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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Price of Reasonable Accommodation?

Down the page Ezra is taking heat from some for discussing the media’s disgusting (but hardly surprising) failure to ask necessary questions about the driver in the recent Calgary bus crash.

To wit: that the bus driver’s vision may have been obscured by a Hijab or other head scarf which, given the mysterious causes of the accident, might well be particularly relevant.

Unsurprisingly, Bigcitylib is accusing Ezra of racism and making wild allegations.

Well, let’s judge for ourselves. Here is a pair of screen-grabs of footage of the scene:

Naturally, the mavens of political correctness will seek to push this issue to the sidelines and to ignore it altogether because it raises questions which make them uncomfortable.

Does any reasonable person really think that wearing a face-obscuring garment and driving a bus full of children are compatible? This is a question which we uniquely must deal with, insofar as I somehow doubt that the Saudis and others have to worry too much about Hijab or Niqab-wearing women driving buses or, well, pretty much anything at all. I’m curious to see how anyone can defend someone driving a school bus (or any vehicle for that matter) is compatible with wearing something – anything – which obscures their vision in such a manner.

I've updated this to add a close-up to the picture. Are you telling me that a loose-fitting garment right near the eyes like that couldn't pose a serious visual obstruction in an emergency?

Go take a hooded sweatshirt or jacket and put it up over your head. Would you recommend driving in such a get-up? Let's be very clear here - this has zero, from my perspective, to do with religion or anything else. It would be an equally serious concern if the driver was wearing a hoodie or whatever. But, of course, I can't imagine people being willing to tolerate a bus driver going around wearing a hoodie.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on October 22, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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...me thinks your badneck attitude is showing.

Innocent until proven guilty. No worse than wearing a guy ball cap on a cell phone.

Simple probably a explanation - and everyone's done this:

Kids in the back making a noise, you ever so slightly turn to tell them to shut up or see what the fuss about while your shoulders and arms follow, thereby moving the steering wheel to the right, until you catch yourself.

Besides she didn't hit the truck side on.

I think Ezra's stretching this one.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-22 9:49:45 PM

Your pictures prove that Ezra is off his nut again. You can clearly see that her eyes are not blocked at all. Leave it to the neo-nazis ... er neo-cons to make this into an exercise in bigotry

Posted by: Eagle Eye | 2007-10-22 9:57:58 PM

I can assume that english is not your native language tomax7 or were you drunk while writing your post?

In any event, it will be fun to watch the PC police department there twist themselves into knots explaining this one!

Posted by: missing link | 2007-10-22 9:58:12 PM

Maybe they're looking at the wrong thing here.

Maybe she's an immigrant with limited driving experience. Maybe her employers had to make do with her with Calgary's insanely tight labor market and hoped she wouldn't get into an accident.

Maybe they were wrong. Maybe it is wrong to blame this solely on ethnicity or religion.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-10-22 10:04:03 PM

How is suggesting that someone's vision was obscured while driving is 'an exercise in bigotry'. I would suggest that it is a legitimate question to ask, especially since a child has had their life snuffed-out.

The real bigots here are those, such as you Eagle Eye, who would suppress such discourse and discussion. Are you afraid of something Eagle Eye?

Posted by: missing link | 2007-10-22 10:06:58 PM

An unhealthy experiment in multiculturalism that has resulted in the death of an innocent (Canadian) child.

I am glad that the reasonable accommodation debate is beginning to sweep the country, with pool after poll showing an overwhelming majority of Canadians who say that multiculturalism should be abolished and immigrants forced to integrate (even Tony Blair himself said earlier this year, while he was still PM, that multiculturalism was dead and absolutely unhealthy).

I would personally build monuments to Mario Dumont and the good people of Hérouxville for getting the ball rolling.

As for BigCityLib, he's just a poor sod suffering from a mental disorder better known as political correctness.

Posted by: Werner Patels (THE SPADE) | 2007-10-22 10:32:15 PM

I think people who are too short, can only see out of one eye, can’t turn their heads, and have long hair should be banned from driving unless we get more regulations, government intervention and more police on the streets to save us from ourselves.

Good job Mr. Lavant, more regulations and government intervention! I always knew you were a liberal at heart.

In all reality….

I must admit, I didn’t think “news” on this site and “reporting” by Mr. Levant could get anymore ridiculous… but I keep coming back, and keep finding more hilarity every time.

With quality reporting like this, I wonder why the Western Standard couldn’t sell magazines and had to discontinue their print version. Hmmm?

Posted by: Xenomorph | 2007-10-22 10:37:26 PM

Banned from driving altogether Xenomorph - and not being hired to drive a school bus - are different things altogether.

Do you really think that hiring someone with only one eye to drive a school bus would be a good idea? Or someone who can't turn their head? Because I sure don't. That's the exact point.

