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Archive for July 14th, 2005

Martin Heidgen, 24, of Valley Stream, had initially been charged with second-degree manslaughter following the July 2 crash on the Meadowbrook Parkway that claimed the lives of 7-year-old Kate Flynn of Long Beach and limousine driver Stanley Rabinowitz, 59, of Farmingdale, said Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon.

The little girl was a passenger in the limousine and was traveling home from a family wedding when Heidgen’s pickup truck crashed into their vehicle at around 2 a.m. He was allegedly driving north in the southbound lanes of the parkway and passed several exits and vehicles before crashing head-on into the limousine, prosecutors said.

Heidgen allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.28 percent — three and a half times the legal limit — at the time of the crash. Heidgen, who suffered a fractured ankle, moved to Valley Stream from Little Rock, Ark., in 2004 after landing a job at a Wall Street financial company.

He could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the upgraded charges. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday at First District Court and was ordered held without bail. His attorney did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

I have observed that fatherhood makes some things hit me harder. This is one of those things.
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Dincocrat has some excellent commentary questioning the validity of the idea that poverty causes young Muslims to become suicide bombers. Well worth a look in view of the fact that the suspects in the London terrorist attacks of 7/7 weren’t exactly living in a van.
Brief aside: we are aware of the substantial amount of academic and other material, beginning with Durkheim, seeking to link economic condition and suicide. Here is an example from Columbia. It is all utter rubbish. Consider this: mankind lived for hundreds of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, not more than a few meals from death, and mankind survived and prospered. Or consider this: there were 742,000 suicides in the US from 1977-2001, an average of about 3 out of 1000 people per year. If economic conditions really had anything important to do with societal suicide rates, rather than the mental state of the individual, the overall numbers of suicides would have to be ten times greater or more. Once again the rule is true: when academic studies conflict with common sense, the academic studies are almost always wrong.
Is there an emoticon for applause?

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