Don't Say You Haven't Been Warned

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This morning I taped an interview at Al-Jazeera's studios on Washington D.C.'s K Street. It was my first time there, and I didn't really know what to expect. The Q&A, about the U.S. media's treatment of John McCain, was standard enough, but on my elevator ride down things got a little unusual when I was joined by an Al-Jaz employee who looked like an 8-inches shorter version of Rasheed Wallace, wearing camouflage and an impressively tall headdress of some sort.

"Whoever's in the White House," he said in the car (quotes are inexact and from memory, etc.), "if they don't understand that there's going to be some serious redistribution of wealth in this country over the next 20 to 50 years, then there's going to be violence."

I raised my eyebrow so violently it probably made a noise.

"It's just a matter of physics," he explained as we exited. "With all the wealth in this country, and all the people with weapons, they're just going to go off. You can only hit people for so long before they finally hit back."

And with that he and his co-worker headed down the sidewalk to Whole Foods.

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  1. “Whoever’s in the White House,” he said in the car (quotes are inexact and from memory, etc.), “if they don’t understand that there’s going to be some serious redistribution of wealth in this country over the next 20 to 50 years, then there’s going to be violence.”

    Yeah, because from 1932 on we’ve been blessed with a laissez-faire attitude from elected officials about letting people keep what they earn.

    I mean, have these clowns listened to the agenda of the frontrunners of both parties?

    /sarcasm

  2. he has a point. After all, American history has been one violent revolution after another, and in a time like this, where roughly half the country subsists on rice and beans from a can while shivering under highway overpasses while the top 1% hoard the rest of the country, it really can’t fail to come to blows.

  3. I raised my eyebrow so violently it probably made a noise.

    Coffee just shot out of nose all over the monitor. Man, you gotta warn people. πŸ™‚

  4. and in a time like this, where roughly half the country subsists on rice and beans from a can while shivering under highway overpasses while the top 1% hoard the rest of the country, it really can’t fail to come to blows.

    What country do you live in? Because rest assured I’m not in the top 1% and do quite a bit better than living on rice and beans.

  5. Rice? Beans? You fucking fat cat.

  6. You can only hit people for so long before they finally hit back

    The Man is hittin’ on us all right, but the problem isn’t wealth or distribution of same, we’re all richer than God comparatively.

    Cesar: I thought Jorgen was being a wise guy.

  7. “And with that he and his co-worker headed down the sidewalk to Whole Foods.”

    hilarious.

  8. Man, sometimes I really love this country.

  9. Hatessssss the Whole Foodssssss we doesssssss!!!!!!!

  10. You guys ever been to Whole Foods? I’d rather watch performance art than shop there ever again, because I can usually find a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice for a bit less than $15 somewhere else.

  11. Coffee just shot out of nose all over the monitor. Man, you gotta warn people. πŸ™‚

    Did you read the headline at all? πŸ™‚

    But seriously, look at the federal budget. About a third of it is nothing but redistribution of wealth. I’ve come to accept that there will always be some of that going on, and that’s not entirely a bad thing either, it’s just done in an incredibly dumb fashion.

  12. Also, I love his understanding of physics. Everyone knows that violent revolution is governed by geology, not physics. Spluh

  13. …where roughly half the country subsists on rice and beans from a can while shivering under highway overpasses

    So you rounded up the nearest one half for that figure?

    Violent acts by the citizenry toward the gov’t in America have gone down over its history (can anyone imagine something like the whiskey rebellion happening anytime soon?), and any that have been committed have been a few terrorists with limited impact, or unorganized riots.

    His prediction is absurd.

  14. Meant to say that the wealth, prosperity, plenitude, cell phones, Ipods, the NBA, and seven paid holidays a year is what keeps the whole thing moving along. It’s why we, as a people, brush past the bureaucrats (with minor annoyance) instead of blasting them with shotguns. Life is pretty good and we have our families to think about.

  15. Did you read the headline at all? πŸ™‚

    Got dam it! Coffee shot out of nose AGAIN!

    LOL

  16. You know, if I’m looking for a country where massive inequalities of wealth and opportunity could lead to violent revolution, I think I’d probably start with Saudi Arabia, not the US.

    Just judging from what I’ve seen on TV, after all, it looks like its a hell of a lot easier to get serious full-auto firepower in the Mideast than it is here, so I think they’ve got the weapons thing covered.

  17. for the record, yes I was being a wise guy.

  18. Hatessssss the Whole Foodssssss we doesssssss!!!!!!!

    That can’t be right. Isn’t that Whole Foods guy one of us?

    We have a Whole Foods knock-off (Henry’s) down in town, it’s interesting but ends up looking more like a well stocked Trader Joe’s.

  19. Jorgen-

    I would have thought so, but I’ve actually heard real people say stuff like that. With a straight face.

  20. Sometimes it is disturbing when you realize how out of touch with reality some people are.

    Luckily, it is also usually amusing.

  21. Was this Al Jazeera or Pacifica?

  22. Was this Al Jazeera or Pacifica?

    Are you telling me there’s a difference?

  23. You should report this as a terrorist threat. I will forward the link to Homeland Security.

  24. Al Jazeera is on K Street? I should have known.

  25. he forgets that the main segment of society that arms themselves to the teeth hates them damn commies.

  26. Jim Bob,

    I would never prefer performance art to anything, but word up, brother.

  27. Actually, I can believe the part about poor people getting pissed off and having a revolution. That’s why I put my gold in a safe hidden in my house, and own many scary guns.

  28. Was this Al Jazeera or Pacifica?

    Are you telling me there’s a difference?

