first started posting, but I know that I don’t take anything you say as world-stopping or shocking because you’ve said it all before.
    Now that I have given you hours of amusement (you did say that this place would be dull if everyone said good things about you, just livening up you day) you may flame at will.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 12, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

  19. Wow. I’m a conservative, and I embrace change.

    I think Howard was referring to the dictionary definition. Conservatives are – by definition – of a “disposition in politics to preserve what is established.”

    I’m sure Howard recognizes that each person has their own personal mix of conservatism and liberalism on the issues of the day.

    Comment by laura — January 12, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  20. Very well stated, Laura!

    Thank you, Mr. Abbott.

    Comment by laura — January 12, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

  21. no one could care less about your opinion.

    Among most of the people who frequent this blog, I can readily believe that. No quarrel on that. So I guess we’re not going to fall in love.

    You are also a self-righteous bigot

    I guess that depends on how you define “bigot.” Make no mistake, I resent people who protest removing “under god” from the pledge of allegiance in public schools as an attack on religion. I resent people who are against gay marriage on the grounds that it’s against biblical teachings. I resent people who fight stem cell research because they believe a non-viable clump of cells is a human life. These are just a few of the examples of people trying to impose their religious beliefs onto others. I personally think that religion is an impediment to progress, and is mental comfort food for people. But hey, I’m not going to stop someone from observing their own beliefs so long as doesn’t effect me.

    For example, we have a patient in the office who’s very observant. But she rolls her eyes when the subject of “attacking Christmas” and “public school prayer” comes up. I’m glad she gets fulfillment from her religion and I highly respect her for understanding that her beliefs are just that: Her beliefs.

    You know, if the anti-abortion people would set up programs to help pregnant teenagers stay in school and assist them with pre-natal care (I’ll assume the babies go up for adoption), that might be one thing. But it seems the same group that’s against medically induced abortion are the first to scream about social welfare costs.

    A real pro-life culture is going to have high social costs. If you’re going to be protective of life, you can’t stop at birth.

    But on another note, Whole Foods does have a very good salmon. I do miss the vanilla pretzel cookies (12 calories a cookie, IIRC).

    Comment by Howard — January 12, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

  22. if the anti-abortion people would set up programs to help pregnant teenagers stay in school and assist them with pre-natal care (I’ll assume the babies go up for adoption), that might be one thing.

    Why would you think they do not? Just within Chicago, the Women’s Center, Catholic Charities, Aid for Women, Birthright, Feminists for Life, Lifecall – just to name a few – offer counseling, education assistance and postpartum support. These services are made possible by the donations they receive from those who support their all-encompassing assistance.

    In other news, I’m also a big fan of Trader Joe’s.

    Comment by laura — January 12, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  23. I’m a Sam’s person myself.
    Harris Teeter’s not bad either.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 12, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  24. Why would you think they do not?

    You know, I think that’s great. If someone doesn’t want to have an abortion, I don’t think they should be forced to because of financial reasons.

    I would certainly hope P.P. has these type of groups listed as a resource for people.

    Comment by Howard — January 12, 2006 @ 6:39 pm

  25. I would certainly hope P.P. has these type of groups listed as a resource for people.

    On that, we can completely agree.

    Comment by laura — January 12, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

  26. Well, looks like I’m missing quite the party.

    While I fully expect to get flamed on this, I hate with a passion religious people who try to impose their beliefs onto other (Christian, Jewish, or otherwise).

    Hey, me too! Although I feel that way about non-religious people as well — you know, like the guys who get bent out of shape if a religious group meets in a public school after hours. But that seems kind of irrelevant to the discussion at hand, seeing how Mr. Abbott merely expressed an opinion. How typically, illiberally Leftist: the inability to tell between speech and repression. Matt was civil and had a point — and in response got his own beliefs spit on. Well, I’m sure he’s convinced now.

    The truly sad thing is that Howard appears to think he’s being flamed for his opinions.

    Comment by Toly — January 13, 2006 @ 1:10 am

  27. You are correct to remind us that there is no really good way of storing energy; however, I think that if we all did our little part, it might make our world that much better.

