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Should you lose your job for giving Trump the bird?



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.


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 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


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How does the Federalist Society relieve stress? “But Gorsuch” stress balls, of course.



But Gorsuch

Conservatives who aren’t pleased with the actions, direction, and/or rhetoric coming out of the White House often invoke a simple phrase: “But Gorsuch!” It’s intended to remind them that no matter what the current administration does that goes against limited-government principles, at least they can find solace in a Constitution-loving judge being appointed by President Trump to the Supreme Court.

This popular meme made its way to the Federalist Society’s annual convention as the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, distributed stress balls to attendees. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s image and the famous words of solace were printed on the balls.

No matter how bad it gets, remember that it could have been worse, at least from the bench.

Further Reading

‘But Gorsuch’ stress balls give relief to distraught lawyers at Federalist Society conference“I adore Gorsuch and he’s a dream judge on so many levels and we don’t do a ton with the judiciary at R Street … [but] we just love doing the silly stuff,” said Shoshana Weissmann, R Street Institute’s digital media specialist who hand-delivered the balls to attendees on Friday.

Weissmann said the R Street Institute made 150 balls, which it started distributing when the Federalist Society’s annual convention began in Washington on Thursday. The think tank had about 50 balls remaining Friday, with attendees coming to get them while Weissmann spoke with a reporter.

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Navy apologizes for sky penis



Navy apologizes for sky penis

The skill level of naval aviators is top notch. We’re the envy of the world when it comes to air superiority because of the technological advances and extreme skill level our pilots possess. They put their skills on display in a strange way and now the U.S. Navy is having to apologize for it.

Navy apologizes over penis drawn in the sky, grounds aircrew involved“The Navy apologizes to anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action,” according to a statement from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. “The Officers and Sailors of the United States Navy are professionals, held to the highest standards, while serving our nation with pride around world. The actions of this aircrew were wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values. We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation – and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act.”

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Culture and Religion

Church of England joins LGBT forces in the culture war and children are the casualties



Church of England

Did you hear about the new set of directives released by the Church of England for schools and teachers concerning gender and gender identity?

In honor of anti-bullying week, the Church of England released an updated version of a 2014 instructional entitled “Valuing All God’s Children.” This new set of rules instructs against so-called homophobia, bi-phobia, and trans-phobia in nursery schools and primary schools.

According to church leadership, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and elementary students should be encouraged to discover their gender identity uninhibited as they “explore the possibilities of who they might be.” Specifically, children are to be taught not to “conform” to traditional male/female “stereotypes.”

Schools must “avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behavior irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes … Childhood has a sacred place for creative self-imagining.”

Practically speaking, the guidelines will encourage boys to wear tutus and princess tiaras while encouraging girls to wear tool belts and super hero cloaks in order to help them determine who they might be without “judgement and derision.”

While it’s tempting to dismiss this as England’s problem, the Strident Conservative has documented how the LGBT community and its declared war on Christianity and American culture has already launched similar assaults on children in America’s public schools.

Unfortunately, in America, the Rainbow Jihad has the full support of the government all the way up to the White House.

For example, Barack Obama hosted an event in April, 2016 at the White House aimed at “breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys.” Much like the Church of England, Obama—with support from Katie Couric, the founder of the gender-neutral start-up Little Bits—promoted the idea that gender is irrelevant and that children should be free to be who they are “without limits.”

While Valerie Jarrett organized the event under the banner of promoting opportunities for girls, Obama’s track record on transgender issues made the affair very LGBT friendly.

And we shouldn’t get comfortable now that Obama is no longer president. Donald Trump—who embraced the LGBT movement at the Republican National Convention in his acceptance speech—announced back in June that his administration would prosecute schools that failed to embrace the LGBT lie concerning transgenderism.

The LGBT culture war is not just an American war. It’s a world war, and as usual, children are the casualties.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

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