THIS JUST IN: free expression attacked (again) by big business!

a while back one of my favorite local nashville bloggers had a bad experience with  a job-placement company called j.l. kirk.  she, being a blogger, wrote about it on her blog.  read her original post here.


“Here’s where the fun starts. We heard all about how hard it is to find a job, how most jobs aren’t posted online and are only found through networking. We heard about how the really good jobs are available only to those ‘in the know’ and can only be obtained through some wizardy combining Masonic handshakes, good dentistry and whatever pixie dust this particular company stores in the backroom. This interview seemed very carefully designed to exploit every potential vulnerability that any jobseeker feels. After about 10 minutes of conversation subtly designed to push every button we may have, the interviewer handed us a booklet that was said to be a tailored write-up of my husband’s profile as a job-seeker. The interviewer left us alone in the room to digest the booklet on our own terms. ”

“I get really ticked off at people trying to use fear to motivate others. I don’t care if you are a fire-and-brimstone preacher, an insurance salesman, a used-car salesman or a cat burglar. Finding someone else’s fear and vulnerability and using that vulnerability to somehow enrich yourself is a cheap and underhanded tactic. It’s wrong and it’s cruel. And I think that’s exactly what this placement firm did to us today. There were times when I felt like I was sitting across from a spider. We were meant to feel at home enough to let down our guard so that the woman could then ply us gently with tales of terror. All of it was designed to make us hand over nearly $5,000 without question and without possibility of a refund.”

in a fit of pissyness, the “quilt lady” responded to kat with a fairly heated letter.  kat, being a blogger, posted the letter in it’s entirety on her blog (free of personal comment), allowing the j.k. kirk employee in question a chance to air her rebuttal in the same forum.  she has since, on the urging of the bloggosphere, added notes and annotations to the post.  read it here.


“…to those of you who hastily jumped on the JLK-A bashing band- wagon…have you checked out the instigator? Do a Google search on Katherine Coble! She is an angry, opinionated basher of many things – and you might not like her positions either. Never in my life have I felt with such conviction to defend my company, my boss or my ethics. In this case, you, all of you are wrong in your assumptions about JLK-A. Don’t be lead by a negative, attention seeking, unhappy individual who is going through a rough time. Being unemployed and nearly broke would make anyone unhappy. However, an opinion, stated as such is fine. Hers’ was not an opinion, she fabricated quotes, invented an atmosphere that did not exist and led all of you. She lied…pure and simple.”

then, yesterday we get this entry. katherine coble has been served a cease and desist for voicing her opinions in her blog.  not only that, they intend to sue her for comments made by visitors to her blog, and have threatened to force comcast (her isp) to deny her access to the internet completely.


“As the “publisher” of your blog, you control, and are responsible for, the content appearing in it. References by persons posting to your blog to JL Kirk Associates as “crooks” and its services as a “scam” are equally false and defamatory as your own.

In addition to your liability for defamation, under Tennessee law, the defamatory statements made in your blog are, by your own admission, intended to “discourage anyone who stumbles across this entry from even going through the JL Kirk & (sic) Associates ‘interview process’.” As such, you may be subject to liability for monetary damages for tortuous interference with the business relationships of JL Kirk Associates.”

this is a prime example of the strong-arm tactics commonly used by big business to shut down bloggers who voice opinions against them.  i encourage all of you to read the posts in question and to take whatever action you feel is appropriate to support katherine coble’s right to freedom of expression and our right as denizens of the internet to exchange opinions, advice, and ideas freely and without interference from big business interests and their kennels of lawyers.

this is why i reposted this information here and will be archiving kat’s posts in the off chance that they do manage to force her to back down.  stay strong katherine – fear tactics are used by people who are afraid.


go see what the tennessee better business bureau has to say about j.l. kirk.  thanks go to john’s comment on katherine’s site for providing the link.

and j.l. kirk has been FARKED!  ooh, guys… ya shoulda just shrugged this one off… then you’d be free to continue bullying people in peace!

follow the various discussions at NiT

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