July 27, 2016 7:40 AM HomeMorning ReadsMorning Reads for Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Morning Reads for Wednesday, July 27, 2016 By Nathan Morning Reads 47 Comments Ed is out stalking Michael Phelps and about in Rio for the Olympics, so I’m filling in today. It’s also the day after the run-offs. You can find the results to your favorite races here. Here: It’s been hot and dry (really dry up here in northwest Georgia), and the City of LaFayette is reminding citizens to conserve water. A 20-year veteran Roswell police officer was fired for displaying the Confederate flag in her front yard. Cobb County decided that Commission Chairman Tim Lee didn’t do a good enough job and elected Mike Boyce as their new commission chairman. Former Georgia Young Republicans Chairman Meagan Hanson won her razor-thin primary in House District 80 defeating rival Alan Cole by 29 votes. There: Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic nominee for president last night. Former President Bill Clinton makes the case. Nate Silver discusses if the Democratic primary was really close as the media tried to portray it. Apple’s reality distortion field can’t prevent earnings from falling for a second consecutive quarter (Warning: WSJ paywall). Yonder: Remember when the Ice Bucket Challenge was all the rage 2 years ago? Apparently the funds raised from that has allowed scientists to discover the gene responsible for ALS. How much do you spend on your cable subscription vs. Netflix? Someone apparently crunched some numbers. Android Pay, Samsung Pay, heck, Walmart even has its own, but Apple Pay continues to dominate the contactless payment scene. Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related About Author nsmith IT Geek. Former 14th District GOP Chairman. Former Walker GOP Chairman. American. Georgian. Republican. 47 Comments Noway2016 Roswell officer fired for flying Confederate flag? Seriously? Does the 1st Amendment mean nothing any more? She’ll obviously be reinstated and sue the dog-squeeze out of the city. Gotta love the Goebbels-like Speech Police. Whatever happened to “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” To rob a line from Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Free Speech is Gone Like the Wind…” July 27, 2016 8:05 AM Log in to Reply John Vestal Not a 1A issue. July 27, 2016 8:33 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Enlighten us then, John. What kind of issue is it? Can’t wait to hear this rationalization. July 27, 2016 8:37 AM Log in to Reply John Vestal The First Amendment prohibits government or its agents from taking any punitive action against a citizen or entity due to speech or expression (with some exceptions:, inciting violence, suborning a crime, etc). Roswell waas not taking action as a government agency. They acted as an employer addressing the conditions for employment with one of their employees. You’re welcome. July 27, 2016 9:03 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 The city government of Roswell was not acting as a government. Hmmmm… Let’s see how that defense works in the upcoming court case. July 27, 2016 9:20 AM John Vestal By your logic a meter reader for Cobb County Water should be able to tell their supervisor to GFH without fear of losing their job because he’s a government employee. *BZZZZZ* Thanks for playing. Enjoy the year’s supply of Rice-A-Roni. BTW, I’m neither advocating nor condoning the action they took. Sounds like they pulled a mountain/molehill move. I’m merely pointing out it’s an issue of employment law, not 1A. July 27, 2016 9:30 AM Noway2016 The cop didn’t insult her supervisor, John. She displayed a flag at her home. Nice try but irrelevant. A city’s employment handbook doesn’t trump Free Speech. Like I said, let’s see how this plays out in court, ’cause that’s where this is headed barring a settlement for the fired cop. July 27, 2016 10:14 AM Saltycracker I don’t think it is a 1A issue either and it probably was violations of the conditions of employment, but I question that the flag is the single issue for immediate dismissal. I, saw your response after posting, doubt it is a molehill unless the chief overreacted and didn’t confer with city attorney……there is the rest of the story………I hope…. July 27, 2016 9:36 AM Dave Bearse I would expect you’re correct about single issue. The Atlanta Fire Chief’s book didn’t get him fired, though in his case it was stuff related to the book, maybe not the case (something flag-related) with the Roswell officer. July 27, 2016 11:52 PM PM See Article 1, Paragraph V of the Georgia Constitution. July 27, 2016 8:37 PM Log in to Reply Saltycracker There is something not right about the article. Why immediate dismissal, what is the exact policy ? As a proud descendant of men that fought on both sides it is incredulous that she didn’t know the flag in her yard was controversial and that alone should make her job requirement of awareness suspect. But just the flag in her yard an immediate dismissal ? There has to be more to this than the inflammatory reporting. July 27, 2016 8:48 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Hate to side with Noway, but this is a First Amendment issue. The Roswell Police Department is a government entity. It does not matter that they “acted as an employer,” they’re still the government. This officer was acting in her capacity as a private citizen by flying a Confederate flag outside her home. Were she flying the flag from her squad car while on duty, Garcetti v. Ceballos says she does not have First Amendment protection and can be fired or otherwise disciplined. However, when she is acting as private citizen, she does have First Amendment rights. In Pickering v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects a public employee’s right to speak freely on matters of public concern. Pickering involved a public school teacher who was fired after she wrote a letter to the editor of her local paper criticizing the