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Old 07-22-2009, 01:27 PM   #1
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Conservative kiosk not allowed at mall | WCNC.com | Local News for Charlotte, North Carolina | Top Stories

CONCORD, N.C. -- "Impeach Obama."

"Al Qaeda's favorite days: 9/11/01 and 11/04/08."

"Work Harder. Obama needs the money."

The bumper stickers and posters sold at "Free Market Warrior" at Concord Mills are meant to be "biting," the kiosk's owner Loren Spivack said.

At least one passerby found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Whatever your opinion, the fact is this: At the end of July, Free Market Warrior will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain's owner shared e-mail correspondence with NewsChannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not "neutral" enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew.

Spivack, who first leased the space this spring, says the decision came as a shock to him. He says mall management seemed pleased with the kiosk just a few weeks ago.

"Nobody in that mall is selling anything from a conservative perspective. Plenty of people are selling things with a liberal perspective, with a pro-Obama perspective," he said. "Given that we are in America and not North Korea, we probably should have some stuff on the other side."

Spivack says he is careful not to sell things that personally attack a politician and wants a fair exchange of ideas. "The material that I sell is about politics and ideas," he told Newschannel 36. "It's all legitimate criticism."

Concord Mills, owned by Simon Property Group, would not comment for this story, cited a policy against talking about tenant and landlord situations.

Spivack says the company first contacted him about his lease after a letter to the editor appeared in the Charlotte Observer. The author, recent UNC-Charlotte graduate Jennifer Ibanez, wrote"

"Free Market Warrior, a kiosk located adjacent to Bass Pro Shops, specializes in memorabilia embellished with pro-confederacy statements as well as those opposing both the government and President Obama. In addition, these products support ideas such as racism, sexism, and even slavery. While freedom of speech is a Constitutional right it's difficult not to believe that something just isn't quite right here.

"I find it appalling that Concord Mills, North Carolina’s #1 visitor attraction, would condone such a message to be portrayed by their vendors and can't imagine how the outside visitors' perceptions of North Carolinians have been skewed by such an establishment.

"It’s hard to stay open-minded when such uncivilized and outdated ideas are endorsed on a daily basis. It's 2009; please, let's at least try to put this type of bigotry to an end."

Ibanez told NewsChannel 36 she was so offended, she wrote the mall as well. She says a friend of hers also wrote in. Both threatened not to return to Concord Mills.

The owner of the mall group, Mel Simon, has been a generous contributor to Democratic causes and politicians, including Barack Obama. Spivack thinks the decision about his lease is political.

"If they have decided to make their malls conservative/libertarian free zones, where those opinions can't be expressed, I do think it's their right to do that, but it's our rights to publicize the fact that they are doing that," he said.

If the issue is about causing offense, he told us, the mall should police other stores. Spivack sent NewsChannel 36 pictures of several T-shirts and banners from novelty stores at the mall that were so crude we've chosen not to share them.

"What I think the mall should have done if they thought that we were expressing one set of ideas and not another, is that they should have gotten another store to come in and sell their ideas," he said. "I would've been all in favor of that. I would have helped them move in."
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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Free Market Warrior

Among the things sold at the kiosk



Do you find the caption on this item outrageous or disturbing? Interestingly enough, it was one of a handful of our products cited as “offensive” by Simon Malls when they declined to renew the contract for the Free Market Warriors store in Concord, NC. Somehow, the suggestion that an infant wants to be allowed to live raises submerged pangs of guilt in Leftist elitists like the proprietor of Simon Malls. The ideologues who place their support behind Obama are more interested in erasing the notion of individual responsibility than in advocating the right of all human beings to life and liberty. Here’s your (and your baby’s) chance to offend all the right people.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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What an informed bunch...
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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Regardless of their views-if the mall sells liberal and/or pro Obama merchandise (and I imagine they might have sold anti-Bush stuff) and doesn't police the content in other stores for any offensive merchandise-well it's not fair to shut down this kiosk (especially for a few complaints, I don't know how many complaints they actually had). Leave it there and let it sink or swim for itself by the free market. That's the fair way.

I find the AQ sticker to be quite offensive (clearly it is meant to be "provocative", offensive is more subjective I suppose) but I could probably go into other stores and find things that could be deemed equally offensive by me or anyone else. I don't know about the slavery and racist and sexist stuff they sell, I didn't take enough time at the web site to see it. They do sell a Mitt Romney bobblehead
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Well a couple of things. It's privately owned and they can "censor" all they want Free Market people should know that. Another thing is that it's in a kiosk, I can avoid for the most part the content of some stores by not going into them, but a kiosk is something different.

And with rhetoric like this:

Quote:
raises submerged pangs of guilt in Leftist elitists like the proprietor of Simon Malls. The ideologues who place their support behind Obama are more interested in erasing the notion of individual responsibility than in advocating the right of all human beings to life and liberty. Here’s your (and your baby’s) chance to offend all the right people.
I'm sure he was a pleasant tenant to work with...
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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Of course they can censor all they want but they should censor equally and fairly, across the board. I agree that kiosks are more in-your-face, but they allowed him there in the first place, as a kiosk.Were his items more "neutral" then and suddenly became like this? I doubt it. I wonder if they even checked out the site. But as long as he didn't go around shouting that stuff at his kiosk then they really can't do anything about that. Maybe as long as they were collecting lease payments from him (and malls are in trouble these days) they didn't care-until some people complained.

