Readings — From the June 2016 issue

Auto Traitor

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From a complaint filed in Texas in December by Mark Oberholtzer, the owner of Mark-1 Plumbing, against Charlie Thomas Ford, a car dealer.

In October 2013, Plaintiff traded in a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup truck. Plaintiff began peeling off the Mark-1 Plumbing decal located on the truck’s doors when Defendant’s salesman told Plaintiff that peeling off the decal would blemish the vehicle paint. The vehicle was sold at a Texas auto auction and exported to Mersin, Turkey. In December 2014, a member of a jihadist group operating near Aleppo tweeted a propaganda photograph of Plaintiff’s Ford F-250 with an antiaircraft gun mounted on it fighting on the front lines in Syria. Plaintiff’s logo and phone number were still on the vehicle door. Forty-eight hours later, Mark-1’s phones had received more than 1,000 calls. These calls included individuals who were: (a) irate and yelling expletives; (b) degrading to whomever answered the phone regarding their stupidity; (c) singing in Arabic for the duration of the call or voice-message recording; (d) making threats of injury or death against Mark-1’s employees, family, children, and grandchildren in violent, lurid, and grossly specific terms; and (e) directing expletive-laced death threats to whoever answered the phone. Nearly one year has passed since the news story broke. When the Islamic State commits an atrocity that is reported nationally, which occurs with distressing frequency, Plaintiff receives phone calls all over again.

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