Tragedies all around the world…

What is seriously going on in this world right now? From the mass killing in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, and Ukraine to the recent gas explosion in Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan, and the suicide death of internationally renowned comedian Robin Williams. Seriously, what is going on with the world?

[The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a Sunni-sect, plans to establish a new Caliphate led by Abu-Bakr al Baghdadi. But they do so through cruel massacre of Shiite-sect and Kurdish peoples. They also force Iraqi Christians to convert or die.]

[On July 31, in the wee hours of the day, several gas pipelines running right under the center of Kaohsiung (second-largest city in Taiwan) explodes, damaging buildings, cars, and killing and injuring many people. It looks as if an earthquake has struck…and even worse.]

Indeed. Intolerance. Greed. Neglect. Just some qualities that fills many people today. First think about ISIS. If they were more tolerant of the different people living in their so-called “caliphate,” then they would sure not be fighting like this. If Netanyahu simply invites Hamas and Abbas to the table and negotiate over the disputes, it could sure save some many innocent Palestinians and Israelis alike. I know it’s not that easy, but there has to be some way in modern-day diplomacy, otherwise there seriously is something wrong with today’s politics. Maybe even politics and diplomacy in general.

Next we discuss about the gas explosion in Taiwan. Investigators suspect it may be leaks of ethylene, propane, butane, or other petrochemical materials. Yes, we need these gas to cook, heat our homes, and manufacture products for trade, but there needs to be adequate regulation and enforcement behind these high-risk, dangerous apparatus in our society. Which, in this case, leads to our point of discussion. As per investigation, there are 3 major Taiwanese petro-companies’ pipelines that pass through the area in question. Though there are no concrete details yet, the pipelines were all already not in their best conditions. In fact, one of the pipelines has a small crack, which some infers may have contributed to the leak. But shouldn’t the pipelines be regulated and checked yearly like what the Taiwanese government requires to each large municipality to do? And knowing Kaohsiung city, with about 2.8 million residents, is the second-largest city in Taiwan, shouldn’t the city officials mandate checks every year? Apparently not then. With tensions with China still high and politics still fierce in Taiwan, the mayor of Kaohsiung surely needs to pull out some heroic act to save her political career and her party’s career. But for now, the residents need help. Many are now without gas, without clean water. Many have lost their homes, their cars, and everything that they have owned. Think about during Hurricane Sandy or during the tornadoes in the Midwest. Conditions are definitely not better than either of the two disasters in Kaohsiung right now. Different charitable groups are now providing aid to the victims.

Speaking of gas lines, how about ours in the US? Are they safe? Are our governments really taking required checks seriously? We don’t want to wait for something to happen like in Kaohsiung or in San Bruno, California in 2010. That would be too late. We all need to take some responsibility. Push our legislators to pass reforms if needed or conduct inspections seriously. And the Keystone pipeline…???

[US Pipeline Map: Do any lines run under your state, your home?]

Tragedies are happening faster than time can handle. People need to slow down and think about their actions. Think about our ways. More peace. More love. More harmony in this world. But what we need now, I guess, is another viral challenge. Something that as sticky as the Ice Bucket challenge for ALS. And we need someone who can start another viral wave to raise money for the victims suffering and raise awareness for peace. Ready, get set, go.

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