Now, look at those pictures - are you telling me that there isn't a real possibility that that covering might have posed a visual obstruction?

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2007-10-22 11:03:40 PM

As a cab driver I would never wear a hoodie, too restrictive on my vision. Applicable with or without customers in the car.

Posted by: Cabbie | 2007-10-22 11:24:38 PM

Are you serious Mr. Yoshida?? Of course I agree it MIGHT have blocked vision... anything MIGHT block anyones vision. But this is the way this issues looks to people.

"Normal People": An older women who's vision MIGHT have been blocked but only because someone one pointed out the scarf she was wearing, raising the possibility that banning vision blocking attire / hair styles / clothing styles might be a good idea. Otherwise she looks like some ones grandmother.

"Lefties": An older women who's vision MIGHT have been blocked but only because someone one pointed out the scarf she was wearing, raising the possibility that banning vision blocking attire / hair styles / clothing styles might be a good idea. Otherwise she looks like some ones grandmother.

"Conservo-Nazis": The Muslim invasion at its worst, and isn’t it obvious… the media tried to hide it.

I assume most people on this site are smarter then a bag of hammers and can blatantly see that this “issue” as brought forward as “news” by Mr. Lavant has nothing to do with safety. It’s not even a veiled attempted (pun intended) to approach it as such.

Capitalism worked. No one bought a dodgy “news” magazine that reported “important” “issues” to the world and the magazine died. Nuff said.

Posted by: Xenomorph | 2007-10-22 11:34:04 PM

Sorry, but Ezra's really reaching on this one.

You don't need any peripheral vision to see a truck parked on the shoulder of the highway - it would be clearly visible just looking straight ahead.

Obscuring peripheral vision may be a factor that could lead to other types of accidents, but not one where you ram into a parked vehicle while driving straight ahead.

It may be a legitimate issue to raise, but it clearly wasn't a factor in this accident.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger | 2007-10-23 6:22:34 AM

Nothing is clear until the questions are asked and answered. That's the point being made.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 6:31:05 AM

Mr. Lavant didn't point out she was DWF during the accident.

Drive While Female.

That question didn't need to be answered... it was obvious.

Posted by: Xenomorph | 2007-10-23 6:46:45 AM

Hey all,

Sorry, but Ezra's post is most assuredly not some form of attack on Muslims. He makes it clear that the driver's vision may have been obscured by what she may have been wearing on her head AND he goes on, twice in the piece, to point out that ANY headcovering - for fashion, warmth or religious reasons - can be a problem. Especially when driving a school bus.
The core of his argument is that the reporters didn't even approach this line of enquiry because they may have been afraid to be called the very names that many of you are using. You've merely proved his point.

Posted by: MistahTibbs | 2007-10-23 7:25:31 AM

In order to get a driver license, one has to submit to a vision test. If the lady passed the test in a clothing configuration materially different from the one she
actually uses to drive, then she is not in conformity with the medical requirements. If she cannot pass the vision test in her usual garb, then she is no more qualified to drive than if she had just suffered a debilitating illness.

Posted by: Frank Ch. Eigler | 2007-10-23 7:47:22 AM

MistahTibbs ~

You won't be convincing the critics here with your logic. They criticize for the sake of the exercise, trying to demean and debase those with whom they disagree.

As soon as the term neo-con is unveiled, you know who they really are - despite their protestations to the contrary.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 7:49:24 AM

"If she cannot pass the vision test in her usual garb, then she is no more qualified to drive than if she had just suffered a debilitating illness."

Last I checked, they do not test for peripheral vision on the eye tests. A hijab blocking this vision while driving will not be weeded out during the course of this examination.

You'd think someone charged with driving children would be held to a very high standard.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 7:53:11 AM

>"Unsurprisingly, Bigcitylib is accusing Ezra of racism and making wild allegations."

Since when does wearing a hijab have anything to do with race?
Islam is a race?
I didn't know you can convert from one race to another.
I guess Leftists who slag Christianity or Christians are racists then.

Works for me.
Next time someone says something disparaging about Christians I'll call them a racist.
Yeah, that'll work the next time I'm arguing with neo-commies.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-10-23 8:16:09 AM

How my heart goes out to this poor dear woman and to those that are suffering as a result of this terrible accident.

What makes this so tragic is that it clearly could have been prevented. All parties involved, in their hearts, realize this.

The bus driver would give anything I am sure to be able to have prevented this accident.

To women who may be reading this who may wear scarves combined with a hooded jacket not unlike this on windy days, just try driving and see if not only your vision is obscured but if you suffer any loss of freedom of movement of your head because of the way the scarf is tied further aggravated because of the hood overtop.

Belive me, it is.


