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Should you lose your job for giving Trump the bird?

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Last month, a random bicyclist hoisted the bird to President Trump’s motorcade as it passed on a northern Virginia roadway. Okay, people have First Amendment rights. No problem. The photo of this event “went viral” (which is funny because I never saw it until the Washington Post published it along with a sanctimonious piece lauding the cyclist’s victimhood). Then the woman’s employer found out about it when she told them it was her in the photo.

They fired her.

Gasp.

Now this woman wasn’t a food server at a cafeteria. She was a marketing executive at a government contracting company. That company depends on the government for its livelihood, and therefore bad publicity within the government is deleterious to their mission. The woman, Juli Briskman, is a marketing executive. It’s her job to meet with and persuade those same government people who now know she flipped off the president, representing her company to them.

Suddenly, Briskman became a liability. You bet she should be fired. She wasn’t fired for flipping the bird. She was fired for becoming a liability to her employer.

Now, the second question. Is the company violating her First Amendment rights? No. Those apply to the government, for whom she doesn’t work. The next question. Does it matter that Briskman didn’t intend to make a public, widely-distributed, attributed, personal attack on the president? That’s a fair question.

It might matter. But we have no right to privacy outside riding our bikes in public. But do we have a right to anonymity? Not really. If we’re in public and people recognize us, that’s one of the risks of doing things in public. Do we have a right to not be photographed? Same answer. Do we have a right to keep our likeness out of viral social media photos? It depends, but generally, no, not when we’re doing random things in public, especially in the context of a newsworthy event. So if you’re picking your nose in front of a building fire, and the newspaper catches your grossness and tweets the photo in the background of the fire, you lose. You could try to sue, but you’d likely lose.

The Washington Post is trying to make this issue into Trump-supporting boss against victim employee. None of that is relevant unless they can prove the company was just itching for a reason to fire Briskman and somehow, they knew the motorcade would roll down the road she cycles on. Maybe a well-placed call to the Secret Service engineered the whole event. Maybe the Russians influenced it.

Or maybe Juli Briskman learned a hard lesson about doing things in public in front of the presidential motorcade. You never know who’s filming. And another lesson about telling your employer you just did something that will make you a liability: find another job before you do.

The biker who flipped off President Trump is now out of a job – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/she-flipped-off-president-trump--and-got-fired-from-her-government-contracting-job/2017/11/06/4cf1af9a-c2da-11e7-84bc-5e285c7f4512_story.html?utm_term=.bcd6d09d0d99Turns out it has now cost the 50-year-old marketing executive her job. On Halloween, after Briskman gave her bosses at Akima, a government contracting firm, a heads-up that she was the unidentified cyclist in the photo, they took her into a room and fired her, she said, escorting her out of the building with a box of her things. “I wasn’t even at work when I did that,” Briskman said.

Scarlett is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living but really prefers to read more than write. She writes mostly about politics, but occasionally delves into book and movie reviews.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Deserttrek

    November 7, 2017 at 7:57 am

    over reaction and total 100% bs
    ANY and ALL citizens have the right to free expression
    this was not at work

    the employer is wrong and I hope she sues and wins

    MAGA

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Economy

The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

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The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

Republican tax cuts were met with instant success on the business front when the President signed them into law last month. Companies across the nation rewarded their employees and customers by passing on some of the saving they’ll get. It’s helping to push the economy even higher than it was last year.

As Nick Givas covered over at Daily Caller, the total number of companies giving back to their people is 164 and rising:

164 Companies Credit Tax Reform For Bonuses And Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according to Americans for Tax Reform. The list has been continually updated and jumped from 40 companies to 164 in 10 days, The Washington Examiner reports. The businesses include: American Airlines, AT&T,… (more…)

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News

Romney swipes at Trump over ‘s***hole’ comment

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Romney swipes at Trump over shole comment

Some celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring the civil rights leader. Others just take the day off. Potential (nearly certain) Senate candidate Mitt Romney used his national holiday to take a swipe at President Trump’s comments about “s***hole countries” that were reported last week.

My Take

It was a strange play. It’s obviously a populist view that goes against a semi-populist President who sees his greatest divergent from American culture in his opinions about race and immigration, but for Romney to tie it into MLK Day is a little odd. There is plenty of time to demonstrate he would be a candidate who opposes the President. There’s only one strategic reason to do it now: If he intends to support the President in the near future.

By Tweeting this, Romney could be doing two things to help his cause. First, he builds credibility as a GOP Senator who is not beholden to the President’s every whim. Second, it gets that out of the way up front so he can turn around and talk about the good things the President is doing.

Then again, it’s probably just a politician playing politics.

Further Reading

Mitt Romney Calls Out Donald Trump With MLK Day Tweet

https://www.redstate.com/arbogast/2018/01/15/mitt-romney-calls-donald-trump-mlk-day-tweet/With Orrin Hatch (finally) retiring, the recruitment efforts to get Mitt Romney to run for that seat started immediately. With the revelation that Romney received treatment for prostate cancer over the summer, it may not be a slam dunk he runs, but if he does, Donald Trump shouldn’t expect Mitt to just get in line.

The fallout from the “s**thole” comments continue for President Trump, providing another means for him to get in his own way. The economy hums along. Corporations continue to announce wage increases and bonus payouts due to the GOP tax cut. Trump had the opportunity to get something done on DACA (which 2/3 of the country supports), and he chooses instead to yelp to the press that he’s the least racist person in the world.

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