    Yeah, Al Jazeera’s reporters don’t smell of patchouli…

  29. If you think the cranberry juice is too expensive, don’t buy it! Sheesh…I thought this newspaper defended free markets.

    Everyone gets their jollies from Whole Foods – either from shopping there or making fun of those who do.

  30. What Wal-Mart is to liberals, Whole Foods is to conservatives.

  31. he forgets that the main segment of society that arms themselves to the teeth hates them damn commies.

    This segment hates the word communism. Gun nuts in general would love communism (or any authoritarian government) as long as it allowed them to fellate their guns.

  32. See, I don’t see that it’s Whole Foods that’s being made fun of, so much as the ironic spectacle of people who advocate a redistribution of wealth shopping in a very expensive grocery store.

    I love Whole Foods. I don’t buy everything there, but I can get stuff there I normally have to by at the co-op. The price difference is a premium I freely pay not to have hippies accost me in the aisle raving about soy cheese.

    As for armchair communists, my favorite thing to do in college to them was listen to them rap about the evil of private property, and then calmly steal their backpack and see what happened.

  33. Fucking commie peasants! I keep a couple of empty champagne bottles in my DB9 Volante, just to throw at them when I drive through their shantytowns. And some caviar tins.

  34. “What Wal-Mart is to liberals, Whole Foods is to conservatives.”
    Yeah, except that conservatives don’t advocate government dictating terms to whole foods on how they should run pay their workers, who they should employ, and which countries they can buy goods from (Okay, the last two aren’t perfect, but better than liberals).

  35. What Cesar Said..

    We have a whole foods near us. I must say that their name caricature of being “whole paycheck” is quite accurate.

    That being said, you do sometimes get what you pay for. I won’t pay their prices for most dry goods, but man their meat and fish are excellent. Unfortunately I can only afford a couple of their steaks a couple of times a year.

    I hate Walmart too. Not because it is an evil corporation but because of the clientele that shops there, (you’d think they sold tats). The stores tend to be crowded, messy and dirty. Finding someone to help you is an exercise in frustration. All that being said it is sometimes hard to beat the deals they offer.

    In the end both companies are in business to make money, they just do so by ripping people off in different ways.

    Regards

    Joe

  36. I like Walmart. I have no problem with Whole Foods, good food, just too fuckin’ expensive. Give me Trader Joe’s any day.

  37. … where roughly half the country subsists on rice and beans …

    Rice and beans, Jorgen? You’ve got to find yourself better dumpsters.

  38. I don’t think either whole foods or wal-mart rips people off. I think they offer different advantages depending on what people value more. Having never shopped at a Whole Foods, I can’t actually attest to their service quality, but I would guess that that is part of the reason people shop there. Anyway, that’s why I’m a Target customer, rather than a Wal-Mart customer.

  39. “redistribution of wealth”

    When will the pinkos ever figure out that wealth is earned, not “distributed”?

    -jcr

  40. Hey, I just rice and beans for lunch! Of course, they were just a side order to my half chicken, so that probably doesn’t count.

    I am getting enough of a gut that you might be able to call me a “fat cat”, though.

  41. “In the end both companies are in business to make money, they just do so by ripping people off in different ways.”

    Yeah. It would be so much easier to go straight to the factory to negotiate a deal on a 5 pack of cotton briefs, but when Wal-Mart’s armed thugs come to your door, what can you do but go to the store & give them their $1.99, and thank God they let you go alive.

  42. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart but not because of what it pays or doesn’t pay its employees, but because it has a funny smell. I’ve only been in two Wal-Marts, once time each, and they’ve both had that funky smell. Gross.

  43. Yeah. It would be so much easier to go straight to the factory to negotiate a deal on a 5 pack of cotton briefs, but when Wal-Mart’s armed thugs come to your door, what can you do but go to the store & give them their $1.99, and thank God they let you go alive.

    Well said. Profit does not equal theft.

  44. Target is better than Wal-Mart if you like to have a register available to check you out when you are done shopping, cleaner aisles, better customer service, and cleaner clientele to mosey past in the store. Wal-Mart is better on price. I’ll pay a penny extra for a pleasant check-out experience.

    K-Mart is better for sneakers.

  45. atrevete — it was probably the pet section. Or maybe home and garden.

  46. But,But,but Marx EXPLAINED in the Communist Manifesto, which we all know to be the one and only true economic authority, that capitalists make their money by exploiting the workers!

  47. atrevete — or the staff or customers. Maybe both.

  48. I do shop at Whole Foods once in awhile, when I’m feeling flush, but not because of the “service”. I can’t stand intrusive salespeople. But Whole Foods is fun and kind of sensual.

  49. We were evicted from our highway overpass. We had to go and live in a lake.

  50. @ P Brooks
    For really dangerous situations and utmost irony, make the champagne bottles into Molotov cocktails. Just remember to throw the bottles high in the air or they might not break.

  51. Yeah. It would be so much easier to go straight to the factory to negotiate a deal on a 5 pack of cotton briefs, but when Wal-Mart’s armed thugs come to your door, what can you do but go to the store & give them their $1.99, and thank God they let you go alive.

    and if you somehow fight off the thugs, you can be charged under the “possession of cash with intent to save” clause walmart got added to the list of federal offenses.

  52. Could the mini-Rasheed Wallace please expound on who exactly is hitting whom?

  53. Coffee shot out of nose AGAIN!

    Coffee? Is that better or worse than wine shot out the nose?

  54. “With all the wealth (X) in this country, and all the people with weapons (Y), they’re just going to go off.”

