There's been quite a bit in the news, about six folks who lost their lives in three different crashes. Most of the news focuses, understandably, on the four NDSU students who were buckled in, alcohol-free, and quite dead after their van crossed the median on I-94 near Alexandria.
I think the deaths of those four young women, a 13-year-old girl, and a women in her 20s, were all very sad events. No pressure, but prayer for them and for their families couldn't hurt.
"Six lives lost in three hours"Two people died on State Highway 28 that day, but I don't expect to see it in the news. Steffanie and Paul Dahlseng's baby would have been born around May 23, 2012: about three months from now. When Steffanie Dahlseng died, so did her six-month-along baby.
Echo Press; Alexandria, Minnesota (February 22, 2012)
"In the space of three hours, six lives were lost in three separate crashes on snowy, slushy roads near Alexandria and Glenwood on Monday...."
"...A three-vehicle crash on State Highway 28 in Pope County in Glenwood at about 3:30 p.m. Monday also claimed a life.
"Steffanie Dahlseng, 26, of Starbuck was killed in the crash....
"...No other injuries were reported...."
I learned about the Dahlseng's not-yet-born child at Mass today. As of this evening, their Walmart baby registry was still active:
"Welcome to PAUL DAHLSENG's and STEFFANIE DAHLSENG's Baby Registry!
"PAUL DAHLSENG and STEFFANIE DAHLSENG
May 23, 2012
(Walmart registry 24343611002)
Unpeople in America: 19th CenturyIt's been well over a century since Mark Twain wrote "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," and decades since the book was banned in American schools because Twain used a naughty word. 'Naughty' by the standards of today's establishment.
The word is [redacted], part of [redacted] Jim's name. I think it's regrettable that a sort of prudery kept one of literature's most powerful attacks on slavery and intolerance away from a generation of Americans.
I think this passage is one of the more eloquent descriptions of what happens when folks see others as non-people:
"...'...We blowed out a cylinder-head.'
" 'Good gracious! anybody hurt?''
"No'm. Killed a [redacted].'
"' Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt....'..."
(Mark Twain, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" Part 2 (1885), Chapter XXXII., via Project Gutenberg)
(quoted previously (June 24, 2011)
Unpeople in America: 21st CenturyPaul and Steffanie's baby is, by contemporary American standards, a non-person. Someone whose death doesn't count - because, as far as the establishment's values are concerned, there wasn't anybody there.
Paul and Steffanie obviously knew better, as evidenced by that baby registry.
Maybe someday, America's 'better sort' will realize that people are people: no matter how old they are.
We've made huge strides in the sort of cultural blindness Twain dramatized, so I think there's hope.
- "HHS Mandate, Conscience, and This Catholic"
(February 19, 2012)
- "Steve Jobs, Jospeh Maraachli, and 'Reproductive Health:' My Take"
(October 7, 2011)
- "Sex Selection, Newspeak, and Getting a Grip"
(August 11, 2011)
- "Huckleberry Finn, [redacted] Jim, and Making Sense"
(June 24, 2011)
- "Remember: 'Clinically Dead' isn't 'Dead' "
(October 22, 2010)