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Empirical Magazine: From the Empirical Archives: The City of the Future by Dan O'Brien

Empirical Magazine: From the Empirical Archives: The City of the Future by Dan O'Brien | Upsetment | Scoop.it
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A fine piece by a good friend from one of the best magazines.

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Texas boy suspended after bringing 'ring of power' to school

Texas boy suspended after bringing 'ring of power' to school | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after bringing his “one ring” to school.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Are Texas schools at war with books , education, children, or all of the above?

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Albuquerque toddler shoots dad, pregnant mom with single shot after finding gun in handbag

Albuquerque toddler shoots dad, pregnant mom with single shot after finding gun in handbag | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Two New Mexico parents were recovering after being shot by their 3-year-old son over the weekend.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

The wonderful stupidity of some gun owners never ceases to amaze me. Even a herd of wildebeests wait for a crocodile to take their least competent; but we Americans just let them kill themselves off with guns.

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She fought making it easier for Virginia to commit the mentally ill. Then she got committed herself.

She fought making it easier for Virginia to commit the mentally ill. Then she got committed herself. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Alison Hymes was a longtime advocate for the mentally ill in Virginia, even serving on a task force to reform state laws. But she was committed involuntarily in 2011 and again in 2013.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you find this story fascinating, you really should read my novel, "Memoirs From the Asylum." It will take you into the depths of the madness, not just the patients' but the system's.

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Poll finds gaping chasm in views between U.S. public, scientists

Poll finds gaping chasm in views between U.S. public, scientists | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American scientists and the general public hold vastly different views on key scientific issues including the role of people in causing climate change, the safety of genetically modified food, and evolution, a poll released on Thursday showed. Eighty-seven percent of scientists questioned by the Pew Research Center said human activity was the main cause of global climate change, compared with 50 percent of the public. The issue has become increasing divisive
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Interesting, I agree with the scientists about some things, evolution and climate change for example, have mixed feelings about immunization (not dangerous for most, but perhaps over-mandated) and disagree with majority of scientists about genetically modifying foods and foods treated with pesticides, both of which I think are potentially very dangerous, and using animals in research, which is sometimes necessary but should require stricter oversight and justification. What are your thoughts?

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Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad

Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Since the tragic attacks in Paris earlier this month, voices on the right and left have been vigorously debating the issue of Muslims’ assimilation in the West. But this focus on assimilation is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous. What has attracted young men to the global jihad is not necessarily their incomplete assimilation, but rather estrangement from the values and aspirations of mainstream society and ruling elites.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a reasonably good assessment of the issues, but it misses the biggest problem, unlike other crusades for social justice that have radicalized youth in other times and places, the current global jihad is about religion and its followers want to base their "utopia" on a specific faith not on real equality and opportunity for all. Starting from a "religious imperative" (as opposed to a religious perspective) is inherently the enemy of reasonable and therefore precludes meaningful dialog.

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DEA plan to track drivers went much wider, new documents reveal

DEA plan to track drivers went much wider, new documents reveal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officials tried to use license-plate readers to track travel patterns of Americans as critics say ‘This could be a really amazing level of surveillance we’ve not seen before’
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again the federal bureaucracy is tending to violate the basic rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and this is once again being done in the name of "law enforcement" and the "war on drugs." It is time for the American people and their representatives to end this kind of bureaucratic overreach and to stop the bureaucracy's unwarranted efforts to supervise our daily loves.

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1 in 5 American Kids Needs Food Stamps

1 in 5 American Kids Needs Food Stamps | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Economic recovery is not really benefiting low-income familiies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There are three ways to see this. One is to say so what and let the children go hungry (an approach that might be called social Darwinism and extreme Libertarianism) Two is that the economic recovery is not working and we need to do more for companies so they can hire more people (an approach commonly called Reaganomics, trickle-down theory, voodoo economics, and which typifies the conservative mindset.) The third is to see this as an opportunity to make sure children receive proper nutrition through the spread of government programs, which may include having children eat more meals in public schools, providing more supervision of how food stamps, etc. are used, and possibly creating food distribution centers, possibly in cooperation with food banks. (An approach that might be called income redistribution, progressive-ism, and the nanny state.)

Of course, what makes more sense is to tie economic assistance to the well-being of the children who are in need. Once again, I say that those in need should be incentivized to do better for themselves and their families. The child who is regularly attending school and doing his/her best, who is taking part in community activities, etc. should be given our best possible assistance with the goal of producing more successful adults. Is that not the best use of capitalism?