    The statemenet would make a lot more sense though if the X and Y variables were replaced with ‘vaginas’ and ‘penises’. You can only hit screw people so long before they screw you back.

  55. Beavis and Butthead movie
    Redneck criminal: “She’ll do you twice as fast as you do her.”
    Butthead: “Whoa, cool!”

  56. I feel differently about socializing natural resources than I do about socialism in general. A lot differently actually. I know you guys like to conflate the two here in HitnRunner land, which is too bad. Someone like a Sanchez could probably bring me back to the party line on this if he tried.

  57. Don’t let the drug warriors know, but the The Wine Commonsewer snorts caffeine

  58. Dave W., would you include agriculture/crops on the list of natural resources that would be better off socialized?

  59. Someone like a Sanchez could probably bring me back to the party line on this if he tried.

    Note to Julian Sanchez: don’t even fucking think about it, dude.

  60. Also, I love his understanding of physics. Everyone knows that violent revolution is governed by geology, not physics. Spluh…

    As a geophysicist, I feel that neither physics nor geology alone can fully explain the phenomenon.

  61. I’m more concerned about those Ghost Hunters dicks hoarding all the unnatural resources of this country.

  62. You know, I believe that a Reason article a while back described Whole Foods founder, John Mackey, as a free market libertarian.

  63. Dave W., would you include agriculture/crops on the list of natural resources that would be better off socialized?

    No. No, with emphasis, when it comes to corn.

  64. Maybe by “this country” he meant Dubai or Saudi Arabia.

  65. Here in Plano, Texas, one of the Wal-Marts is so up scale that it has soundproof rooms for women in curlers to beat their kids in. (creds to Jay Leno)

  66. Maybe by “this country” he meant Dubai or Saudi Arabia.

    That is the way I took it. And I even think I know the natural resource he had in mind.

  67. I agree with what the short Rasheed said. It may not be morally correct, but from a historical and common sense standpoint, I think he’s right. If I’m to believe that the rich are becoming richer and less numerous while the opposite is happening to the poor, it only makes sense that after a while, the poor will see what the rich have, want a piece, and find some way to take it, be it through theft or progressive policies. When there are a million people with a dollar and one person with a million dollars, it doesn’t take long for the masses to to put two and two together and realize if they jack the millionaire, they can double their money.

  68. Maybe by “this country” he meant Dubai or Saudi Arabia.

    I think not: ““Whoever’s in the White House,” he said in the car…

    “It’s just a matter of physics,” he explained as we exited. “With all the wealth in this country, and all the people with weapons, they’re just going to go off. You can only hit people for so long before they finally hit back.”

    I don’t think the word “physics” means what you think it does.

    And with that he and his co-worker headed down the sidewalk to Whole Foods.

    That’s classic. Matt, you should have challenged him to drinking duel involving iocane.

  69. Whole Foods? Isn’t that code for “Al Gore”? Case closed!

  70. “I think that a Reason article described John Mackey… as a free market libertarian”
    I don’t think Mackey is a particularly principled libertarian. He essentially says that everyone should tolerate free markets because generous, progressive corporations will better serve leftist causes than government.

  71. Does anyone actually buy anything at Trader Joe’s? ( except for the cheap wine)

  72. “With all the wealth in this country, and all the people with weapons, they’re just going to go off. You can only hit people for so long before they finally hit back.”

    Except that most of the firearms in the U.S. are owned by the middle class, who have a comfortable level of wealth. If there is a violent revolution, it will be the “haves” starting it because they’re tired of being dunned by the government. Or because the government makes a serious (shooting) effort to disarm them.

    Violent acts by the citizenry toward the gov’t in America have gone down over its history (can anyone imagine something like the whiskey rebellion happening anytime soon?), and any that have been committed have been a few terrorists with limited impact, or unorganized riots.

    Ever heard of the War on Drugs?

    Just judging from what I’ve seen on TV, after all, it looks like its a hell of a lot easier to get serious full-auto firepower in the Mideast than it is here, so I think they’ve got the weapons thing covered.

    The difference between a semiauto rifle and a full-auto machinegun is not that great. What U.S. gunowners have going for them is sheer numbers. The day they break out 80 million revolvers, the revolution is won.

    Gun nuts in general would love communism (or any authoritarian government) as long as it allowed them to fellate their guns.

    You’ve obviously never been an officer in a gun club. Talk about herding cats! Gun owners tend to be strongly individualist.

    I feel differently about socializing natural resources than I do about socialism in general.

    Explain how socializing oil production has led to economic liberation in any country that has tried it. Any real-world country, that is, not TheWayItWillTurnOutIfWeHaveTheRightPeopleInChargeLand. Show your work.

  73. Whole Foods is a great concept:
    Make tons of money off of pretentious self-righteous urban liberals with more money than brains.

  74. I’m actually taken aback by the outrageous prices at Trader Joe’s, and so I only go in to browse. Their selection of sauces isn’t particularly impressive, but their meats and frozen goods are quite the opposite.

  75. “Whole Foods” is just an anagram for “Hoofed Owls!” A clear sign of liberal conspiracy!

    I wonder what murderous secrets we’d find if we played the store backwards…

  76. Note to Julian Sanchez: don’t even fucking think about it, dude.

    CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE PERSUADER!!!!!!

    And that’s when Julian decided to think about a giant marshmallow man. A marshmallow man made with corn syrup….

