Saturday, November 14, 2009

Caveat Lectores on Free Speech

There is some real nonsense going on in Hartford, Connecticut.

A firefighter is being denied the privilege of parking his car inside a fire station because of some bumper stickers he put on his vehicle. What insanity will next arise to overcome this idiocy? As always, I would be willing to bet there is more to the story than the news media has reported. Stay tuned in to this one.

I would be irate, if I were him. However, he would be well advised to be careful about violating a direct order which he seems inclined to do. He should file a grievance if the labor contract is violated by his being denied a privilege which rises to the level of a term and condition of employment somehow covered by the contract or past practice.

On the other hand, he might rethink his choice of bumper stickers. It seems the stickers were as follows:

  1. Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing its idiot: While I would not have placed such a bumper sticker on my car suggesting the same for President Bush, I did chuckle when I saw a similar one about him. If we assume this is a comment on Presidents Obama’s birthplace, it just re-enforces the lie “birthers” cannot give up. It really is time to abandon that soap box. My vote says this is ignorant but acceptable political comment that should be protected and ignored.

  1. I’ll keep my guns, freedom and money. You keep the change: The first time I saw this slogan, all I could think of was… What??? I guess it is some 2nd Amendment commentary that escapes me. I want my guns, freedom, money and change. Maybe he is referring to change of thought instead of coins. I am confused on that one, but… Who cares? Anyone with something like that on their car seems a little paranoid but … Who cares? Just because he may be paranoid does not mean they are not out to get him.

  1. Obama Bin Lyin. Impeach Now: This one is offensive because it compares President Obama to Osama Bin Laden. There may be reasons for saying that but no acceptable excuses. I was not comfortable when President Bush and VP Chaney were compared to ignoble tyrants in similar fashion, but I got over it. The John Burch Society put up billboards that read, “Impeach Earl Warren,” but they did not liken him to a terrorist. Is it an acceptable expression of political free speech? I hope so.

One would think that times are bad enough for the fire service and public employment without causing undue public disclosure and possible ridicule about what amounts to nonsense. BUT NO. The real public relations problem may come from the tax payers finding out they built a fire station and maintain it to house private vehicles. We could not do that when I was a fire fighter. I wonder if it is too late to file a grievance.

And oh yes, have a nice day?


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