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Fuck Starbucks!
Entered on: March 12, 2007 12:03 PM by Ross

I just found out that Starbucks has recently added an anti-Darwinist quotation from one of the guys behind the Intelligent Design movement to their repetoire of coffee cups.  As you may expect, this enraged me.  I just fired off the following email to them.  You could do the same if you feel so inclined.

I am writing to register my disapproval of your recent decision to include the following quote from the Discovery Institute's Jonathan Wells.  It is misinformed, misguided, and as is typical from statements coming from the Discovery Institute, flat out wrong:

"Darwinism's impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism's connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record, and the record is not pretty."

I thought Starbucks had a stronger commitment to public responsibility than to push quotations from known scientific charlatans.  I will be taking my business elsewhere.

NEWS 408 - 9 Comments
From: Swerb Entered on: March 12, 2007 1:17 PM
That's fucked up. I never set foot in Starbucks anyway - for the same reason I don't go to Blockbuster: big chain stores suck ass - but now I have more reason to stay away.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: March 12, 2007 1:20 PM

Starbucks sucks.  Drink water.  It's tasty, healthy and cheap.

A bit off topic, but I wanted to mention that over the last 6 months Angie & I have gone to a diet of water exclusively for drinking (with maybe a sip of juice here or there).  And we're LOoooOVING IT!  After weening myself from soda (I loved me some Diet Ruby Red Squirt) and Angie from her caffeine addiction, we're loving water.  Of course its usually FREE (or cheap, we buy bottles from Costco for when we're on the road), healthier and convenient!

Paying money for a beverage is bullshit.  Collecting and returning cans & bottles is bullshit.  Spilling a beverage and making a spot on the carpet is bullshit!  The beverage industry is bullshit!


From: BigFatty Entered on: March 12, 2007 1:45 PM

I hope the Starbucks Cups stir up some press.  Corporations have a responsibility to maintain a religously neutral environment.  These cups are outrageously insulting.  It is almost the equivalent of calling me a dumb, white-trash, baby killing, redneck.


I wrote my 2 cents:

The following quote is outrageous.  How can a company promote ignorance so blatantly?  This quote, and using this quote, is wrong on so many levels.  A corporation is no place to expound religious ignorance.  Shame on you. 

"Darwinism's impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism's connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record, and the record is not pretty."

From: Ross Entered on: March 12, 2007 2:25 PM

Jack:  I agree with you generally.  I don't drink soda (although on special occasions I do allow myself some regular Squirt), but I do have coffee most mornings, and alcoholic beverages are another matter altogether.  So at meals, I almost always drink water, and I've been doing that for the better part of a decade.  

I have bought Starbucks coffee for home brewing, though I don't usually drink the straight coffee in the stores.  I sometimes do get a latte from them, though, and that's going to stop.   

From: The Bone Entered on: March 13, 2007 1:11 AM

I'll tell you why Starbucks really sucks - their coffee is shit. The regular cup of joe tastes burnt every time I drink it in every store on every continent I've ever set foot on, without exception. The rest of thier foo foo stuff has sugar and chocolate and whatever to disguise the shitty espresso that lies underneath. Their store bought beans are seriously no better than Folger's whole bean for half the price.

Now The Coffee Bean and Tea franchise is pretty damn good in almost every category.

Oh and Fatty, "Shame on you"?  Are you and old grandma? 

From: Ross Entered on: March 13, 2007 7:06 AM
I agree that the coffee in the stores tastes shitty - not necessarily burnt every time, but something is usually wrong with it.  I usually go to Intelligentsia or Lavazza instead for straight up coffee.
From: Ross Entered on: March 13, 2007 1:23 PM

Fucking dickwipes responded:



Thanks for taking the time to write about "The Way I See It." Starbucks has long been dedicated to creating a unique "third place" between home and work. We also draw on the centuries-old tradition of the coffeehouse as a place to gather, share ideas, and enjoy delicious beverages. We see this program as an extension of the coffeehouse culture - a way to promote open, respectful conversation among a wide variety of individuals.


Because this program is meant to encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas, your feedback is very important. In fact, it's a vital part of the conversation.


I can understand that you do not appreciate it when political speech that you disagree with appears in "The Way I See It." Our goal with "The Way I See It" is to create a balanced forum for discussion. To do this, we have invited authors representing a wide range of views. Not everybody we have invited has chosen to participate, but we will continue to make this program an inclusive one.


We also invite all customers to contribute their own quotes for consideration, and to give us feedback in our "letters to the editor" section on the website. If you would like to contribute a quote for the cup, or to respond to a particular cup you've seen, please feel free to do so!




Benjamin J.

Customer Relations Representative

Starbucks Coffee Company

What a crock of shit form letter.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that a "balanced forum" is a ludicrous concept when you apply it to crazy ideas such as intelligent design.  We don't give a balanced forum to flat earthers, do we?  

From: Ross Entered on: March 13, 2007 1:57 PM

This blog entry has a good account of the quote issue.  Scroll to the bottom to read it, or just read my blatant copying of the salient points:

Nevermind that it isn’t clear what evolution has to do with eugenics or abortion.  (Eugenics is actually linked to genetics.  The theory of evolution merely tells us that selection pressures have allowed creatures to evolve into their present states.  It is genetics that gets into the nitty-gritty of passing on hereditary traits, which is what eugenics is all about.)  Guess what?  Physics led to a better understanding of mechanical processes, and led to the creation of guns and instruments of torture and war!  Chemistry led to the creation of various poisons and toxins!  Water, if you drink enough of it, can kill you!  Physics and chemistry and water must not be true!

It is important to note that scientific theories–unlike religions, moral systems, or political stances–do not entail any sort of behaviour and don’t really address questions of value.  The theory of evolution did not cause people to think that blacks were “inferior”.  If anything, the theory of evolution merely shows that the other races are better adapted for different environments.  It can’t make any value claims.  That sort of thing is left to people and their silly ideologies.  Notice that religions often explicitly make value claims like “homosexuality is evil” or “one must kill witches”, and we can thus link violence throughout history done in the name of religion directly to the claims of those religions.  If one wishes to link this sort of violence to science, however, it is clear that they don’t understand the purpose of science at all, nor what its theories and laws actually state.

Just because the Earth’s gravity will pull you back down to the ground does not mean that downards is good and upwards is bad.  Science doesn’t answer questions like that.


From: Swerb Entered on: March 13, 2007 8:21 PM

That form letter is just an extension of the "teaching the controversy" bullshit that everybody buys into. 

I'd like to see Starbucks publish a Sam Harris quote on one of their cups. Fat fucking chance. Since they're offering, maybe you should submit some quotes of equally dubious distinction - from flat earthers or Nazis or Ann Coulter or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, just something so blatantly false as to be laughable - just like the anti-Darwinist quote.

You know, even if it was a pro-intelligent design quote, who cares? But blaming Darwinism for racism? WTF?

Doing this kind of thing seems counterproductive to Starbucks. How many customers are they going to piss off - and lose - with their "balanced forum for discussion"? Who put it upon Star fucking bucks to hold such a forum anyway? Are they in the business of selling shitty coffee, or prompting political discussion? It seems really arrogant and self-important, if you ask me.


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