  77. Economist,
    Just looked up the article, and the nuance is not clear, but it did say that he donates to the Reason foundation. What does that mean? I don’t know.
    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/121086.html

  78. Wait, I thought that Whole Foods was a cosmotarian conspiracy.

  79. ILAH wins the thread with her 2:47.

  80. T – But he’s still not gonna…

  81. Lake???

    You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

  82. how did luxury food items become equated with liberalism? Or do you have to have a douchebag hate-gene flipped on to generate this much smug towards the smug?

  83. Does anyone actually buy anything at Trader Joe’s? ( except for the cheap wine)

    My wife liked their frozen Tiramisu, which used to be $5 for a smallish cake thing.

    Then they stopped selling that, at least in that size.

    Since, I think I got her some fruit once, on the way back from Microcenter.

    /Maryland grocery stores can’t sell wine.

  84. how did luxury food items become equated with liberalism? Or do you have to have a douchebag hate-gene flipped on to generate this much smug towards the smug?

    Juding from their fridge, my Republican in-laws love Whole Foods, FWIW.

  85. thedifferentphil,
    I mean that Mackey likes to talk about the “social responsibility” of corporations to have programs with no profit-making value to shareholders, and that his primary defense of capitalism is that it more effectively helps the poor than socialism. While this is definitely a bonus, I would say, this time quoting Heinlein “the good thing about the free market is not that it is efficient, but that it is free.” I guess I don’t disagree so much with his politics as the reasons behind it.

  86. how did luxury food items become equated with liberalism?

    Organic, free-trade, local, etc. food is all more expensive than that produced by “agri-business”. The only real market for it is people who are pretty well off.

    Much of the agenda of the lefty liberals in the US is driven by people who are quite well off and can certainly afford to indulge their ideology at the grocery store.

  87. The leftist dialog, when internalized, renders a person stupid.

  88. At the risk of sounding like Eric “Cartman” Dondero, I do think that a significant percentage of the Arab world does think like this. It’s plain old fashioned envy. They see us with all our wealth and think that it must be our fault that they remain stuck in the middle ages. There are a couple of cultural idiosyncracies that hinder their progress, but the major reason they remain poor is that they live under authoritarian klepto-theocracies.

    Where we differ is that Donderooooo thinks we can impose prosperity on them by force of arms. Even if it means invading Denmark. But instead of bombing Iran, maybe we can drop old copies of the Freeman on Saudi Arabia…

  89. What country do you live in? Because rest assured I’m not in the top 1% and do quite a bit better than living on rice and beans.

    Jorgen-

    I would have thought so, but I’ve actually heard real people say stuff like that. With a straight face.

    It was very obvious that he was being sarcastic. I’m sorry, you’re just not smart enough to be a libertarian. Please exit this site immediately.

  90. “I do think that a significant percentage of the Arab world does think like this. It’s plain old fashioned envy.”

    Sort of like poor redneck envy at those liberals who shop at whole Foods. (Of course, Reagan’s 11th Commandment forces them to live under the delusion that no conservatives shop there, so it must all be annoying liberal housewives and gays.)

  91. Keeping half of your adult population under permanent gender-based house arrest probably doesn’t help your country’s GNP, either.

  92. Coffee? Is that better or worse than wine shot out the nose?

    Coffee is easier, the cream helps. Wine burns, but not as much as Coke. Either kind I suppose, but I mean the drinking kind, which when expelled through the nose cause permanent damage and the pain lasts for hours.

    Don’t let the drug warriors know, but the The Wine Commonsewer snorts caffeine

    That explains the black helicopters…..

  93. You know, I believe that a Reason article a while back described Whole Foods founder, John Mackey, as a free market libertarian.

    You know, I mentioned that early on in the thread and the response was the thunderous, resounding, sound of crickets.

    The crickets around here will keep you awake nights. My boy used to be afraid of cricket sounds until I explained that cricket noise was the sign that spring and flowers and warm sunny days were imminent. He immediately got over that little hang up. If only it was that easy to get him off of Runescape or Call of Duty III.

    More than you wanted to know regards,

    TWC

  94. TWC,
    I commented on the John Mackey thing.

  95. Does anyone actually buy anything at Trader Joe’s? ( except for the cheap wine)

    I know people who do shop there while indulging in cheap wine. My experience has been that you can get better cheap wine elsewhere and that the better wine at Trader Joe’s is a little pricier (not a lot) than other places. The key is finding it and that’s easier here in So Cal than some places.

  96. They hate us for our stuff!

  97. TWC,
    I commented on the John Mackey thing.

    So you did Mr Econ, and I missed it. Sorry for that oversight.

    We also prefer Target to Wal-Mart, although sometimes Wal-Mart has great stuff for cheap. Like Remington shotgun shells. I got a stainless pocket knife with rosewood inlays at the WM in Tucson for FIVE BUCKS! I still carry that thing, and I love it. It is the best pocket knife I’ve ever owned. Bar none.

    BTW-and I’m sure it’s been noticed, but the quality of any given WM is directly connected to the locale.

  98. Does anyone actually buy anything at Trader Joe’s? ( except for the cheap wine)

    If only they could sell wine there. Monkey County doesn’t like the competition.

    I use TJ’s as a upscale convenience store, sans soda. I get various small things there and they have a good deal on nuts too (no pun, really). VitaminWater is $.40 cheaper than the Safeway by my work.

  99. Whoops TWC, you did mention it. I was off earning money so that I could buy food at Whole Foods and avoid buying wine at Trader Joes πŸ˜‰ Actually no Whole Foods or Trader Joes in my town.

  100. I was just discussing with my best gal last night how we take a lot of stuff for granted, and that worrying about stuff like “are we truly happy” and fretting over how MUCH our vacation costs is a luxury.

