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Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Promised IRS It Would Spend ‘Limited’ Money on Elections

Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Promised IRS It Would Spend ‘Limited’ Money on Elections | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Crossroads GPS, which has spent tens of millions from secret donors on elections, told the IRS in its 2010 application that its efforts would focus on education, policy-making and research.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Karl Rove lied. Stop the presses. Who would have thought it? Seriously, is anyone surprised?

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US army 'lost track of $1bn worth of arms'

US army 'lost track of $1bn worth of arms' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Amnesty International urges the US and other countries to stop arms transfers that could fuel atrocities.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I know that to the Pentagon a billion is chump change, but imagine how many school lunches that would provide. About 350 million. How many years of the NEA would it fund? Over 7. Well, you get the picture. And last week the news was how the Pentagon was overcharging the services for gas so they could fund projects that the congress hadn't given money. Yeah, nothing wrong here folks, just move along. 
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Madoff fund has paid millions to administrator, zero to victims

Madoff fund has paid millions to administrator, zero to victims | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A firm hired by the U.S. to distribute $4 billion to victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has racked up $38.8 million in billings over four years. The investors are still waiting for their first checks, though.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Did you ever read Bleak House? Remember Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the never-ending law case? In the end when there was a clear legal right, there was nothing left of the estate. Gone in a puff of probate as it were. Did you think Dickens was making the whole thing up? Well here it is again in a new and better form. Those who were fleeced by Madoff are now being fleeced again, this time by the legal process. Is it time for serious reforms of our legal and economic systems? Of course. Will they occur? Not likely. 
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Oil prices and the White House

Oil prices and the White House | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Oil prices dropped on the White House plan to sell off half of the nation's 688 million-barrel oil stockpile from 2018 to 2027 aims to raise $16.5 billion and help balance the budget.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
How stupid is this plan? First, it will go against the efforts of the Saudis and other Arab nations, a group of countries that Trump has just been courting and that need a rise in oil prices. Second, it uses this reserved oil that is supposed to be available in case of a serious shortage of petroleum to pay off short-term bills, which is just another way of borrowing to pay those bills and shows a lack of business sense. Only a corporate raider sells off assets at low prices to gin up the current books. Seriously, we have found our way to idiocracy here.
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As Trump Prepared For Riyadh Visit, Saudis Block US On Terrorist Sanctions

As Trump Prepared For Riyadh Visit, Saudis Block US On Terrorist Sanctions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom touted by President Donald Trump as a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State, has helped block a Trump administration proposal to impose sanctions against a Saudi branch of the terrorist group, documents show.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Here's the thing, is it wise to enter into security deals with a country that is more concerned about its reputation than about reality?

"Acceding to the U.S. proposal could have resulted in "reputational risks" for the kingdom, possibly including losses in tourist revenue and higher insurance premiums, the official said."

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is the center of the Arab and to some degree the Muslim world. It was the homeland of the 9/11 attackers and is still the home of some of the most extreme Islamic ideas. 

No, I don't want to overthrow the monarchy there, but I'm not so sure we should consider them our allies. So far, the Saudi offers to take part in a war on terror have mostly been about bombing people in Yemen who are pro-Iran. 


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When Your Child Is a Psychopath

When Your Child Is a Psychopath | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Over the years I practiced as a psychologist I met a few kids who were psychopaths and lacked the capacity for real emotional connect but who could understand how to function in the world. They happily manipulated other people to get whatever they could. Then there were the few who did not seem able to find pleasure or happiness without the excitement of hurting others. Could they learn to suppress that motivation and learn that there were other, better ways to find pleasure? My guess only to a limited degree. Which raises powerful ethical and political issues: At what point does a person place themselves outside the limits of the human community? And, if they do,  what are we then to do with them? 

I had a friend years ago who recommended that we use deserted islands to house the less-than beings; something like Escape From New York except isolated rather than contained. Or do we blow them away as if they were zombies after the apocalypse? Finally, how do we decide who they are?

