Duck! and Gather

Whole Foods on the Front Lines

Posted on: August 19, 2009

UPDATE: Mackey didn’t create the title for his opinion piece. Instead, the WSJ editors did. But that doesn’t change my position on this one. Lie down with dogs, and you get fleas.


I was wasting another evening, surfing for sports news, when I stumbled upon a story in the SF Chronicle about the Whole Foods boycott. This story began last week when the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare.

What an unfortunate title! Had the guy simply titled the piece something like “John Mackey’s personal views on health care reform”, then I doubt that any attempted boycott would have gotten traction. I mean, while Mackey’s views on the subject line him up with the ring-wing nut-jobs, the way he expresses these views in this piece does not seem terribly offensive.

But Mackey did choose that unfortunate title. And in doing so, he inextricably linked Whole Foods with Sarah Palin and her ilk.

I just read a post to the SF Chronicle from a Whole Foods employee arguing against a boycott. He writes:

And its so much easier to target Whole Foods than to spend time thinking of ways to ensure that any health care bill that gets passed contains commitments to lower drug prices for all of us.

Exactly! Boycotting Whole Foods is easy! That’s precisely why our family is done shopping at Whole Foods. It’s easy to do.

What else can we do? Just look at Barack “Jesus” Obama. The guy owns the biggest bully pulpit in the world, and even Jon Stewart is making fun of how wimpy, waffling, and backpedaling Obama is behaving on health care reform.

If the Greatest POTUS in our lifetime has no ability to sway the Congressmen in his own party, what kind of hubris would it take for you or I to believe that petitioning our Congressmen would have any effect?

Obama is battling the Corporations on this one. And so far, he’s losing. How can we help?

We can help by punishing the Corporations that show their underbelly on this one. Not much any of us can do to stick it to Blue Cross. But Whole Foods is another matter.

p.s. Boycotting Whole Foods is increasingly easy for us since our self-sufficiency mojo is growing with our organic and bountiful garden, orchard, and chickens.

5 Responses to "Whole Foods on the Front Lines"

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.

Thank you, Paul. I’ve got nothing to add to your excellent comment. Well said.

Paul has an excellent comment ?

Wow I have to tie my hands down to keep the profanities from spilling out.

Calling your opponents childish names, refusing to debate them on the issues, then using Orwellian propaganda speak (go check out the videos of the disputes at the town hall meetings – WITHOUT EXCEPTION it has been the Obama supporting union thugs who have visited PHYSICAL ATTACKS on opposing, dissenting citizen Boomers who have perpetrated ALL of the violence witnessed and recorded thus far) and DISGUSTING PORNOGRAPHIC REFERENCES (Tea-bagging) just goes to show how VERY VERY far the LEFT has gone off the deep end now that IT IS THEY WHO HAVE THE REINS of power.

It was evil when Bush did it – it is even MORE evil to watch the ‘progressive’ (ha what a joke that term turned out to be) left wing use the exact same propaganda and violence to shut down dissent that Bush used against them.

This isn’t freedom or civility – it’s revenged based thuggery and the so-called ‘health care reform’ is just an excuse.

Thanks Matt. Yeah, I hate to see violence committed by either end of the political spectrum. But, as I blogged about previously, violence is the lingua franca of America (from the point of view of this Canadian and European before becoming American).

I don’t know about actual violence at the town hall meetings. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you are right about it coming from the left. But, systemically, I would expect that anger and vitriol would be higher from the right than from the left during these current times.

This is because, after 20+ years in power, the right in America is now on the outside looking in. Just 4 years ago, people like Rove were predicting 40 years of Republican rule. Few laughed at that.

Today, only true believers would even contemplate the return of Republican domination of any branch of government (except for the Supreme Court).

I think this dynamic frustrates the right. Especially, older members of that crowd, since older people have a harder time adjusting to a new paradigm. Hence the rage from the right.

p.s. Matt, I wasn’t calling my opponents “childish names”. I was calling them “children”. 🙂

The point I’m making is that the reactionary coverage of the Whole Foods boycott (see, e.g. Fox), and the arguments they raise, seem childish to me. In other words, the questions they raise are so simply answered that one wonders if these people could really be that simple.

I mean, Sarah Palin, sure. But everybody on Fox?

I just suspect the right in America has a blind spot about the Sixties. The right figures that it won the Culture Wars of the Sixties, and can’t even imagine that there are reasonable people and successful businesses that favor the Sixties left. Hell, since 1984, the right has been pruning back the “excesses” of the Sixties left (e.g. drugs, sex, abortion, “weird” religions, regulation, etc.). Their mindset can’t imagine anything good coming from that domain.

That’s why, I believe, such people completely miss the “Whole Foods as a Sixties Left Experience” dynamic, which is key to understanding the “betrayal” and “hypocrisy” of this story.

The only non-left people who seem to “get” this aspect of this story are the PR-type people. i.e. the people who ask: “Who cares what positions Mackey holds. Was it a good business decision for him to spout them in the WSJ?”

Most such people who I have read conclude that it was a grave business mistake by Mackey, even if they agree with his positions.

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for the money has gone too far

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