The Hudson Valley has a big glossy mag called Chronogram that features endless pages of advertising, with some local art squeezed in. There are occasionally interesting articles, too, about solar diy workshops or a C.S.A. There is one feature that is consistently worthwhile. It's called While You Were Sleeping, and synthesizes important news nuggets that were either buried in the back pages of the newspapers, not reported in a clear way, or otherwise not given the attention they deserve.
Last month Amy Lubinski included some statistics about refugees, staggering numbers about how many people have fled their homes because of imminent danger. The numbers of refugees have grown exponentially in the last ten years. And the part I didn't know: The vast majority of refugees in the world today are a direct result of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We think of Burma, Darfur, Palestine: but this is our doing.
While the newspapers are worrying over the housing market, while I'm fretting over what my heating bills will look like for the coming winter, we should really be concerned with those who have no chance of saving their homes, towns, communities, and cultures. They may very well not even escape with their lives. It really puts my concept of "home" and the accompanying oil bill into perspective.