    Whole Foods is a luxury. If people are prosperous enough to pay for it, fine. But too often those who can afford a luxury and have an education (ironically) tend to have an ideal that everyone should be able to afford these luxuries, and that it’s somehow worth tampering with the freedom that creates these luxuries to try to establish the luxuries as a “right.”

    I have rich friends and I have poor friends, and somehow those who are wealthier seem to think that those who are poorer must not be happy, and need their help so they can shop at whole foods, go on multiple week vacations, drive new cars, buy a house in a nice city, etc.

  101. SugarFree | February 18, 2008, 12:57pm | #
    See, I don’t see that it’s Whole Foods that’s being made fun of, so much as the ironic spectacle of people who advocate a redistribution of wealth shopping in a very expensive grocery store

    Ding!

    Also the funny part being the leftist liberal arts college revolutionary types talk over mint tea about the inevitable proletarian/minority revolution, yet couldnt organize an successful pick-up game of ultimate frisbee.

    I mean, if the revolution did come, they’d all be wiped out faster than UN-troops with late paychecks. Some random, hastily organized state militias, a couple of hells angels groups, and maybe some civil war reenactment buffs could take on an army of millions of them. These “revolutionary thinker” types always assumes the ‘lower class’ is with them, by virtue of their bleeding heartness for their lives of crushing misery and exploitation.

    Nothing’s funnier than sincere, college political activists trying to agitate in the ghetto and ‘connect’ with the underclasses. I’ve seen it. There should be like a reality show devoted to it. It usually ends with the college kid getting sucker punched and having his ipod stolen, maybe getting pissed on, and them saying “hey man! Thats not cool!”

    I cant remember how many times i’ve heard an agitating leftist getting his ass kicked for being an annoying prick, and their defence being “hey, thats not cool!”

    all hat, no cattle those folks

  102. I cant remember how many times i’ve heard an agitating leftist getting his ass kicked for being an annoying prick, and their defence being “hey, thats not cool!”

    I’m always entertained by the “liberals” who have some sort of crime committed against them by a minority, and suddenly their language is full of racist code words and they’re nearly indistinguishable from KKK members. I exaggerate, but it’s still hilarious.

    A minority committed a crime against them! A person who just adores minorities! What happened?

  103. Sam McManus | February 18, 2008, 2:35pm | #
    When there are a million people with a dollar and one person with a million dollars, it doesn’t take long for the masses to to put two and two together and realize if they jack the millionaire, they can double their money.

    Ar.

    You’ve just identified the reason this doesnt happen.

    Because for all their trouble, the million slackers only get $2 apiece.

    Normally the successful thing is when a small group can convince 999,900 to kill the millionaire, and give all the money to 100 guys to “make their lives better”. They then take the money and fuck over everyone else, making sure the peons never try to take their newfound power away.

    read Eric Hoffer’s “true believer”. Great book

  104. A minority committed a crime against them! A person who just adores minorities! What happened?

    See, also, “Why did AQ attack New York? None of those people voted for George Bush!” Wasn’t that Michael Moore’s take?

  105. Let me explain my comment about both corporations (walmart and whole foods) ripping off their customers.

    Walmart is the king of corporate welfare. Walmart is famous for rent seeking. Like all corporations it EXPECTS tax incentives for doing business. Why the fuck should walmart get a tax incentive to create jobs when the mom and pop grocery they are competing against doesn’t?

    Whole foods rips off its customers by by selling their products as though they are somehow superior for the environment. I honestly don’t believe that the food they sell is anymore “sustainable” than the stuff at Ralphs. That being said I do think their products are sometimes of higher quality.

    Regards

    Joe dokes

  106. Why the fuck should walmart get a tax incentive to create jobs when the mom and pop grocery they are competing against doesn’t?

    not conceding your premise, but to answer your question, why not. WalMart sells their items for less, improving the citizenry’s lives. Have you ever lived in a small town before WalMart came along, and all that was available were these sainted mom & pop stores? Crap selection, high prices, low pay & zero advancement opportunity for employees that were not relatives. The owners of these stores were usually the richest people in town. Fuck mom & pop.

  107. Jesus,
    The mention of Whole Foods seems to set off some sort of collective Tourette’s tick among way too many libertarians.
    Seems to me that Whole Foods sells a bunch of stuff that no one else sells in quite the same combination. I think its called market segmentation or something. Find me a joint near my house that sells butcher’s bacon and andouille sausage by the pound, parmesan rinds (for cheaper than anywhere else), soy milk (for cheaper than anywhere else), little sample sizes of fine cheese, bulk herbs and spices and a huge bulk aisle all under one roof, and I’d be happy to go there. Piggly Wiggly it ain’t, but then that’s where the whole free markets thing comes in, or am I missing something?

  108. With regards to the Wal-Mart thing, business generally tend to start sucking when they get subsidies. Something about how not having to survive in the market destroys incentives to do anything well.

  109. Now, let me get this straight, if marijuana were legal, Whole Foods would have fantastic dank buds, while Wal-Mart would have the bricked mexican dirt weed?

    And by that logic, I could get great weed AND dry-aged, grainfed-NY strips from one place?

    umm, well, fantastico.

    Damn, now I’m hungry for steak and pissed my jar is currently empty.

  110. I’m always entertained by the “liberals” who have some sort of crime committed against them

    Until they become neo-conservatives. Then, they’re not so amusing.

  111. Whole foods offers great value on top quality stuff as long as you are price conscious and don’t just fill the wagon with what looks good for a weeks shopping.

