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For a brief period of time, Steven Slater was a folk hero. He was a JetBlue flight attendant who vented his anger over the plane’s public address system when the plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He then grabbed two beers and slid down the plane’s emergency chute. For a brief time, he embodied the dreams of thousands who would like to tell their bosses to “take this job and shove it.”
Unfortunately, when Port Authority investigators looked into Slater’s story, much of it did not appear to hold water. There have been reports that out of more than 100 passengers and members of the flight crew, not one witnessed a passenger being abusive to Slater and there are questions about whether falling luggage from an overhead bin cut his head. The Port Authority has not made public its findings.
While he is not a hero, we hope Slater will not go to jail. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the case was adjourned so Slater can have a mental evaluation. His new attorney appeared to welcome the development. If it turns out his client is a few french fries short of a Happy Meal, Slater will most likely be ordered to attend counseling.
Brown said that at his lawyer’s request Slater will be evaluated for participation in an alternative sentencing program that will “address possible mental health, stress-related, alcohol abuse and other issues.”
The Florida Bigot
More than any other place in America, Queens has been dedicated to the principle of religious tolerance. It was here in 1657 that brave citizens found the courage to stand against Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant and his ban on Quakers in a petition that came to be known as the Flushing Remonstrance.
TimesLedger Newspapers joins in the condemnation of the Florida pastor who had threatened to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 before changing his mind. Overnight, the pastor became the embodiment of the ignorance and religious bigotry that is tearing this nation apart.
We hope our readers who practice Islam will take some comfort in the fact that millions of Americans were outraged by this threat.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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