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10 Best Countries In Which To Be Born in 2013 (Hint: America Isn't One Of Them)

10 Best Countries In Which To Be Born in 2013 (Hint: America Isn't One Of Them) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new quality-of-life index shows that when it comes to the best place to be born in 2013, the US is way behind.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I've been to many of the top ten, and they are wonderful places to live. If I had it to do over, I'd be born in New Zealand.

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Sharla Shults's curator insight, December 12, 2012 7:52 PM

So, why isn't America in the Top Ten for 2013? Which country do you think is at the top of the list...one that is considered 'boring' or alluring? I wasn't really surprised for the one at the top is actually one I have visited and definitely would go back at the first available opportunity.

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Illinois GOP: If single moms can’t find the dad, their babies won’t get birth certificates

Illinois GOP: If single moms can’t find the dad, their babies won’t get birth certificates | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Being a single mom in Springfield, Illinois could get a little more difficult if certain GOP lawmakers get their way.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So America, do you get it yet. Here we have the same GOP that says a fetus has a right to life saying that that same being once born can be deprived an identity and assistance. Isn't it time to dump the Republicans and get a party with a brain? Or perhaps they are just missing a heart. 
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3 UAlbany students indicted in CDTA bus attack

3 UAlbany students indicted in CDTA bus attack | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Three black University at Albany students were indicted for allegedly lying about an altercation on a CDTA bus in January that gained national attention and divided the school along racial lines. A subsequent criminal investigation and footage from cameras on the bus that early morning in January dispelled those claims and appeared to show that the friends were the aggressors, according to Albany County District Attorney David Soares' office. The announcement of the indictment Monday by Soares' office comes after negotiations last month broke down on a possible plea deal between prosecutors and the women's lawyers that could have resolved the high-profile case that has polarized the campus. Under the indictment, Agudio of Huntington on Long Island faces one charge of assault, three counts each of attempted assault and falsely reporting an incident, all misdemeanors, and three counts of harassment, all violations. The indictment also alleges Agudio repeatedly struck and attempted to injure a 19-year-old male passenger and attempted to hurt two other female passengers, ages 18 and 20.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is there not enough hatred and racism in the world without these foolish girls adding their rabble-rousing idiocy to it? Shame on them and kudos to the DA who tried to offer them a deal but would not back down from justice. 
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After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but a study of them helps explain why they could not keep all of that weight off.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Over the years, many people have suggested that I diet, go to the gym, lose weight. There have been periods when for one reason or another I did thin down, and each time was followed not simply by a return to my pre-loss weight but to a heavier me. Now, at least, this study gives some notion of the whys of that unpleasant reality. Do I wish I were thin? Sure. Is that going to happen? Not likely. Which is one reason I hold my wife in such high esteem; she has been able to keep herself at a much lower weight than she once measured, and that struggle seems to be getting harder despite her best efforts. Am I the only one with this problem? I guess not. 
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The government wants your fingerprint to unlock your phone. Should that be allowed?

The government wants your fingerprint to unlock your phone. Should that be allowed? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the world watched the FBI spar with Apple this winter in an attempt to hack into a San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, federal officials were quietly waging a
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is a really interesting situation. Can law enforcement compel you to give up the contents of your phone or must they obtain the phone and then break into it to get those contents? If the phone is password protected, then the law is clear, they have to break into it, they have to go to that effort. But, if the phone is fingerprint protected, this case says they can force you to open it. Clearly, this is a good reason to not have fingerprint protected phones, but if you are going to break the law, it is the best plan to not use your phone to do the planning or perhaps even take pictures of the crime. Of course, without that built in camera, how will you post pics of your crime? 
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10 Things the American Family Association Has Protested (protests, boycotts, christians, right wing, gay, lgbt, afa, american family association, omm, one million moms) - ODDEE

10 Things the American Family Association Has Protested (protests, boycotts, christians, right wing, gay, lgbt, afa, american family association, omm, one million moms) - ODDEE | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The AFA is a right-wing Christian group currently in the news for boycotting Target after the store announced a trans-friendly bathroom policy. Here are some of the many things the group has protested over the years. (protests, boycotts, christians, right wing, gay, lgbt, afa, american family association, omm, one million moms)
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'll say this for the American Family Association, they have been, like all those of little minds, consistent. Can the rest of us perhaps boycott such judgmental and destructive organizations. 
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9/11 Memorial guards order kids to stop singing national anthem

9/11 Memorial guards order kids to stop singing national anthem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
https://www.facebook.com/connie.s.scanlon/videos/vb.1851093859/10204491192280429/?type=2&theater

Two tone-deaf security guards at the 9/11 Memorial got tough with some wide-eyed middle school kids visiting the city for the first time from their small town in North Carolina — because they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“You have to stop. This is considered a public demonstration!” one guard barked at the patriotic teens, their Waynesville Middle School music teacher, Martha Brown, told The Post.

