If you're unclear why I'm so staunchly opposed to Wal-Mart, a simple experiment is in order: go to your nearest Wal-Mart Supercenter and try to find five products that were made in the United States. My guess is that you'll be looking for quite a while. Wal-Mart is nothing more than a conduit for Chinese goods that could have been made by Americans. On top of that, Wal-Mart is one of the leading causes of the bland, forceful homogenization of small-town America--when Wal-Mart shows up pushing "low prices" (read: it's cheaper because we're complicit in child labor and look the other way at abhorrent working conditions), it crushes local entrepreneurs and obliterates the historic downtown areas that give our towns character and personality. Instead, you get large strips of land eaten up by chain stores and pretty soon every place in America looks like every other place in America.
As an aside, I think this is an important case study in why we should never, under any circumstances, elect the judicial branch. Virginia is one of the only states that still does not elect judges by popular vote, and it's a practice we should absolutely continue. Once they pass the initial hurdle of appointment and confirmation, Supreme Court justices and judges in general are uniquely insulated from the political process. They don't--and they shouldn't--have to worry about how popular their decisions will be or how they will pay for their next campaign, but only whether their decisions will be the right ones. It would be interesting to see how this issue would have played out if it had been left up to legislators who do have to stay popular and pay for their campaign--I don't need to remind anyone of how often we hear of elected officials who cast votes that conveniently pay off for their financiers.
Way to be, Blacksburg--let's hope this sets a precedent for other towns to stand up for themselves.