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Video: Deputy Public Defender Unjustly Arrested

San Francisco, CA --- San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi today released video showing a deputy public defender being unlawfully arrested outside a courtroom as she attempted to protect her client’s right to counsel. The cell phone footage, taken Tuesday afternoon inside the San ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With this act, the San Francisco police not only are placed in jeopardy of a civil action but also obviously now face every piece of evidence elicited from an interview of these young men or any other defendant represented by legal aid being questioned as fruit of a diseased and poisonous tree. Congratulations to Brian Stansbury, an incompetent and criminally minded police officer.

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The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins

The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A city reaches out to its ‘hikikomori’ population. Some sufferers stay inside their homes for years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is interesting that nowhere in this article is the difference between a shame based culture (Japan) and a more guilt based one (U.S.) discussed. Indeed, the DSM tradition has been to move away from those kinds of concern and look only at behavior, to do away with the notion of neurosis. Here we see a shame based neuroses the successful treatment of which will require understanding not only the triggering event but the underlying propensity to feel shame.

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Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow | Upsetment | Scoop.it

I wonder how many of the guys who hang at The Dew Drop Inne grew up feeling poorer than their neighbors? An important social issue.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

If there is one thing we know about boys it is that they compare themselves to others, play a constant mental game of king of the mountain. So, if your family is poorer, if you clothes are shabbier, etc., it has got to take a toll. Here's the study that shows the effect of coming from a poorer home in an affluent neighborhood, but what about the girls?

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Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal

Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
You'd think not breaking the law was not illegal. And yet here we are.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real problem is that the cop once aware that the musician was not breaking the law couldn't back down because the crowd took sides. My guess is he would have walked away if they hadn't cheered. It is sad that in his effort to save face, this officer walked into a trap. Clearly, once it was established that the musician was not breaking the law any arrest was going to be thrown out. Because there is a public record of the cop reading the law and knowing it, his behavior becomes suspect and personal, which may lead to punitive action against him and a cause of action by the musician against both the individual officer and the force. If I were the judge, I would probably order the cop be taken into custody and order the DA to prepare charges, and all the time I'd feel as badly for that officer as I do for the musician.

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Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama

Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a stupid and politically motivated act. Netanyahu is a loose cannon and we need a working relationship with Iran. Sure a few Jewish voters will move to the GOP side because of this, but in the long run it will alienate everyone who wants fairness for the Palestinians, which includes most American Jews.

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New police radars can 'see' inside homes

New police radars can 'see' inside homes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have quietly equipped their officers with handheld radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of suspects' homes to see where
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is America becoming a police state? If it is, why are we as voters allowing it? What can we do to suppress both police overreach and the growth of criminal enterprise? Assuredly, giving up our right to privacy should not be the price for security.

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Who counts as 'homeless' depends on how you ask | Al Jazeera America

Who counts as 'homeless' depends on how you ask | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Who counts as homeless
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Meanwhile, what if we just created better programs to offer services and were less punitive towards the homeless? Perhaps then they would come in from the cold.

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WATCH: New Rochelle police officer holds teens at gunpoint over a snowball fight

WATCH: New Rochelle police officer holds teens at gunpoint over a snowball fight | Upsetment | Scoop.it

In a video uploaded by New Rochelle’s Talk of the Sound, a New York police officer can be seen holding several teens at gunpoint after being called out for a disturbance which turned out to be a snowball fight earlier this week.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Has the 911 system become a threat to civil liberties? Even to life itself? With the police becoming more and more aggressive, when does calling them stop making sense?

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John B. Geer had hands up when shot by Fairfax County police, documents show

John B. Geer had hands up when shot by Fairfax County police, documents show | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Fairfax police released more than 11,000 documents and files about the August 2013 killing of John Geer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is unconscionable that the county had to turn to the Federal government to investigate this murder. When a police force is so determined to protect an officer no matter how blatant his behavior, that department must be disbanded and reorganized. There is no greater threat to good governance than "Coverups in Blue"

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Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students Threatening School Property

Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students Threatening School Property | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Legislation filed last week in Texas would allow teachers to use deadly force in order to protect school property, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So Johnny starts to write on his desk and boom he's a goner. Ooops, Mrs. Killjoy isn't that good a shot, so Johnny is fine but Susy is dead. What difference? Seems like a great plan to save the taxpayers money; kill the buggers in kindergarten. Hey, you kids who survive till third grade, instead of an apple bring teach some ammo. Yep, nothing wrong with this plan.

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bmarkham's curator insight, January 31, 2:41 AM

This is not gonna go well.