I never thought that any mall cared about the "neutrality" of their items. And what is offensive to some is not at all to others.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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I've heard of malls that have made tenants remove their window display because a naked manequin was too risque, and they only got two complaints. Malls care about keeping customers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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This man is a mental case. The Bush administration was the complete opposite of libertarian conservatism. No true libertarian conservative supports neo-con ideas, the ideologies are simply incompatible. This mental case is publicly debauching the ideas of liberatarian conservatism and I am glad he has been stopped, for whatever reason.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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These are the items the mall deemed offensive, according to the web site-the baby bib, the Al Qaeda bumper sticker, and the Impeach Obama bumper sticker.

Some people are trying to start boycotts of Simon Malls over this-that's plenty of malls to boycott. I just have to wonder why they offered this guy space in the first place. Clearly he's not neutral, and I doubt he started out selling Hannah Montana stuff and just randomly started slipping all this other stuff in. All they had to do was Google it.

No one has complained about any of this stuff, I guess. This is what he claims is also at that mall

"Here are slogans from t-shirts sold at other Concord Mills vendors. They apparently have no problem allowing these vendors and this merchandise to stay:

* "I eat P***y like a fat kid eats cake"
* "I love my Daddy even thou he's an A**hole"
* "Please don't just use me for my big D***"
* There are also materials advocating illegal drugs etc.


[In all cases the obscene words are spelled out in full on the actual shirts.]



He says this about Sarah Palin

If the star ship Enterprise had a Captain Palin she, like Kirk, would be personally beaming down to the planet to wrestle with (and perhaps seduce) the alien.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
This man is a mental case. The Bush administration was the complete opposite of libertarian conservatism. No true libertarian conservative supports neo-con ideas, the ideologies are simply incompatible. This mental case is publicly debauching the ideas of liberatarian conservatism and I am glad he has been stopped, for whatever reason.
There seem to be all sorts of neo-cons masquerading as libertarians these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
These are the items the mall deemed offensive, according to the web site-the baby bib, the Al Qaeda bumper sticker, and the Impeach Obama bumper sticker.

Some people are trying to start boycotts of Simon Malls over this-that's plenty of malls to boycott. I just have to wonder why they offered this guy space in the first place. Clearly he's not neutral, and I doubt he started out selling Hannah Montana stuff and just randomly started slipping all this other stuff in. All they had to do was Google it.

No one has complained about any of this stuff, I guess. This is what he claims is also at that mall

"Here are slogans from t-shirts sold at other Concord Mills vendors. They apparently have no problem allowing these vendors and this merchandise to stay:

* "I eat P***y like a fat kid eats cake"
* "I love my Daddy even thou he's an A**hole"
* "Please don't just use me for my big D***"
* There are also materials advocating illegal drugs etc.


[In all cases the obscene words are spelled out in full on the actual shirts.]
I have no idea how long the kiosk was at the mall, or the materials he started out selling, but one would assume that his lease is annual, and he's been there at least a year, which would predate the election. Maybe he didn't sell anti-Obama material at the time? Or maybe it's just become easier for the mall owner to deal with now by not renewing the lease as opposed to attempting an eviction. I bet the latter has a lot to do with it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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From his site. I don't know how he manages to put up with living in MA.

Loren Spivack, FREE MARKET WARRIOR

Loren Spivack grew up in Massachusetts and studied history and political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He spent most of the last 20 years living in New York City and doing fundraising for different charities. Before founding Free Market Warrior, Mr. Spivack spent several years as a marketing and management consultant for various companies and non-profits.

Currently, Mr. Spivack is a popular speaker at conservative and Libertarian groups and teaches study groups on classical economic theory. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and five children.


"Teach (especially your children) Everyday at our stores, I hear sad stories from customers about lost children who have become caught up Obamamania. Perhaps they will wake up and come back some day when they're old enough to know better (although some people never get to know better) or when we have all paid such a price for their folly that it becomes indisputable. But this doesn't just happen. Children abandon institutions which their elders have failed to fully explain to them. This is one of the reasons that the public educational system has been attacking American and Western history for years. Make no mistake, your children are being taught that America and the Western tradition and free markets are all bad. They can only be redeemed by non-westerners and reformers who will replace capitalism with socialism. You see the path was being laid for Obama before anyone even knew his name. I have 5 children and try to teach them about the greatness of America and freedom everyday. And not just as catch phrases. I want them to understand the details and the facts. I have refuted every lie they brought home from school. Until their teachers learned not to bother. (Today I send them to private religious schools. It should be noted, however, that even there some NEA dogma still slips through. I remember watching school house Rock (Do you remember that?) with my seven year old daughter. We were watching "Mother necessity" which is a musical history of some of America's greatest inventors (Edison, Henry Ford, Eli Whitney, etc.) I asked my then 7 year old daughter a question: Why do you think" I said, "that all these inventions were invented by Americans, when Americans make up only a very small percent of the world's population?" After a moment of thought she said, "I'm not sure exactly, but I know it has something to do with freedom". Well damn straight it has something to do with freedom and woe betide any people who can't connect those dots."
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:30 AM   #12
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In addition, these products support ideas such as racism, sexism, and even slavery.


Some "graduate."
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:22 PM   #13
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I believe 100% in capitalism and the free market.... and I voted for Obama and even worked as one of the directors of his florida campaign!!

What a bunch of crap that Obama doesnt believe in the free market... if anyone doesn't, it was Bush for giving huge tax cuts to the rich and selling out the majority of Americans with tax cuts to those that aren't even the main source of employees or employers in the free market- among other things.

This kiosk... "global warming is a hoax, etc.." is part of the reason why most of the world has hated us for the past 8 years.

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
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Malls are private enterprises, and, as such, are free to discriminate, as long as it does not cover protected classes under the law. Political beliefs are not covered.
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