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Monkey Cage: Businesses First Amendment rights dont extend to their employees

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Apr 022015
 

By Bruce Barry April 2 at 10:45 AM

A lot of ink has been spilled in recent days over Indianas new religious objection law. Some business owners say they need to safeguard First Amendment rights to religious expression, while opponents vilify it as a pretext for discrimination. Rather fewer people pay attention to the rights of business employees to express their beliefs. What happened recently to Shanna Tippen of Pine Bluff, Ark. reminds us that most American workers dont have a right to express themselves without being fired.

Tippen, a minimum wage motel employee at a Days Inn in Pine Bluff, agreed to be interviewed for a Washington Post story in mid-February about Arkansas newly enacted 25-cent minimum wage hike and its effect on the working poor. Tippen shared some details of her challenging household economics with The Posts Chico Harland, and also mentioned that she was one of the many who signed petitions to get the minimum wage hike on the Arkansas ballot last year.

This week brought a dispiriting follow-up story: Tippen called Harlan to share the news that she was fired by the owner of the motel for talking to The Post. Realizing that journalists often run the risk of unintentionally influencing events in a story they cover, Harlan lamented that writing about Tippens plight may have made her situation worse.

[After a story is published, a minimum wage worker loses her job]

Harlan heard a different story from the Days Inns general manager Herry Patel, who claims that Tippen wasnt fired, but instead walked out after a disagreement. However, Patel had also called Tippen stupid for talking to The Post, had told Harlan that he thought the wage hike was bad for Arkansas because everybody wants free money in Pine Bluff, and subsequently threatened Harlan with a lawsuit if the story ran. Even if the general managers story is as he claims it is, the more important point about American law is that he could have fired Tippen for talking to The Post, with no legal repercussions.

Many people assume that First Amendment rights to free expression should insulate them from punishment by their employer for speech off the job that has little or nothing to do with work. In one national survey, 96 percent said firing a worker for expressing political views with which the employer disagrees with is unacceptable. Unfortunately, many workers mistakenly assume that unacceptable equals protection: in that same survey, 80 percent said (incorrectly) that its illegal to fire someone for expressing contrary political views.

The employment-at-will system that dominates labor law in the U.S. lets an employer fire a worker for just about any reason (or no reason) without legal liability. There are several exceptions, most notably bans on discrimination, as well as employment contracts that limit causes for termination. There is also a public policy exceptionwhich suggests that workers should not be subject to a punitive action by an employer that would be an affront to public interest. For example, workers should not be fired for refusing to commit perjury at their employers request or for taking time off for jury duty. It would violate the public interest if employees could be fired for doing these things.

Arkansas is an employment-at-will state, along with every other state except (oddly) Montana. Shanna Tippen, like most American workers is employed at-will, which means that she can be fired for expressing an opinion to a reporter or to a friend or a stranger or a brick wall for that matter. She would have some protectionand possibly a wrongful termination claimif she had a public sector job. In the private sector, however, First Amendment rights for individual workers to keep their jobs dont exist.

The most plausible reason that most Americans disapprove of firing people for their political views and indeed believe that it is illegal is that they think that free expression is in the public interest. Healthy democracy should allow people to engage in politics and say what they like without fearing that they will lose their jobs for saying something that their employer doesnt like. There are a few states where political activity does get some protection from an employers wrath, even in the private sector. California, for instance, bars employers from restricting or controlling workers political activity off the job. A few states have broad-based lifestyle discrimination statutes preventing employers for penalizing workers for anything they do off the job that is legal, as long as it doesnt create a conflict of interest or hamper the employees ability to do the job. Unfortunately, Tippen doesnt live in one of those states, so if she was fired for talking to a reporter about her life on the minimum wage and her views on the law, she has no recourse.

