Wal Mart is like the big bully who intimidates smaller children into handing over their lunch money. The company mostly sells products made by children who toil in Chinese labor camps. The company’s workers who ship, stock, and sell Wal Mart products do not receive the same compensation given to their peers in the retail industry. Whenever Wal Mart moves into a neighborhood, you can count on competing mom and pop stores to shut their doors. If shabby products, slave labor, and displaced family businesses are not enough to turn your stomach, then you need to add to the list the image of Janet Napolitano exhorting Wal Mart shoppers to rat out their shopping compatriots.
Big Brother has arrived at Wal Mart. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with Wal Mart, has placed television monitors in over 500 American stores that continuously run a public service announcement by Napolitano. During the brief announcement, the Secretary of the DHS admonishes shoppers to be alert for any suspicious behavior, and to report such behavior to the proper authorities. She does not offer a reward for snitching, nor does she state what constitutes suspicious behavior. Wal Mart has seen a precipitous decline in fraudulent returns since Napolitano’s mug first appeared in stores.
George Orwell could not have created a creepier scenario. Napolitano looks like a cross between the wizard of Oz and the Terminator, as she glumly encourages people to snoop on their family and friends. The “1984” type nightmare is the latest usurpation of our civil liberties, and certainly not the last, according to Napolitano. In interviews since the snitch program was launched, Napolitano has barely disguised her plans for implementing similar programs at sporting venues and shopping malls. The groping and fondling you see at the nation’s airports will soon be coming to your local stadium and Best Buy.
Reports around the country suggest an increase in law enforcement sanctioned snitch programs. Police routinely pull drivers over and stop pedestrians in order to ascertain if they have witnessed any “suspicious” activity. Street corner and building security cameras watch our every move. Cops have tossed Miranda rights into the constitutional dumpster. They now live by the creed to beat down first and ask questions later. Orwell warned us about the emerging police state, but we are too busy watching the latest drama unfold on American Idol.
The “terrorist” attacks gave public officials the green light to eviscerate the Constitution, though some constitutional experts believe the purge began over a century ago. The Patriot Act expunged much of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Forget Habeas Corpus; you can be incarcerated for an indefinite period without the right to trial just because the government deems you a national security threat. Search and seizures no longer require cause, as long as you are perceived to be a terrorist. September 11, 2001 gave those in power what they have long coveted: the opportunity to control their subjects through brute force and unconstitutional legal maneuverings.
Before we hop off the partisan train, we must remember that the police state took hold long before Dick Cheney concocted ways to take advantage of “terrorism.” The thought police formed in the early nineties under the guise of political correctness. They scrupulously monitored what we said or expressed for hate speech and other unacceptable jargon. Instead of receiving the butt end of a riot control baton, we received summons to appear in court to answer for our free speech crimes. As Orwell wrote, a police state begins with those in power controlling what we say or think. Thought control lays the groundwork for the physical infringement upon our civil liberties.
You would think most Americans would rise in rebellion at the usurpation of our civil liberties. There is a virulent, albeit small minority, of people doing their best to educate the vast majority of sleep walking Americans. Most Americans, however, have bought into the terrorism explanation that vindicates the police state’s iron fist control of the country. They buy the propaganda because they trust the sycophants who bring us the nightly news. If Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, and Bill O’Reilly say it is true, then it must be true. We have lost all semblance of critical thinking, since we believe the justification given for ratting out our family and friends by the cartoonish caricature of Janet Napolitano.
We can move through Wal Mart’s aisles oblivious to the police state’s tyranny, or we can take the initiative to end this nonsense. The questions remains: what will you do to safeguard our constitutional freedoms?