Saturday, November 29, 2008

President Bush Should Pardon the Wal-Mart Shoppers

Police in Valley Stream, New York, are reviewing videotapes to attempt to identify exuberant Black Friday shoppers who trampled to death a Wal-Mart worker who made the tragic mistake of getting between them and some very remarkable bargains. Prosecutors may even try to score cheap political points by filing criminal charges against some of these bargain hunters, who have been called “savages” and “animals” by demagogues in the liberal media. Of course, my heart goes out to the family of this man who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but while it is unfortunate that someone got hurt, capitalism is not a dinner party. There will always be some collateral damage in a free market. Socialists who hate capitalism are now trying to scapegoat these patriotic Americans who celebrated an American tradition by rising before dawn on the day after Thanksgiving to express their love of this country by partaking of the bounties of the free enterprise system. How can those of us who were not there judge people on the front lines of the Christmas shopping rush? Can we honestly say that we would not have rushed past or over this unfortunate man on the way to grabbing the last plasma TV or Wii to bring some Christmas joy to our children? After 9/11 President Bush said that the best way to defeat the terrorists was to “go shopping.” Should we now condemn those who took him at his word? If he meant what he said, then before he leaves office President Bush should issue a blanket pardon to these high-spirited consumers to head off this assault not only on Americans who were just trying to make Christmas a little better for their families in these trying economic times but on the capitalist system itself.

Wal-Mart shoppers who got a little carried away are not the only warriors against terrorism in danger of being hounded by prosecutors once Barack Obama assumes office. If President Bush does not act now, a number of patriotic Americans could have their lives ruined by a vengeful Obama Justice Department. In a column in The Weekly Standard (which was apparently too good to waste on The New York Times) William Kristol writes, “Bush should consider pardoning – and should at least be vociferously praising – everyone who served in good faith in the war on terror, but whose deeds may now be susceptible to demagogic or politically inspired prosecution by some seeking to score political points.” It would indeed be tragic if Bush Administration officials who just followed orders after being assured that their harsh interrogation methods and invasions of privacy did not technically violate the Geneva Conventions or the U.S. Constitution should now be subjected to politically motivated witch hunts. “The CIA agents who waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the NSA officials who listened in on phone calls from Pakistan, should not have to worry about legal bills or public defamation,” says Kristol. The public defamation of the Wal-Mart shoppers is just a taste of what could be in store for members of the Bush Administration who were just trying to protect this country.

So far President Bush has used his pardoning powers sparingly, granting pardons to a number of Texans caught up in the anti-capitalist savings & loan prosecutions of the 1980s and those targeted by environmentalist extremists who care more about a few bald eagles than hard-working families. Unfortunately, President Bush was not able to protect these Americans from high legal bills and ruined reputations, but by acting now he can prevent future injustices against members of his administration and energetic consumers. He might also head off politically motivated prosecutions of other officials in his administration such as those in the Justice Department who were guilty only of having a different ideology from the incoming administration. And he might also consider pardoning bank CEOs who were just trying to help home-buyers achieve the American dream.

But issuing blanket pardons may not be enough. Kristol goes on to say that not only should the Bush Administration officials who kept this country safe receive pardons, they should be awarded the Medal of Freedom. “They deserve it,” he says. That would certainly send a message to the America haters who think that they can change all the rules just because they won an election.

And if police do succeed in identifying the Wal-Mart shoppers, think of the message President Bush would be sending about the free enterprise system by awarding these great Americans the Medal of Freedom. They refused to horde their hard-earned dollars in low-interest savings accounts but instead went out to spend it, just as President Bush has urged them to do, at an American company that in the best American tradition has given consumers the best bargains possible by not overpaying their workers and by scouring the world for the cheapest merchandise produced in countries that are not subject to draconian labor and environmental laws. Isn’t that the very definition of freedom?

Carnivals: Carnival of Conservatives, Carnival of Market Anarchy

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Dr X said...

Liberal denigration of stampeding shoppers is just another prong in the America-hater's multi-pronged assault on Christmas.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Wal-Mart: the store that everyone hates except the public.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Capitalism did not drive those throngs into a stampede. Their own little frenzied passions told them they were entitled.

Besides, greed has nothing to do with penury or luxury. It's a disease of the heart that has a surprisingly small threshold. A small bowl of porridge has the nations still fighting after almost 5,000 years.