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Monkey Cage: Businesses First Amendment rights dont extend to their employees

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Indiana Religious Freedom Showdown Could End in Law Change – Video

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Apr 012015
 



Indiana Religious Freedom Showdown Could End in Law Change
Image for the news result Indiana Religious Freedom Showdown Could End in Law Change ABC News – 22 hours ago State lawmakers might be set to fix language that some claim could lead to …

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New Story Islands! To the Grand Line – One Piece Treasure Cruise – Video

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Mar 292015
 



New Story Islands! To the Grand Line – One Piece Treasure Cruise
To the Grand Line! A new story island and the Arlong Event are starting soon! Here are my thoughts on all the news. Time to get Vivi and Laboon! Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brodri4…

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New Story Islands! To the Grand Line – One Piece Treasure Cruise – Video

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Strauss: Liberty University students say they were required to attend Ted Cruz speech

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Mar 272015
 

Republican Sen Ted Cruz appeared earlier this week at Liberty University in Virginia to announce that he was running for president in 2016, becoming the first major candidate in the Democratic or Republican parties to formally declare. Cruz delivered the news at Liberty the largest Christian university in the world before a gathering of students. What you might not know about that gathering was that the students were required to attend. This post explains what happened and why. It was written by Alexandra Markovich, a 19-year-old student at Princeton University who is a member of the University Press Club, a selective group of undergraduate students who freelance for regional and national publications. Markovich is an intended major in the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs with a focus in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

By Alexandra Markovich

Ted Cruz became the first Republican candidate to officially announce his 2016 presidential campaign in front of an audience of 11,000 college students on March 23, 2015. The catch: they had to be there. Cruz made his announcement on Monday morning at Liberty University, where Convocation is mandatory to students living on campus at risk of a $10 fine for failing to attend.

As sophomore Luke Wittel walked through the doors of the Vines Center, home to Libertys mens and womens basketball teams, he was offered an American Flag, the first thing that made Wittel realize this was going to be more political rally than spiritual gathering. The American flags blended patriotism and support for Ted Cruz, Wittel said, in a way that made him nervous.

All Wittel could do to show his disagreement was not to take the flag. Wittel said that when he asked his RA if he could be excused and not be forced into apparent political association, he was sternly reminded of school policy. Throughout the hour-long Convocation, Wittel said he was not allowed to leave.

Liberty University is an evangelical university in Lynchburg, Virginia founded by the late pastor Jerry Falwell in 1971. A recent Washington Post article called Liberty the symbolic center of the GOP political-religious universe in recent years. The social conservative youth ticket will be an important card to punch in the GOP campaign.

Seeing the American flags handed out left Wittel with bitter feelings of political exploitation. Nothing makes you feel more like a pawn than being told to hold this and sit down, he said. But, Wittel sees logic behind holding the announcement at Liberty.

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Strauss: Liberty University students say they were required to attend Ted Cruz speech

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Free speech rights of independent political groups must be protected – Video

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Mar 262015
 



Free speech rights of independent political groups must be protected
It was a coincidence that this week saw both the news of an undisclosed million and a half dollar political contribution, and a public hearing on the need to revise state laws on political…

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Free speech rights of independent political groups must be protected – Video

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Youth take to boating to build awareness on keeping beaches clean – Video

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Mar 252015
 



Youth take to boating to build awareness on keeping beaches clean
Youth take to boating to build awareness on clean beach in Rameswaram NEWS 7 TAMIL http://www.NS7.tv facebook: http://fb.com/News7Tamil twitter: http://twitter.com/News7Tamil.

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First Amendment or Community Standards Violation? – Video

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Mar 222015
 



First Amendment or Community Standards Violation?
“ART” has SACRAMENTO IN NATIONAL NEWS AGAIN! A neighbor reported: I saw the swastika flags back up on the house yesterday but instead of 2 now there are 4 of them.” CRIMEWATCH WILL …

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NATO Weapons Recovered From Nine Zero Colonel Tahir Special Talk to Media About Operation – Video

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Mar 142015
 



NATO Weapons Recovered From Nine Zero Colonel Tahir Special Talk to Media About Operation
Daily Update videos—— ——-Headlines—– ——-Breaking News—– ——-Crime News—–

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NATO Weapons Recovered From Nine Zero Colonel Tahir Special Talk to Media About Operation – Video

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SHOCKING FOOTAGE: NSA Gestapo BAN 1ST AMENDMENT, CONFISCATE CAMERAS – Video

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Mar 142015
 



SHOCKING FOOTAGE: NSA Gestapo BAN 1ST AMENDMENT, CONFISCATE CAMERAS
FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS, CONSPIRACIES GLOBAL TRENDS, CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE, THANK YOU NSA data. FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS, CONSPIRACIES GLOBAL TRENDS, …

