Thursday, May 28, 2009


I would like to alert you to this news story if you have not already heard about it. You can find the original story as reported by CBS News of Fort Worth/Dallas HERE. To say that I was concerned after hearing of this story would be a great understatement. It took just a little searching and I found the website and contact numbers for both the hospital where the original incident took place and the corporate headquarters. Corporate headquarters posted a press release in response to the news article. Everything turned out fine right? Well not as far as I am concerned.

I called the corporate headquarters and was directed to "Dave"(no last name was given) who was in charge of public relations. The phone was not picked up and after ringing several times, it was transferred to "Dave's" voice mail where I was directed to leave a telephone number and my call would be returned. I left two numbers where I could be reached, I have answering machines at both phone numbers and have not heard from them yet. Kindred, DAVE!!!, I am still waiting.

Why am I writing about this? Because the news story claimed one thing and the press released claimed another. When you watch the news story, you will find that the claim of the employee is that she was told that her supervisor and "some others" were offended by the flag. Nothing was said of the size as being inappropriate in the initial report. And yet that is what Kindred is saying this dust up was all about.

Well, someone needs to get their story straight. It appears that Kindred Healthcare is simply trying to cover their tails and instead of dealing with the issue in a straight forward manner are trying to divert the attention to a less than honest recounting of the story. I really wish someone reading this could get "Dave's" attention and have him respond to this. If Mrs. McLucas was lying about the issue, she should be fired and disgraced for using the flag in an dishonorable manner. If Kindred Healthcare finds that Mrs. McLucas is telling the truth and the other employee was offended by the flag and had it removed, that employee ought to be fired and given a one-way ticket to China.

So WHICH is it Kindred? Who is really telling the truth? Or are you simply trying to cover your tail? SHOW us your colors KINDRED! Fire ANYONE offended by our American Flag and send them packing. Or, support them through your weak corporate policies and find that true Americans can find alternative health care providers to attend to them.

EDITED to add: I have also sent them an email and will see if they respond.
EDITED to add: CBS follow up new story can be found HERE.
EDITED to add: Kindred responds in the comment stream.(5/29)


Byroniac said...

Luke, this actually makes me angry. Who actually won us our freedoms and serve to protect our interests in the world? It cannot be our military. Nahhhh. It's got to be the "cheaper by the dozen" limousine liberals in Washington who think they are being patriotic by singing hymns to the great United Nations and thinking globally (to the tune of massive amounts of foreign aid). Yes, that's got to be it.

It's a good thing I'm not dictator here, because I'd fix some things (namely including but not limited to all the above).

Now that I have that out of my system for the moment...

Yes, you're right. Someone's not being honest, and someone should be fired, for the exact reasons you mention. I am speculating about what could have caused this, really, but I do not know (but man oh man am I good at speculating).

I guess I am somewhat of a liberal because I believe in First Amendment rights to the point I believe someone should be able to burn the flag in protest. But then I or anyone else ought to have the freedom to buy him or her a one-way bus ticket to Mexico or a plane ticket to China. And there won't be a friendly Texan "Ya'll come back now, ya hear?" either.

Byroniac said...

Good grief, the thought just came to me that we care more about having the "right" to burn the flag in protest than displaying it in honor. Something is really wrong here. No, wait, that cannot be it. Think globally, Byron, and sing a happy little tune towards the UN. Right.

Luke said...


Thanks for commenting.

I do disagree with flag burning though. Why burn the very emblem of that which gives you the freedom to have an opposing view? Destroy the flag and you destroy your freedom is my take on it.

I liked your little rant by the way. But what still concerns me is that someone is being dishonest in this story. I loathe using the flag to simply garner patriotic fervor if the flag was really not the issue. But if the American flag is the issue, I am probably just as angry as you.

Still haven't heard from Kindred, though quite honestly, I don't believe they really intended on returning my call. It was just a way on their part to try and to defuse a situation that doesn't put them in a good light at all.

Hope your day is free from humidity Byron. The termite swarms over here last night were unbelievable.

Byroniac said...

Luke, I don't like flag burning. I want to make that clear. I just don't think it should be illegal to burn the flag in protest, because I believe we should have freedom to criticize, dissent, and even condemn. And it seems that have any kind of legal restriction against burning the flag would cause more problems than it would solve.

First, it would be impractical and burdensome to legally enforce and punish, especially as more and more people protested. This would require more and more State resources until finally we would wind up with a totalitarian police state.

Second, what about properly disposing of old, worn-out flags? Would you have to file (and pay for) some kind of permit for permission from governmental oversight? Then you get into problems, what exactly would constitute a flag for legal protections? The flag as a legal entity would have to have sizes and composition specified, otherwise burning or destroying what are obviously toy flags could constitute a legal gray area. And, what exactly would constitute an illegal flag destruction process by use of fire or other means? And is this only for the American flag? If not, which other ones are included in legal protection and why? And does it only include flags per se: what about patriotic clothing (OK, I'm reaching there).

