Stuff We Probably Should Think About

We’re easily distracted. Some things matter more than others and we should keep those in mind, as much as we can without sacrificing daily mindfulness. So here’s a list of current events that may matter:

  1. There’s a brutal conflict in Syria, still. Once an uprising, now it’s all-out civil war with all of the accompanying suffering. There are 700,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey alone (that’s more than the population of Denver, to get a sense of scale, and seven times the population of Boulder, and the number is expected to double in 2014) and the United Nations has asked for US$6.5 billion in aid to mitigate the civilian crisis.
  2. Ukraine is a mess, with millions of protestors in the streets, angry at their governments apparent shunning of trade-ties with The European Union in favor of closer economic ties with the country’s former hegemon, Russia. U.S. elected officials have joined in the popular protests, to what end mystifies me, and Russian President Putin has said the Russians and Ukrainians “are one people“, which is what you say just before you absorb them so that you can, conveniently, be one nation as well.
  3. Michelle Bachelet was elected President of Chile, easily defeating the center-right candidate Evelyn Matthei by promising increased corporate taxes and school spending, while revising the country’s constitution to reduce income inequality. Chile’s “fast-growing economy, low unemployment and stable democracy” represent a very bright spot in Latin America, and Chile is also the world’s largest copper producer, something to bear in mind at a time when copper theft in the U.S. causes $1 billion in property damage annually.
  4. Students in the United States continue to be killed in their schools and we have no idea what to do about it. Not one that people agree on anyway.
  5. Having done nothing for years while preventing, as much as possible, anybody else from doing anything, the Republican Party has established “Nobody Move” as a political strategy.

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