Favorite Links Friday Week of August 5, 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Favorite Links Friday Week of August 5, 2016

Wearing ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ insignia could be punishable racial harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, among its other functions, decides “hostile work environment” harassment claims brought against federal agencies. In doing so, it applies the same legal rules that courts apply to private employers, and that the EEOC follows in deciding whether to sue private employers. The EEOC has already ruled that coworkers’ wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be punishable harassment (a decision that I think is incorrect); and, unsurprisingly, this is extending to other political speech as well. Here’s an excerpt from Shelton D. [pseudonym] v. Brennan, 2016 WL 3361228, decided by the EEOC two months ago:

On January 8, 2014, Complainant filed a formal complaint in which he alleged that the Agency subjected him to discrimination on the basis of race (African American) and in reprisal for prior EEO activity when, starting in the fall of 2013, a coworker (C1) repeatedly wore a cap to work with an insignia of the Gadsden Flag, which depicts a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Complainant maintains that the Gadsden Flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.” He notes that the Vice President of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters cited the Gadsden Flag as the equivalent of the Confederate Battle Flag when he successfully had it removed from a New Haven, Connecticut fire department flagpole.

A few thoughts:

1. Recall that this is not a case about when private employers may restrict what their employees wear on the job, or even about when government employers may do so. Private employers have very broad power on this, because they aren’t bound by the First Amendment (though statutes in some states may constrain employers’ power to some extent). Government employers also have fairly broad power to restrict their employees’ on-the-job speech and behavior.

Instead, this is a case about the rules that all employers, public or private, must follow, on pain of massive legal liability. The harassment law rules (which, as I noted, are the same for private employers as for the federal government) are imposed by the government acting as sovereign — the area where the First Amendment should provide the most protection — not just the government acting as employer.

“There is a place for political discussion in our country, but it shouldn’t be the workplace. Accordingly, you may want to consider adopting policies that prohibit political discussions and expression in your workplace, consistent with the applicable state and federal requirements.” So writes one employment lawyer, in the Virginia Employment Law Letter. Other employment law experts have likewise urged employers to broadly restrict speech, including speech about presidential politics (that happened with regard to talk about the Clinton/Lewinsky matter). [Full Source]

Why is Gas So Expensive in Alaska

Clint Eastwood Defines the Millennials as the "Pussy Generation"

Clint Eastwood stepped in a large pile of millennial shit recently during an interview with Esquire magazine that was published Wednesday. It should have been a nice family memory for the octogenarian, since he and his son Scott Eastwood were both featured in a lengthy Q&A that made the cover. But about halfway through, things went pear-shaped fast.

The interviewer and the Eastwoods are discussing instinct and authenticity in Hollywood when the interviewer says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (reading that still makes us laugh) is the latest politician to take a page from the Book of Badass that is Clint Eastwood. As if the floodgates had opened, Clint went off:

“[H]e's onto something, because secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That's the kiss-ass generation we're in right now. We're really in a pussy generation. Everybody's walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren't called racist.”

For good measure, the Esquire interviewer asked Clint to clarify what exactly is the “Pussy Generation”: “All these people that say, ‘Oh, you can't do that, and you can't do this, and you can't say that.’ I guess it's just the times,” Clint offered.

So Clint Eastwood is an old man - guys, he’s like 86 - and he thinks young people are entitled and thin-skinned. Where have we heard this before? Oh, right, EVERYWHERE. Still, millennials’ feelings were hurt. [Full Source]

Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce Newsletter for August 

Christopher Lee [the actor] reveals: One simple trick how to ALWAYS be given shore leave by the British military! (RAF officers HATE this!)

Note: This anecdote happened on the Reina del Pacifico, a transport ship in World War 2 that was transporting Christopher Lee and other RAF recruits to their training ground in Africa:

"We almost reached South America before suddenly turning sharp left , or hard aport, and settling course for Cape Town. This was the end of our journey, but through one of those mysterious illogicalities of the military mind we were forbidden from going ashore. After two years of black-out we were tantalized by the myriad of lights of the South African capital. I begged and cajoled a pass on the grounds of having an important message to deliver to an export corporation which had an agency in Cape Town. The duty officer asked: "What do they make so vital to the war effort?" 
I replied, unthinkingly: "Brylcreem." 
There was a long pause. The RAF were already being twitted as "the Brylcreem Boys". Then he decided to treat it as a joke. "Be back before 23:00 hours", he said, "or you won't find me laughing." Brylcreem was hair gel for men

Perception of Global Corruption Rising 

Awareness of government corruption is rising on a global scale. This is all part of the private wave that peaks in 2032.95. We are experiencing the complete craziness of a collapsing government. Hillary Clinton is the classic example.

Compared to Richard Nixon, who had to deal with 18.5 minutes of recorded conversations that were allegedly erased, Hillary outright erased half of all her emails. She is notorious for being secretive and refused to honor subpoenas from the State Department. Hillary never came forward about her private server until it was exposed that she had one. They would have dragged Nixon from the White House and imprisoned him if he had said screw you and erased half of the tapes. This shows how much has changed between the public wave that peaked in 1981 and the current private wave. [Full Source]

I actually wrote about roughly this same topic [here] not too long ago

A Reader Asks:

Should the upcoming presidential debates all have a panel of fact checkers in the room that have the authority to interrupt the debate and call out any lie the candidate says during the debate?
That's a great suggestion! But, I can't wait for the debates, it is paper view worthy! I already invited my neighbors to watch!

Bonus: This is one of Favorite Song of All Time (Listen with good speakers not on your iphone!)

Read More: Favorite Links Friday Week of July 29, 2016

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