    I buy their hamburger(same price as grocery-much better quality), glass-bottled Italian mineral water(cheaper than the plastic bottled filtered tap water at a convenience store and much cheaper than grocery store mineral water, cheese in moderation, and some in season produce.The key,like any shopping, is knowing what things should cost and hitting several stores for what they each sell at best quality and price. This is one of the advantages of living in a driveable metropolis.
    God Bless sprawl.

  112. There are two reasons I go to Whole Foods. And for those two reasons I love them and will defend them to the death if necesarry.

    1. I can buy raw milk there
    2. They have GREAT chocholate.

    http://www.realmilk.com/

  113. If you live in Texas you can go to Central Market. It makes Whole Foods look like the Walmart of gourmet food. Central Market doesn’t have as much of the elitism of Whole Foods either.

  114. If only it was that easy to get him off of Runescape or Call of Duty III.

    TWC — It’s real easy to get him off Call of Duty III.

    Buy him Call of Duty IV.

    Now, getting him off video games … hmmm, disconnect your electric service?

    Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  115. I believe the New Yorker used to have a column entitled “Made-up quotes” or something similar that contained quotes used in news stories that were clearly fake. I believe the quotes in this story would vault right to the top of their list.

  116. When will the pinkos ever figure out that wealth is earned, not “distributed”?

    When will the Red Necks figure out that what is earned and what is owned are not congruent sets?

  117. Per PInko:
    When will the Red Necks figure out that what is earned and what is owned are not congruent sets?

    Maybe around the time that left wingers stop advocating a socialist kleptocracy?

  118. “I hate Walmart too. Not because it is an evil corporation but because of the clientele that shops there, (you’d think they sold tats). The stores tend to be crowded, messy and dirty. Finding someone to help you is an exercise in frustration. All that being said it is sometimes hard to beat the deals they offer.”

    This is probably the first thing I have read on this message board with which I agree. Wal Mart is an absolute shit hole. You would have to round up 15 people to get a full set of teeth in there. And it doesn’t matter when you go in there or how crowded it is, there is only a couple of check-out lanes open. The service is absolutely fucking horrendous. It usually seems to be full of workers who think they are doing you a huge favor when they do the job for which they are being fucking paid.

    Whole Foods is on the other end of the spectrum, but it is just as obnoxious, if not more so. Most of the people I know personally who shop there think their shit doesn’t stink. If you are one of those self-righteous pinheads who carries his own fucking cloth shopping bag with “Whole Foods” emblazoned on it, you should go to the ER as soon as possible, lest that stick up your ass give you peritonitis.

  119. “Have you ever lived in a small town before WalMart came along, and all that was available were these sainted mom & pop stores?”

    Yes, Manhattan.

  120. “I raised my eyebrow so violently it probably made a noise”

    This quote reminded me of the episode of “The Simpsons” in which Principal Skinner yelled at Milhouse to lower his eyebrows after he raised them at the sight of Lisa.

  121. ,… it only makes sense that after a while, the poor will see what the rich have, want a piece, and find some way to take it, be it through theft or progressive policies…”

    Uh, what is the difference in the two?

  122. “Where we differ is that Donderooooo thinks we can impose prosperity on them by force of arms. Even if it means invading Denmark. But instead of bombing Iran, maybe we can drop old copies of the Freeman on Saudi Arabia”

    Christ, this has to be the most naive fucking thing I’ve ever read on this site. No, I’m only kidding. Everyone knows that most dictatorships don’t keep a tight net over the information it allows to be disseminated. And then once they are done reading whatever book it is we drop on them, they can use peaceful resistance, ala Gandhi, to throw off their shackles. And then when that is done we can retire to our smoking lounges and discuss exactly which eloquent thinker was able to spur the bloodless revolutions in Germany, Japan and most of South America.

    Please, spare us the hippy fantasy bullshit that democracy and prosperity were never spread by the barrel of a gun.

  123. Hey, it worked for me!

  124. I say theres enough room in this world for everything from Wal-Mart to Whole Foods, for everything from McDonalds to Five In-N-Out, and for everything from Hyundai to Lexus. Why people have to bring their own personal kulturkampf into the market is beyond me.

  125. Your friend from Al-Jazeera made a good point with regards to wealth. According to The figures are from The Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances, has a chart of the “Distribution of Wealth, U.S. Households for 2004”. I doubt the situation has materially improved for the bottom 90% in the last 3 years

    Top 1% 34.3
    Next 4% 24.6
    Next 5% 12.3
    Next 10% 13.4
    4th 20% 11.3
    3rd 10% 3.8
    Bottom 40% 0.2

    Notice that the top 1% controls more wealththen the bottom 90% COMBINED

    Where he is wrong is that the bottom 70%, which controls a mere 15.3% of the total wealth in the U.S. can just vote themselves the distribution from the top 1%, or 5%, or even 10%. I think in that case maybe the wealthy would go to the street with the guns.

  126. That Al-Jazeera guy is an asshat. He knows nothing about the United States if he truly believes what he said. I’m an Australian and even I get that what he predicts won’t happen.

  127. Perhaps we should force the rich, if they have money skills, to look after excess capital by working as nonsalaried fund managers.

    If they fail, they should have the funds taken away from them ruthlessly in precise accordance to their investment mistakes.

    If they succeed, we all win because the economy will grow. Their only compensation will be to be able to spend a percentage of the growth (not the orig capital, just the growth) on themselves, prob just a few percent of it, too, esp for the very rich.

    But that’s it. They could be made to do it too, if we’re tough enough on them, and then the economy would be efficient and all the rich would really be doing, for the most part, is managing the funds for the benefit of the rest of us, including future generations.