    It won’t unless those little things actually have a little positive effect. So how will you do that? If you’re going for local energy storage, presumably you’d have some large-scale batteries? Those are an environmental nightmare to make, store, and dispose of. The money spent rearranging the electrical grid to be two-way could probably go to a number of worthier projects. And if you are regularly powering up, shutting down, and powering up the fossil-fuel plants to make up for the inherent unreliability of the wind, you’re creating more pollution.

    And we’re ignoring the fact that fossil fuels are fungible commodities. Even if by some miracle you significantly reduce demand for them in the U.S., China et al will take advantage of the drop in price and use more — and with more pollution, because they are too poor to care, and there’s nothing you can do about it. China is already one of the world’s leading polluters, most of it from coal power used without scrubbers. Leave more fossil fuels unused, and they’ll burn more, right into our atmosphere. (This is quite a brilliant outcome, don’t you think? It costs us more money, it does nothing to reduce the use of fossil fuels, it creates more pollution, it benefits the economies of the least eco-sensitive countries, and because their productivity is so much lower, it leaves everyone less well off for the amount of energy used! Voilà — Kyoto in a nutshell!)

    If you really want to reduce pollution and the use of fossil fuels, there is only one way: drastically raise global standards of living. Make China, India, Russia, Brazil and all the other usual suspects wealthy enough so that their citizens actually give a damn about what might be happening to seawater levels 200 years from now. But, of course, to do that would require free markets, complete with those icky income iniquities. Oh well — I guess the Left will just have to keep demanding that we waste our time and efforts on more pointless feelgoodery.

    Comment by Toly — January 13, 2006 @ 1:48 am

  28. Toly, you are a god.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 13, 2006 @ 9:02 am

  29. Toly, you raise a number of excellent points about why renewable energy sources won’t eliminate pollution, but I think that you are wrong to suggest that somehow renewable energy will make things worse:

    And if you are regularly powering up, shutting down, and powering up the fossil-fuel plants to make up for the inherent unreliability of the wind, you’re creating more pollution.

    If we ever live in a world where this is even an issue, then the net amount of pollution would have to be significantly lower than the status quo!

    Even if by some miracle you significantly reduce demand for them in the U.S., China et al will take advantage of the drop in price and use more — and with more pollution

    I don’t follow this. Energy use is certainly not a zero-sum game. And, as renewable energy technology is developed, it will become cheaper for everyone to use, including China.

    And China is not exactly ignoring renewable energy itself: (http://www.terradaily.com/2005/050301023815.ovoszih4.html)

    Now, higher living standards would certainly lead more people to demand (through regulation or the market) less pollution, but to get to that point, well, you’re talking about a whole lot of pollution!

    I guess the alternatives discussed here are letting the system crash itself and rebuilding green, or trying to slowly improve. I think that the best approach is to “waste our time and efforts” to do what we can while we can. In any event, that it what I plan to do.

    Comment by Troy — January 13, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  30. Toly, you raise a number of excellent points about why renewable energy sources won’t eliminate pollution, but I think that you are wrong to suggest that somehow renewable energy will make things worse:

    And if you are regularly powering up, shutting down, and powering up the fossil-fuel plants to make up for the inherent unreliability of the wind, you’re creating more pollution.

    If we ever live in a world where this is even an issue, then the net amount of pollution would have to be significantly lower than the status quo!

    Even if by some miracle you significantly reduce demand for them in the U.S., China et al will take advantage of the drop in price and use more — and with more pollution

    I don’t follow this. Energy use is certainly not a zero-sum game. And, as renewable energy technology is developed, it will become cheaper for everyone to use, including China.

    And China is not exactly ignoring renewable energy itself: (http://www.terradaily.com/2005/050301023815.ovoszih4.html)

    Now, higher living standards would certainly lead more people to demand (through regulation or the market) less pollution, but to get to that point, well, you’re talking about a whole lot of pollution!

