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George H.W. Bush Serves As Witness In Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony

George H.W. Bush Serves As Witness In Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were official witnesses Saturday at the Maine wedding of two old friends.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is it not wonderful that a former POTUS and his wife, and a Republican at that, can give such personal human support for the right of a gay couple to wed. Good show, Mr. President.

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What Marchers Plan to Do Next

What Marchers Plan to Do Next | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
For the thousands of protesters who showed up to the Women's March, this was only the beginning.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If they can find a way around the division over Right to Life vs A Woman's Right to Choose, the women's movement may well become a major new force in American politics. In the end, the way forward will have to help reduce the number of abortions and offer better alternatives for those women who have been raped. We have to reach a point where every child is valued and where every woman has dignity and control of her life. 
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‘Paterson’ is poetry in motion - The Boston Globe

‘Paterson’ is poetry in motion - The Boston Globe | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Jim Jarmusch’s latest movie is a small, resonant masterpiece about the beauty of everyday life and a bus driver (Adam Driver) who’s also a poet.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Easily one of my favorite movies of the past year. I do think that there is a big idea here that the reviewer missed, that everyday life is poetry and that poetry often celebrates everyday life. As a writer that is a very important point to me. As for Golshifteh Farahani's character, my wife and I found her a brilliant designer whose devotion to using black and white reflects the poetry of her bus-driver husband. As for the dog: Do we have an Oscar for best animal performance? 
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Thousands will be in D.C. to stand with women. Here's how to stand with them from home.

Thousands will be in D.C. to stand with women. Here's how to stand with them from home. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Join the movement.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In my view, we should all be supporting this march because it is a march for decency, respect, and values. It is a march to remind not only the new president but the Congress and the Supreme Court that this is a nation of citizens, that our government exists not because of its institutions but because of its people and that it is great not because of its government but because of the strength of we the people. I hope that there will be Republicans there and Conservatives as well as Democrats and Liberals, that there will be Trump supporters as well as those who voted for Clinton. I hope that we can, by reminding ourselves of our common values and our shared belief in fairness, decency, and justice have a moment of unification and healing after an election season of acrimony and division. Hey, a guy can always hope.
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If You Want Better Sleep, Your Bedroom Shouldn’t Lack These 5 Plants

If You Want Better Sleep, Your Bedroom Shouldn’t Lack These 5 Plants | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Stress and anxiety cause most insomnia issues so it’s a good idea to fill your bedroom with these 5 plants due to their ability to soothe the soul.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love flowers and their wonderful scents, but I must admit an aversion to sleeping with them. As a child, my mother often put lilac in my room, a pant to which I was terribly allergic. Yes, I know. Anyway, it put me of such scents at night. Years latter when in the south of France, I realized that the wonderful odors in our hotel room were creating a sense of paranoia. During the day, they were fine, but not once I closed my eyes. What a shame. At any rate, hope you have a great night's sleep every night. 
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Trump Still Has Lots of Face at This Chinese Factory

Trump Still Has Lots of Face at This Chinese Factory | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
At a Donald Trump mask factory in China, workers aren’t worried that a potential trade war with the U.S. could slow their production line.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I have no use for a Trump mask nor a Clinton one, but these hard working folks in China are turning them out to great demand.  Clearly, a job that China is stealing from the United States...or is it? Any takers here? Somehow, I don't even see this one getting traction in Mexico. And there in lies an economic truth that American workers have to face, that we don't want to do the work and receive the wages for most of those jobs that are leaving the country. Maybe once, but not any longer. 
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A doctor did surgery on a boy's stuffed animal. The response from other parents was sweet.

A doctor did surgery on a boy's stuffed animal. The response from other parents was sweet. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Dr. Travis Groth's kind deed went viral for all the right reasons.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, I'll admit it; I'm a sucker for stories like these. In a world that has way too many tears we should all be celebrating the people like these physicians and other health professionals who are willing to go that little bit extra to reassure and support their young patients. 
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What President Obama Achieved in Eight Years

What President Obama Achieved in Eight Years | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
President Obama's record is bigger and more substantial than even he allowed himself to admit.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is a pretty good  overview of the Obama presidency. I would add that his inexperience is seen in the administrative failures, for example in the VA and in laughing Obamacare, and in foreign affairs by what I saw as the often destructive manipulations of Hilary Clinton as SOS. Sadly, had he either been elected in a better economy or if he had been able to wait a few years in the wings and the Senate to grow his connections and governing skills, Mr. Obama may have made an even greater and better mark on our country. Since the author of this piece doesn't seem to mention it, I also want to give credit in two areas. Obama has been a decent steward of the environment and of our natural lands and a good friend to the Native Americans, who have long deserved better treatment. 

