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DON’T TREAD ON ME – OR MY FLAGS!

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Hat Tip To Firebird@SHE’S Right.

 

TRUCK

 

I often tell people I live 50 miles from Walmart – it gives city folk a point of reference.  The nearest town (the one with Walmart and Lowe’s – thank GOD) is Washington.  In that town is a multi-use structure that can loosely be called a ‘mall’.  And for the last two weeks there has been an ‘issue’ regarding free speech.

Backstory:  Mall employees have a designated parking area.  Kalyn works at one of the stores in the Mall. She also owns and drives a truck with several expressions of her ideas exhibited for others to see, including two large flags—a Confederate Battle Flag and a Second Amendment Flag.

While at work Kalyn was confronted by one Carl Bailey, an employee of the owners of the Mall. He told her she needed to remove the flags from her truck and relocate it or she would be arrested and “taken downtown.” He also threatened to have her truck towed.  She promptly did as told, except for the stickers, which she couldn’t remove until she was at home.  But after further research, she decided NOT to remove the stickers and graffiti.  However, Kalyn told a friend, who called the Beaufort Observer (an online only local news site).  They decided to investigate.

We (The B.O.) talked to Mr. Bailey. He first told us that he told her to move her truck and take the flags down because the Manager of the US Cellular store on the property had called to complain. When we questioned Mr. Bailey if it was the Mall management’s policy to try to control what individuals put on their vehicles he changed his story. We asked him what their policy is and if he was authorized to enforce it. He then said he was just trying to do the lady a favor because he feared that she would be confronted by the complainants, and indicated he feared for her safety and her property. “So you will allow customers who do not like something they see on a vehicle on the property to prevent a person from exercising their free speech?…” we asked. He then insisted that he was only trying to protect her. We then asked if he called security or the police to insure her safety or protect her property. His response was: “No, the police would never do anything…” We subsequently learned the mall has no security staff. We talked to a lady with Pearson Properties, the owner of the mall and later to Joe Pearson, one of the owners. They both said their office never authorized Mr. Bailey’s actions and in fact did not know about it until “US Cellular called.” Mr. Bailey indicated to us that it was the “US Cellular Manager” who called him to demand action.So we called the US Cellular store and asked for the Manager. We were told that “Latoya” was the Manager but that she wouldn’t “be back today.” We asked if they could take a number and ask her to return our call. “I’m not sure when she’ll be back…” was the answer we got to that. We then talked to the “Sales Manager” and he told us to contact the Corporate Public Relations Office. We did that and talked to Melissa McIntyre who knew about the incident but refused to answer any questions. She indicated she would have someone else call. They never called. Instead Ms. McIntyre sent an email that said: “U.S. Cellular is aware of the vehicle in question and it does not belong to any U.S. Cellular associate. Please contact Washington Square Mall for any questions or statement.” We called Ms. McIntyre back and asked her what the US Cellular policy was on how they handled such complaints. “I’m sorry, I can’t answer that, or any other questions.” Classic bunker mentality. (In this business you know when “the rabbit goes to ground.”) We did determine that nothing in US Cellular’s lease gives them authority to manage the parking lots. We also determined that Pearson Properties has no policy against symbolic speech on their property.Read more about Round 1 at this link:
http://www.beaufortobserver.net/Articles-NEWS-and-COMMENTARY-c-2015-07-29-279051.112112-US-Cellular-and-Washington-Square-Mall-trample-freedom-of-expression.html#123

Below this article is a legal commentary on what transpired (also on the link above).  I’ve included one paragraph of THAT that I find particularly pleasing:
But in a practical world, we view this situation, particularly with US Cellular and Mr. Baily (the Mall assistant manager), as political correctness run amuck. Does US Cellular really want to get into passing judgment on the political beliefs of its customers? Where would they draw the line if they used the “someone might be offended” standard? We are a US Cellular customer and we are severely offended by some of the spam that comes into our phone. Is that US Cellular’s responsibility to protect us from that sort of stuff? US Cellular would be well advised to think twice before it decides to try to enforce politically correct speech.

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HOW MANY BUSINESSES HAVE ANNOUNCED CLOSINGS OR LAYOFFS SINCE OBAMA WON A SECOND TERM?

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This is from The Blaze.

How many more jobs will be lost as result of Obama’s reelection?

I know of two companies that make medical devices that are leaving America.

Boston Scientific and Cook Inc. will leave Indiana and 4,000-5.000 jobs.

Before the election they sent some jobs overseas and the rest will follow.

 

Do elections have consequences? If you have been paying attention to the financial markets, you might think so. Wall Street has had two horrible days since President Obama won a second term.