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-23 8:17:58 AM

what the hell are we doing allowing any muslim male or female drive a bus load of children anywhere? damn we are one stupid nation.

Posted by: old white guy | 2007-10-23 8:41:02 AM

"Since 1988, 28 student deaths have been related to school bus use; 20 of these deaths (71 per cent)happened outside the bus and eight deaths occurred inside the bus."

The above statistics come from the Govt. of Ontario. While any deaths are too many, 28 total deaths over nearly 20 years isn't very many. How many kids drown every year?


Posted by: lotus 25 | 2007-10-23 9:01:54 AM

By the photos it's a good bet her peripheral vision was compromised. Peripheral vision is very important to safe driving.

It may be construed as racist, so be it, but I would not allow my child to ride on a bus driven by a person wearing such head coverings.

No doubt the woman involved is in anguish over this and will suffer greatly. Her bus driving days are likely over.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-10-23 9:11:57 AM

Yeah - so let's not try to bring that number down even lower because it is at an "acceptable" level. SHEEESH!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 9:13:32 AM

I don't know about Alberta, but when I got my "B" licence in Ontario they did check peripheral vision;

there is no way I would wear anything on my head to obstruct my vision no matter how little;

was the drivers head garment a factor? who knows, but to simply ask the question when a child has been killed through negligence is valid and to accuse someone of being a bigot or a nazi for asking a question is the height of left wing horseshit.

Posted by: x2para | 2007-10-23 9:18:50 AM

What's always amazed me is that there are no seat belts on school buses ... or any city transit buses for that matter.

It's a bit of a double standard, because whenever there's a traffic fatality in a car, whether the driver or passengers were wearing seat belts always seems to be an issue.

On the original topic ... get a life, Ezra.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-23 9:19:50 AM

x2para ~

That's the left in a capsule.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 9:22:27 AM

How many of those 8 deaths could have been prevented if the kids were wearing seat belts?


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-10-23 9:29:00 AM


People who can't see properly, whether out of one eye or two, can be and are denied drivers' licences. Ditto people who can't turn their heads and maybe even those too short to see over the dash. There are already rules, government intervention and police on the streets; I fail to see the point of your argument.

Common sense tells us that if a head covering, worn for any reason, obscures vision while driving, it MUST be removed. The safety of others trumps fashion, religion and political correctness.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2007-10-23 9:34:33 AM

The question is,does Ezra's Muslim bashing in this piece have anything to do with the failure of the WS. I explore the notion here:


Posted by: bigcitylib | 2007-10-23 10:11:26 AM

I think the head scarf thing is engaging in nitpicking speculation...more pertinent to the incident would be to question the skills and experience of the driver...was this an affirmative action hire who was employed over more qualified drivers by virtue of race/ethnicity? Has the bus company lowered skill standards to accommodate affirmative action or just to fill labor shortage demands?

There is a solid case for "diversity/mulicult hiring or expediency hiring degenerating skill standards...degenerating skill standards for any reason has a negative safety impact on society.

Is this such a case? Is anyone in the MSM asking?...or even investigating this probability?

Posted by: bill | 2007-10-23 10:13:41 AM

I put up two comments on this post last night and they are mysteriously not here this morning.

No bad lingo or x rated stuff, just my opinion on the topic.

Is there silent censorship going on here?

Posted by: John | 2007-10-23 10:18:12 AM

From the Calgary Herald today:

"Traffic investigators are studying a motorist's claim he saw the same school bus involved in last Thursday's fatal crash being driven erratically a day earlier.

Police haven't determined what caused the crash, but will consider a statement from a Calgary man who came forward and said he saw the same bus making aggressive lane changes and tailgating the day before it collided with a parked dump truck.

"We'll definitely consider that, because it could be integral to the investigation," Insp. Gord Pelly said Monday."


Was that woman on a personal jihad or what?

Posted by: Werner Patels (THE SPADE) | 2007-10-23 10:31:41 AM

Isn't it just slightly hypocritical of BCL to come on here and refer to Ezra as racist, but then use the Shotgun blog to advertise his own site??

Posted by: MikeP | 2007-10-23 10:53:49 AM

MiikeP ~

No matter. It's not like most of us would bother checking out a Leftoid web site by this guy.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 10:56:40 AM

Mike P,

You guys linked to me first and, in any case, with such a grandly thumping obvious example of racism, I would be willing to call Ezra a racist in any forum you please.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2007-10-23 11:06:09 AM

Now it becomes even more evident why we would ignore this fool's site. Anyone who speaks that way is not worthy of attention - except his mama's.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 11:08:45 AM

And for yesterday's Dennis Kucinich fan:

"Kucinich sees UFO, new book claims"

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has seen a UFO, writes Shirley MacLaine in her new book, "Sage-Ing While Age-Ing."