Anyway, thanks Barak for the memories, now America turns to a new leader and we hope he will have the same qualities of decency and trustworthiness that you have shown.
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malek's comment, January 11, 2:27 PM
major achievement: the first African-American president
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'Dumpster Fire' Is the Word of the Year for 2016

'Dumpster Fire' Is the Word of the Year for 2016 | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The American Dialect Society chose dumpster fire as its word of 2016, defined as “an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not sure how many of these words and phrases I will be using, especially in my writing, but I do love a good dumpster fire, which is kind of like saying I enjoy politics, because if ever there was one. @your views; will we ever get the blaze in Washington under control? Were is Red Adair when we need him? 
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Rejected from job after job, this baker with Down syndrome opened her own shop instead.

Rejected from job after job, this baker with Down syndrome opened her own shop instead. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
"Never give up. Don't let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if any of those bakers who didn't hire this young woman now wish they had. With the proper work environment, she could be turning out a great product for their companies, but if all they could see was the possibility of difficulty integrating her into their skill-set, well I guess they deserved to lose out. Anybody in Boston want to buy me a couple of cookies and mail them out. Sounds like something good from my hometown. 
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The Case for Eating Cheese is Stronger Than Ever

The Case for Eating Cheese is Stronger Than Ever | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Despite its high saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol counts, cheese may actually be beneficial to health, new nutrition research suggests
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love cheese and eat some every day, so I have to share this. For me, the very best is Brie, but I've met only a couple of cheeses I didn't like and hundreds that I embraced. What's your cheese pleasure?
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Obama's 'We the People' petitions were unprecedented. These 10 were our favorites.

Obama's 'We the People' petitions were unprecedented. These 10 were our favorites. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The petition site is one of the cooler things to come out of the Obama administration.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I may not always agree with Mr. Obama and I may not always agree with the petitions that have been circulated over the past five years since the President instituted this channel by which ordinary citizens can reach the ears of the oval office, but I assuredly love the idea behind it, especially when it resulted in Yogi Berra being honored. I wonder if Mr. Trump will continue this conduit for average people to reach his office's attention.
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Subway riders in New York are paying $2 for 5 minutes of advice from an 11-year-old.

Subway riders in New York are paying $2 for 5 minutes of advice from an 11-year-old. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Ciro Ortiz is wise beyond his years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
How about a shot of feel good for today? 
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2º from Oblivion | New Zealand Geographic

2º from Oblivion | New Zealand Geographic | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
On the sad side of the New Year, consider the tuatara of New Zealand, an ancient line of lizards now headed for extinction. And the strange reason: as their breeding area gets warmer the eggs are warmer and that means more males are born. How's that for a lousy way to go? 
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Trump And His Press Secretary Flagrantly Lied On Their First Full Day In Office. That Matters.

Trump And His Press Secretary Flagrantly Lied On Their First Full Day In Office. That Matters. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Thankfully, some reporters are calling them out on it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It doesn't bother me so much that Trump and his Press Sec lied about the crowd size; I've come to expect bigly exaggerations from Mr. T.. What does bother me is that he believes the lies he tells and that might lead to some seriously dangerous behaviors as he tries to impose his version of reality on the rest of us. Hopefully, his staff will not become ever more sycophantic but will try to whisper in his ear, "Memento Caesar; es mortalis." As one who did take the time to listen to his speech, I honestly don't believe that the numbers and ratings matter much, but his character certainly does. 
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Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth

Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The US has benefited immensely from globalization, but it didn’t distribute those benefits fairly, says Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
At Davos a Chinese entrepreneur identifies the big issue for America, that we have squandered our wealth. I have to say he makes a hell of a lot more sense than our politicians. 
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Religious freedom: It’s a core American principle, and it doesn’t mean what right-wingers want it to mean

Religious freedom: It’s a core American principle, and it doesn’t mean what right-wingers want it to mean | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Although the latter-day GOP has tried to pervert this critical idea, it's not about selling cakes to gay couples
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When America became a nation of religious freedom, there was good reason for the fledgling nation to feel proud of its position. This essay reminds us of just what that freedom meant and on what it was built. You may also want to read my related essay on what changed during the Eisenhower years, a change much ballyhooed later under Reagan. http://www.kennethweene.com/right-to-heaven ;
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Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg's handwritten note to an 8-year-old girl matters — especially now.

Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg's handwritten note to an 8-year-old girl matters — especially now. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court justice gave her some unexpected encouragement.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A lovely story to make you smile and to remind us that encouraging our children—all our children, every one of them—is important. Who knows, this little girl may someday also be a justice of the Supreme Court or an elected official, but she might also become a doctor, an architect, or best of all an author like me. 
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Americans view death way differently than other cultures. This woman wants to change that.