Clark said...

This porridge is too cold.

This porridge is to hot.

This porridge is 50% 0f at Wally World-today only!

Anonymous said...

"George Bush hates black people so fucking much that some black people will actually stomp a brutha to death- while protesting George Bush's capitalism!" - Jon (Kanye) Swift

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...


Bukko_in_Australia said...

To paraphrase America's greatest conservative President-Who-Never-Was (Barry Goldwater, you simps!) "Extremism in the defence of shopping is no vice. And moderation when some low-paid store guard gets in your way is no virtue."

James Higham said...

So glad I escaped the Black Friday trample.

TechNald said...

i will miss mr. president bush...

Micgar said...

Another great, important post. Very informative.

Comrade Kevin said...

Let's just burn Wal-Mart to the ground. Let he who hates it most light the first torch.

slag said...

I heard that Wal-Mart worker had the pricing gun in his hand and was fully prepared to use it to mark Tickle Me Elmo back up to $29.99. Those patriots simply executed a pre-emptive trample.

Anonymous said...

"...but while it is unfortunate that someone got hurt..."

Yeah. Death certainly is some kind of hurt, alright. Hope he gets better real soon!

yellojkt said...

Tell Bill Kristol you're working this side of the street and that he should take his mocking satire someplace else.

Linhasxoc said...

Yes, there will always be "collateral damage" in a free market. But "collateral damage" in a free market is an unfortunate person who got passed over for a promotion, or got laid off by a downsizing company, or a company that suffered losses because they couldn't or wouldn't produce a better, less expensive product than the competition. I personally don't blame the shoppers, because in such a big mob, it's actually impossible to change direction, much less stop (and I'm a liberal, Dr. X who seems to be setting up liberal strawmen).
I think that there should definitely be an investigation as to why this happened. They should ask questions like why did the store not have protection for their employees from the massing crowd? I do think criminal charges are probably overkill, and that if any were made it should only be on the store management, only if it can be determined they were negligent in ensuring the safety of their employees. The only shoppers that could reasonably be blamed, the ones in front, they will never find.
Now, as I said, I am a liberal. I do not particularly like Wal-Mart. That is not because I hate every large business chain. Rather, it is because think Wal-Mart creates a net job loss by forcing closed more small business' worth of jobs than the Wal-Marts themselves create. Whenever I do go there, which isn't often, the employees rarely seem happy, and occasionally are indifferent or even rude to me.
The basic problem I have with large corporations such as Wal-Mart is that the free market is supposed to be a meritocracy: whoever can do the best wins. When a business like Wal-Mart gets too big, it starts to gain so much power that it can actually undercut competitors that may be able to provide a better service. Often this is through legal means, such as a massive advertising campaign, keeping employee wages down, or slashing prices ridiculously low. Other times it is not so legal, i.e. bribes and extortion. While the illegal modes are not common, they are present.
I am a liberal, and I love America. Sometimes, I grow sad, because I feel like America is losing sight of the values it was founded upon, or at least the values Andrew Jackson brought to it. It seems to be going from a nation governed by the people, for the people to a nation governed by the rich, for the rich. I am willing to point out America's mistakes to anyone who seems to giving America an inflated ego. However, I am also willing to defend America from its detractors. After all, we did win both world wars, engineer the highest standard of living in the world, and send a man to the world, to name a few. Not to mention establish the very first workable, large-scale democratic republic. May God, or whomever else may be up there, bless America.

Anonymous said...

You know those jumbo-sized douches on sale in aisle twelve at Wal-Mart...? YOU'RE ONE OF THEM.

J. said...

I beg your pardon?

So, what do you think about Obama's National Security Dream Team, Mr. Swift? While I realize it probably does not meet your strict Conservative standards is not the inclusion of Robert Gates and more moderate Democrats not a good thing?

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...


Can't speak for Jon Swift, but for me one thing's clear: if the new national security team won't pardon the stampeders, then the terrorists will have won.

Martin said...

This is possibly one of the most stupid blog posts I have ever read.

agent mule said...

haha. Brilliant stuff

slag said...

"This is possibly one of the most stupid blog posts I have ever read."

You should try reading your own sometime.

bitchphd said...