Kucinich, she writes on page143-144 of the book, "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there. Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

YES! KUCINICH for president! He should choose Ron Paul as his running mate.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 11:18:32 AM

PC or not too PC,that is the question. The woman hit the truck at full speed,read that again folks,full speed,no skid marks,nada,nothing.Dry road,visibility not a factor,except hers. She also had a large coffee on the dash,and a busload of "challenged" children not wearing seatbelts.For her to respond to a distraction from the right side,where the kids are,she would have to turn her head and most likely take the wheel with her,because of the f'en scarf. There is a lot wrong with this situation,questions have to be asked. Many questions,and the scarf question is as good as any.Bigcitylib and his folks have determined that the scarf could not be an issue because that would open up a can of worms that they do not have the intelligence or character to face.So they dismiss that and call anyone who thinks it is an issue, racist,redneck etc. That is wrong and children should not die to placate thier fears. Ezra is spot on with raising the issue,and hopefully raising a few heads out of the sand.Just a few months ago there was a situation in Toronto where the Gardiner expressway had to be shut down because of some nutjob with a trunk full of explosives. The media would not print his middle name because it was "mohammed",this is akin to the PC BS that is going on here. Thank you,and now I'm off to the bigcitylib's tolerant website to see how many slurs have been thrown my way today.

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-10-23 11:20:16 AM

But surely BCL you wouldn't lower your standards by promoting your blog on such an obvious racist site?? or perhaps the quality of the site you advertise on doesn't matter to you if it attracts more hits to your blog, and maybe some ads.

Posted by: MikeP | 2007-10-23 11:36:25 AM

Another fool, chiming in and missing the point. Questions need to be asked - period. Conclusions can be drawn AFTER the answers are revealed.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 11:46:45 AM

The lefties posting here are so typical that it is quite funny. No sense of humour, no joy and absolutely no tolerance. Instead of being the least bit interested in getting to the facts and truth of this terrible incident, they resort to the oh so typical name calling (racist, bigot, etc.) and hysterical rants along with dishonesty.

There is a need to investigate the cause of the accident regardless of the religion, culture, colour or sex of the driver. The dead child and her family are entitled to learn the truth.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-23 11:49:51 AM

Mike P,

"But surely BCL you wouldn't lower your standards by promoting your blog on such an obvious racist site?"

I have very low standards.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2007-10-23 11:51:38 AM

We deduced that months ago!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 11:55:54 AM

I cannot believe that someone is so frigging dense that they would compare this woman's headdress to a baseball cap.A baseball cap does not block your periphal vision,her scarf does,take a look at the pictures. I have read this observation more than a few times,what is wrong with you people? Is this the same insanity that drives 9/11 truthers?

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-10-23 12:05:59 PM

Personally, I think it is more likely the driver was distracted by the noisy kids behind her.

Ezra is off his nut, more than usual. The baseball cap I wear while driving is more visual obscuring than that woman's head scarf.

And lets face it, many cultures have women wearing similar head scarfs, take a trip to your local Greek section of town.

Posted by: Zorpheous | 2007-10-23 12:08:19 PM

"Is this the same insanity that drives 9/11 truthers?"

You nailed it!

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 12:09:02 PM

"many cultures have women wearing similar head scarfs, take a trip to your local Greek section of town."

Then they too should not be hired to drive school buses.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-23 12:10:10 PM

Kids in the back making a noise, you ever so slightly turn to tell them to shut up or see what the fuss about while your shoulders and arms follow, thereby moving the steering wheel to the right, until you catch yourself.

That's entirely possible but she wouldn't have had to turn her head so far, thus leading her torso and arms, had her vision not been blocked by the head scarf...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2007-10-23 12:18:29 PM

...questions needed to be asked.

Totally agree, but I still think the term "innocent till proven guilty" does apply to Muslims as well as racists.

As far as I can see from the headlines and Ezra's posting, it's a far done conclusion it was her head scarf and not just the sad tradgey of looking and leaning with the steering wheel.

If you said, elderly female drivers are more prone to accidents, I'd might be more inclined to you might have a point.

What about women with long hair? Or the 'half-eye' hottie blonde specials. You know, those who have one eye covered with hair and peer out of the other one?

Last I checked a hoodie if one moves their body, the head part is slower to follow, unless one moves the head first, which doesn't mean she never saw the truck. It means driving with undue care and attention. Truck alongside coming up, wait till passing till yapping at a kid.

Rememember there wasn't any skid marks indicating a full force hit on a straight road.

Simply, the sad case of leaning over with the steering wheel, scarf, hoodie or headcovering, makes no difference.

I've done it, that is leaned over to pick up something in the passenger seat and moved the car into the other lane...

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-23 12:37:01 PM

...oh for missing link's junior comment...

I speak one language - binary.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-23 12:38:00 PM

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