Quick Roundup 251

Thursday, October 04, 2007

As Seen on Technorati

Scanning through a list of links to my blog this morning on Technorati, I got a chuckle out of the following two entry headings:

Does the second not sound like a snappy answer to the first?

Wes Clark is a Fucking Moron

His foolish proposal to assign ratings to political discourse -- including for such nebulous reasons as "propriety" -- forces me to use the above obscenity on principle. Why? Because many of the ideas I articulate here would be censored even more mercilessly than that word on such a basis, the merit of my arguments notwithstanding.

A Lesson From Whole Foods Paycheck

John Stossel, continuing his series of columns about the debate over socialized medicine, uses as a case study one company that is a favorite of limousine liberals all over the country: Whole Foods Market, an overpriced health food chain based in Texas and also affectionately known as "Whole Paycheck".
If people paid their own bills, they would likely buy high-deductible insurance (roughly $1,000 for individuals, $2,100 for families) because on average, the premium is $1,300 cheaper. But people are so conditioned to expect others to pay their medical bills that they hate high deductibles: They feel ripped off if they must pay a thousand dollars before the insurance company starts paying.

But high deductibles may be the key to lowering costs and putting you in charge of your health care.

Five years ago, the Whole Foods grocery chain switched to a high-deductible plan. If an employee has a sore throat or a sprained ankle, he pays. But if he gets cancer or heart disease, his insurance covers it.

Whole Foods puts around $1,500 a year into an account for each employee. It's not charity but part of the employee's compensation. It's money Whole Foods would have otherwise spent on more-expensive insurance. Here's the good part for employees: If they don't spend the money on medical care this year, they keep it, and the company adds more next year.
Yes. Whole Foods uses Health Savings Accounts! Too bad most of its customers want to "reward" its hard-working employees by depriving them of such a nice benefit and access to good, affordable medical care -- making them accept government rationing and low quality instead.

A Snuff Film from Netflix?

At first, I thought, "Qwertz must've watched The Passion of the Christ." But no. It's far worse than the graphic depiction of one man's torture and death. Defenseless children are involved.

Corporate Welfare, Animal "Rights"

Ari Armstrong has the goods on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a left-wing advocacy group that is mounting a media blitz in order to advocate corporate welfare and animal "rights":
According to the article, Neal Barnard, president of the group, said, "Senators take millions from corporations that produce bacon, burgers, and other fatty foods. Then Congress buys up these unhealthy products and dumps them on our school lunch programs." (See the group's news release.)

The travesty! The injustice! The solution, then, is to roll back federal intrusion in our diet, right? Of course not.

Washington continues, "Between 1995 and 2004, more than $51 billion in federal agricultural subsidies went to producers of sugar, oil, meat, dairy, alcohol and feed crops to be used to fatten cows and other farm animals, according to the physicians group based in Washington, D.C. ... The watchdog organization is urging Congress to overhaul the Farm Bill and shift more funding to producers of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables to help combat childhood obesity."

In other words, these doctors don't have any problem with federal elites determining people's diets; they just want to be the ones in control of the purse strings.
Read it all.

12th Objectivist Round-Up

Monica is hosting the twelfth Objectivist Carnival at her blog, Spark a Synapse. Lots of intriguing titles there. Take a look.

-- CAV


Dismuke said...

Interestingly enough, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods has stated on a number of occasions that he is considers himself a big fan of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. He is most certainly NOT an Objectivist. But he definitely does not fit the stereotype of the sort of person one would expect to run such a company - though apparently he did fit that mold way back when he founded it.

Here is an interesting posting from his blog on the company's website in which he talks about his start as a typical hard core Leftist and how running a business made him realize it was necessary to challenge his premises and to consider himself a capitalist.


He certainly has mixed premises and he considers himself to be a Libertarian - and all of that is made pretty clear in the posting as well. Regardless, I would say that he is certainly many, many light years more evolved intellectually than are his hard core stereotypical customers (I emphasize stereotypical because I am also one of his customers on occasion - though a bit less so these days now that a more gourmet oriented rather than health food oriented Central Market has opened near my house)

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for passing oth that interesting tidbit.

Rational Jenn said...

Hey! Check Your Premises is one of my blogs! It's a team blog, actually, consisting of a few Objectivist friends of mine here in Atlanta, where we talk among ourselves only out loud on the blogsphere. It's just getting going, but we hope to have regular brilliant-ness there soon.

Gus Van Horn said...

I haven't had the chance to stop by there much so far, but I'd noticed that a week or so ago. I'll take a look at it from time to time to see how it goes.

I like that name. In his Army of Davids, Glenn Reynolds makes a big deal out of bloggers collectively serving as some kind of network of "fact checkers" (as if ideas don't also affect reporting) that the news media could harness to ensure accuracy (as if bias in the news media were an honest mistake).

Getting facts right is important, but bloggers can be just as useful, if not more so, as premise checkers.

No. The various partisan news media often won't care about our facts or arguments, but getting them out there for consideration by other thinking people is what blogging is all about.

johnnycwest said...

I agree with you on Wes Clark. Here's another one for you - no surprise on the person, but YIKES - more God in politics from the democrats. This is via Instapundit:


Gus Van Horn said...

Annoying combination of religion and political correctness that. Reminds me of those "God bless EVERYONE" bumper stickers. Ugh!