Speed and greed is the perfect recipe for disasters to happen. On April 24, 2013, 1127 souls in Dhaka, Bangladesh stepped into their eternity needlessly when a garment factory collapsed. The garment workers in these factories are paid 38 dollars a month so that the American public can purchase clothing at rock-bottom prices through major retail outlets. Bangladesh, next to China, is the second largest exporter of clothing in the world. The complete story of the tragedy is included as a part of this epistle.
For a few days the media capitalized on this tragedy and then found another headline event to capture the attention of their news-hungry viewing audience. The media knows that bad news is more captivating than good news and therefore capitalizes on bad news. Shame on us for preferring to stuff ourselves with junk food/news. My article Nice Doesn't Always Cut It is written to draw attention to our addiction to tabloid news.
It has been announced in our local paper "The Pagosa Springs Sun", that another retail giant has purchased property on Highway 160. The community sees such a store as a mixed blessing. From a personal and selfish point of view, the majority of the community has endorsed the building of such a store; but is God pleased? Are the little Mom & Pop store owners pleased when a bully comes into town that crowds them out of their livelihood? Is this what we should call "Progress"? Do such slogans as fast, cheap and convenient lead us to the right store? That's a sobering question. Every person needs to answer that question for himself.
Some while ago I wrote an article titled Appointed and Anointed to Roar. When I learned about the tragedy in Bangladesh I knew it was time to roar once more. Are we doing ourselves and our neighbors in far-away Bangladesh a favor by importing merchandise produced by slave labor? Are we tithing to the devil whenever we enter a store of any size where the bottom-line is fueled by greed?
Merchandising organizations are not the only ones that have succumbed to worshipping the god of greed and the bottom line which we know as "profit at any price". A recent hospital experience let this writer know that healthcare has also become big business - very big business. I expressed my grief and concern by writing Six Hours in ER.
There are bound to be a few who will examine their shopping habits after reading these words and examine the label before they buy; and there will even be fewer who will change those habits. I count on the prayer warriors in our world to take a stand and take back the land - the land that is now controlled by the power-brokers of the world, whether these are economic or political power brokers.
Our Warrior-King is coming. Our Warrior-King is already here. He is amongst us. He is radiantly alive in many. He is in you and me. With a single breath He can and will collapse the economic houses of cards man has built. He has done it before. With a single breath He can wipe out the fortunes of a billionaire or hurl destruction through natural disasters. Many will be buried in those houses unless they heed His warnings. Do not wait for the earth to rumble before you see it crumble. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring you to that place of refuge that has been prepared in advance at the very beginning of creation - the arms of Jesus, the Son of God.
I recall working as a volunteer at Olive View Hospital in Sylmar, California in 1971. I suddenly felt very uneasy working there for no apparent reason and quit my job. A few days later the hospital was destroyed in an earthquake. May we become increasingly sensitive to these inner promptings and heed their warnings. In 1977 we moved to the little mountain-town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado in response to a similar prompting. It was a taxing and challenging move. We left economic security and comfort to face challenging unknowns. Take a look at some of the Photos of what we have called "home" for the past 36 years.
It is not my intention to collapse houses of cards with these words but to warn you not to nest in them or build them in the first place. More than a thousand martyred souls are still crying out for advocates.
Peter & Rebekah Laue
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Report on Deadly Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Finds Widespread Blame
By JIM YARDLEY
Published: May 22, 2013
The 400-page report on the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhaka, the capital, found widespread fault for the April 24 disaster, which killed 1,127 people. It blamed the mayor for wrongly granting construction approvals and recommended charges against the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, and the owners of the five garment factories in the building that could result in life sentences if they are convicted.
The factory owners urged workers to return to their jobs despite evidence that the building was unsafe, the report said. “They compelled them to start,” said Main Uddin Khandaker, a high-ranking official in Bangladesh’s Home Ministry, who led the investigation.
The Rana Plaza disaster has focused global attention on unsafe conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh, which is the world’s second-leading exporter of clothing, trailing only China. Bangladesh has more than 5,000 garment factories, handling orders for nearly all of the world’s top brands and retailers. It has become an export powerhouse largely by delivering lower costs, in part by having the lowest wages in the world for garment workers.
Rana Plaza was a disaster waiting to happen, the government report suggested. Mr. Rana illegally constructed upper floors to house garment factories employing several thousand workers, it said. Large power generators placed on these upper floors, necessary because of regular power failures, would shake the poorly constructed building whenever they were switched on, according to the report.
On April 23, cracks appeared in the building, shaking the structure enough that many workers fled. An engineer who had been called to inspect the structure warned that it was unsafe. Yet Mr. Rana and the factory bosses discounted any concerns and ordered their workers into the building the next morning, the report concluded. A generator soon switched on, and the building buckled and collapsed.
Mr. Khandaker’s report recommended that Mr. Rana and the factory owners be charged with culpable homicide. He also suggested that Mr. Rana had bribed local officials for construction approvals.