Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buycott to support Whole Foods

Some reactionaries have been in a dither over John Mackey's op-ed in the WSJ, so much so that they are now boycotting Whole Foods. Mackey puts some excellent ideas on the table, he doesn't even mention, let alone criticize, the President or the 4-5 plans that are being drawn up in various committees. I'll bet a lot of people couldn't get past the opening quote by Margaret Thatcher and stopped reading right there. I read somewhere the title of the piece was selected by WSJ editors, not Mackey. I thought we wanted an open and vigorous debate, apparently some folks think otherwise.

So in reaction to their reaction, some Tea Party people are organizing a "buycott" of Whole Foods. I shop there on occasion, I'll have to make it a point to do so more often.

Gateway Pundit

Michael Pollan says "I’ll still shop at Whole Foods"

Don Walser, last of the yodeling cowboys

Cindy Cashdollar on dobro.

"I thought it was the most exhaustingly didactic bodice-ripper I had ever read."

Feminina Boots on Ayn Rand


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Relics in the news

Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘completely beyond' scientific explanation, says researcher

>>Researcher and physicist Dr. Aldofo Orozco told participants at the International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe that there is no scientific explanation for the 478 years of high quality-preservation of the Tilma or for the miracles that have occurred to ensure its preservation.

Dr. Orozco began his talk by confirming that the conservation of the Tilma, the cloak of St. Juan Diego on which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared 478 years ago, “is completely beyond any scientific explanation.”

“All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica have lasted no more than ten years,” he explained. One painting of the miraculous image, created in 1789, was on display in a church near the basilica where the Tilma was placed. “This painting was made with the best techniques of its time, the copy was beautiful and made with a fabric very similar to that of the Tilma. Also, the image was protected with a glass since it was first placed there.”

Traces of Aramaic on Shroud of Turin

>>A recent study by French scientist Thierry Castex has revealed that on the shroud are traces of words in Aramaic spelled with Hebrew letters.

A Vatican researcher, Barbara Frale, told Vatican Radio on July 26 that her own studies suggest the letters on the shroud were written more than 1,800 years ago.

She said that in 1978 a Latin professor in Milan noticed Aramaic writing on the shroud and in 1989 scholars discovered Hebrew characters that probably were portions of the phrase "The king of the Jews."

Elena Maria Vidal

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

White House Sells Out To Big Pharma

From Robert Reich's blog

Last week, after being reported in the Los Angeles Times, the White House confirmed it has promised Big Pharma that any healthcare legislation will bar the government from using its huge purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices. That's basically the same deal George W. Bush struck in getting the Medicare drug benefit, and it's proven a bonanza for the drug industry. A continuation will be an even larger bonanza, given all the Boomers who will be enrolling in Medicare over the next decade. And it will be a gold mine if the deal extends to Medicaid, which will be expanded under most versions of the healthcare bills now emerging from Congress, and to any public option that might be included. (We don't know how far the deal extends beyond Medicare because its details haven't been made public.)

Let me remind you: Any bonanza for the drug industry means higher health-care costs for the rest of us, which is one reason why critics of the emerging healthcare plans, including the Congressional Budget Office, are so worried about their failure to adequately stem future healthcare costs. To be sure, as part of its deal with the White House, Big Pharma apparently has promised to cut future drug costs by $80 billion. But neither the industry nor the White House nor any congressional committee has announced exactly where the $80 billion in savings will show up nor how this portion of the deal will be enforced. In any event, you can bet that the bonanza Big Pharma will reap far exceeds $80 billion. Otherwise, why would it have agreed?

In return, Big Pharma isn't just supporting universal health care. It's also spending a lots of money on TV and radio advertising in support. Sunday's New York Times reports that Big Pharma has budgeted $150 million for TV ads promoting universal health insurance, starting this August (that's more money than John McCain spent on TV advertising in last year's presidential campaign), after having already spent a bundle through advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA.

I want universal health insurance. And having had a front-row seat in 1994 when Big Pharma and the rest of the health-industry complex went to battle against it, I can tell you first hand how big and effective the onslaught can be. So I appreciate Big Pharma's support this time around, and I like it that the industry is doing the reverse of what it did last time, and airing ads to persuade the public of the rightness of the White House's effort.

But I also care about democracy, and the deal between Big Pharma and the White House frankly worries me. It's bad enough when industry lobbyists extract concessions from members of Congress, which happens all the time. But when an industry gets secret concessions out of the White House in return for a promise to lend the industry's support to a key piece of legislation, we're in big trouble. That's called extortion: An industry is using its capacity to threaten or prevent legislation as a means of altering that legislation for its own benefit. And it's doing so at the highest reaches of our government, in the office of the President.

Blago launches website

Champion for Ordinary People

"Since his controversial ousting from office, Rod Blagojevich has refused to be silent.

The twice elected former governor of Illinois asserts he is innocent of all charges and looks forward to his day in court.

In the meantime, he's not holding back. He's not playing politics or playing nice. He's simply speaking his mind and telling the truth!

And, even as he awaits trial, he's making history and headlines... as a champion for ordinary Americans."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Character Shows And It Matters


An astonishing admission

Sally Quinn will soon find out who her real friends are.

"Now, here's my own disclaimer about not having all the facts: I don't know anything about Crowley, except that his colleagues seem to support him and that he once taught a class for fellow police officers on racial profiling. But I do know about Skip Gates. What nobody will say publicly, for fear of being called a racist, is that he is notorious, especially among many of his colleagues (black and white) at Harvard, for being short-tempered and arrogant. I have had personal dealings with him in which his behavior was not honorable.

Saying that may get me in trouble. Gates is the moderator of The Root, a website owned by the Washington Post Company. I suspect that Don Graham, my boss and the company's owner, will now be forced to have us over to his home to reconcile over a cold one. (Note to Don: My favorite is a Greek beer called Mythos.) But I'd welcome that opportunity, and I hope I would have the courage to use it to speak honestly about how I felt."