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ARY News Headlines 13 March 2015 – Rangers recover Illegal NATO weapons – Video

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Mar 132015
 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1–1c2YJGo]
ARY News Headlines 13 March 2015 – Rangers recover Illegal NATO weapons
ARY News Headlines 13 March 2015 NEWS HEADLINES ARY News Headlines 13 March 2015 ARY News Bulletin Today ARY Headlines Today 13 March 2015 ARY News Reports 13 March 2015 …

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ARY News Headlines 13 March 2015 – Rangers recover Illegal NATO weapons – Video

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NSA Strongly Suspected In 'Equation Group' Hacks On Russian, Iranian Hard Drives

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Mar 132015
 

The U.S. National Security Agency may have been planting surveillance software into hard drives and other essential computer equipment sold around the world for more than a decade through a shadowy organization known as the Equation Group, a respected cybersecurity researcher says. The revelation, if true, indicates that operators within the NSA have been collecting far more information on the spy agencys behalf than previously thought.

The Equation Group manipulated hard drives manufactured by Toshiba, Seagate, IBM, Western Digital and others dating back as far as 2001, researchers at the Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said Wednesday. Equation has also proven able to reprogram a machines firmware, meaning that hackers were able to monitor even the most mundane activity on tens of thousands of individual PCs without their owners knowledge.

Privacy experts say the disclosures highlight the need for international companies to do more to protect customers from evolving threats to their online security.

Existence of the Equation Group, believed to be made up of 60 or so actors, was first revealed at Kasperskys annual security summit in Mexico on Feb. 16. Kaspersky on Wednesday released further information that strongly links the organization to the NSA.

The dense technical language in the Kaspersky report essentially argues that spies were able to install malicious software into computer hard drives that activate again and again each time the computer powers on.

Researchers found source code that makes reference to STRAITACID, STRAITSHOOTER, and BACKSNARF_AB25. Those names bear a remarkable resemblance to BACKSNARF and STRAITBIZARRE, two malware campaigns used by NSAs Tailored Access Operations team and first revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Costin Raiu, Kasperskys lead researcher on the project, told Reuters that while the Equation Group was able to steal files on any of the infected computers, they assumed full control only of computers used by high-value targets. Disk drive firmware, which was infected in this hack, is the second-most valuable space on a computer for hackers (after a microprocessors input/output system), the news outlet reported.

The Equation Group appears to rely on the programs EquationDrug and GrayFish for its espionage operations.

Its important to note that EquationDrug is not just a Trojan, but a full espionage platform, which includes a framework for conducting cyberespionage activities by deploying specific modules of selected victims, stated a version of the report updated Wednesday. The architecture of the whole framework resembles a mini-operating system with kernel-mode and user-mode components carefully interacting with each other via custom message passing interface.

Again, Kaspersky did not officially pin the Equation Group on the NSA, but pointed out links that are hard to dismiss as coincidence.

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NSA Strongly Suspected In 'Equation Group' Hacks On Russian, Iranian Hard Drives

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Nexstar's Top Executive Receives 1st Amendment Award in DC

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Mar 122015
 

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Radio Television Digital News Foundation hosted its First Amendment awards in the nation’s capital on Wednesday night.

The first amendment awards celebration honors working journalists and corporate executives for their hard work and dedication in the television broadcasting industry.

Receiving the 25th First Amendment award Wednesday night was Nexstar Chairman, President and CEO, Perry Sook.

“Our local television stations do two things, one, we produce local content which is our service to the community and our identity and we help local advertisers and local businesses grow,” Sook told reporters.

“30 years I’ve been in the business, 15 with Perry, the man has lived up to the vision of everything he set out to do when he started this company,” said Timothy Busch, Nexstar’s Executive Vice President.

Nexstar Broadcasting started as one station 19 years ago. Now the company owns, operates and provides sales and other services to 105 television stations reaching approximately 15.6% of all US television households.

Sook says it’s all about viewers having access to their news on a 24/7 basis.

“We have endeavored to offer local news throughout the day so that if you’re working shift work, 3 to 11, we have a newscast for you, early afternoon or perhaps late night or we have expanded our morning shows,” said Sook.

