Pop-Quiz on Free Speech at LAS 101

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2010 12:55 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Pop-Quiz on Free Speech at LAS 101

(Don’t cheat — you probably know the right answers* anyway).

1. Free speech exists precisely to protect the expression of opinions that other people may find:

A. Untrue.

B. Inflammatory.

C. Offensive.

D. Boring.

E. Annoying.

F. Upsetting.

G. Provocative.

H. Too controversial.

I. They really don’t like to hear.

J. All of the Above.

2. “Hostile work environment” means:

A. You really don’t like what someone else says or does at work.

B. “[D]iscriminatory workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or sex. Additionally, the harassment typically must be severe, recurring and pervasive.”


3. Under ALAA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, a message entitled “Stand with the People of Gaza & Palestine – protest tomorrow 3/9/2010” is just as protected as a “non-work” message about:

A. Tillikim and the other Whales at SeaWorld (e.g., Edda Ness, 3/3/10).

B. Public Petition to Support Qing Wu (Christine Bella, 3/1/10).

C. Contacting Your Representatives on Health Care Reform (Debbora Gerressu, 2/22/10).

D. Food for thought, the next time you think of spending any of your money at Whole Foods (David Affler, 2/6/10).

E. Cocktail Reception to Raise Funds for the Victims of the Haitian Earthquake – 2/4/10 (Allen Popper, 2/2/10).

F. A bit of wisdom from Sarah Palin (Jeffrey Bloom, 11/19/09).

G. RE: Ted Kennedy has Come and Gone (Sam Roberts, 8/26/09).

H. Queens Charter Event 5-13-09 (Mary Anderson, 5/8/09).

I. All of the above.

4. When someone writes a message you don’t like, union and free speech principles entitle you to:

A. Ignore it.

B. Selectively block messages from the sender and/or about that topic.

C. Express your own opinion.

D. Whine loudly until management agrees to selectively censor the union e-list.

E. A, B and/or C.

5. Since “New ALAA Email Policy” went into effect on October 7, 2009, there have been at least 555 “non-work” messages — not one of them sent to a specially created group.

A. True.

B. False.

6. Since the “New ALAA Email Policy” went into effect on October 7, 2009, management has issued a public warning only against the one entitled “Stand with the People of Gaza & Palestine – protest tomorrow 3/9/2010.”

A. True.

B. False.

7. Since everyone has the option to selectively ignore and/or block unwanted messages, we can reasonably infer that the real purpose of selective censorship is to inhibit criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

A. True.

B. False.

8. People try to censor opinions they disagree with because they:

A. Have confidence in their own position.

B. Lack confidence in their own position.

9. I believe that Palestinian lives are just as precious as anyone else’s. (Be honest.)

A. True.

B. False.

10. In the last Sunday sermon before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defended his opposition to the Vietnam War, explaining, “there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

A. Yes, I agree with Dr. King’s philosophy.

B. No, this doesn’t apply to positions that I deem “too controversial.”












10:It’s not about Dr. King, it’s about us.

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