Friday, July 20, 2007

Express Times Casts Public Spotlight on "Flag Flap"

Yesterday, I told you about charges filed against a Washington Township man who "insulted" the American flag by flying it upside down. Although Easton defense lawyer Gary Asteak had prepared a vigorous defense, District Attorney John Morganelli decided on his own to dismiss the charges.

This is consistent with Morganelli's broad interpretation of the First Amendment. In 2004, he dismissed trespassing charges against local peace activists who were distributing anti-war leaflets on a public sidewalk outside the Palmer post office. As John succinctly put it yesterday, "I protect the first amendment."

So does the Express Times.

In a front page story today, The Express Times casts a very public spotlight on the different attitudes that resulted in criminal charges against someone who, when all is said and done, was just trying to send a message.

Joe Yamrus elaborates. "I believe the generals oughta run the war, not the Democrats or the Republicans or anyone else in Congress. Their asses aren't over there dying."

The woman who complained about Yamrus' upside down flag is "extremely upset by it," and it turns out the arresting officer has a brother who just returned from his third tour of duty in Iraq.

But that's why he was there, isn't it?
Saturday Update: The Morning Call has also cast a very public spotlight on this story, with a front page article today. Tania Meixsell, the self-described "Army brat" who initiated this investigation, tells me (in comments to Friday's post) that we are "very close minded people who just want to slander someone for sticking up for this country and the lives that have been lost so bravely fighting for it."


J. Spike said...

Like I said before Jesse Ventura (Former Minn Governor and Vietnam War Navy seal) said He "defended all Americans right to free speech not just POPULAR speech."

Anonymous said...

Yo, Bernardo, check out the thread on the Morning Call website regarding this story. They have a wild discussion going on. Some want this guy deported, hung and even Morganeeli is getting ripped. FYI to all LVR contributors you should really check it out, it is truely a lesson in democracy. Either that or it will scare the crap out of you.

Sir Dude

A.J. Cordi said...

I haven't read the comments, but I believe what you're saying and it's horrible.

As a journalism graduate, I believe much of the first amendment and don't think any crime was committed here. I actually acknowledge his bravery for standing up to the system, and winning.

Anonymous said...

has John Morganelli ever gone one on one with Asteak in the courtroom.?
I do not mean a slam-dunk case,,but a case that had a chance.

Chris Casey said...

Whatever happened to the right to disagree, or respect for trhe "loyal opposition." The Newt Gingrich's of the world warn of "islamo-Fascism", yet are ignorant of their own "Republo-fascism." You are either with us or against us. Thanks Bushie's

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sir Dude,

I just went on the mcall forum, and there are 144 comments! I saw a little bit of everything, from sexism to racism, and all over some dude who chose to fly that flag upside down.

You know what, he's right! Our democracy is in big trouble!

Anonymous said...


Morganelli beat Astek like a drum a few years ago in a landmark case in which 3-4 teens were killed in an accident. he charged the mother who provided the alcohol for the under age drinkers with manslaughter. Asteak bragged how the case would get tossed out-- HE Lost big time when a jury convicted his client in an hour-- he then bragged how he would win the appeal-- he lost again-- then the judge did a nimber on astek--

Sorry, but Morganelli has had many many tough jury trials all of which he won-- including a case of murder with no body being discovered--

J. Spike said...

Now I see why Dr. Thompson blew his brains out. With these savage swine over running this ONCE proud democracy is it any wonder the future seems rather bleak. and not just the Stalinist assult of free speech, civil rights and peace.

But these same corporate wads have destroyed us with NAFTA and Global "free" trade. And as the NEO-CLOWN stickers say "Freedom isnt free", and neither is "Free Trade" it came at the price of OUR future.

Can retail really help one get a morgage and raise a family?????

No wonder he flew that flag upside down, and his unlike most Bush-stalinist is probaly American made not to be confuse with the ones made in Red Commie China these Stalinsit republicans fly.

"We must Stay the course" _George W. Bush
"We must stay the course" Che Guerrea in Bolivia

river said...

which Dr. Thompson do you speak of?

Bernie O'Hare said...

River, Spike speaks of Hunter S Thompson, who liked telling everyone he was a "doctor of journalism." His "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is one of the best books ever written. The term "gonzo journalism" is attributed to Hunter S Thompson, who did blow his brains out not too long ago.

river said...

thanks Bernie. I never heard of him. Anyway my favorite "brain Blower" is our own R. Bud Dwyer. Talk about showmanship! :)

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bud Dwyer and I went to law school together. At that time, he was a state senator, and quite a nice guy. I was in the US Attorney's office when he was prosecuted. it was very sad, and really hurt the Assistant US Att'y who handled the prosecution.

river said...

Bernie... R Bud was a great guy. I think he got Railroaded in that whole thing. and no one can say he didn't have real courage to do what he did, even tho it probably destroyed his family.