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Why Cant the World Be Safe for Idiots?

     In October 2002 she was in Washington, protesting President George W. Bushs plan to go to war with Iraq. She was part of what the Village Voice called a sprawling mass of 100,000 individuals, families, and batches of friends who, to paraphrase Spike Lee, just got on the bus. The Voice reporter, Esther Kaplan, was discussing the protestors signs when she wrote: Thirty something Rebecca Hergatts read Sunday School Teachers Against the War. Hergatt, who traveled from what she calls the "little Republican town" of Mansfield, Ohio, said this wasnt only her first political march, but her "first time east of Pittsburgh." She said shes been in turmoil since September 11, plagued by a nagging sense that "we had it coming." When the president proposed a new, preemptive war, she said, "I just felt like it was immoral to keep my mouth shut."

     Last June she nearly killed her son. Being an activist she blames General Motors, and wants Congress to enact legislation to make cars safe for idiots like her. Im sorry, but teres no escaping the conclusion that it is Hergatt, not the car, who is dangerous.

     According to a news report: Hergatt's son Mac, 5, survived a near-fatal accident June 13 when he put his head out a window of the family's 1992 Buick Regal. Unaware of the child's actions, Hergatt put up the power windows of the car while parked in the driveway of their Pavonia West Road residence.

     Last September at the Washington Press Club a credulous media failed to see the glaring inconsistency in Hergatts story: In her speech to the press club, she spoke about how she struggled with the power window, which did not budge. Her 13-year-old daughter, Cheyanne, was able to turn the key in the ignition and open the window. Wait a minute. First were told that Hergatt put up the power window, and trapped her son. Next were told that Hergatts daughter had to turn the key in the ignitionsupplying powerand then was able to open the window, freeing the boy. Hergatt could not have operated the window without power. Apparently she turned off the ignition, herself causing the window to continue choking her son.

     A month before Hergatt had told a different story to WNDU TV: I got to the door and he was limp and hanging by his neck from the rear passenger window. As I approached the car, I could see from his face sticking out the window that he was unconscious and blue.

     In fact, virtually all of this type of injury occurs when parents leave children unattended in a car with the keys in the ignition.

     Whats Wrong With This Picture?

     According to an WFMY News2 story entitled: A Vehicle's Power Windows Can Be a Silent Killer:


Nine-month-old Faith is Britt Gates' second daughter. Her first -- Zoie --would be four now, but she died tragically two years ago.

Brit says it happened when her husband put the toddler in their car to rest as he worked close by. He was always turning to look to make sure she was okay and he just turned his back for a second, says Britt Gates. While he turned away, a power window trapped Zoie.

She couldn't have been trapped for more than a minute. Because so many people were around but, it's just, it's such silent killer that you don't - the child, whoever it happens to - can't yell for help.


     And that paints quite a picture, of an evil, silent, deadly power window trapping little Zoie all by itself. But, at the end of the story, WFMY News2 lets this little informational gem drop, seemingly from out of the blue:


And here is a tip to keep this from happening to you. Power windows can only operate if the key is in the ignition. So unless you're in the car ... never leave the key in the ignition to play the radio or run the heat or the air conditioning.


     And perhaps that is why there have been fewer than 25 deaths in the United States in the past 10 years in which children, left alone in the automobile by their parents, with the key not only in the ignition, but in the position in which power is applied to the cars electrical fixtures, have accidentally choked to death.

     But the news media is, once again, willing accomplices spreading the panic over those silent, deadly killing machines.

     KIRO TV, KCRA TV, WPXI TV, WFAA TV, ABC News in Chicago all reported the same story, featuring Britt and Zoie, and warning of the deadly, silent danger of power windows.

     But they did not tell their audiences that the story was supplied to them last July by Consumers Union of U.S. Inc., the same organization that, along with Kids n Cars has drafted and is pushing legislation that reads in part: Within 12 months after enactment, the agency [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] shall develop a performance standard for power windows to ensure that they do not pose an unreasonable danger to children. That standard shall include ensuring that windows have auto reverse mechanisms and switches that are resistant to inadvertent operation by children.

     Kids n Cars states that they stand for the right of every child to be protected from disability or death due to being left unattended in or around a vehicle, and the right of every parent and caregiver to be free of worry, confident each child is protected from such sudden and preventable dangers. Apparently, that would include stupid parents.

     This is another case of a group attempting to absolve individuals of any responsibility for their actions, specifically attempting to ensure, through legislation, that parents can leave their children unattended without fear of consequence. The only question is why the media affords such advocates any credibility whatsoever. What Kids n Cars is doing is attempting to force the American automobile manufacturers to make their cars 100 percent safeeven for idiots.