Tuesday, August 09, 2005

All you need to know

Everything that is wrong with the United States is spelled out in one headline, published in the edition of Sunday, 7 August: "Wal-Mart battle shifts to Washington."
Everything that is wrong with journalism today is spelled out in the subhead: "Campaigns are pressuring the retailer to be a better employer."
I admire what Wal-Mart and Sam Walton and his family have accomplished.
I recognize that lots of people patronize Wal-Mart for its apparently lower prices.
I do not like Wal-Mart.
I do not like to shop in Wal-Mart.
There are several reasons, including the proliferation of shoddy merchandise made in Communist China, the sullenness of the cashiers (at least in the store nearest me), the general lack of knowledge of employees (at least in the store nearest me, where one day as I entered I asked the person at the door for the whereabouts of a certain item, and was told he was merely a greeter, he didn't know where stuff was*), and the huge crowds of rude, sullen, pushy customers.
(It reminds me of that line attributed to Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded.")
My dislike of Wal-Mart includes a belief the new generation of owners, Mr. Sam's children, is greedy, that too many of the stores are being built, violating one of Mr. Sam's rules, not to build in population centers greater than 50,000, and concentrating too much shopping into one place.
I have never found the savings, if any, to be worth the efforts of the looooong walks in the HUGE stores and putting up with the crowds. And I absolutely HATE it that excellent grocery stores such as Winn-Dixie go out of business at least partly because people shop for lower quality at Wal-Mart.
My dislike of Wal-Mart is my personal problem, and I solve my personal problem by not shopping at Wal-Mart, unless I desperately need something the store sells and it is the only place open.
I avoid going into the store. I do not ask for legislation to regulate the private business into something I do like.
Other people, though, and obviously in the tens and hundreds of millions, love Wal-Mart, or at least like it enough to spend lots of money there.
Still other people love it enough that there are loooooong lines of them making application for employment.
Wal-Mart is, in fact, the largest private employer in the United States and probably in the world. (There are, of course, many more employees in the federal government. Of the two groups, which provides a genuine service and which creates many more problems than it solves?)
There are more Wal-Mart employees than there are journalists, and they are at least as good at their jobs.
Which brings us to the subhead: "better employer."
That's a portion of a sentence from the story and the opinion of Anne D'Innocenzio of the Associated Press, which is the disseminator of some of the most hate-filled garbage, some of the most vicious propaganda in print.
Her story is only the latest of a long line of glorification of would-be tyrants and social engineers, most of whom, in the accompanying photograph, seem to be in their 20s and therefor absolute founts of wisdom and knowledge and omniscient ideas on how everybody else should live.
Those are also prime requisites to be journalists, especially page designers and layout "editors."
"Better employer." What gall on the part of the Times Free Press designer, with his or her nose stuck in the air and looking down it at the peons who are employed by the Wal-Mart octopus, caught in its tentacles and unable to make their own decisions.
OK, that's a personal opinion, to which that person is entitled. But that person is not entitled to publish personal opinions as "news."
Reporters cannot write grammatically, and editors cannot edit objectively, not just at the Times Free Press.
And social engineers are so cocksure in their smug self-righteousness that they know, they just KNOW, that laws should be based on their feelings.
And "news"papers encourage their fascistic notions with such garbage as this story.
*That was worse than an experience I had a few years ago at a Wal-Mart in Nogales, Arizona. There is another Nogales, in Sonora, Mexico, just a few miles to the south, but I was firmly in Arizona, an integral part of the United States since the Gadsden Purchase. At the door, I asked the greeter where something was and she said, "No ingles." I was dumbstruck for a moment, but she graciously and courteously led me to another employee, a gringa who spoke English. It was an interesting experience and an intriguing phenomenon.


  1. Hi, Michael -- great article on WalMart -- I agree with you wholeheartedly. The worst part is the slave labor used to manufacture so many of these goods. If Americans only knew the conditions under which many of these products are produced they might think twice. As for the experience of shopping in such places, I also agree.

  2. Don`t you know that there is nothing outside of the purview of Washington, Michael? Why, government has a DUTY to control every aspect of life! It`s for your own good, don`t you know? (If I keep going I might maybe gets me a job at the newspapder or a major network!)

    I don`t care for Walmart either; it is the supercenter for trailer parks. Still, Walmart HAS kept many small communities going, communities which had been having economic hardships. Nonetheless, I agree with Aussiegirl in that Walmart is killing many local businesses, and is selling shoddy merchandise made in sweat-shops outside of the United States.

    Still, I am having a difficult time finding the clause in the Constitution authorizing the United States government to intervene in Walmart`s business practices. Gee, it must be here somewhere...

  3. I try real hard to stay out of WalMart and we got two of them here. A few years ago I thought a friend and I would go from customer service to jail for trying to get something straightened out. The customer service rep was on the phone with her husband talking about should they have pork chops or burgers, she didn't have time for us. I did go to the other one yesterday, not much has changed, I'll check back in a few years.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic

  4. Michael - great writing (as always), but as for the communist-made products on WalMart shelves - that's EVERYwhere in the lower priced stores. Go to Target, K-Mart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. and you'll be hard-pressed to find non-communist-made merchandise.

    I disagree with Aussiegirl who said that Americans might think twice if they knew the conditions under which many of these products were produced. People don't care. As long as they have plenty of beer in the 'fridge and the Braves/RedSox/NY Yankees are winning, they don't give a damn about anything else. The only time they get on a band-wagon is when some "celebrity" takes on a cause - like anti-fur, the rainforest, etc. The ugly fact of the matter is - most people are dumb, shallow bores who wouldn't even know what you were talking about if you mentioned communist-made goods.

    But I digress - - - Michael is absolutely right about "journalists" injecting THEIR value-judgments into articles, but have you noticed who the main offenders are ?!! WOMEN writers! I can tell within the first paragraph of an article whether it's written by a male or female. Females take fordamnever to get to the point and they are forever writing in support of the need for legislation based on FEELINGS! This transfers over to women office-holders who want to put into lawbooks or at least into local ordinances all kinds of things that infringe on freedom, but make the town pretty or "safer" or whatever.

    Women are inferior in this way (and many ways) and they can be downright dangerous in public office.

    Love your blogsite, Michael!

  5. Just stopped back to let you know I have posted my Question Of The Week. I hope you will stop by to answer it.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic

  6. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Sadly, many people think that their protest of slave labor by not shopping at Wal-Mart, or by watching every label elsewhere to see where the product is made, will not help because "nobody else is doing it." But if EVERYONE thought this way, that their single change of mind will not really help, imagine the hellish world we would be living in. It's already hard enough for a very many, but it would be far worse if we did not have freedom-fighters protesting by changing to smaller stores (mom-and-pops if possible)and reading all "make" labels. Yes, you are a true freedom-fighter, and you join the ranks of MLK and Joan Baez, when you drive a little further to the store that is more socially conscious, such as Winn-Dixie or the little mom-and-pop nestled away on the odd side of town. And read the labels even there, because slave labor products are everywhere we go.

  7. Gee, anonymous, I wish I knew who you are.
    Your comment is a good one and I'd like you to be recognized for a positive contribution.