The guards insisted the group needed a permit to sing, according to Brown.

“Some of the students were very upset and confused. I told the children, ‘This is a place where you need to respect authority even if you don’t understand it,’ ” she said.

The choir was wrapping up a whirlwind field trip to the Big Apple with a somber visit to the 9/11 Memorial on Friday, and had launched into their lilting version of the national anthem when the two guards cut them off.

One mom was so infuriated by the way her kid was treated that she posted footage of the truncated tribute online, where it immediately went viral and now has more than 300,000 views.

“So sad this is happening everywhere. They sounded great. God Bless America!” wrote the mom, Connie Shepherd Scanlon.

Brown had hoped to add some history to their otherwise music-filled itinerary, which included singing at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and seeing “The Lion King” on Broadway.

The kids were so touched by Ground Zero, they asked to honor the site the best way they knew how, according to Brown.

“Singing was their way of paying respect,” the teacher said. “They were doing it very reverently.”

Brown said she understands the need for rules, but thinks the guard could have handled it better.

“He could have waited 30 to 45 seconds for us to finish, or he could have stopped us before we started, and it wouldn’t have gone viral,” she said.

A memorial spokeswoman admitted that the situation was mishandled.

“The guard did not respond appropriately,” she said. “We are working with our security staff to ensure that this does not happen again with future student performances.”

She did not say whether the security guard was disciplined.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sometimes a self-important bureaucrat can really make an ass of himself. This is really pathetic. 
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In the GOP House, Infant Lives probe accelerates while Zika funding request stalls

In the GOP House, Infant Lives probe accelerates while Zika funding request stalls | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The implications are clear and disgusting. The GOP is not so much about protecting children or the lives of infants as it is about manipulating the Pro-Life voters. Meanwhile, failure to protect fetuses from teratogenic threats like Zika increases the potential demand for abortions.  
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Leader of Syria Rescue Group, Arriving in U.S. for Award, Is Refused Entry

Leader of Syria Rescue Group, Arriving in U.S. for Award, Is Refused Entry | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Raed Saleh, of the Syria Civil Defense group, was to accept an award from InterAction, an alliance of international aid agencies. He was stopped at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Once again Washington bureaucracy demonstrates its inability to care about people. Raed Saleh represents the best of humanity in the horror that is Syria. 
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Cops Taunted Black Veteran as He Died

Cops Taunted Black Veteran as He Died | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As Elliott Williams lay on the jail floor, paralyzed and begging for help, staff dropped water beyond his reach and accused him of faking an injury, a lawsuit claims.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We must ask two questions: First, if Mr. Williams were white, would this same disgraceful sequence of events taken place? Second, assuming that Mr. Williams had been faking paralysis, did't that and the previous history suggest a need for competent mental health intervention? This is the kind of story that indicts American law enforcement and particularly the Tulsa sheriff's office. 
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On Crime Bill and the Clintons, Young Blacks Clash With Parents

On Crime Bill and the Clintons, Young Blacks Clash With Parents | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Young African-Americans are challenging Clinton-era policies on crime, diverging from their elders who enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton and the former president.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Did the Clinton reforms work to make lives better? Not really. Like much done in Washington, the unintended consequences were seriously harmful. One reason is that laws like the Clinton Crime Bill and Welfare Reform are based on the goal of controlling abuse and misconduct rather than on the goal of inducing better, more positive conduct. Government should be helping those who need better than trying to keep them for reaching for the brass rings they can see before them. When real chances are available then we will see people give up the false promises of drugs, crime, and cheating. That's one reason that older Black Americans should be supporting Sanders even as they give the Clinton's a wave of fond farewell. 
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Remembering Joe Medicine Crow, A Native American Legend Walks On But His Shadow Remains 

