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Reading: "The Golden Compass"

Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2004 - 12:25 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

It is Once Again the Fault of FAT!!!

Another entry... see, last night on the twin dresses entry I DID promise sexy jesus and lots of depressing news... so here is the depressing news.

It appears that FAT is once again the culprit... well the causing physical factor, though it is actually human laziness, uncleanliness, meanheartedness and greed as usual that caused the actual fatalities.

So, what did FAT do this time? It was the cause of the ignition that burnt down a shopping mall in Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, on August 1. Over 400 people died... they are still trying to identify bodies found in the totally burnt out mall. Apparently the heat caused gas explosions, as well as the basement to collapse down, trapping hundreds of people. At least another 300 were injured.

and why did they die? Because the owner of the shopping mall ordered the security to lock the main doors so no one would leave with merchandise without paying. Needless to say, he is denying it, but both he and the security who locked the doors are up on charges of criminal negligence. Negligence my eye. This is where my fantasies are played out... that he should be slowly roasted to death while people accuse him of wanting to pocket some batteries and a pair of sunglasses... don't worry folks, I do NOT believe in the death penalty.

Yes, they are denying it, but witnesses say that they heard shouting "close the doors, no one gets out of here without paying" and that the doors were shut in their faces. Apparently the mall security actually fired shots at the firefighters when they attempted to force the doors open. Most people died of smoke inhalation and would have survived if the doors weren't locked. Mindboggling. It is times like this I hope there is a heaven or hell. mmm.

On other news, apparently there were 5 motorcycle fatalities in Quebec alone this last weekend. youch. I hope to go by and see my neighbor who is still paralysed after going off his motorcycle last June. He is in a long-term care facility and apparently is getting a motorized wheelchair, but keeps talking about buying a Harley when he can walk again. It is good he is up in a wheelchair, since they thought he was going to be a total vegetable, but his personality is changed, he cannot talk properly, he doesn't have full use of his right hand, and he cannot walk. yowza. I'll try to get up there to visit in the next couple of weeks. But I don't feel so sad about not continuing with my lessons.

On other depressing news, at least 15 construction workers died building the Olympic Village in Athens, mostly illegal workers who were not trained, did not have safety equipment or know construction site rules. In the case I read about in the French newspaper here, one man fell underneath a heavy machine... he had been working like 14 hours straight, and was wearing on his feet... get this... sandals. Yup, at a construction site with heavy machinery.

There was a lot of speculation and blame that Greece would not have the Olympic site ready for the Olympics but they managed... by hiring everyone they could at cutrate prices.

Here is an article from the Telegraph detailing the conditions the illegal workers toil under. Here is a Guardian article on the "street cleanup", similar to what they did in California. Amnesty International says Olympics deaths may be as many as 40 (they hired 10,000 immigrant workers, mostly Albanians, and most don't have proper papers, so deaths are hard to count)

Here is an independent media site, which some might assume is radical left-wing bias (ignore the tone of the ranting at the start), but there are quite a few good links and photos, including names of the deceased (because they wanted to contradict some poster on the site who suggests they are making it up).

The crazy thing is that, even with properly paid trained workers, rushing on construction ends up costing huge bucks, and often lives later.

Here in Montreal, the Olympic Stadium has been plagued with a roof that doesn't work, with badly mixed, badly poured concrete that caused huge chunks to fall down... it is an ongoing problem even nearly 30 years later. (Here's a really cool streaming video from 1999 all about our Olympic Stadium's woes from CBC.

One wonders what the construction conditions were like for the Moscow wave park that had its roof collapse. And the newly constructed Paris airport roof that collapsed. Sometimes deadlines on paper are more important than the realities of physical substances and more important than lives. Boggling.

Well, there are a million more depressing things I could write about now, including the Montreal policeman who decided to play "shoot em up" on the autoroute, killing his ex-wife and critically injuring three of her friends in the car with her... he is appealing, saying despite death threats to his wife the day before he did it, that it was not murder, indeed, he was "under stress". That is another story for another day. More boggling is that the police who were called (his coworkers) to the wife's house in the preceeding days did not file a proper report, but instead wrote a note "unfounded, manipulation" about her complaint that he was stalking her and threatening her with death. Wowza huh. Wouldn't want to actually consider that an armed officer would go postal against his ex, would we.

To cure the depression a bit, I offer this heartwarming story... Three year old Samuel Vaillancourt received an award for having the sang-froid to call 911, saving his mother's life. Remember to train your kids to dial three numbers in case of emergency. In this case, his 5 year old sister taught him to dial 9-1-1... apparently they had toy cellphones and played "emergency" together all the time... so he knew what to do when his mother lost consciousness when her airways closed up in an allergic reaction... climbed on a chair and pushed some buttons. Bet his mom is thankful, both to him and his sister. :) Yay for big sisters!

Well, two entries, that is enough. Now I am going to go back to doing the cool thing I suddenly had the brainwave to do... take the five to ten year old files out of my file cabinet and put them in a box so maybe I can close the file cabinet again! I am also painting a bookshelf i found in the garbage so it'll fit in my morrocan livingroom... I SWEAR I will be rid of the boxes of books in the middle of the floor by September.

And if anyone has any advice on dehumidifiers for my basement, speak now please. Did anyone notice I changed my comments blurbs, so it no longer tells you to leave wise and witty comments and to make it snappy? Some of you found that too daunting. :)


Remember to go back and read the sexy jesus entry from tonight. byebye.

ps, I am currently reading "The Golden Compass", a children's novel by Phlip Pullman, and here is a little biography of him... it is quite amusing in bits as you can see from this extract:

"The most exercise he normally takes is unscrewing the top of the whisky bottle. If he liked the taste of tobacco, he would smoke vigorously."

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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