How 'bad' decisions ruin lives... 

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I wish I had a cute dog or cat story in me this week. I'd like nothing more than to distract myself — and maybe you — by reeling off another episode in the further adventures of travelling with Vince the Cat or a non-video version of S*#t Dogs Say... to drive an already hackneyed cliché into the ground.

It would take my mind off the rest of the dreary news and self-serving shenanigans I guess could generally be lumped under the title, S*#t Politicians and Captains of Industry Say.

News is like a scab I can't leave alone. I have to keep picking. I have to take a look, no matter how much it's going to hurt or postpone my hoped-for, eventual recovery. As wonderful as my personal world may be, the stuff out there, well, sucks.

The only bright spot in the news this week came on Sunday when, after deliberating for 15 hours, a jury in Kingston, Ontario, delivered guilty verdicts against the three surviving Shafia family members whose twisted concepts of culture and religion convinced them it was more honourable to kill their children and relative rather than let them become more or less normal Canadians. The warm feelings this blow against intolerance and medieval thinking engendered were tempered by the uncomfortable knowledge Canada and much of the rest of the world is riddled with people who see nothing wrong with killing women who bring shame against a family name for, let's be honest, being human.

But this sliver of humanity was, at least locally, overshadowed by the burned out hulk of a limo smoldering on the side of the highway just south of Function Junction. Having presumably dropped off tired fun-seekers looking forward to their Whistler holiday, Shafiqur Rahman was heading back home to Vancouver late Saturday night. Fortunately there were no passengers settled in for the ride with him. Unfortunately, in what must have, for seconds, seemed like a surreal film reeling out before his unbelieving eyes, a pickup crossed the centre line and ploughed into his limo with enough force to blow the damn thing up. If the force of the collision didn't kill him instantly, the inferno would have.

In an instant, a family was devastated, thrown into a world from which none of them will emerge unscarred.

No one yet knows what was going through the mind of the 19-year-old driving the late model pickup, except that he wasn't doing the one and only thing we're all responsible for doing when we get behind the wheel — paying attention. He might have been under the influence of drugs. Hell, he might have been updating his FaceBook page: "Just left a wicked party, dude." He might have fallen asleep and been unlucky. We might never know. Or maybe he'll man up and take responsibility for his deadly actions and we will. Whatever; he won't come out of this without some scars either. At least I like to think he won't.


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