Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Amendment Follies Flummux Fiery Fanatic

One of the joys of living in this country is the First Amendment.

Really. The amendment pretty much gives the right to say what we want, when we want, how we want.

That doesn't necessarily mean having our say turns out well.

Ask Michael Leisner. He was not happy with General Mills, makers of cereals like Cheerios. The conglomerate's PR people have said the company opposes an upcoming Minnesota initiative that would ban gay marriage.

Leisner wants gay marriage banned, and he's unhappy with General Mills for disagreeing with him. So he showed up at General Mills headquarters to express his displeasure. It had to be dramatic, to get people's attention. And dramatic it was.

In protest he decided to burn a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. As you can see in the video below, things didn't go so well for poor Leisner. It was the start of a very bad week for him.

The video pretty much has the nation laughing at poor Leisner. The video, shot by his friends, went up on YouTube. He soon arranged it so you couldn't copy it into another Web page, like I did here, but it was too late. The version I have posted is somebody's copy, that does let me show the world the guy's clumsiness with fire.

Apparently, some of the people at an outfit called Greater Midwest Properties saw the video, too. Leisner was a real estate agent for them, but apparently he's been fired. Greater Midwest Properties says it doesn't condone the destruction of property. Even if the destruction isn't that bad.

This proves the perils of exercising your First Amendment rights. Exercising those rights means the government can't punish you for criticizing its leaders or its policies. However, there still can be consequences from other sources.

As Leisner learned, your employer has free speech rights, too. If it disagrees with your free speech, or the way you express them, you can become unemployed. That's been in the news a lot lately.

A guy in Tuscson, Adam Smith, decided recently to mercilessly berate the person at a Chick Fil A drive through window because he was mad at the chicken chain because its owner gives lots of cash to anti-gay organizations.

Smith seems to have picked on the person at the drive through because the person at a drive through window at a large fast food restaurant chain can change the mind of the head of the company, apparently. Ooookay.....

Smith was the CFO of Vante Inc. but his bosses saw the video and canned him. Smith posted a another video on YouTube apologizing but it was wayyyy to late for that.

All this is a lesson: Say what you want, but do it politely, please, without drama. Doing so could keep the unemployment rate down. Especially yours.

No comments:

Post a Comment