In a sense, we may yet have to return to the Soviet Union's notion of psychiatry, when the politically unaccepted were diagnosed. Oh, but wait; then would that include LBGT people? Would it include those who supported a particular political candidate? Which one? 

Sometimes, it is just damn difficult to be a rational and caring human. "Off with their heads," screams the queen, who is so not amused. 
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The real implications of the law

The real implications of the law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Does the law protect fetuses or limit abortions?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is a new law in Arizona: Care for Fetuses Born Alive SB 1367 is a regulation on how doctors most offer care to fetuses that are born alive during an abortion. At or beyond 20 weeks, neonatal emergency equipment will be available for a trained staff to ensure the baby’s survival. The belief is that if the fetus is alive at the time of an abortion, then it is a living being. 

Sounds simple and clear. That fetus has a right to live if it is born alive. Who could oppose that goal? The problem is that the law requires that abortions after twenty weeks be performed only in facilities with extensive and expensive equipment and staff available. How many hospitals can meet those requirements. In effect, the goal of this law is not to save that extraordinarily rare surviving infant but to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions after 20 weeks. And, since in most cases there is uncertainty about the date of conception, to be on the legal safe side for the doctors that would be more like 18 weeks. 

Of course, most women who obtain abortions do so way before their second trimester and this law won't affect them. Usually, the women who seek second trimester terminations do so because of medical concerns (although for a very small number it is for other issues such as the father dropping out of the picture). It is unlikely that a woman seeking an abortion that late in the pregnancy would be indifferent to her fetus's potential life. However, this is just one way for the state to force a particular religious/political view on people, just one way to wage war on women who want control over their reproductive lives.

I know that many of my friends and social-media followers want to stop abortions. The reality is that I know of no-one who actually wants to see the number of abortions go up. However, we all know that the best way to stop abortion is not by making life harder for the mother but by providing sex education, mental health assistance, birth control, quality prenatal care, and by protecting women from predators—form outside and those within the family. We all know that women who feel in control of their lives and with positive futures ahead are less likely to have unwanted pregnancies and are far less likely to resort to abortion. 

If we want to limit abortions, why don't we work at helping women rather than insisting on a government's right to control them? In the end, the best way to fight abortion is to encourage women's liberation. 
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Ramapough Told by Town to Dismantle Pipeline Protest Camp - Indian Country Media Network

Ramapough Told by Town to Dismantle Pipeline Protest Camp - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Ramapough Lenape Nation is appealing for help as the surrounding town of Mahwah, New Jersey, orders anti-pipeline camp dismantled.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So we have sunk to a place where Native Americans have to get local planning board permission to erect tipis on their own ceremonial lands? Does anybody believe this would be an issue if the oil pipeline weren't involved? If somebody wasn't pushing against the right of the Ramapough to protest? Or, perhaps, it is just that government apparatchik see the world differently from the rest of us. Perhaps they have a need to control everything. Either way, this story raised my hackles. I say leave the tipis be. How about you? 
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Analysis | Nancy Pelosi’s claim that ‘seven million veterans will lose their tax credit’ under the GOP health bill

Analysis | Nancy Pelosi’s claim that ‘seven million veterans will lose their tax credit’ under the GOP health bill | Upsetment | Scoop.it
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi glossed over the nuances of this issue, so we explain the facts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is much wrong with the GOP revisions and replacement of Obamacare, just as Obamacare had is flaws. However, one thing that will not help is distortion and distraction. Absolutely, veterans deserve special consideration and the VA is not the only method to provide that consideration. The provision in question certainly has merit and did apparently help some veterans. However, as with way too many things and by far too many politicians, Rep. Pelosi has distorted the issues for political reasons rather than clarifying it so the American people can better understand what is going on. I'm sure this distortion will find its way to my mailbox as yet another reason I should send money to the DNC. Someday, perhaps, politicians will become more concerned with telling us the clear truth than with raising money. I have the feeling that the day after that revelation six horsemen will come a-riding. 
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Middle East particle accelerator opens in Jordan