Sook has 33 years of experience in the television and radio broadcasting industry and credits the viewers for the success of his business.

“For viewers and advertisers, coupling digital and broadcast is an unbeatable combination.”

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3.10.15 | Second Scoop: Snoop Dogg goes Anti, Gun Ownership Down, Wayne LaPierre on AR-15 Ammo Ban – Video

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Mar 112015
 



3.10.15 | Second Scoop: Snoop Dogg goes Anti, Gun Ownership Down, Wayne LaPierre on AR-15 Ammo Ban
The Second Scoop: Chris Cheng provides humor, insight, and commentary on the top gun stories you should know about. Come back every Tuesday for a delicious serving of Second Amendment news …

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3.10.15 | Second Scoop: Snoop Dogg goes Anti, Gun Ownership Down, Wayne LaPierre on AR-15 Ammo Ban – Video

NATO lashes out at 'revisionist' Russia, Moscow blasts West for creating new 'divisive lines'

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Mar 102015
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference following a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Italy’s prime minister visited Moscow on Thursday in a bid to repair ties that have been hurt by Russia-West tensions over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)(The Associated Press)

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi , left, speaks as Russian President Vladimir Putin, listens, during their news conference after their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 5, 2015. Italy’s prime minister visited Moscow on Thursday in a bid to repair ties that have been hurt by Russia-West tensions over Ukraine. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)(The Associated Press)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, walks with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja before their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, Thursday, March 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Markku Ulander) FINLAND OUT, NO THIRD PARTY SALES(The Associated Press)

RIGA, Latvia NATO and Russia are exchanging heated language reminiscent of Cold War days with accusations of sinister geopolitical plotting and human rights abuses flying across an increasingly deep divide.

NATO’s top U.S. civilian official said Thursday says that “an angry, revisionist Russia” was stopping at little to re-establish its clout in Europe, including redrawing “borders by force to achieve its goals.”

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said President Vladimir Putin’s “aim seems to be to turn Ukraine into a failed state and to suppress and discredit alternative voices in Russia, so as to prevent a Russian ‘Maidan,'” referring to the Ukraine uprising which ousted Moscow-ally Viktor Yanukovych last year.

In Moscow, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov blasted the West for trying to create “new divisive lines in Europe.”

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Obamas First Amendment assault

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Mar 092015
 

The Obama Administration and their cohorts launched a double-barreled assault on the First Amendment this week.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dumped 330 pages of regulatory Super Glue on the operation of the Internet making clear their intention to turn the greatest source of democratized communication since Gutenberg invented the printing press into a public utility.

Perhaps jealous of their speech regulator counterparts, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) held a hearing to begin the discussion of how they can regulate political speech on the Internet.

Here’s a newsflash to the FEC you cannot.

The blogs, articles and political information sources that the Democrat appointees on the FEC find so abhorrent are no different than the newspapers, radio or television broadcasts that they have no control over the content placed on them. Political news and commentary websites, whether using a link-driven system like the DrudgeReport, a news-oriented one like Breitbart.com or HuffPo, or a commentary-based blog like NetRightDaily.com, provides First Amendment-protected information to people who a generation ago got their news from dailies and news anchors.

It is this exact information expansion that drives the left crazy. While supporting the First Amendment when it applies to friendly news anchors and “all the news that’s fit to print” newspapers, the left sees talk radio and an open and free Internet as being a threat to their ability to appropriately shape the narrative.

Yet, Internet bloggers are a much more accurate depiction of what the Founding Fathers were seeking to protect. In an environment where small towns had their own newspapers, and Patrick Henry self-published his seminal work, “Common Sense” that helped fuel the revolutionary fire, the men who wrote the Bill of Rights specifically were trying to prevent the government from determining what political speech was allowed.

The current occupant of the White House has proven exactly why the Founders had this concern.

Under Obama, the IRS has targeted conservatives and potential conservative donors. And then, not to be outdone, the Treasury proposed formalizing what the IRS had done with an enormous intrusion into the ability of non-profits to engage in political discourse.

The FCC tried to place news monitors into newsrooms to make certain approved topics were receiving enough coverage.

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Obamas First Amendment assault




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