Americans view death way differently than other cultures. This woman wants to change that. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
There once was a museum solely dedicated to the idea of death and dying. Yes, it was morbid. But it was also delightful — and incredibly important.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a person and especially as an author, I believe that death is an integral part of life. Sure, it is sad that people we love and others whom we admire die, but it is still okay that they do. No, not because we'll all be reunited in the great by-and-by, but because it is the nature of things. In the end, the goal should be to accept reality, to cherish what we can, and to grow from all experience, especially loss. For my part, I want to die when I can no longer create and when I can no longer celebrate. What are your thoughts on death? 
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Michelle Obama's Final Late Night Appearance Shows Exactly Why She'll Be So Missed

Michelle Obama's Final Late Night Appearance Shows Exactly Why She'll Be So Missed | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Yes, she danced 'The Dougie' again for a hot sec.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In my opinion, Michelle Obama has been an extraordinary First Lady. This story illustrates her warmth, humor, and most importantly her impact on others. I don't think she should run for the presidency, but as a fellow Princeton alumnus, I have to say she does our alma mater proud. 
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Forget Gap Years. All Young Americans Should Complete Civil Service

Forget Gap Years. All Young Americans Should Complete Civil Service | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It would bring introduce young people across the country to diversity, and train entire generations to fight against terrorism
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What do you think? National service for all? Will it actually work to bring us closer as a nation or will it mean different types of "service" for the wealthy and especially for the poor? Can we trust the government to administer this wide-ranging program? More importantly, does adding this to the overall educational experience of the young actually contribute to their growth or will it simply show up the disparities that exist? And most importantly, can such a program serve as a springboard for those who are less fortunate to get better opportunities if they deserve them? Idealism is fine, but practical questions abound. 
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Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use

Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Keeping the eyes safe from any light that is harmful is critical for healthy eyes. Here are some of the important features of good sunglasses.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Here in Arizona, we need sunglasses year round and then there are places where the sun glares off that white stuff. But, if you don't need them right now, you still want to be informed so you can take care of your vision come the summer. After all you want to have good eyesight so you can better enjoy my books, which you find at https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Weene/e/B002M3EMWU ;
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New NIH guidelines on infants and peanuts may contradict everything you’ve heard before

New NIH guidelines on infants and peanuts may contradict everything you’ve heard before | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Infants at high risk for allergies should be given peanut products when they are as young as 4 months old.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I grew up on peanut butter, which is surprising since my mother tried to isolate me from just about everything. Of course, in those days people didn't know about peanut allergies, which may explain my exposure to it unlike most grasses, trees, and flowers which she kept me away from until I was four or five and had had time to develop full-scale allergies. I even got to eat peanuts at the circus the couple of times we went. Maybe that was because the Kemp Nut Company was headquartered in our town. But, when at 14 we made our first visit to Florida, she was sure that boiled peanuts would kill us, or in her mind at least turn us into "stupid people." Years later, I tried them and didn't care for them at all. To this day, I love a peanut butter cup candy and if I could eat the bread and sugar in the jam I'd head for the PG&J sandwiches. What about you? Peanut allergies, lover, bleh? `
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Gambia's electoral commission chief has fled the country - BBC News

Gambia's electoral commission chief has fled the country - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Gambia's electoral commission chief has gone into hiding, his family tells the BBC.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This small, 2 million, predominantly Muslim country looks like a snake surrounded by Senegal on the northwest coast of Africa. Since obtaining its independence from Britain in 1965, The Gambia has slowly slipped towards tyranny. When the person responsible for democratic elections has to flee, you know that democracy is no longer in the cards. Will this affect tourism, which is 20% of the country's economy. Sounds like the Gambians are facing a toboggan ride to bad things..
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Radical Efforts to End Homelessness: A Sober Utopia

Radical Efforts to End Homelessness: A Sober Utopia | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
In a remote corner of Colorado, a radical experiment is underway to rehabilitate the state’s most downtrodden residents.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The big problem with this program is that it's so far off from the realities of most street people, who are urban dwellers. The big plus is that it finds what these people who have been so marginalized have to offer to one another and builds on that. The logistics require far less from the state than other programs, and were it not for the desire to use an old state hospital, this same type of program could be duplicated in other areas using tiny houses and a large central building for intake and early "treatment," which actually should be called something like "re-education" or "integration". Perhaps more states could dedicate money raised from marijuana sales taxes to support such re-integration programs with a recognition that some people will always need support to function as well as they can but that's better than incarcerating them of allowing them to die on the streets. 
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A Ghostly Octopus and 15K Other New Species Were Found in 2016

A Ghostly Octopus and 15K Other New Species Were Found in 2016 | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A spider resembling Harry Potter's sorting hat and a poisonous millipede with four penises are among the many unusual animals species identified this year.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Always a good thing to celebrate the wonder of life 
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