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Whole Foods CEO: Healthcare is not a right, and please, eat more veggies

activism, news, politics No Comments »

Whole FoodsJohn Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, has jumped head first into the healthcare debate by penning an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, opening with the Margaret Thatcher quote “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” More of the typical anti-healthcare reform pablum below…

Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America

Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

Later Mackey then goes on to espouse the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by eating more fruits and vegetables.

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

The irony is how can anyone afford a regular diet of fruit and vegetables from one of the most expensive grocery chains in the country? Me thinks that many of the customers who shop at Whole Paycheck, will not be amused. And they are not. Just check out a few of the forums over at the Whole Foods website. And there is already a call for a boycott.

SF Harvey Milk train defaced with anti-gay graffiti

activism, lgbt, news 1 Comment »

SF Milk Train DefacedA San Francisco Muni train dedicated to the late Harvey Milk has been taken out of service due to anti-gay graffiti discovered inside the trolly. Muni officials believe the defacing took place near the end of Pride Month in June. From the Bay Area Reporter:

Muni officials did not learn of the homophobic graffiti, however, until this week. The news came just days prior to President Barack Obama posthumously awarding Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony Wednesday, August 12.

Following calls by the Bay Area Reporter inquiring about the graffiti, Muni officials removed trolley car #1051 from the F-line late in the afternoon of Monday, August 10. Transportation officials said they had ordered the car to return to a storage yard so it could be inspected.

“It is disturbing to see that the panels had the slurs for some time without us removing it. We will do what we can to see what happened to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Judson True, spokesman for the SFMTA. “Especially in this historic week we want to be sure to honor Milk’s legacy on this streetcar so we will do everything we can to remove any graffiti and get the dedication panels back in place as quickly as possible.”

Openly gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who chairs the countywide San Francisco Transportation Authority, also expressed disappointment this week at learning the placards had been left aboard the trolley car.

“I will certainly pursue it with Muni. It shouldn’t be that difficult to get something removed, repaired, and replaced. You don’t leave this stuff up or leave it unaddressed,” said Dufty, who joined a delegation of San Franciscans that traveled to Washington D.C. this week to see Stuart Milk, the former supervisor’s openly gay nephew, accept the presidential honor on behalf of his family.

Thanks to Jamison Wieser for drawing attention to the graffiti by posting photographs online. It’s really sad that no one in our community reported the defacing sooner.

Filmmaker John Hughes dead at 59

entertainment, filmmaking, news, video 1 Comment »

John Hughes dead at 59Filmmaker John Hughes, best known for his teen comedies in the 1980s, passed away today at the age of 59.

Hughes died of a heart attack during a morning walk in Manhattan, [spokeswoman] Michelle Bega  said. He was in New York to visit family.

A native of Lansing, Mich., who later moved to suburban Chicago and set much of his work there, Hughes rose from ad writer to comedy writer to silver screen champ with his affectionate and idealized portraits of teens, whether the romantic and sexual insecurity of “Sixteen Candles,” or the J.D. Salinger-esque rebellion against conformity in “The Breakfast Club.”

Hughes’ ensemble comedies helped make stars out of Molly Ringwald,Anthony Michael HallAlly Sheedy and many other young performers. He also scripted the phenomenally popular “Home Alone,” which made little-known Macaulay Culkin a sensation as the 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his vacationing family, and wrote or directed such hits as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck.”

Hugh’s films (and their soundtracks) are still loved and adored over 20 years later, particularly among the “sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies and dickheads.”  🙂 John, you were definitely a “righteous dude.”  RIP.

Below, a tribute film made in 1991 at the height of Hughes’s career when he was named Producer of the Year by the National Association of Movie Theater Owners.

Sexual orientation cannot be changed by therapy says American Psychological Association

lgbt, news, religion 2 Comments »

APA In what is sure to be a shock to those who think faith cures all, the American Psychological Association has determined that ex-gay therapy simply doesn’t work, as reported by the LA Times:

There is no evidence to support the claims of some practitioners that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy, a special committee of the American Psychological Assn. reported today. Mental health professionals should not tell patients that they can change their sexual orientation and instead should help them “explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation,” according to the report, which was released at a Toronto meeting of the association and online.

Although the majority of scientists now believe that sexual orientation is genetically predetermined, many therapists have claimed to be able to change gay people into straight ones. Spurred by the controversy surrounding such claims, the APA in 2007 appointed a six-member committee of experts to examine the review and update the association’s 1997 report on the subject. Today’s 138-page report, approved by the APA’s governing council, represents their conclusions.

Exodus International, a primary player in the ex-gay therapy movement, responded as follows:

While Exodus does not fully agree with the APA’s crticisms of clinical techniques such as reparative therapy and its view of sexual orientation change, the report does recognize that some choose to live their lives in congruence with religious values. The report also encourages therapists to avoid imposing a specific outcome on clients.

A relatively tame response. Harsher rhetoric from other groups are sure to follow.