    It’s called a consumption tax.

  128. This is really not so bad. Commies we can handle, religious fanatics….not so much.

  129. Goldthwait,

    You must hate me double. I shop at both Wal-Mart and Whole foods for different reasons. I have a full set of teeth and I have nothing stuck up my ass. Yes, I have a cloth shopping bag but not for “environmental reasons” but because I happen to like them. I use them to cary books from the library as well as food from Whole Foods. If you don’t like these two places then don’t shop their. You need not insult those of use who do.

    Signed: A proud Wal-Mart AND Whole-Foods shopper.

    Amendum: To throw stereotypes out of whack even further I shop at BOTH locally owned family run bookstores AND Amazon.com and I prefer .ogg file format to .mp3

  130. “,… it only makes sense that after a while, the poor will see what the rich have, want a piece, and find some way to take it, be it through theft or progressive policies…”

    “Uh, what is the difference in the two?”

    – – – –

    Mostly the use of a good lubricant. But, either way . . . .

  131. “Nothing’s funnier than sincere, college political activists trying to agitate in the ghetto and ‘connect’ with the underclasses.”

    Like these guys?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Riders

    Laugh riot. Also effective, and not unlibertarian either.

  132. PRIS thank you for shattering all immature culture war stereotypes in one truly awesome post.

  133. TO: Matt Welch, et al.
    RE: Soooooo…..

    ….whose supposed to be using these weapons in order to redistribute the ‘wealth’? And in whose favor?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed. — Law of Probable Dispersal]

  134. Thanks Cesar πŸ™‚

  135. Am I missing something? Over the next 20-50 years, there *will* be a massive redistribution of wealth.

    High school and college students will enter the workforce, begin earning (and, hopefully, saving) money, and within 50 years, retire wealthy if they do it right. Meanwhile, a couple of entirely new generations will be born, earning little income and accumulating no real wealth for the first couple of decades of their lives… and thus, wealth will be redistributed.

  136. What a moran. I mean moron.

  137. Anybody know where we get the money from once all the rich people are gone?

  138. “With all the wealth (X) in this country, and all the people with weapons (Y), they’re just going to go off.”

    Right. Revolution Day comes, and The Rich, being the highly-motivated sort of thinkers and doers who get . . . well . . . rich . . . are up and at their places on the line of defense with cleaned and oiled guns, and enough ammunition for today, and tomorrow, too, while, on the other side of the barricades, turnout is light as 48% of The Army Of The Poor overslept or couldn’t cadge a ride or . . . you know, took a day off for themselves for a change, because they’d been doing enough for others, dont’cha know . . . and return fire against The Rich was sporadic at best, as 50% of the part of the Army of the Poor that had shown up were completely unarmed, having expected everything to be provided for them, and so while all of the Unarmed Poor were marching off to the side where all of the “Protect Your Rights” lawyers’ booths had been hastily erected in order to sign up new clients (“if you were rich, they would have provided you with weapons! Discrimination! We’ll sue!”), the other half got turned around and they ended up burning down the lawyers’ booths and their own apartment buildings by mistake, and the rage that ensued when they figured out what they had done threatened the entire city until someone said Roseanne was on TV and they all wandered off . . .

  139. Roughly half the population lives on rice and beans and shivers under highway overpasses? Half??? That would amount to (roughly, according to census bureau statistics), 151,732,522 people living under underpasses. Surely there are not enough underpasses to go around, and surely, that would make the “roughly” two or three hundred thousand people trying to huddle under each underpass far more noticable than they currently are. I’ve gone up and down the length of I-95 and peered under every underpass, and have yet to see a single rice and bean eater. Strange…

  140. If you offer empty praise to a kid – e.g. “you’re so much smarter than the other kids” – then you create a kid who won’t take chances (lest they fail and disprove your comment) and who will try to blame his/her inevitable shortcomings on others.

    This describes both modern “progressives,” with their diet of junk-food self-esteem and non-judgmentalism, and Islamist radicals with theirs of religious chauvinism. Both have been taught that they’re naturally superior, and both resent deeply that reality does not confirm that. Call them ego-addicts or narcissists or whatever, but they are driven by the same motivation.

    The politics of envy is their natural home; not surprising they’re starting to sound alike.

    John C. Randolph,

    “When will the pinkos ever figure out that wealth is earned, not “distributed”?”

    They see the economy as a zero sum game. This is rational actually, because it is not the actual dollar value and standard of living that they look at, only the relative status of the people earning the money, just what you’d expect from those whose first motivation is envy.

    If one person rises up the economic ladder, then the relative position of those they pass falls by one. Zero sum.

    You & I think that improving *everyone’s* standard of living makes everyone a winner, but pecking order people use a different measure.

  141. What’s wrong with a steady diet of rice and beans? Some of us love to eat ntohing but beans. Beans are yummy.

  142. “. . .but pecking order people use a different measure.”

    Pecking order is only important to those who want power over others. Unless you want power you should care only about happiness or as the Greeks would say “Atraxia”.
    http://wiki.epicurus.info/Ataraxia

  143. If they fail, they should have the funds taken away from them ruthlessly in precise accordance to their investment mistakes.

    Like the State and it’s Central Bank are gonna let that happen!

  144. Brian White | February 18, 2008, 12:45pm | #
    If you think the cranberry juice is too expensive, don’t buy it!

    Jim Bob | February 18, 2008, 11:55am | #
    …because I can usually find a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice for a bit less than $15 somewhere else.

    Learn to read much?