Middle East particle accelerator opens in Jordan | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientific project will use cutting-edge technology while promoting diplomacy in the Middle East.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sure it's great that science is moving forward, but a bigger part of the story is in the map. See the countries involved, the ones that are working together on this massive project. Sunni and Shia, Jew and Muslim. Yep, if science can bring diverse religious groups of the Middle East to a common worktable, that will be more of an accomplishment than finding a new particle or even the secret of creation, for it might well provide the secret for stopping entropy in human affairs. By the way, I love the fact that Jordan is contributing to a better world. I've never been to Amman, but I understand that it is one of the great cities of the world because of the humanity of its people. 
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Native History: Murder of Chief Lean Bear Leads to War, Sand Creek Massacre - Indian Country Media Network

Native History: Murder of Chief Lean Bear Leads to War, Sand Creek Massacre - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The murder of Cheyenne Chief Lean Bear stirred up the Dog Soldiers who went on the warpath, escalating the fears of government officials, settlers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One issue I take with America today is that we try so hard as a country to disown much of the reality of our history, particularly when it comes to Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, and Mexicans. The jingoism with which Euro-Americans justified wars, slavery, and acts of preacher such as the Murder of Chief Lean Bear should never be forgotten, for without owning the guilt we cannot hope to reach the conciliation that will allow us to be truly great. 

It is my view that our failure to focus on the wellbeing of our people rather than trying to force our will on other countries is the result of refusing to accept responsibility for our historical actions. In that sense, we are as a nation very much like much of ISIS, justifying ourselves in death for the guilt we cannot deal with in life. 

No, I do not call for giving back America to the "Red Man" nor for forty acres and a mule for every Black. I don't advocate giving the Southwest back to Mexico either. And, although one could make a case for it, I don't want Japanese-American voters to be given the state of California. I do however, advocate recognizing the things we have done and by accepting that burden of guilt commit to doing righteousness and not to placing self and wealth ahead of others. 
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Syrian army sends reinforcements toward border with Iraq: rebels

Syrian army sends reinforcements toward border with Iraq: rebels | Upsetment | Scoop.it

If you enjoy reading my opinions, why not also try my books? visit www.kennethweene.com and find your next great read. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Once again we find American forces and allies caught in the web of Middle Eastern and Islamic politics. While we support those who oppose ISIS, Iran and Syria wait in the background ready to claim the spoils. Much of this has to do with the Shia-Sunni split. Of course, the Alawite Muslims of Syria (primarily but also found in Lebanon and Turkey) are a unique mixture of Sunni and Shiite who have only been seen as brethren of the Shia since the Iranian revolution. Still, Iran—along with Russia—supports the Assad regime. America has, of course, been drawn into the Syrian conflict on the part of those Sunni rebels who feel aggrieved with the Assad regime. (That isn't all Sunnis but a sizable number who feel that they have been treated badly by the powerful central government with its strong Alawite bent.) We also support the Kurds, who are connected with the Kurds of Iraq, our good allies, and the Kurds of Turkey, who want to break away from Ankara's domination. 

If you follow all that, then you are probably ahead of the state department, which seems to be totally lost and are lightyears ahead of the defense department, which seems totally committed to getting into stupid battles. The real lesson of the Middle East is that there are no clear sides and that often the bad guys, the dictators, are keeping even worse things from happening. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria: you name it; we Americans have mostly liberated chaos and suffering in our attempts to police the world. 
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North Korea Test-Fires Another Missile

North Korea Test-Fires Another Missile | Upsetment | Scoop.it
North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile that reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What would the North want to negotiate? Certainly not greater openness for its people. Bottom line is that North Korea needs customers for its products. At present, much of its foreign exchange is earned by workers sent to other countries where they earn little that isn't given back to the state in return for the welfare of their loved ones, yeah farmed out slave labor. Strong on tech and weapons, Pyongyang needs to sell them to a world that won't ask to intrude in their hermit state's business and especially not in the centralization of Kim's rule. What I don't get is why the US, China, Japan, and other countries involved in the region don't seem to get this simple set of realities. Meanwhile, customers for North Korean technology are already out there in places like Africa and the Middle East, places that want weapons to annihilate one another over tribalism and/or religion. I love the irony that an atheist state is willing to provide the means for Christians and Muslims to bring about Armageddon. 
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Netanyahu’s vision of one-state-one-people solution

