Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wal-Mart and Red-state Hypocrisy

This story embodies what I guess I'll call Red-state hypocrisy (even though I hate using "Red-state" as a euphemism for "conservative," but "conservative" is such an abused word that the term "Red-state" is actually more accurate).
Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class "to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights," she says. One student "had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb's-down sign with his own hand next to the President's picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster..."

An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service. On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.

"At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster," Jarvis says. "I didn't believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn't there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others."
On one-hand, Wal-Mart pretends to embrace free-market ideals (but they can't even do that right because they accept over $1 billion in subsidies), and on the other hand they seem to support the suppression of individual rights. They cell censored CDs and now, apparently, they snoop through your pictures and will tattle on you if you're satirizing the Supreme Commander and Leader of Our People Himself, Mr. George W. Bush, blessed be His Name.

The censored CDs are one thing...that's they're decision as a business. I disagree with it, but they're free to do it, because they own the store. And scanning through your photographs--well, I guess that'd be alright as long as they tell you beforehand so you don't have a false presumption of privacy. But tattling on you to the police?!? Now that's wrong. That crosses the line.

Wal-Mart's behavior is indicative of the behavior of many so-called conservatives these days. They bash government when doing so suits they're purpose (and they're image), but actually embrace goverment in a manner far scarier than how big-government liberals embrace it when they call for tax increases and universal health-care. Higher taxes and goverment-run health care are indeed scary, but the wolf-in-sheep's clothing conservative that claims to hate government while steadily stealing your rights out from underneath you is way worse.

You know, "Red-staters" are looking increasingly-deserved of that color designation.

UPDATE: For comments, see the original blog post here.

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