    I guess the alternatives discussed here are letting the system crash itself and rebuilding green, or trying to slowly improve. I think that the best approach is to “waste our time and efforts” to do what we can while we can. In any event, that it what I plan to do.

    Comment by Troy — January 13, 2006 @ 2:26 pm

  31. If I say it twice, it must be twice as true.

    Comment by Troy — January 13, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  32. . . .you know, like the guys who get bent out of shape if a religious group meets in a public school after hours

    I guess it would all depend if a given group using those school required “endorsement” by the schools.

    But that seems kind of irrelevant to the discussion at hand, seeing how Mr. Abbott merely expressed an opinion.

    As did I (although I did donate to P.P. after reading Marc’s comments).

    Matt was civil and had a point — and in response got his own beliefs spit on. Well, I’m sure he’s convinced now.

    Perhaps I should have argued logically with someone who is convinced that an invisible sky person miracled everything in existence. Marc most likely feels that I’m going to go to hell and suffer unbearable agony until the end of time for accepting Jesus as my lord and savior.

    You know, not to change the subject, but I though it interesting the way pain motivates people to see the dentist. We work hard to dental visits painless and even fun, but some people just won’t come until they have to. I have to wonder if the church had the same thing in mind when they talk about what’s suppose to happen to you if you don’t obey the church elders.

    . . .I am compelled by my belief to protect the life of a fetus in the same way I would protect my right to life or your right to life.

    Science says that a person with higher brain functions isn’t alive. I guess I can argue with all the cold, unfeeling reason I want to but I guess anything that consumes energy with human DNA (no matter how elemental) is a person in the eyes of some.

    I wonder though, a chimp is roughly 99% identical to humans in terms of DNA. Isn’t a person with Down syndrome (IIRC) more genetically different than a chimp (depending on how you do the math)?

    But again, I want my Vanilla Pretzel Cookies. I will promise to share.

    Comment by Howard — January 13, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  33. Science says that a person with higher brain functions isn’t alive.

    This statement is giving me a hard time, even if I substitute “without” in place of “with.” Are you saying that science has finally come up with a litmus test for “alive”? I was not aware of this.

    Comment by Troy — January 13, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

  34. People in comas have them performed all the time.

    As I said before, if I stop your left arm from functioning, it’s battery. However, if I stop your higher brain functions, it’s murder.

    Comment by Howard — January 13, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

  35. Who the hell is this Marc guy? Did I miss something? *Goes back and reads all posts*

    Mr. R you’re bringing religion into it again when nothing religious has been said in 5-6 posts. I’m disappointed in you, I just lost 5 dollars in a bet I had. I thought you would wait at least 8 posts. But it seems you just can’t keep your hands off the whole holy thing. You must have some deep-rooted hate for the religious. Oh wait, you established that day -1, how could I forget?
    I say it again, Mr. R you are a moronic dope and I love it.
    I hope I have brightend up your day 😀

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 13, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

  36. Mr. R you are a moronic dope and I love it.

    Coming from someone who believes in the supernatural, please forgive me if I’m not terribly insulted. On the other hand, I’m happy to have brightened your day.

    On another note, while I’m not sure where everyone lives, I thought it would be fun to have a blog get-togther.

    Comment by Howard — January 13, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

  37. I never said I believe in the supernatural. you’re assuming again Mr. R
    I don’t think I will join in any get together, I don’t have the time.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 13, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  38. I don’t think I will join in any get together, I don’t have the time.

    Don’t be too hasty to say that as I’d serve Whole Foods cheeses, breads, and salmon.

    Comment by Howard — January 14, 2006 @ 10:23 am

  39. “I guess that depends on how you define “bigot.” Make no mistake, I resent people who protest removing “under god” from the pledge of allegiance in public schools as an attack on religion. I resent people who are against gay marriage on the grounds that it’s against biblical teachings. These are just a few of the examples of people trying to impose their religious beliefs onto others. I personally think that religion is an impediment to progress, and is mental comfort food for people. But hey, I’m not going to stop someone from observing their own beliefs so long as doesn’t effect me.”