  145. Pecking order is only important to those who want power over others.

    Pecking order people want the power to be viewed by others as important. All other power is secondary by comparison; their projected image is their god and they will do anything to maintain it. Narcissus even died for his.

    Happiness, to them, is merely an appearance to be kept up, as is everything else in their lives. When did you ever see a pecking order person exhibit true joy, from the heart?

    The most extreme of them have momentary glee when their own status rises or another person’s falls; that’s about it.

  146. SIV,

    Re-read my comment on consumption tax; it’s serious (parody) till the last line. See? It’s actually what we’ve pretty much already got as a system today, excepting that we tax income more than consumption, a relatively minor diff.

    You could also implement a de facto consumption tax just by not taxing savings till withdrawn. This would fully implement a “make the rich be nonsalaried managers” approach, but would lack the overt punishment aspect that the Left so dearly craves, a matter of no small consequence to them.

  147. The really poor people who might be interested in “revolution” are too fat to fight a war against everybody who doesn’t want to give them their money.

  148. It’s Monday in New Orleans and 99 percent of us here ate red beans and rice today, just like last Monday, the Monday before that, the Monday before that, the…. It’s got nothing to do with income, it’s Monday. I’ll bet that even the homeless folks that have been living under the overpass on Claiborne Ave that the mayor tried to get moved before the NBA All Star game yesterday had red beans and rice today. Why? Did I say it’s Monday?

    Mmmmmmm, I love Monday’s.

  149. David | February 18, 2008, 9:48pm | #
    “Nothing’s funnier than sincere, college political activists trying to agitate in the ghetto and ‘connect’ with the underclasses.”

    Like these guys?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Riders

    Laugh riot. Also effective, and not unlibertarian either.

    oh come on.

    Dont paint me mr bad guy for making fun of *modern* che t shirt wearing summer-break activists in the city by reminding me of the good people who died fighting injustice in the 60s.

    I mean, thats cheap. I might as well counter with the weather underground or something. It’s besides the point. I’m talking about the narcissist activists, who in the current world are more common than people who have a real grasp on issues or how to change them. Seattle protestors. Cindy Sheehans. Democratic Underground. et al.

  150. whole foods…trader joes…blah blah blah…if you want organic go out and kill it yourself

  151. What an idiot. No wonder Al Jazeera can’t get a grip on America when its employees think like a commie cartoon.

  152. Also, shopping at Whole Foods is a trait of the bourgeoisie, so its ironic. In case you organic haters didn’t catch that!

    I like Whole Foods, but I can’t afford to shop there. And for being such a huge store, the selection at Wal-Mart kinda sucks.

  153. I got news for ya: Most of the world thinks like this. Leftist ideology is the norm outside the U.S.A.

    Like it or not, we really are a unique nation, an island of freedom in a sea of benighted collectivism.

  154. Hey Fat Cats, y’got nothing to worry about. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for posting a few heads on spikes. I mean, I know it will almost certainly leave affairs in an even worse state than they currently stand, so I don’t really long for it, but the romantic side of me still dreamily imagines just such a revolution. Ah, you and your million dollar homes will confront a reality you’ve not thought of in some time. Ahhh, if only…

    But, as mentioned, reality will likely leave us masses with new overlords who are even worse than ye old ones so, well, here’s to reality.

    In any case, my purpose here is to reassure you. You have practically nothing to fear from the masses. From a few nigger-bands here and there? Sure. Maybe the occasional mexican riot? Yeah, somewhere or other, could be. In all though, you’re not that likely to face either coordinated violence nor individualized violence from some indigent, suffering shmucks. Neither riots nor rapes.

    And revolutions? Please. Your indoctrination of the masses has been so complete that 50% of the land hates themselves for their lack of merit (read: wealth) and attribute it to their “laziness”, “bad decisions” and “irresponsibility”. They do this soul-stomping while they listen to Rush and vote Republican. Feh! Revolution? You have the millions convinced that “anyone” can “make it”. Tomorrow might be your lucky day! All it takes is One Minute to become a Millionaire! Taxing the rich is attack on you, poor city dweller, because if you just “be yourself” and “work hard”, soon you’ll be at the top of the heap!

    Yeah, you got the masses convinced. You fuckin own em. And besides, they’re too goddamn busy to plot any revolution. You know how hard it is to pay the rent on a minimum wage job stacking the shelves at Ralphs?

    Yeah, get home, watch tv, jerk-off to some internet porn and – when you can afford it – keep the AC on as you fall asleep (with the aid of Ambien) to wake up to the deranged shriek of your two alarms some six hours later, drink three pepsis , stack shelves! Repeat.

    No, no. Alas, there’s no violent revolution coming. Sleep soundly.

    mnuez

  155. Just imagine, mnuez, what could be if you put as much energy into acquiring wealth as you do into being a douchebag.

  156. I’ve got some personal wealth and I’ve got a butt load of guns.

    If the Al Jazeera mutts want some of either one, bring it on.

  157. Given that the closest Whole Foods to K St is on P and 14th, 6 blocks at a minimum, you can’t have known where they were headed. However, point taken…

  158. I’m amazed that no one has stated the obvious. The Al-Jazeroid is an Arab. In Arab societies, wealth is obtained by force. (This includes taking the lion’s share of oil revenue.) Commerce? Elections? Law? All charades. Power is all that matters. So he thinks the U.S. is the same.

  159. With a straight face.

    Ah, in this election season that reminds me of Pat Paulson. How we could use him this year.

  160. Islam delenda est.

  161. Why stack shelves for minimum-wage at Ralph’s when it’s a Union job at Safeway? Get in your hot-air balloon and rise a little higher – and lay off the caffeine.

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