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Best Surveillance Technique 

The Safeway Club Card

Has anyone else noticed that the rise of the Safeway Club Card — that credit-card thingy the store gives out when you sign up with your name and address — nicely parallels that of the Department of Homeland Security? We're not sure this is just a coincidence. Because a record of groceries purchased (which is part of the point of the Club Card: keeping track of your purchases so that the store can better advertise to you) would surely be useful in identifying unsavory characters. And if our government thinks it's cool to tap our phones without getting permission, we doubt it sees any harm in keeping a log of everything we've bought at Safeway. Why, then, do we keep using it? Discounts! Wonderful, fabulous discounts! Buy seven and the eighth one's free. "Club members get two for one." Saving money is damned hard to resist. So let the NSA know you buy condoms in bulk and purchase an inordinate amount of Chips Ahoy!. Freedom's overrated anyway.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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