    Not to get too involved with this flame argument thing, but i’m afraid i do agree with this person on all these points.

    However, i also agree with most everyone else is saying that this person seems like a jerk. It’s people like you who make me feel bad for my liberal tendencies. You are not the victim on this forum, you are the antagonizer. It’s Laura’s blog and she obviously has her own opinions, so why must you be so antagonistic all the time? Do it on your own blog.

    I would also mention, since abortion was brought up along with the religious organizations who help women with unplanned pregnancies, PASS (Pregnancy Assistance in the South Suburbs) is a very good organization. They provide prenatal care, help for the mother and classes so that it is not inability to be a mother or problems with affording it that make the mother give up the child. Not to stereotype religious folks, but they have always been one step ahead as far as giving to the poor and helping those in trouble with pregnancies, alcoholism or drug abuse.

    While i disagree with most all moral issues that religious conservatives seem to be bringing into the forefront and wanting the government to enforce, i can’t fault them as far as generosity and willing to go the extra mile.

    Anyway, there were a lot more points i wanted to comment to, but i will mention that i am an economic conservative and a social liberal, but we’re not all as… what’s the word… rude, petty, antagonistic, whatever, as this guy.

    i will finish by saying, “Isn’t a person with Down syndrome (IIRC) more genetically different than a chimp (depending on how you do the math)?” that this is one of the stupidest things i have ever heard, and i hope you are not a math professor, teacher, and that you never tutor anyone as far as math is concerned, though you might get a job with statistics.

    Comment by Beth — January 14, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  40. I also agree with Andrew P. that local, micro-generation and storage of power is the way to go.

    but doesn’t the federal government do everything best?

    Toly, you are a god.

    ditto

    Now, higher living standards would certainly lead more people to demand (through regulation or the market) less pollution, but to get to that point, well, you’re talking about a whole lot of pollution!

    technolocigally advanced nations reached the point where they demand their energy with less pollution, are you saying that less- or non-technologically advanced nations will not reach that point? Our federal government has assumed to itself the power to regulate clean energy on a national level, but the US (and other technolocially superior nations) has no right to impose those same regulations on developing nations. Like it or not, their national concern for the environment and pollution is going to be determined by their own nationalistic ideals and not by those imposed on them by (arguably) Western civilization & its allies.

    There is a good source for inexpensive and clean energy in nuclear power. It’s unfortunate that there has been so much hysteria in the US to oppose it.

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 11:46 am

  41. and huzzahs for Harris Teeter!

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 11:46 am

  42. I also agree with Andrew P. that local, micro-generation and storage of power is the way to go.

    but doesn’t the federal government do everything best?

    Don’t be silly. I’m a libertarian, damnit!

    technolocigally advanced nations reached the point where they demand their energy with less pollution, are you saying that less- or non-technologically advanced nations will not reach that point? Our federal government has assumed to itself the power to regulate clean energy on a national level, but the US (and other technolocially superior nations) has no right to impose those same regulations on developing nations. Like it or not, their national concern for the environment and pollution is going to be determined by their own nationalistic ideals and not by those imposed on them by (arguably) Western civilization & its allies.

    I don’t know if they’ll reach that point or not, but history suggests that they will. I do not dispute that the US cannot set foreign policy, and I’m a little hurt that you assume that I am some kind of leftist. My message must have gotten garbled somehow…

    Comment by Troy — January 14, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

  43. Not to get too involved with this flame argument thing, but i’m afraid i do agree with this person on all these points.

    I don’t agree with your views, Beth. But after this one:

    However, i also agree with most everyone else is saying that this person seems like a jerk. It’s people like you who make me feel bad for my liberal tendencies. You are not the victim on this forum, you are the antagonizer. It’s Laura’s blog and she obviously has her own opinions, so why must you be so antagonistic all the time? Do it on your own blog.

    I think I want to know you better, come here often?

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 14, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

  44. I’m not here for people to love me. Like me or hate me, agree or disagree with me, it’s your choice and you’re more than welcome to it.

