It’s been 18 years since Salman Rushdie wrote “The Satanic Verses” which has allegedly insulted Islam. Islam appears to get insulted when leaves drop off trees in some unapproved manner and their response to being insulted is uniformly violent and disproportionate. There appears to be no situation where someone speaks ill of Islam that does not draw calls for that person’s murder, mutilation, or attacks against that person’s homeland.
So it is with Rushdie. When the 1989 fatwa was issued by then-Iraqi leader Khomeni calling for Rushdie to be killed, Rushdie had to go into hiding for nearly a decade. Now, at 81 years of age, Rushdie was honored by the British Parliament for his literary achievements by the granting of a knighthood. That’s now Sir Salman Rushdie, thank you.
So, what is the reaction of highly-placed leaders of the Muslim world? Why, it’s to give the green light to terrorists who would strap dynamite around their chests and blow themselves up in coffee shops and movie houses, of course.
Pakistan on Monday condemned Britain’s award of a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie as an affront to Muslim sentiments, and a Cabinet minister said the honor provided a justification for suicide attacks.
In the eastern city of Multan, hard-line Muslim students burned effigies of Queen Elizabeth II and Rushdie. About 100 students carrying banners condemning the author also chanted, “Kill him! Kill him!”
And there you have it. The Religion of Peace™ responding exactly as they are characterized and right on cue. The Brits have not, as yet, backed down and withdrawn the knighthood, and good for them. The kind of petulant, childish bullying attitude expressed by these “students” will only continue to get worse the more they are catered to. Time to grow up in the world.
Late last Thursday night, a car carrying 5 teenage girls crashed on the Capital Beltway (the big circle highway around Washington, DC), killing 4 of the girls. The 5th remains in the hospital, at the last report. The initial investigation shows that the car carrying the girls made a last-minute, rather radical maneuver to catch a highway exit (the car crossed the white-marked exit “safety zone” separating the exit lane from the through lanes) and cut in front of an 18-wheeler truck. The driver of the truck was unable to avoid them and hit the car, totally destroying it. Three of the girls were physically ejected from the car and died. The fourth was killed in the car and the survivor seriously injured. The initial report, linked above, says the police found alcohol in the car but had not determined if it was a factor.
It is tragic when young people die. The promise of their lives is torn from their families and, to a much lesser extent, from us all. The grief that comes to those families pushes them to find some meaning to the loss and, in many cases, to search for a reason for it that was beyond the control of the departed. So it is with this morning’s follow-up story detailing the comments of one of fathers of the girls who died.
Richard Thackston’s daughter, Elaine, was driving the car that night and is one of those who didn’t make it. He says that road they were driving on is dangerous and needs to be fixed:
Thackston says that Nettie was an experienced driver, having traveled 30 miles daily from her home in New Hampshire to her high school.
“It was a good driver in a good car with a lot of experience in a very difficult road. I don’t blame the guy in the truck and I understand an error was made…this is a dangerous piece of road,” he says.
The Mixing Bowl area is a “dangerous piece of road,” Thackston says.
“There are so many decisions coming at the driver and it’s coming at 75 [mph] or more an hour….it’s overwhelming. You need to be fighter jet pilot to get through there and understand what you’re doing,” he says.
Thackston says the simplest solution is to post lower speeds and have better marking in the Mixing Bowl area.
“These intersections need to be marked in an idiot-proofed way,” he says. “This time it was four girls. I wonder if it has to be one of those interchanges where you have to have so many deaths before somebody really addresses the design problem,” he says.
With all due respect, this man is simply in denial. He does not want to believe what is clearly obvious: his daughter made a really unwise decision and elected to thread the needle of a highway exit she had plainly missed taking. Rather than execute the safe maneuver and proceed to the next exit to turn around and come back, she performed a radical turn, cut across the area designated and plainly marked as a safety “do not enter” zone while cutting too close in front a vehicle known for its lack of nimble handling characteristics. He knows this; he says as much when he tries to softshoe past his admission that “an error was made” before trying to paint a picture of an intentionally dangerous interchange.
Secondly, what’s with the reference to decisions coming at the driver at 75 mph? The speed limit there is 55 mph, not 75. If his daughter was going that fast, then she was not only reckless in her maneuver, she was careless in trying to perform it at that rate of speed. The best markings in the world won’t protect a driver from purposely exceeding the performance characteristics of her vehicle or herself.
His suggestion that the area needs lower posted speed limits and better markings are shown by his daughter’s actions to be just so much grasping at straws. If his daughter was going 75 in a 55 zone, then she was obviously ignoring the posted speed limit. The triangle “safety zone” was clearly marked and she simply drove into it. Again, she ignored the markings.
As difficult as it is to hear, this accident was caused by pilot error and, if the findings of the alcohol in the car do turn out to be not a factor, then pilot error is all this was. No one wants their family member to be the cause of a tragedy and certainly not the cause of someone else losing their life in an accident beyond their control. But even the facts thus far are showing that this was an avoidable accident. Re-engineering the road – again – won’t fix what went wrong here and the suggestion that it would is just evidence of denial. Understandable as it is, it fixes nothing.
Nice of Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) to finally prove that he was supporting his aide, Phillip Thompson, after all. Months after the event where Thompson was arrested attempting to bring a loaded firearm into the US Capitol and Webb was unusually coy about backing up his story that the gun belonged to Webb, Webb now admits that the gun was, in fact, his.
Sen. Jim Webb finally admitted he owns a gun that an aide was arrested for carrying into the U.S. Capitol complex in March.
Webb previously had refused to say whether the gun was his, although his senior aide _ Phillip Thompson _ had told police the weapon belonged to the Democratic senator.
“It’s my gun,” Webb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a recent interview. But how and why it was in Thompson’s possession remains unclear. Webb said he didn’t give the gun to Thompson, “nor did I ask him to do anything with it.”
Wow. With a hearty endorsement like that, you’d just have to feel all warm and fuzzy to be one of the good Senator’s aides, wouldn’t ya? It’s curious, too, that the charges against Thompson – the charges that made it impossible for the Senator to publicly state that the gun was his, mind you – were dropped. In April. It’s June. What was the holdup for Webb in coming clean since then?
Webb doesn’t want to talk about his firearm ownership and he certainly doesn’t comment on whether he carries the firearm with him regardless of DC’s laws on the matter. It raises a number of questions about why the Senator feels it’s OK for him to carry a firearm in an area where the residents aren’t permitted to do so. That’s a stance that’s in opposition to the typical Democrat position on gun control and would be a very uncomfortable conversation for Webb and his fellows. I hope DC’s residents are paying attention.
Virginia’s residents should also take note of what appears to be a hypocritical position being espoused by one of our Senators.