Netanyahu’s vision of one-state-one-people solution | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting neither the two-state solution nor one state for the two people, but one state on Israeli and West Bank territories, only for the Jews.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sadly, Israel seems to be moving towards three choices for Palestinians, living under an occupying force, emigration from their homes, or expulsion. And, where could those displaced Palestinians find new homes? Probably not in the Arab nations that despise them and not very likely in Europe which is already overburdened with refugees. Can we ever stop human tribalism and recognize that we are all one and deserving of basic rights, including a place to live? 
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President Trump's Budget Includes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake

President Trump's Budget Includes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump's budget includes simple accounting error that adds up to a $2 trillion oversight.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sadly, once again the current administration shows its inability to govern properly. This time in the most fundamental area, the handling of its own budgeting plans. Not only is the Trump budget harmful to our people, at least those who aren't wealthy, and to the arts, sciences, and education, but it is also fiscally incorrect. You can't say we're going to replace these dollars of current income (A) with these others to come (B) and then spend that same amount (B) for other things. It's just the kind of sloppy math for which any competent businessman would fire an apprentice.
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Why does the right want more poverty?

Why does the right want more poverty? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What is the thinking behind cuts on reproductive services and health care for the poor? 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I must admit confusion over the long-term goals of the right when it comes to women and especially to reproduction. Clearly, new laws in Texas and Iowa are a war not only on Planned Parenthood but the availability of contraceptives for poorer women. ( http://tinyurl.com/mn7jw8g ) At the same time, the Trump budget drastically cuts services to the poor and especially Medicaid ( http://tinyurl.com/mqv9eqv ) while the administration clearly disavows public education. 

The only logical conclusion of these combined steps will be a great many children born into poverty and minimal educational and vocational opportunities. What will become of them? Is the goal to create a new serf or even slave caste? What are we going to do with this growing underclass? 

Of course, there is one clear possibility, endless war. We can create a warrior class. We have seen at least one country, North Korea, go in that direction. Is that what the far right wants? Is that why we invaded Iraq and stayed so long in Afghanistan? Was that why we got so crazily enmeshed in Vietnam? Assuredly, it is the stuff of bad dreams and apocalyptic visions. 

In the end, as Jesus said, "the poor we have with us always." Yet, is the goal to have more of them, more poverty, more sad souls to be saved? Let us hope not. 
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Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts | Upsetment | Scoop.it
No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The goal of the seed vault in Norway is to protect seeds so that in the event of disaster mankind can start over. Of course, who doesn't realize that it is mankind that is the greatest potential disaster. Perhaps the travelers from some far-off planet will want some earth seeds. Will it be for an extraterrestrial arboretum, something like Kurt Vonnegut's zoo, or will they actually make use of those plants to make their world better. At any rate, I hope that there are good examples of maize, beans, and squash: what the Indians called the three sisters. That would be the great irony if we were to give those most basic foods for survival to space colonists from the future. 

At any rate, as the Bible says, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." 
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The War of 1812 Could Have Been the War of Indian Independence - Indian Country Media Network

