Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yuppie Boycotts Whole Foods, Forced to Save Money By Buying Conventional Produce

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Health conscious, liberal, well-to-do food shoppers are showing their displeasure by going conventional.

Jerry Hackleberry, an environmental lawyer, was infuriated by an Op-ed penned by the CEO of Whole Foods on the topic of health care reform that criticized President Obama's plan. So he is showing his displeasure with his black card from American Express.

Typically a thrice-weekly Whole Foods shopper, Hackleberry has vowed to boycott the high-end grocery store known for carrying costly and organic foods until Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey is fired or recants. After skipping his usual Thursday grocery run, Hackleberry was forced to shop at Ralph's on Friday.

Hackleberry said he was shocked to encounter grapes for $.99 per pound and dismayed that organic grapes -- for which he typically pays $3.99 per pound at Whole Foods -- were not available. "The pesticides will be ruinous, but that's just a sacrifice I have to make," he said. "I'm going to try to compensate with extra yoga, acupuncture and meditation."

Also in Hackleberry's reuseable cloth bag were $.99 per pound peaches and Alta Dena milk, since they were out of his favored organic Horizon brand. Ralph's selection of organic eggs is not as extensive as Whole Foods but he was at least able to get vegetarian, free range brown eggs. But Hackleberry couldn't bring himself to buy non-organic meat. "$2.99 per pound for ground beef?" he noted skeptically, as he loaded his groceries into his Prius. "Something's very wrong with that. I never pay less than $6.99, even on sale."

In addition to engaging in a strident monologue with a Whole Foods checker earlier this week in which he lambasted the bewildered high school senior for Mackey's stance on health care, Hackleberry has also written letters to the editor of the Santa Monica Daily Press and Santa Monica Mirror.

He also intends to donate the approximately $150 in weekly savings from not shopping at Whole Foods to Democracy for America, a progressive group supporting health care reform.

Friday, August 14, 2009

'Squeaky' Fromme Invited to Town Hall

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, failed assassin of President Gerald Ford, was released Thursday from prison after 34 years behind bars.

Upon her release, Fromme initially said that she was going to Disneyland. But in the time it would theoretically take for a lawyer to call her lawyer and offer an undisclosed settlement to never say that again or to visit the park, Fromme recanted.

A native Californian, Fromme was arrested on Sept. 5, 1975, at Capitol Park in Sacramento. She pointed a .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol at Ford. Although the pistol's magazine was loaded with four rounds the firing chamber itself was empty.

Concerns that she would be shunned by the everyone turned out to be unwarranted, however. Fromme said that a number of Second Amendment defenders have reached out to her and invited her to join them in attending town hall health care meetings.

Fromme, who has not been following the news, said that she was a little overwhelmed by the outpouring of invitations but that she would consider attending. Her lawyer quickly added that her presence -- as a former would-be assassin and follower of Charles Manson -- was in no way meant to be construed as coercive or intimidating to the politicians holding the events or the other people attending the town halls.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FDA Cites Eyelash Lengthener as Progress in Drug Approval Process

Stung by criticism that drugs are not making it to the marketplace fast enough, the Food and Drug Administration on Monday cited the speedy approval of Latisse, a drug that leads to fuller, longer eyelashes.

The drug was originally sold as a glaucoma drug. But one of the side effects is that it leads to additional eyelash growth. In a release, the FDA noted its "swift action" in making available an "essential drug for the millions of women who suffer from overly short or thin eyelashes."

Allergan, the maker of Latisse as well as Botox, the wrinkle-reducing drug favored by celebrities and others seeking to remove evidence of aging past adolescence, echoed the FDA's sentiments. "No longer will that delicate area beneath the eye be unshaded from the sun," said Allergen president of research and development Sam Winters in a statement.

Although Botox lacks an official celebrity endorser, Brooke Shields has signed on to endorse Latisse.

Some skeptics have questioned the need for a drug whose primary purpose is cosmetic, undereye shade coverage notwithstanding. They cite drugs to fight cancer and AIDS as being more pressing medical priorities that the FDA should direct its resources towards. But Allergan has insisted that its drug fills an important societal need.

"It's a shame that Tammy Faye Bakker was never able to benefit from Latisse," Winters said, referring to the Christian singer, television personality and ex-wife of disgraced televangalist Jim Bakker known for her false eyelashes and heavy mascara. "But at least now millions of every day women like Brooke Shields can now benefit from this groundbreaking drug."

Aung San Suu Kyi Cited In Contempt of Court for Sneezing

RANGOON, MYANMAR -- Pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to an additional year of house arrest Tuesday for sneezing during her sentencing.

Suu Kyi had received three years of hard labor for an unusual incident in which an American, John Yettaw, swam across a lake to her villa. She allowed Yettaw to spend a couple days at her house after he claimed exhaustion. The military junta found her guilty of violating her house arrest, even though she did not at any point actually leave her house.

Perhaps anticipating the vociferous criticism such a sentence would evoke, the leader of the military junta reduced Aung San Suu Kyi's sentence to 18 months and changed it to house arrest. But during the reading of the reduced sentence, Suu Kyi sneezed, causing the judge to declare her in contempt of the court.

Suu Kyi's lawyers tried to claim that she had gotten a cold after living in less-than-ideal conditions in prison for the past three months, but they were ruled out of order.

She has been been under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years. Her crimes include winning a 1990 election for prime minister.

The Burmese government issued a statement in defense of the additional year of house arrest. "Contrary to claims that this is a 'koala court' Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi received a full and fair trial," the release said, apparently confusing the koala with Australia's other well-known marsupial animal, the kangaroo. "Such an obvious display of contempt could have qualified her for five year's of hard labor so the court displayed extraordinary generosity by only giving her one year in the luxury of her house."