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Medicare Payments Surge for Stents to Unblock Blood Vessels in Limbs

Medicare Payments Surge for Stents to Unblock Blood Vessels in Limbs | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Some cardiologists are reaping huge reimbursements for operating to relieve blockages in peripheral veins and arteries, a treatment many may not need.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While there is sure to be an upsurge in such "unnecessary procedures" when a new technique comes around, after a while the huge backlog of willing patients and the growing awareness of primary care docs will get things under better control. In the meantime, as a consumer I would avoid a doc who was grinding out a procedure and making a fortune from Medicare; greed is not a good sign in the doctor who is going to cut into your body.

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Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A test told a couple their child might be intersex and have a genetic disorder. The test was wrong.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While mistakes may be rare, genetic testing that indicates a serious defect or those tests which are done with the goal of screening for such serious defects should be repeated and the clerical work carefully edited to make sure that mistakes are avoided. Aborting a fetus is too serious a decision to do less than the best medical science has to offer. In the case cited, clearly the parents should have been advised to do a retest and to wait to make sure that the information given had been correct.

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You Asked: Why Am I Cold All the Time?

You Asked: Why Am I Cold All the Time? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The science behind your shivering
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I saw this story, thought of my friends and family still living in the Northeast and just had to share it from nice warm Arizona. Now there's a solution; forget those socks and mittens and head for the beautiful Southwest.

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On climate change, 'not a scientist' not enough for some U.S. Republicans

On climate change, 'not a scientist' not enough for some U.S. Republicans | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Valerie Volcovici and Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rick Perry's farewell speech to the Texas legislature listed the accomplishments expected from an outgoing Republican governor of the country's largest oil-producing state. "We have expanded our economy while protecting our environment," said Perry, who is openly exploring a second White House run in 2016. It was a greener message than the one he delivered ahead of his last presidential campaign, when he called climate change a "contr
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why do people trust a politician who changes positions only as the popular mind changes? Oh, wait, we are talking about politicians. Now if we wanted real leaders, we'd be looking at the people who went out on a limb to tell us what was going on before it was the popular point of view. Not too many of them around. Even better, those who changed their minds based on evidence before the public agreed but who helped to shape our commonly held view. Can we find real leaders?

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Anti-Tesla laws In AZ, MI, NJ, and TX nominated for 'Luddite Award'

Anti-Tesla laws In AZ, MI, NJ, and TX nominated for 'Luddite Award' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A technology think tank has nominated four anti-Tesla states for its annual Luddite Award – so named after the 19th-century British artisans who protested against industrial progress. Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, and New Jersey all passed laws restricting Tesla sales last year.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Where were these states when Amazon was putting bookstores out of business and when McDonalds and the like were destroying the local diners? Now those were businesses worth saving, but of course they didn't have all that money and organization ready to fight of innovation. I wonder how much money has been slipped under the tables in these states.

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Rand Paul’s claim that ‘over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts’

Rand Paul’s claim that ‘over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Kentucky Republican says half of the people on disability get payments for back pain and anxiety. We check his math.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Anecdotal comment: I have two friends on disability. One has been on it for years due to mental health issues. He has finally achieved a reasonable level of medication and reduced his anxiety. One of his first moves was to find a full-time job, which has some of us worried because he might be overdoing, but he so wants to support himself. The second has debilitating arthritis. For years I told him to stop working and go on disability, but he wouldn't think of it. Even know that he no longer can work at all, he talks about maybe someday returning to construction. These two men are far more typical of what I have seen in this world than Mr. Paul's distorted vision of a world of cheaters.

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Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change

Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Senators are using the Keystone XL pipeline debate to argue over climate issues.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When the politicians sit in judgment over science rather than drawing on it for information and counsel, we have created a true assembly of dunces. If humans survive, our great-great-grandchildren will talk about the U.S. Senate with the same scorn as we now use for Pope Urban VIII, who imprisoned Galileo. Way before that the rest of the world will have dismissed The United States as a clown, no longer a nation to follow but one to ignore.

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A Rough Childhood Can Literally Age You

A Rough Childhood Can Literally Age You | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists see a link between early trauma and cellular aging
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Having been more aged fifty, it has been my goal to youthen ever since. I am now about six and quite happy to stay that age for ever and ever more. On a serious note, this is a fascinating piece that suggests our bodies at the cellular level respond in a negative way to the pressures of an adverse childhood. In case you don't know the terms telomeres are the protective caps that exist at the ends of our strands of DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from our mothers and regulates the mitochondria, small organelles within the cell that generate the power of the cell.

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