The War of 1812 Could Have Been the War of Indian Independence - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What did the War of 1812 mean for America's indigenous people?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I loved history as I kid, but even then I knew that it is written by the winners, especially when the losers have no particular history of writing. So, of course, I wasn't surprised to learn that the Native tribal rights and claims were a big part of the War of 1812, not just the impressment of sailors and blockading trade with the continent. Interestingly, being a Broody New Englander, I hadn't been taught about those Indian issues, that explain why the rest of the colonies eventually went along with Mass, Rhode Island, and New York where seagoing trade was seriously affected by the British. At any rate, the war was fought and the big losers were the indigenous people. No wonder Andy Jackson was so prepared to just kill them off; hadn't that been what he was fighting for in New Orleans? 
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Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The conversation reinforces the notion that President Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Since this is the official White House document, I guess we have to accept it, but WOW! Even if saying this to the Russians was in his mind for some kind of bargaining chip, it goes to show that the man is totally off the reservation. I am beginning to think that it is falling on Mr. Pence to save us via the 25th amendment before the madness gets totally out of control. 
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White Tulsa Officer Is Acquitted in Fatal Shooting of Black Driver

White Tulsa Officer Is Acquitted in Fatal Shooting of Black Driver | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The shooting of Terence Crutcher by Officer Betty Jo Shelby is one of several cases that have prompted a national debate about race relations and the police’s use of force.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I am usually a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter. In the context of that issue, this is a bad decision. Obviously, Terence Crutcher didn't need to die and the result of this trial would probably be different were he white. On the other hand, we have an obvious second issue that has to be recognized, the role of drugs. Crutcher was acting erratically and we now know that was because he was high. Again, were he white, it is unlikely or at least less likely  that Officer Shelby would have fired that weapon. However, was it a question of Black lives having less value to the police than differential reaction to drug situations based on race? Part of the war on drugs has been race driven; we know that from the differences in incarceration rates. We know it from the different penalties for crack versus powder cocaine. And, we should recognize that same racial differential when it comes to the interplay of law-enforcement and drugs, especially when it comes to the petty drug offenders. We cannot ask Officer Shelby or other police personnel to stop and ask themselves, "Would I do the same thing is this person were white?" However, we as a society should be asking just that question. Since the end of the Civil War a black man with a bottle has been seen as a threat or a "boy" while I white man with a bottle has been a harmless drunk or a kid. 

I don't have an easy set of answers, but I do know that law enforcement is important, that black lives matter, that equal justice is crucial, and that America has a long way to go. 
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Saudi Arabia working to dazzle Trump in busy overseas visit

Saudi Arabia working to dazzle Trump in busy overseas visit | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia working to dazzle Trump in busy overseas visit
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Will Mr. Trump be able to tone-down the Islamic extremism the emanates from Saudi Arabia or will he become a tool to be used by the Wahhabis in their quest for religious purity and the Sunnis in general in their antagonism towards Iran and the rest of the Shia world. He's not just playing with the big-boys here (no women leaders in this gang) but with the most ideological. Just to start things off, he will have to deal with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who would  rather kill somebody who disagrees with him on Sharia law as sit down and parlay. And weapons sales to Saudi Arabia; how will that go over with Israel to say nothing of the folks in Tehran who might look to Russia or even North Korea for a counterpunch? Some tricky waters for Mr. Trump to navigate coming up in the Saudi desert. 
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A Remote Pacific Island Awash in Tons of Trash

A Remote Pacific Island Awash in Tons of Trash | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A survey of uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific estimated that about 17.6 tons of debris had washed ashore, endangering wildlife and blighting beaches.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We humans are such destructive slobs. If there's one thing this Broody New Englander learned as a kid, it was to clean up properly. Sure, we did dump stuff in a landfill, but at least it was properly burned and buried and not just strewn around the world. To this day, I try to avoid using plastic when I can, and I don't like to buy plastic articles that are one-use. How about you, do you try to lower your plastic footprint? 
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Indian court allows 10-year-old rape victim to have an abortion

Indian court allows 10-year-old rape victim to have an abortion | Upsetment | Scoop.it

 India registers an average of 6 rapes a day. This girl had crossed 20-week legal limit after which terminations are usually only allowed if there is danger to life of mother or baby.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
We hear so much of the way in which Muslims mistreat women, but sadly abuse is not limited to followers of Muhammad. Take India, where the Hindu population has a horrendous record on rape. So, here we have in this one case a microcosm of moral decisions. Should this 10 year old girl be forced to carry her child to term? And if she does, what would happen to the child? Who would take care of either the young mother or the baby? Then there is the plea of the girl's own mother that the rapist, the stepfather, be freed from jail because who will take care of her and the children, presumably including this 10 year old victim. Finally, let us consider the worst—for me—insight in the story. No matter what else happens, this child of ten's life is ruined. Such disgust, such sorrow, such a sense of helplessness. Sometimes the depravity and misery of humanity overwhelms. 
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News: Fake, not fake, and whom do we believe?