    Think I’m a jerk? Fine. Your choice. I’m sure with the way I’m responding on these threads, I’m coming across in that manner. Sorry, but sometimes it just can’t seemingly be helped.

    Some people act as if I’m the one that brought religion/abortion into this thread (BIG HINT: I wasn’t).

    Do religious group act as charities? Sure and unabashed kudos to them. Should they get tax dollars to preach to people? No. Should they get tax dollars to do secular work? No problem for me nearly without exception.

    Pro-choice is all about just that: Having a choice. But it’s also having an informed choice. I have every confidence the charities will do their best the help the mother with resources that they have. However, in the book Freakonomics, the age at which the mother had her first child was one of the strongest determining factors in how poor the child was likely to be and how likely they were to end up in the justice system. The assistance is noble and well-meaning, but it could still lead a woman done a path of multi-generational impoverishment.

    Again, sorry to hear that we all will not be falling in love any time soon.

    Comment by Howard — January 14, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  45. I’m a little hurt that you assume that I am some kind of leftist. My message must have gotten garbled somehow…

    I apologize, Troy! I am not sure that I have assumed you are a leftist although I must admit that I sort of expect friends of Laura to be more to the left than I am — that is not always true, mind you, but it is sort of a generalization I have come to. I will remember in further comments that you are a libertarian and accord you the dignity your political stand is due.

    😉

    Seriously, though, I was simply discussing — I am sorry I appeared to be lecturing you (hey! that’s something my children accuse me of….. do you suppose they might be right?).

    I understood your comment to mean that you were opposed to market-driven solutions to the problem of pollution as it would take so long for un-developed nations to reach a state of clean energy production, it would cause more pollution than could reasonably be handled.

    As you are a libertarian, I have clearly mis-interpreted your comment.

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  46. I understood your comment to mean that you were opposed to market-driven solutions to the problem of pollution as it would take so long for un-developed nations to reach a state of clean energy production, it would cause more pollution than could reasonably be handled.

    I strongly support market driven solutions, but suspect that they will ultimately not work as well as we would like them to, especially since there is no market for pollution and everyone eats the cost. China and the developing US are good examples of how industrialization trashes the environment, but in the end people get wealthy enough to wise up and try to fix things. I think that it is both inevitable and sad, in a way. That’s why I think that it is desperately important to do what we can on our end to keep things “green.”

    I wish more conservatives were also environmentalists… It is a beautiful world we have.

    Comment by Troy — January 14, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  47. The amount of cross-talk on this thread about Whole Foods is very amusing, methinks.

    Comment by Troy — January 14, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

  48. Howard, would it surprise you to know that I’m neither very religious, nor particularly opposed to abortion? (Abortion is one of the few topics on which I, quite literally, hold no opinion, thereby guaranteeing my total unelectability.)

    I don’t care whether you support keeping abortion legal, your argument in favor of it sucked and continues to suck. You instantly resorted to ad-hominem in response to a perfectly benign post by Matt C. But apparently not content with that demonstration of any grasp of logic, you then follow up with this earth-shatteringly stupid remark:

    Perhaps I should have argued logically with someone who is convinced that an invisible sky person miracled everything in existence. Marc most likely feels that I’m going to go to hell and suffer unbearable agony until the end of time for accepting Jesus as my lord and savior.

    I am staggered by the amount of idiocy compressed into two sentences. Let’s see:

    1. Exactly what makes “Marc’s” beliefs “most likely”?

    2. Even if you were dead-on about his alleged beliefs, in what way does that prove your case or disprove his?

    3. Did you seriously just reduce Judeo-Christian theology to believing in an “invisible sky person” who “miracled [sic] everything into existence”?

    4. Are you truly so bigoted as to imply that having a rational discussion with anyone who holds such beliefs is impossible — that people who believe in God are by definition not rational?

    Key difference: the “Marc” you constructed in your head may believe that you are hell-bound, but you have flat-out stated that you consider him not worthy of even basic civility. And why? Because his beliefs — in your mind! — spring from a source that is not to your liking, thereby making him inferior. Any religious extremist would be able to relate.