However, stock prices are not the only thing taking a hit. It appears that the job market is also suffering. In the last 48 hours, the following major corporations have announced layoffs in America (links take you to news stories about the layoffs – with details from the companies):

• Energizer –

The St. Louis-based company said Thursday that it expects to shed about 1,500 employees. When finished, the restructuring should lead to $200 million in pretax yearly savings, Energizer said. It aims to have most of its restructuring steps finished by the end of September 2014.

• Exide Technologies –

Exide Technologies announced Thursday that it will be idling its lead-recycling operations in Laureldale and laying off 150 workers, effective no later than March 31.

• Westinghouse –

Westinghouse Anniston, the contractor responsible for shutting down Anniston’s chemical weapons incinerator, has reduced its workforce by another 50 employees.

• Research in Motion Limited –

Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, laid off about 200 people at its U.S. headquarters in Irving on Wednesday, according to a source close to the company who did not want to be named.

• Lightyear Network Solutions –

More than one dozen employees at a Pikeville company lost their jobs this week. Officials with Lightyear Network Solutions said they are consolidating offices in Louisville and Pikeville to save money.

• Providence Journal –

The Providence Journal Co. laid off 23 full-time workers Wednesday as part of a cost-cutting effort, including 16 members of the Providence Newspaper Guild and 7 non-union employees.

• Hawker Beechcraft –

The company says 240 employees will lose their jobs with the closing of Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas.

• Boeing (30% of their management staff) –

Boeing Co. said Wednesday it plans to employ 30% fewer executives at its Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit by the end of 2012 compared to 2010 levels.

• CVPH Medical Center –

CVPH Medical Center has handed pink slips to 17 employees. The layoffs — nine in management and eight hourly staffers — are part of an effort to “help bolster the hospital’s financial position in 2013 and beyond,” a press release said.

• US Cellular –

The move will result in 980 job cuts at U.S. Cellular, with 640 in the Chicago area, according to a spokeswoman. The cuts are slightly under 12 percent of the approximately 8,400 total employees U.S. Cellular had at the end of the third quarter.

• Momentive Performance Materials –

About 150 workers at Sistersville’s Momentive Performance Materials plant will be temporarily laid off later this month, officials said this week.

• Rocketdyne –

About 100 employees at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, most of whom work in the San Fernando Valley, were laid off Wednesday in response to dwindling government spending on space exploration, the company said. The layoffs were effective immediately, and 75 percent of them came at the facilities on Canoga and De Soto avenues, which employ about 1,100 people. The company has six sites across the Valley.

• Brake Parts –

The leader of an automotive parts plant in Lincoln County has told state officials that there are plans to lay off 75 workers starting in late December…The layoffs are expected to start Dec. 28 and continue in the first quarter of 2013

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) is seeking to sell a stake of as much as 20 percent and said it’s reducing headcount by 3,000 to raise the staff cuts by the biggest wind turbine maker to almost a third over two years.

• Husqvarna –

Husqvarna AB (HUSQB), the world’s biggest maker of powered garden tools, plans to cut about 600 jobs in a move that will save 220 million kronor ($33 million) a year by 2014.

• Center for Hospice New York –

The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care plans to temporarily lay off as many as 40 employees next year as it embarks on a major renovation of the inpatient unit at its Cheektowaga campus.

• Bristol-Meyers –

Bristol-Myers Squibb is following up its lackluster third-quarter results with almost 480 layoffs. As Pharmalot reports, the company notified the New Jersey government that it would scale back in Plainsboro, which means the cuts will hit its sales operations.

• OCE North America –

Trumbull printer- and scanning-equipment provider Oce North America, Inc. will lay off 135 workers in three Connecticut communities, including East Hartford, according to its notice with the state Labor Department.

• Darden Restaurants –

The company, which was among those who had received an Obamacare waiver in the past, is looking to limit workers to 28 hours per week. A full time employee that is required to have health insurance (lest the employer pay a fine) works 30 hours per week, as defined by the Obamacare law.

• West Ridge Mine –

In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.

• United Blood Services Gulf –

United Blood Services Gulf South region, the non-profit blood service provider for much of south Louisiana and Mississippi, will lay off approximately 10 percent of its workforce. It was a hard decision to make according to Susan Begnaud, Regional Center Director for the Gulf South region.

A layoff is tough enough for employees to deal with, imagine hearing the crushing news that your office is shutting down just before Thanksgiving and Christmas…  Here are some of the business closings that were announced in just the past two days:

To see even more companies that announced layoffs since the election, visit the Daily Job Cuts page.

 

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