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Debating Wal-Mart

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Richard De George, a professor of philosophy at Kansas University, is quoted in this story about Wal-Mart's ethics in this story from the [Atlanta Journal-Constitution][1].A future KU student will represent Kansas in the Miss Teen USA pageant, the [Wichita Eagle][2] reports.KU professor Paul Atchley's research on using cell phones while driving is cited in a story today in [USA Today][3].Don Stull, a KU anthropologist, is quoted in this [Hutchinson News][4] story about the impact of Hispanic culture in southcentral Kansas.KU made lots of news for its hearing involving NCAA violations. Here's the mention made by the [Philadelphia Inquirer][5]. [1]: http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/0813walmart.html [2]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/living/15266835.htm [3]: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-08-13-cell-car_x.htm [4]: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/Reconquista081306.shtml [5]: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/sports/15267586.htm

Comments

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

More than 5 million vehicles on U.S. roads today can run on ethanol - a renewable fuel that comes from corn - as well as gasoline. US automakers recently announced plans to double their annual production of so-called flex fuel vehicles by 2010. It's the single largest commitment to renewable fuels in the history of the auto industry.

Gas stations where you can purchase ethanol are few and far between today. That is why Wal-Mart wants to sell ethanol. Wal-Mart sees green. The retailing giant is placing bets on an environmentally friendly future.

That's because running cars and trucks on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, could turn out to be a cost-effective way to reduce the carbon emissions and curb our dependency on imported oil. You won't be surprised to learn that the big oil companies are not, as a rule, interested in selling E85. But Wal-Mart is.

Full article on CCN/Money is here: http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/08/news/companies/pluggedin_gunther.fortune/index.htm

So all you Walmart and Big Oil haters, why not let Walmart beat up Big Oil for you?

On a related note I can barely wait for new Walmart to start competeing with the Merc. The Merc won't last three years, at the MOST. Now you may get a clue why the PLC of the Lawrence City Kommission was really opposed to the new Walmart.

TheStig 8 years, 4 months ago

I drive more than most people around Lawrence, on K10, and in Kansas City. I drive past hundreds of drivers using cell phone everyday. It is rare that I am in a "near accident" with any vehicles, regardless of whether the driver appears to be using a cell phone or not. If you are in a lot of near misses perhaps it is not a problem with "everyone else's" driving. Like the saying goes, denial is not just a river in Egypt.

The studies are conflicting and not conclusive one way or another. Further, scientific studies are sometimes flawed and research can be (and in some recent high profile cases has been) faked to support the bias or prejudice of the researchers. Researcher bias can unintentionally creep into to the results of even the best intentioned researcher. This seems to be especially true when the subject of the research is highly charged, like cloning or global warming for instance.

If cell phone using drivers were truly impaired at the level of drunk drivers I would expect that the number of people killed by cell phone using drivers would equal the number of people killed by drunk drivers. Nothing in the data remotely suggests this is the case, even accounting for alleged under-reporting, and nothing in peoples experiences suggests it. I think it is safe to say nearly everyone has been personally touched by a death from a drunk driver yet almost nobody has been personally touched by a death from a cell phone using driver. Most importantly is that drunk drivers can not instantly sober up by pushing the "End" key. The fact is most people are responsible enough not to drink and drive and not to use the cell phone in heavy traffic.

This is not to say that the use of a cell phone while driving has never caused an accident or death. There were 70,000 accidents in all of Kansas last year and a very few accidents (0.4%) were related to cell phone use while driving. Kansas is one of the few states which actually collect this statistics. Approximately 280 of 70,000 accidents in all of Kansas last year can be attributed to cell phone use.

Why not just ban all cars? 70,000 is a very large number after all. Because society has decided that the benefit provided by cars outweighs the problems created by cars. When problems do occur we take action against those people who are at fault no matter what the cause, cell phones included. We fine those drivers, take away their driving privileges, and so on.

Given the very small problem cell phone use while driving actually is, rather than what it theoretically might be, and while there are less restrictive means to appropriately deal with careless drivers regardless of the cause, and given the benefit provided by cell phones to the community, I believe the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission came to the proper conclusion and would urged the City Commission to follow their lead misguided ideological agenda.

TheStig 8 years, 4 months ago

Correction, should have read:

Given the very small problem cell phone use while driving actually is, rather than what it theoretically might be, and while there are less restrictive means to appropriately deal with careless drivers regardless of the cause, and given the benefit provided by cell phones to the community, I believe the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission came to the proper conclusion and urged the City Commission to follow their lead.

I was pushing the 3000 word limit and well hit post instead of preview comment. Sorry .

hockmano 8 years, 4 months ago

It seems to me the city commission isn't opposed to the new Wal-mart, they are opposed to the working man getting ahead. If Wal-mart means I can save a buck on groceries or other necessities, then that makes me happy. I mean no, I don't buy certain items like clothes etc. from there, but I don't need a bunch of fancy a** grocery stores with skyrocket prices! If you don't want to shop there don't! But the rest of us can't afford HyVee and Dillons all of the time! THIS TOWN IS TOOOOOO EXPENSIVE!

lunacydetector 8 years, 4 months ago

i remember that professor. he claimed that bright lights at night didn't prevent crime. brilliance in academia at work, no doubt, - philosphically speaking.

i did not read any of the articles to any of the links.

Noweigh 8 years, 4 months ago

The entire time West 6th(and the S. Iowa Street area too) was being widened and lanes were being shut down for repairs, I don't recall any public whinning or requests for special City funds for advertising. Unlike some merchants downtown, the merchants in the west, south, north and eastern portions of the city compete for the hard earned customer dollar and loyalty on their own merits, not as an entitlement. Wal-Mart has done the same. If consumers truly feel Wal-Mart is evil, they won't shop there. Wal-Mart success is simple: give people what they want, when they want it and where they want it and at a price they are willing to pay.

Shelby 8 years, 4 months ago

mostly dumb@$$es can't spell, mostly.

a2thek 8 years, 4 months ago

Macon47 can go to HE!! Who goes to church anyway these days. There are much more important things going on such as sleeping in from drinking all night and watching football on Sundays. That's my church. I get so tired of all the people that use church as their guiding point in their lives. Do you think when you are over in Iraq or getting ready to get your head blown off that anyone truly thinks about God or more less Walmart. Get off your soapbox or go kick some gravel Macon47.

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