News: Fake, not fake,  and whom do we believe? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
While the administration in the form of the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State pushed back against the "fake news" that Trump had shared highly secretive information with the Russians, POTUS confirmed he had done exactly that. So, not only has he potentially compromised intelligence sources but Mr. Trump has also undercut the credibility of two of his top aides. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While the administration in the form of the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State pushed back against the "fake news" that Trump had shared highly secretive information with the Russians, POTUS confirmed he had done exactly that. So, not only has he potentially compromised intelligence sources but Mr. Trump has also undercut the credibility of two of his top aides.

I don't know if I'm the only one who feels like we are living through the Three Stooges Meet Monty Python, but chaos and farce are quickly becoming the central themes of this administration. I wonder how many people who like to wave American flags and shout "We're number one!" are beginning to understand just how bizarre Washington is becoming. How many of them are wishing that they had bitten the bullet of distaste and voted for Hillary, who at least had some idea of how the government was supposed to be run.

More to the point, how many of us who voted for either of the two candidates wish there had been another viable choice? Will America bring forward a new party based on rationality and concern for our people or are we to soon become the empire that was? 

Wait, I have an insight: we can call on Charlie Brown or Alfred E. Neuman to take over the reins of government. Seriously, could things be much worse if we just stopped worrying and kept on trusting Lucy. ARGH!
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Opinion | Too many children are killed for insurance money. Here’s how states can stop it.

Opinion | Too many children are killed for insurance money. Here’s how states can stop it. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Washington and New York are taking the lead on imposing new standards and procedures.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Obviously, only a sick bastard would insure a child and then kill them for the money. Clearly, the real question that should be asked is why would insurance companies so willingly write policies that don't make sense for people whose backgrounds have not been checked. Sure, there aren't many of these cases and the miscreants were caught (at least in these instances) but once again we see that financial institutions, in this case insurance companies, are way to greedy to properly police themselves. Are these companies complicit in these crimes? Should they, too, be punished for their greed? Perhaps that's a question for the morality police. For my part, I just keep wondering about a world in which money has become our god and perceived salvation. No, this isn't a plea for religion but rather a hope that we will begin looking to reformulate values that go beyond the dollar. 
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The new range war

The new range war | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As a movement builds to sell off US public lands or hand control of them to the states, many ranchers and hunters are resisting. Here’s why.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a lover of country and nature—albeit more the smaller scale of original home in New England rather than the vastness of my current home in the Southwest—I want to see our nation's public lands properly cared for and efficiently managed. Two things are clear to me, there is often a tension between economic benefits and conservation. Let's not dick up mother nature for oil, coal, or other minerals unless we must. God knows, we have done enough damage digging copper here in Arizona to teach me that lesson. The second thing that is equally clear to me is that Washington is a pretty far piece from the decisions that have to be made. Why is the Department of the Interior headquartered there rather than having its main offices here in the west? The practical compromises that have to be made would be better made not by bureaucrats living inside the beltway but by men and women who are in daily contact with the realities. I would say the same about the Department of Agriculture. In fact, given modern communications and travel, the question has to be raised why we have so much of government so centralized. 

Perhaps it's time to decentralize the federal government and stop the illusion that Washington should have all the answers.And, wouldn't that be a nice way to spread the employment and income of federal government around the country? 

By the way, if they were to place a federal department of creative ideas here in Arizona, they could call on me. So, a message to all you folks who want to push that idea or just who want to see how creative I am, why not visit http://www.kennethweene.com 
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