First Amendment to the United States Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

My long time readers recognize my ability to tie seemingly unrelated items together. I promise not to disappoint today!

stack of newspapersToday’s article deals with one small, yet important provision of the first amendment, dealing with the freedom of the press. While my writings may be to some just a blog – I look upon my mission as the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment (thanks to Glenn Beck for the borrowing of this descriptor). Frankly – I am the press.

Earlier this year, one of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designers requested a comparison of our buildings, to those of a major chain of big box building supply stores similar to The Home Depot® or Lowe’s®.

Knowing the reputation of this chain and its principle owner as being highly litigious, I went out of my way in the article to cite every source (many times the source being their own website).

The article was up for a few months and read by thousands of readers – when Hansen Pole Buildings received a registered letter from legal counsel who represents the business. The basic gist of the letter was demanding the blog article be taken down, else face their wrath. I offered to amend any information which they felt was inaccurate, however my offer was summarily refused.

Considering the business which felt my article was threatening to them has annual revenues of approximately $8,000,000,000 (eight billion), their pockets were too deep for us to be able to stand our ground.

Sadly, free speech may be free, but in the “Land of the Free”, it appears the deep pocket can squash the much smaller competitors.

Keep this story in mind when considering your choice of a pole (post frame) building kit provider. As a consumer, if you have issues with the huge supplier, are they going to work to resolve the issues, or are they going to throw their in house team of legal eagles at you?

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