school board’s budge choices. The Supreme Court stated that when a public employee is speaking in their capacity as a private citizen, the court must balance the employee’s interest in expressing himself/herself against any injury the speech caused or was likely to cause the government in terms of carrying out its services. In other words, does the police department’s interest in efficiency and avoiding disruption outweigh this officer’s interest in free speech? Now, one could also argue that flying a Confederate flag is not a matter of public concern. In that case, the department has more leeway to take action. In City of San Diego v. Roe a police officer filmed a pornographic movie wearing his uniform and identified himself as a real police officer. The Court held that government employers are allowed to place restrictions on their employee’s speech that would otherwise be unconstitutional if applied to the general public. Here, the Court held that Roe’s actions did not inform the public about the police department (hence they didn’t relate to a matter of public concern) and they were detrimental to the image an integrity of the police force. I’ll leave the determination of this to the attorneys on the case and the judge who gets it on his/her docket. I just wanted to riff on First Amendment law for a bit. July 27, 2016 10:03 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Day—-ammm! Is it snowing in Miami right now? Did a 725 pound pig just fly by my window? I’m doing a screen shot just to PROVE that on at least one occasion Drew and I actually agreed! Too funny! Being serious, this doesn’t pass my layman’s legal smell test. Or common sense as I define it. I know on most things discussed here, I am in the minority as far as my opinions go. Glad Drew put up some legal citations. One other thing comes to mind: How is the case of the fire fighter fired for his religious pamphlet shaking out in Atlanta? Or is it even close to being resolved? July 27, 2016 10:25 AM Log in to Reply Benevolus It was snowing in Covington on Monday. (They are filming a winter scene for a movie out there.) July 27, 2016 12:14 PM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Well, there ya go! Thanks, B! July 27, 2016 12:18 PM Saltycracker Hey, a sensible learning experience right here. IMO a cop is off the clock but not off duty with a patrol car parked at home, and subject to her conditions of employment. Still don’t see her infraction, if singular, as immediate dismissal. Unless you can be dismissed for stupid excuses. July 27, 2016 10:36 AM Log in to Reply gcp Salty you are correct. She drove a marked Roswell pd car to and from her home thus there was a perceived flag/departmental linkage. Departments have wide discretion in such matters but there were likely other non publicized infractions and perhaps a bad work history which contributed to her dismissal. July 28, 2016 8:42 AM Log in to Reply Will Durant If true, the claim of ignorance that the flag is offensive to others would be a contributing factor if I were her supervisor. July 28, 2016 8:55 AM Saltycracker Then I read that was a misconstrued reported answer, she was responding to the flag being offensive as it was related to some crime news she as unaware of…..heck who knows…..let those involved sort it out…. July 28, 2016 6:41 PM gt7348b As a former employee of Roswell, this is absolutely allowable. As a public employee, your first amendment rights are restricted especially if they can be connected to your employer. Additionally, anything that places Roswell in a negative light (which she did by placing her marked patrol car), is subject to termination. She had to sign a document saying she understood as a condition of employment just like I did. A public servant has to be cognizant that they are held and observed to a higher standard. (Aside – I’m sometimes shocked what people put in emails subject to FOIA) July 28, 2016 7:03 PM Log in to Reply Indypendant se·di·tion səˈdiSH(ə)n/ noun conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. synonyms: rabble-rousing, incitement to rebel, subversion, troublemaking, provocation; Sedition is against the law in the United States. Furthermore, for those of you flying or defending the Confederate flag, you lost. You are more than welcome to leave this great country of ours. July 27, 2016 10:54 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 “synonyms: rabble-rousing, incitement to rebel, subversion, troublemaking, provocation” Perfect definition! Has no relevance for simply flying a flag, but a perfect definition. So, Michael Brown’s step father should be cited for this when he encouraged the assembled mob to “burn this bi**h down?” July 27, 2016 11:20 AM Log in to Reply Indypendant You’re a peach. I thought Georgia was a right to work state and you could be fired without cause at any moment? July 27, 2016 11:27 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Concentrate, Indy, concentrate! First it was “sedition” and now “right to work?” What’s your next explanation in defense of Roswell’s denial of their employee’s constitutional rights? July 27, 2016 11:34 AM Indypendant He was a racist butthole? YOU’RE FIRED! July 27, 2016 11:44 AM Noway2016 Ummm, Indy, I think the officer was female. Go back to sleep! July 27, 2016 11:47 AM Indypendant Can’t do that, going out to register African-American and Hispanic voters for the upcoming Presidential election! July 27, 2016 12:21 PM LoyaltyIsMyHonor Indy thinks women belong in the kitchen. July 27, 2016 12:25 PM Indypendant Stooping to personal insults? Charlie, is this how you want your comment section run? July 27, 2016 1:19 PM blakeage80 Cable vs Netflix: This brought my thoughts back to my beloved Aereo TV. Stupid Supreme Court. July 27, 2016 8:12 AM Log in to Reply Saltycracker For giggles just click on your Netflix account and click documentaries or TV documentaries, now that’s current 😎😎😎 July 27, 2016 9:59 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 And another pearl from Radical Islamic Animals….. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/693326/Normandy-attack-hostages-taken-armed-men-Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray The solution for this problem was presented years ago by an old Georgia drill sergeant: “A Copperhead will kill you. It could kill one of my dogs. It could kill one of my grandchildren. It could kill any one of my four great grandchildren. They play all the time where I found those killers. “And you know, when I discovered these Copperheads, I didn’t call my wife Shirley for advice, like I do on most things. I didn’t go before the city council. I didn’t yell for help from my neighbors. I just took a hoe and knocked them in the head and killed them. Dead as a doorknob. “I guess you could call it a unilateral action. Or preemptive. Perhaps if you had been watching me you could have even called it bellicose and reactive. “I took their poisonous heads off because they were a threat to me. And they were a threat to my home and my family. They were a threat to all I hold dear. And isn’t that what this is all about?” We love you, Zell! July 27, 2016 8:19 AM Log in to Reply ChrisFromMarietta Some large chickens came home to roost last night in Cobb. I don’t believe it was about the Braves per se, but rather the whole way the deal was managed and rammed down the peoples throats without their voices being heard. A price had to be paid for taking away the voters right to a referendum, but also note the slap-dash job with the stadium, with parking plan still up in the air and a bridge over I-285 that the ARC says is “critical” remaining up in the air (two active lawsuits and a hearing next month in front of a Superior Court Judge who might just slap a “stop work” restraining order on the whole thing until this gets resolved.) Prayers are in order for both Tim Lee, who seems tone deaf and oblivious to the meaning of “Public Servant”, and Mike Boyce, who now gets to clean up the mess Lee made, and help make the thing a success at least from an operational standpoint. July 27, 2016 8:20 AM Log in to Reply Teri The fact that the photo the AJC chose to run on the front page is one of Boyce being congratulated by Bill Byrne gives me a good sense of what the next four years have in store. Also, what has Boyce said he’ll do to “help make the thing a success at least from an operational standpoint?” I’ve only read/heard about his feelings on the deal in general, and not as much about moving forward. July 27, 2016 8:48 AM Log in to Reply chefdavid What Tom Dickson ousted? July 27, 2016 8:59 AM Log in to Reply Nathan He was. Also, Snuggles is back. July 27, 2016 9:38 AM Log in to Reply raconteuse Also! Sharon Barnes Sutton was defeated in DeKalb. I can’t wait for George’s write-up. July 27, 2016 10:07 AM Log in to Reply Bart I guess the lesson of Tim Lee’s demise is voters would rather accept the boring status quo instead of striving for innovative, exciting growth and prosperity. This is not the Cobb County where I grew up when our elected leaders made bold, visionary decisions supported by energetic, growth oriented citizens who knew Lockheed could not be counted on forever as the main job source. Hard to imagine what would happen if the commission dared to propose such large scale projects as Galleria, Town Center and others in this era of mob/micro management by know-it-all nimbys. Damn shame. July 27, 2016 10:17 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Great points, TJ, but I think the thing that really did him in was the parking lot mess. Might have he lost anyway? Sure. But the heavy handedness of his restrictitng private property was the final nail. July 27, 2016 10:36 AM Log in to Reply Teri Agreed, Bart. It’s imperative to be thoughtful about new developments and redevelopments (which is most of what we have in the Smyrna area). By it’s also critical to not be regressive. I’m concerned. July 27, 2016 3:36 PM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Ol’ Noway told yall this a while back at the other site…Hinkley to go free. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/would-be-reagan-assassin-john-w-hinckley-jr-to-be-freed-after-35-years/2016/07/27/04142084-5015-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html July 27, 2016 10:44 AM Log in to Reply xdog This guy read eight of Donald Trump’s books so you don’t have to. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2015/07/30/i-just-binge-read-eight-books-by-donald-trump-heres-what-i-learned/ July 27, 2016 11:01 AM Log in to Reply George Dickel Even as a committed Tim Lee voter who had no use for a candidate who could not define for me what he had to offer outside of not being the incumbent, I found Tim Lee’s campaign embarrassing. The “Tax Hike Mike Boyce” mailers and all the literature describing Tim Lee as a victim of the mean old liberal AJC were pathetic. There was no spinning the terrible optics of the parking lot deal, and the geniuses running the campaigns and PACs were sending three mailers a day reminding voters of it at every turn. July 27, 2016 11:14 AM Log in to Reply Teri The mailers made me cringe. July 27, 2016 3:37 PM Log in to Reply augusta52 Maybe Tim Lee should have consulted with fellow Cobbite Roy E. Barnes about how lack of transparency can do you in, that the title of the old country song ‘Behind Closed Doors” is not the way the public wants business conducted in Cobb especially when a lot of their tax money is involved. July 27, 2016 11:54 AM Log in to Reply Teri “Sonny lied!!1!!1!” July 27, 2016 7:29 PM Log in to Reply MattMD_actual My comment was deleted. I should have pointed out that some “HYPHENATED-AMERICANS” think the battle flag is offensive. Apparently you can’t say “blacks” on this site. My whole post was about how I think the Roswell Police took their discipline too far; they should have handled this issue internally. July 28, 2016 11:48 PM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.