I fear that my beloved Mr. Swift has missed the target this one time. Of *course* the shoppers will end up being charged. But why are the cops perusing videotape instead of charging oh, say, the people in charge of creating and encouraging a crowd in a situation without the proper infrastructure and trained security people to manage it? I imagine the management and decision-makers at Wal-Mart are pretty easy to identify without perusing hours of videotape.

JollyRoger said...

The young man who got trampled was just plain lucky to have such a high paying job in the first place! All over the world, there are people who would eagerly allow themselves to be trampled, just to get a shot at the American Dream. As we all know, great opportunities often come with great risks. Such is the nature of capitalism!

Alcott Cahoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I still can't tell if this post is satire....if that's not the case then WOW you are a sad sad sad individual. You're not a real conservative. Conservatism as a concept is over your head entirely. You're just a sad, frightened, and hateful punk.

Anonymous said...

Dude's name is Jon fucking Swift. Crack a book sometime, people.

Anonymous said...

Yeah man I know who Jonathan Swift is but there are actually people out there who believe this shit. Hahaha jokes on me. Funny shit.

Anonymous said...

Hands up everyone who gets the point of this site. You there, in the back, eating an Irish baby, put your hand down.

Anonymous said...

I realize this post is not meant in earnest, but as a natural-born nit-picker, I have to point out that the President's authority to pardon people extends only to acts defined as criminal offenses UNDER FEDERAL LAW. What was done on this ill-fated day at a Wal-Mart in New York most assuredly would come under state jurisdiction. Granted Mr. Bush told us that shopping is our sacred duty in the war on terror, still his efforts to bring practically everything in creation within the purview of the war on terror (and thus within his power) has now been generally discredited and, to quote his poppy, "will not stand". This barbarism at Wal-Mart is, and will remain, within state jurisdiction.

lostinontario said...

The plight of the Wal-mart shoppers really is a damn shame. I don't think people realize how difficult it is to avoid trampling on a dying man once you start shopping. And after all of their efforts to stimulate your economy and save you all from the terrorists, "the deals weren't even that good" according to one of the surviving staff.

It's a good thing I get wireless in my bunker or this might be my last comment. There has been a coup in Canada. The terrorists have won. That's what you get when you have a black head of state who wasn't even born here. Sarah Palin is right about most things but she is watching the wrong border.

William Safire said...

"horde their hard-earned dollars"

You are a cunning linguist indeed, Mr. Swift. You have signaled your understanding that these micreants should not be punished for their avarice, which is otherwise commendable, but for their unfortunate hue and ethnicity. As surely as Mohammed Atta was meeting with Saddam's men in Prague, I am convinced that these people were using the ill-gotten proceeds from their ARMs and their ACORN chicanery solely to destroy capitalism from the inside out.

Jon Swift said...

Thank you, Mr. Safire, for noticing my allusion to the unfairly calumniated Mongol whordes.

LnGrrrR said...

I can not believe people do not get the point of this post. What a bunch of maroons.

CrackerLilo said...

Well, you changed my mind with your persuasive blog entry. Those shoppers were freedom fighters who wanted to save the economy and celebrate Baby Jesus' birthday all in one shot!

CountLubinstein said...

Is the author comparing the bargain hunters who trampled someone at Walmart to people in the Bush administration who torture people? And are both of these groups being called patriots by the author? Mr. Swift, I will never visit this blog again, your logic escapes me.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope that President Bush will also pardon the Toys R Us shooters in California even thought they're both dead.

whoissecretdubai said...


A humble request...

Do you, by any chance, happen to know who Secret Dubai (the blogger: is?

Anonymous said...

As one of those freedom fighters who stomped a man to death on camera, I thank you for your support (Ironically, I was rushing in to get a massive discount on the ski mask that would have made my pardon unneeded!)!

It's hard enough fighting terrorism through bottomless consumerism without also having to worry about being prosecuted for killing those who would slow me down in my anti-terrorist acts.

-Wal-mart patriot

Kathy said...

Trampled shoppers: "WHO" will be next?

Greg Laden said...

Tramplings have been way up during the Bush Administration. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

This was an illuminating post. I cannot help but think what else we can get pardons for.

If a shopping stampede can get pardoned, why not other events that help our cause and protect our wholesome American values. The closest analogy is a mob - if Bush can pardon this, we still have about 20 days to go after the enemy as a mob. And as you know, if you're in a mob you personally cannot get blamed

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