We Thought Marines Were Tougher Than This


Super Investing

Bill Looman of Waco, Ga., doesn’t seem to care much for the current President of the United States. Convinced that President Obama is a Muslim, the trucks of his company, US Crane, LLC, carry signs that read “New Company Policy – We Are Not Hiring Until Obama is Gone.”

The Latter Day Iconoclast stumbled across this bit of whimsy while going through his Facebook account last night. A member of Americans Against the Tea Party posted a picture of the truck, saying he called Looman and was told, “I’ll start hiring when there ain’t no Muslim in the White House.” Then he was hung up on.

Well, that seems pretty clear, does it not?

This got your Iconoclast’s ears up. We did a Google search for U.S. Crane and found this website. But it was down… presumably overloaded with traffic. (At 1:30 pm ET the following day, it is still down. The flash landing page is still there, with its amusingly ironic image.) A further search determined U.S. Crane was listed as an affiliate with American Crane Works out of Charlotte, NC.

Your Latter Day Iconoclast attempted to call Mr. Looman at the phone number on the side of his truck. Each time, someone on the other end picked up the phone and hung it up again. So, we tried calling the company Mr. Looman is “affiliated” with.

Our first attempt to speak to American Crane Works at their toll free number was answered by someone who just said, “Yuh?” We asked, “Is this American Crane Works?” A thick, southern accent remarked, “No, it ain’t.” We asked, “I dialed 877-272-6358. Is this that number?” The voice responded, “I don’t know what you dialed, but this ain’t it.” We thanked him for his time and hung up.

We tried Mr. Looman a couple more times, with the same results.

So, back the drawing board. We really wanted to give Mr. Looman, or at least the company he was affiliated with, a chance to respond to this before going to press.

This time, we called the non-toll free number for American Crane Works at 704-588-7767. An answering machine picked up. The voice sounded very much like the gent we had just spoken to a few moments earlier. We left a message explaining why we were calling, that we were writing a story and would appreciate a chance to get their side of the story.

A few minutes later, Mr. Rodney Ashley, listed as “Field Management” manager at American Crane Works returned our call. He seemed quite agitated and irritated. He said he was tired of all these calls, and we explained that we had no bone to pick with him. We asked, “Is Mr. Looman and his company affiliated with American Crane Works?”

Mr. Ashley said that he and Mr. Looman were Marine pals, and that since they were in the same line of business, he felt OK about listing Mr. Looman’s US Crane LLC as an “affiliate.”

“But it’s strictly a buddy relationship,” Mr. Ashley said. “It’s not an official business affiliation.”

We asked Mr. Ashley if he could understand why someone landing on his website might think there is an official business affiliation when the website lists the company as an “affiliate”?

“All I can say is, it’s not an official relationship.” He also said that he did not endorse Mr. Looman’s “new policy.”

Guess who ISN’T listed as an affiliate any more!

So, we tried calling Mr. Looman again. No luck. So we wrote our story, posted it on my page at Examiner.com, and went to bed.

On arising this morning, we were pleased to see that Google News had picked up the story. A check of Mr. Looman’s Facebook page found it freshly scrubbed of all references to his new company policy. But as the day dragged on, apparently urged on by some fellow travelers, Looman began to thank the “left wing losers” for getting two new customers for him.

We again tried to engage Mr. Looman, but found ourselves banned from commenting on his Facebook page. But not before we asked him to contact us through our own Facebook page or e-mail. We genuinely wish to give Mr. Looman a chance to respond.

At this point, realizing we are never going to speak to Mr. Looman, we have sent him a list of e-mail questions at his AOL address, cranefix1@aol.com. All he has to is fill in the blanks, and we will let his words speak for themselves.

Here are the questions.

1. When were you in the Marines?

2. Where were you stationed?

3. Do any time overseas? Iraq? Afghanistan?

4. What was your rank at discharge?

5. What was your MOS?

6. Why do you seem to have this inexplicable hatred of Muslims?

7. Why do you believe the President is a Muslim when he has said time and time again he is not?

8. As a former Marine, don’t you feel any qualms about attacking your fellow Marines’ commander in chief?

9. What proof do you have that the President is a Muslim?

10. If you say, as you did yesterday on your Facebook page (before you scrubbed it, but I have the screen cap) that you would hire if Satan were president if you could afford it, then why take this jab at Obama?

11. You say you have two new customers who signed up with you because of your views. Who are they and how can I contact them to verify your story. If this is true, you would think they would be proud of it, right?

12. Why, last night, did you just pick up your phone and hang it up, instead of talking to people who were rightfully outraged by your position?

13. Don’t you think it’s irresponsible, in this economy, to refuse to hire someone because you don’t like the president?

14. What do you think of your friend in Charlotte, Mr. Ashley, who lists you as “an affiliate” on his American Crane Works website, but then told me in a telephone interview last night that you are NOT an affiliate?

That’s a start. Answer these and we’ll go from there.

We asked him to let us know by 1pm ET whether or not he intended to answer these questions. We would have gladly given him all the time he needed to answer the questions. No reply. He has again scrubbed his Facebook page of all my requests for an interview.

Yet, the door remains open. Should Mr. Looman find his testicles in his truck, or wherever else he lost them, we will still gladly print his answers. Verbatim. (That means “word for word”, Mr. Looman.)

We thought Marines were made of tougher stuff than this. We thought Marines had the courage of their convictions, however misguided, and would answer any question asked of them.

Based on our experience as a Hospital Corpsman with a Marine unit at Camp Lejeune, NC, we find ourselves ashamed of this particular Marine and can only hope his cowardice is not symptomatic of a new breed of Marine.

UPDATE: Since Google News picked up our second Examiner version of this story, Mr. Looman has steadfastly refused to answer any of our questions, has disconnected his cell phones, is refusing to answer his office phone which is also his home phone, and American Crane Works, which had listed him as an affiliate, has scrubbed his presence from their web site. And Mr. Looman is scrubbing his Facebook page faster than a person with OCD washing his hands in a room full of cat poop.