Passenger’s Anti-War Sign Gets Snippy Response
Fri March 14, 2003 07:42 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An airline passenger has complained to U.S. authorities that a government baggage screener left a note in his suitcase criticizing his lack of patriotism after finding a “No Iraq War” sign inside his bag.
Seth Goldberg, a 41-year-old New Jersey man, said on Thursday he believes a screener with the Transportation Security Administration slipped a note into his suitcase before a March 2 flight out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“Don’t appreciate your anti-American attitude!” was neatly hand written on the standard notice TSA places inside all the bags that screeners open.
With some 15,000 to 20,000 folks at the rodeo drinking beer and having fun, things can get a little out of hand at times. It happened when a tape of Lee Greenwood’s song Proud To Be An American was playing. Some rodeo fans were standing and others were sitting down. Felix Fanaselle and his buddies chose to remain seated.
“This guy behind us starts yelling at us (because) we’re not standing up,” said Fanaselle. “He starts cussing at us, telling us to go back to Iraq.”
The 16-year-old said the man seated behind him started spitting at him and spilling his beer on him and his friends.
“By the end of the song, he pulled my ear. I got up. He pushed me. I pushed him,” said Felix. “He punched me in my face. I got him off me.”
When the dust settled, Fanaselle had been handcuffed and released. He and John McCambridge were cited for “mutual combat” and fighting in public. That’s a $200 fine. Fanaselle’s lawyer says you don’t have to stand for a country and western song.
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If I were given a choice of pressing one of two buttons – one to do away with terrorism or another to do away with those Democrats up in Washington – I wouldn’t even have to think about it. I would do away with the Democrats, and do this country a favor.
William G. Koehlke
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Saturday, March 15, 2003.
(Via Atrios, who notes, “If I wrote a letter like that about Republicans or Bush I would expect – and deserve – a little visit from the FBI.” More likely the Secret Service, but you get the idea.)