    Comment by Toly — January 15, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  49. 1. Exactly what makes “Marc’s” beliefs “most likely”?

    Heaven and hell aren’t a cornerstone Christianity?

    2. Even if you were dead-on about his alleged beliefs, in what way does that prove your case or disprove his?

    It wasn’t meant to do either. It was meant to show that they’re preconceived notions on both sides.

    3. Did you seriously just reduce Judeo-Christian theology to believing in an “invisible sky person” who “miracled [sic] everything into existence”?

    Reduce it? Isn’t that what you have to believe in order to accept the rest?

    4. Are you truly so bigoted as to imply that having a rational discussion with anyone who holds such beliefs is impossible — that people who believe in God are by definition not rational?

    I’m saying that if someone is acting in the context of his religious beliefs (as Marc), is not doing so using using logic. A=B and B=C therefore A=C isn’t going to be accepted someone if they believe god says that “A” and “C” are separate and different.
    There’s a reason it’s called “faith”, i.e., you have to accept it without proof.

    but you have flat-out stated that you consider him not worthy of even basic civility.

    I think you’re drawing an inference that wasn’t intended. However, you could be including him into a group I will readily admit to looking on with undiluted disdain. Perhaps that’s the issue.

    Comment by Howard — January 15, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

  50. Maybe you’re the issue Mr. R

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 16, 2006 @ 10:09 am

  51. Egads. This thread spun out of control.

    Maybe I will post some basic introductions.

    Comment by laura — January 16, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  52. I wish more conservatives were also environmentalists… It is a beautiful world we have.

    I am disappointed to find that my new-found libertarian friend Troy is also a generalizer.

    😉

    I know many conservatives who are also environmentalists — the difference, though, is that we believe in reasoned environmentalism — there has to be a balance between the wasters & abusers of the world and those who purport to want to save it at any cost to human advancement or liberty.

    I could add some innocuous comment about saving the baby seals but not the baby humans, but why bait HowardR. unnecessarily?

    Comment by auntlori — January 16, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  53. there has to be a balance between the wasters & abusers of the world and those who purport to want to save it at any cost to human advancement or liberty.

    This may well floor you, but you and I actually agree on this issue.

    Comment by Howard R — January 16, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

  54. Maybe you’re the issue Mr. R

    I know you are, but what am I?
    I know you are, but what am I?
    I know you are, but what am I? Infinity.

    Ok, now that it’s out of my system, shall we continue?

    Comment by Howard R — January 16, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  55. I am disappointed to find that my new-found libertarian friend Troy is also a generalizer.

    😉

    I suspect that the emoticon acknowledges the irony of this charge, and also implictly recognizes the limits that the blog format places on preemptive specificity, or whatever else you may have found lacking in my comment. (What a pompous sentence!)

    I know many conservatives who are also environmentalists — the difference, though, is that we believe in reasoned environmentalism — there has to be a balance between the wasters & abusers of the world and those who purport to want to save it at any cost to human advancement or liberty.

    I don’t disagree. I just wish that more self-proclaimed conservatives and libertarians would shift their balance farther from the side of the wasters and abusers. If that wish endangers our newly-forged libertarian friendship, then I must humbly beg your pardon. I wans’t trying to call names or anything, just express frustration that everyone doesn’t agree with me.

    Comment by Troy — January 16, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  56. This may well floor you, but you and I actually agree on this issue.-HowardR

    ::looks shocked::

    oh, no! I may have to rethink this issue…..

    Troy, in spite of the very real limitations of the internet, I understood that you were not generalizing in earnest. I also have read enough of your comments at this blog to know that you are not pompous.

    Comment by auntlori — January 16, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

  57. Troy, in spite of the very real limitations of the internet, I understood that you were not generalizing in earnest. I also have read enough of your comments at this blog to know that you are not pompous.

    Here here!
    Pompous people should be forced to clean bathrooms for the rest of their lives.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 17, 2006 @ 10:03 am


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