Remembering Joe Medicine Crow, A Native American Legend Walks On But His Shadow Remains  | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Born in 11913 Near Lodge Grass, Montana, Joseph Medicine Crow was the last living person with a direct oral history from a participant at the Battle of Little Bighorn." This winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom was a storied veteran of World War II and a leader for his people. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Let us mourn the passing of great men; let us burnish their names and tell their stories; lest we forget that once were heroes; lest we forget that once were the brave. 
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Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya

Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Intervention without a clear plan with includes a method of implementation was a terrible mistake. A bunch of think-tank proposals does not a realistic plan make. Ms.. Clinton seems to lack a self-critical faculty which makes me doubt her capacity to be a good POTUS. n some ways, the entire American presidential system is flawed because it is typically the grandiose who end up in office. Mr. Obama, Harry Truman, Gerry Ford, and William Howard Taft are some notable exceptions. 
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A new divide in American death: Statistics show widening urban-rural health gap

A new divide in American death: Statistics show widening urban-rural health gap | Upsetment | Scoop.it

 Map in red shows areas with rising death rates for white women; blue areas with dealing death rates. A new divide in American death: Statistics show widening urban-rural health gap and the rising death rate among middle-aged white women.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
There are many factors that contribute to changes in life expectancy, morbidity, and mortality. One factor that isn't explored in this excellent article is the differential mobility rates. Those who are capable of survival migrate away from the areas in which survival is more difficult leaving a population that is even less able to take care of itself. This leads to areas with poorer healthcare and self-care. Another is the role of feminism and its contribution to risk behaviors, such as drinking, drug use, and smoking, which are all contributors to deaths. I strongly suggest reading this article for more insights. 
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Rick Snyder Wants Obama To Drink Flint Water

Rick Snyder Wants Obama To Drink Flint Water | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Michigan governor has been trying to get the city's residents to use their taps.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Didn't Snyder bail on his commitment to drink the water for 30 days? I seem to remember her left on a trip after the first slurp. Meanwhile, the testing is clear, the water is still unsafe. 
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US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | Upsetment | Scoop.it
PKK violence is complicating US relations with Syria’s Kurds just as Turkey steps up its cooperation against the Islamic State.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Are the Kurds the heroes or the villains of the Middle East? Obviously, they are neither, But they are a group demanding a national identity instead of their enforced dispersal across four countries, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. In the end, no matter how heroically they fight against ISIS, they will become a threat to those four countries as they strive for that national identity. Rejection of that desire will result in ongoing civil wars, but acceptance of it requires the support of the four nations that are currently in place to make room for a fifth. Will that happen? Doubtful.. Will the Kurdish people stop their struggle for a homeland? No way. This is a dilemma that American foreign policy needs to address now. It is certainly one question I hope that the presidential candidates will be asked during the campaign.
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How the ‘Green Zone’ Helped Destroy Iraq

How the ‘Green Zone’ Helped Destroy Iraq | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It was only a matter of time before ordinary Iraqis stormed the walled-in palaces of their corrupt politicians.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is just one example of how little thought went into America's invasion of Iraq. One mark of a failed empire is the creation of failed governmental institutions in the countries it has controlled. Congratulations Bush-Cheney and the regime changing repiglicans.
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A failed pact tells you why Trump is winning

A failed pact tells you why Trump is winning | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Like Stalin and Churchill huddled over a map of Europe in 1944, Ted Cruz and John Kasich began a very odd week by announcing — publicly, for reasons known only to them — that they were divvying up the remaining primary states in order to maintain individual spheres of influence. Cruz would get Indiana
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The question that Donald Trump is really asking: Which is more pathetic, the Republican Party or the American Electorate? Perhaps it is time for a constitutional convention and a rethinking of our national identity. What do you think? 
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Rebel Leader Riek Machar Returns to South Sudan—and Brings Hopes for Peace With Him

Rebel Leader Riek Machar Returns to South Sudan—and Brings Hopes for Peace With Him | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After a two-year exile, the former vice-president of South Sudan returns to the capital and, hopefully, brings peace with him
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One man who grew up the midst of this volatile and tribally riven country, who was part of the war for independence and who then came to the US is writing a memoir, and I am helping him. You can sample a chapter from that story at The Write Room Blog. http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=3728 
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Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism!

Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism! | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sanders will never be president, but he unveiled an explosive political truth: Capitalism has eaten democracy
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The real problem is that we don't have capitalism in America. First and foremost, the capitalist system requires information in the marketplace, and let's be realistic, the American consumers have next to know real information.Second, it requires real competition between producers. Duh, in America? Third it requires easy flow of capital from investment to investment. Not happening here. Fourth, it can only exist when the government willingly takes on the economic tasks that do not lend themselves to profit or from which profit should not be gained, such as building roads, operating police forces, running prisons and courts. Our government has ground to a halt on many of those or is distorting them by outsourcing. The goal of capitalism was never the amassing of wealth but the best system of distribution of goods and services. To that goal, it provides a method of valuation that should be based one real utility. Clearly, in today's skewed economy, capitalism has failed. 
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VW emissions: 'US deal struck' to buy back diesel cars - BBC News

VW emissions: 'US deal struck' to buy back diesel cars - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Volkswagen will offer to buy back some of the cars affected by the emissions scandal in a deal agreed with US regulators, according to reports.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I want to know how many managers from Volkswagen and now Mitsubishi will end up in prison. I want to know what portion of the profits from both companies will be taken away and invested in the environment. I guess what I really want to know is when will corporations and those who run them face real penalties that will disincentivize cheating and lawless behavior. And, no, the "innocent shareholders" shouldn't be protected; the larger society should be the proper concern of government. 
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The Long Divorce

The Long Divorce | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Long Divorce « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When the US decided to become the policeman of the Middle East, it was to protect and control the oil supplies. In those days the world was a simpler place dominated by the Cold War and cowed by atomic weapons and American wealth. As I have said many times, the entire issue of human rights was raised primarily for reasons of comparing the US to the Soviets, which is why in particular we touted our defense of religious freedom. Now that bird has come home to roost because we have to deal with those who use religion as a shield and a weapon, often one aimed at us. It is certainly time to expect more from those who claim to be our friends than that they keep our oil companies flowing with wealth. Respecting the full panoply of human rights is one reasonable expectation. Respecting the religious views of others is a second. Opposing tyrannies that would be imposed in the name of god is a third. In the end, there may be many countries with which are not friends and  allies but with which we simply have to get along. Gosh, a world that doesn't love us; can America survive? 
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The Cold Medicine That's Linked to Cognitive Problems

The Cold Medicine That's Linked to Cognitive Problems | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A common kind of drug, anticholinergic medication, is linked to poorer cognition in older adults
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A bit late to learn this now. I've relied on Benadryl for years, one of the few allergy meds that worked for me. Oh well, I didn't need a brain anyway, just ask my wife. 
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At Least 77 Dead After Powerful Earthquake Hits Ecuador

At Least 77 Dead After Powerful Earthquake Hits Ecuador | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The magnitude-7.8 quake flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It seems as if the Earth is unsettled, as if it is moving beneath our feet. Could this seismic activity be linked to human behavior or is it just that the media and electronic age make us more aware of these events so we connect them in our heads? according to the scientists, there are about 20, 000 quakes each year and about 16 of those will be major. But, it does appear that in recent years there have been more years in which the averages have been exceeded. Anyway, earthquakes like tis in Ecuador are horrific. Hopefully other countries will send rescue teams and aid to help. 
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The incredibly weird reason the North Pole is headed to England.

The incredibly weird reason the North Pole is headed to England. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Around 16 years ago, something caused a dramatic shift in the Earth's wobble. Now NASA has identified the cause.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if Santa will take rooms at 221B Baker Street? I'm sure Mrs. Hudson will find room for the reindeer. 
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State of emergency declared over suicide epidemic in Canadian First Nation community

State of emergency declared over suicide epidemic in Canadian First Nation community | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Authorities in the Ontario community of Attawapiskat describe ‘rolling nightmare’ as 11 people attempt suicide on one day
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Looking at the photo of this place and imagining the dreams that come via that satellite dish, one can only imagine the depression that the residents must feel, their sense of exclusion from the world. Modern media and the Internet bring many blessings, but for those who live in isolation it must also be a curse. I'm not saying that't the only cause of this sad set of events, but it is what comes to my mind. 
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