Third, why not simply allow someone the right to protest by burning the flag and then tell them, you have the right to be stupid, but we (let's say, flag seller merchants) also have the right of service refusal and we refuse to sell any flags to known flag-burners.

I just see this as one freedom that should not be taken away. We can argue that the very act might be a violation of Romans 13 because of what is going on in that person's heart: rebellion, possibly. But if so, God will take care of that. I think we must protect this right of dissent because what happens when you strongly disagree with something done in America's name and your dissent is considered to be against everything patriotic? It is too easy (to me) to become part of the thinking that says, you're free, just not free to think independently.

Luke said...

I'm not at this point necessarily saying that I disagree with you, at least in totality. But my point remains I contend, that it is rather foolish if not counterproductive, to burn the very emblem that gives you the right to burn the very emblem. Rather, carry the flag with respect because it stands for that freedom that you have to protest.

I am of course addressing protestations and not honorable flag disposal such as is available through the local VFW's over here.

Byroniac said...

Luke, I basically agree with you. Yes, you shouldn't burn the very emblem of what represents your freedom to destroy that emblem. I have no argument against you there. And your distinction between protestation and honorable disposal is not only good sense, but should be common sense. My basic points could be boiled down to these: no one has figured out a way to legislate common sense, and we do not have a right to not be offended in all areas of our lives, especially if there is nothing directly harmful to any person out of that offense.

I just wish the Star Trek teleporter existed. If it did, and I had anything to say about it, a lot of people would find themselves instantly materializing in ideal vacation spots such as, oh I don't know, the Australian Outback, cozy Siberia, or some rural countryside in China far from an ATM or a McDonald's. That would shut these people up at least long enough until they found a path back to civilization and could afford a phone call. Or better yet, be penalized to 1500 hours of Holodeck simulation sessions of post-WWII America where they would have to learn to 1) get a job, 2) keep a job, and 3) learn the value of money. No, wait, you can't teach people how reality really works. That would be cruel (OK, guess it wasn't completely out of my system).

Luke said...

I LOVE your idea. I'd probably prefer to just send them back to a time before toilet paper and indoor plumbing existed.

I'm glad we agree. I thought we did. I think it is in just fleshing out some of the finer points were we diverge and that I can handle.

Of course, in order to legislate common sense, we'd have to have legislators with common sense.

David said...

Hi, Luke: This is David from Kindred. My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We share your anger and hurt about the removal of the flag. It is very important to clarify that a misunderstanding has been communicated through the media. The supervisor that is described in the media is actually the co-worker of Ms. McLucas and not Ms. McLucas's immediate supervisor. The incident was two nursing supervisors who got into a dispute.

It was wrong and disrespectful and as soon as we learned about it, we took immediate action to correct the situation. The flag is now proudly displayed once again, and we apologize to all who were equally offended by this unpatriotic action, including the owner of the flag. We have reprimanded the employee and let them know we don't tolerate behavior inconsistent with our Company's values.

Luke said...

Thanks. I take what you say at face value and appreciate the fact that you are willing to state that the action by the employee was wrong. You and your company are to be commended for correcting a serious error here. Your apology is accepted.

I am still concerned about the facts of the story and hope to see a full and truthful account in a follow-up news story. It would appear that the employee who was "offended", not by the size but by the Flag itself, was completely out of bounds and myself, as well as the rest of the country I am sure, would like to see that addressed in a tangible manner.

I realize you have not the time to spend on a blog conversing and even at that, you are probably bound legally to keep some information to yourself and that I can respect. However, should the investigation by your company and the facts in their entirety about this matter be posted in a public manner, I would appreciate a heads up. In other words, there still appears to be a discrepancy about the cause of the incident.

Thank you for your time and I pray that the Lord will give you what is probably a much needed rest from all the attention you have had to expend concerning this situation.


Byroniac said...

Well, now that I think about it, I guess I was wrong (or inconsistent at least) when I said the employee at fault should be fired, since I went into that long spiel concerning flag-burning.

I know it's not my blog, but I appreciate David from Kindred taking the time to log onto a personal blog and apologize and explain the situation. I am not sure how many people would actually care about us "little guys" long enough to stop and take time to straighten it out. I appreciate the apology, personally, and I hope the two employees can work it out together.

left me in the cold said...

Where's the KIND IN KINDRED??You're lucky anyone from management even responded, oh, it might have been because of the media...otherwise they don't bother with the little guys....

Luke said...

"Left in the cold",

I'm not sure that this little blog created any fear in Kindred. It may have alerted them that the story was getting out but I really don't draw that much attention from the Big 4 news organizations/drive by media.

The very fact that David responded on the blog was amazing to me but he apparently was wanting "us" to know that things were being faced in a manner in which true American values could/would be upheld.

Whether they are "kind" or not, I cannot answer. But I also realize that "One" bad employee does not automatically mean bad employer.