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Exile on Peachtree Street - Christmas Puzzle by Kenneth Weene

Exile on Peachtree Street - Christmas Puzzle by Kenneth Weene | Upsetment | Scoop.it

A short story of Christmas, puzzles, and noir.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Hope you enjoy this piece of my noir.

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How Americans actually feel about stronger gun laws

How Americans actually feel about stronger gun laws | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Recent shootings have sparked new calls for stricter gun laws. But how do the American people actually feel about the issue?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Both controlling gun ownership and protecting gun rights are important. The problem is getting politicians with more concern for the national well-being and awareness of the larger public opinion  than for the attitudes of their vocal constituents. This is just one topic that illustrates why it is so important for voters to take an active part in the process that leads up to the selection of candidates. We need reasonable, centrist candidates, not ideologues.

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In a shift, Mike Huckabee is open to ending ‘birthright citizenship’

In a shift, Mike Huckabee is open to ending ‘birthright citizenship’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The former Arkansas governor joins several other GOP candidates in endorsing the change.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I only hope that he will read my essay and understand that this is a hidden attack on basic American rights. Birthright citizenship can be addressed without attacking the Fourteenth Amendment. Here's the link to that essay, which I hope you'll read, too. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-fourteenth-amendment-anchor-kenneth-weene?published=t

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Escape from New Orleans: As waters rose, a white suburb across the Mississippi closed a key bridge to fleeing residents

Escape from New Orleans: As waters rose, a white suburb across the Mississippi closed a key bridge to fleeing residents | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The harrowing story of 300 people, city employees and their families, who battled floodwaters — and the local officials who stood between them and dry ground.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course it is really the story of American racism close up and ugly, of a White community trying to stop Blacks fleeing the Katrina flooding of New Orleans from crossing to safety. Bull Conner may be behind us, but when you read this excerpt you may hear his nasty voice and smell his dogs' breath.

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ISIS Using HIV Suicide Bombers?

ISIS Using HIV Suicide Bombers? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new news report about the terror army challenges us to disbelieve it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If they believe that the  only way to gain divine forgiveness is through jihad and death, then forcing (or allowing) children and other marginal members of ISIS to commit sins in preparation for the martyr role makes perfect sense. The issue of God's judgement and forgiveness is central to all theocratic political parties, be they Islamic, Christian, Jewish, or whatever.

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Gujarat remains tense after Patel caste violence - BBC News

Gujarat remains tense after Patel caste violence - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Tension prevails in India's Gujarat state where two days of caste-related violence leaves eight people dead.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Tribalism — be it about ethnicity, nationality, religion, or caste — is an ugly side of human nature. It allows people to collect grievances and to scapegoat others.

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Authorities: Teacher calmed teen who held classmates hostage

Authorities: Teacher calmed teen who held classmates hostage | Upsetment | Scoop.it
(AP) — With 29 terrified students looking on, a West Virginia high school teacher managed to calm a 14-year-old student who pointed a gun at her in her classroom, giving a police chief time to arrive and convince the boy to free his peers and surrender, authorities said. State Police Lt. Michael Baylous said it began after 1 p.m. Tuesday with the student taking a pistol into a second-floor classroom at Philip Barbour High School, a drab brown campus in a rural area of tree-peppered rolling hill
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Schools are just starting for the year and already a gun incident. What is happening to our society? Meanwhile, the NRA will probably issue a fatwa against this teacher for showing that guns are not always the best way to stop people with guns.

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Why the U.S. Has 31% of the World's Mass Shootings

Why the U.S. Has 31% of the World's Mass Shootings | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Part of it has to do with gun laws, but maybe it's because we're American
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With only 5% of the world's population, we account for 32% of "mass shootings," 4 or more people. If we consider only shootings at work and school, we account for 62% of the world's total. We own 88.8 firearms per every 100 people; the next highest rate in the world is Yemen with 54.8. After that country, rife as it is with sectarian violence, the rates tumble all over the world. Yep, America is Number 1 in two categories. Mind if I don't find comfort in that?

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10 Black Women Kicked Off Of Train, Met By Police, After White Woman Complains They Were Laughing

10 Black Women Kicked Off Of Train, Met By Police, After White Woman Complains They Were Laughing | Upsetment | Scoop.it
#laughingwhileblack
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So where are the videos or the recordings on a cell phone of this disruptive behavior? I doubt it exists, and if it doesn't I think a full refund is not even close to an acceptable settlement. Absent that proof, I would want a list of the complaining persons so that we can all check them out. Sorry, but in this day and age, don't tell me that nobody used their phone to document such upsetting behavior. Heck even the background sound from somebody videoing the scenery. There is something rotten in this story, and I would love to have it come out.

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Best of Ferguson Gunned Down Doing Homework

Best of Ferguson Gunned Down Doing Homework | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Nine-year-old Jamyla Bolden was determined to ‘do better than her best.’ Instead, she was shot through a window as she was studying.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As we mourn for Jamyla, let us also rage against the stupidity of gun-carrying thugs and remember that all lives matter.

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John Kasich and education reformers’ dirty secret: How his “joke” betrayed their contempt for teachers

John Kasich and education reformers’ dirty secret: How his “joke” betrayed their contempt for teachers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Presidential candidate's off-the-cuff dig at teachers exposes GOP's anti-union pathology
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sure the argument is a bit tortured and I do think Kasich is saner and more competent than most of the clown car, but for every uncaring, whining teacher I've met, I have met ten who are dedicated and hard working. The small respite a teachers' lounge offers allows teachers to deal with the stress of the classroom so they can maintain their professionalism class after class. And, yes, I think that the GOP candidates do not understand that groups of people need to have a say in their own destinies. Of course we need teacher unions even if they may at times want too much for their members as do police unions, auto workers unions, and going way back to my grandfather's day cigar makers unions. I keep wondering when engineers and marketing professionals will realize that they, too, need to unionize.

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The Iranian-Saudi Proxy Wars Come to Mali

The Iranian-Saudi Proxy Wars Come to Mali | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In schools, mosques, and cultural centers, Shiites and Sunnis are battling for African hearts and minds.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Allah forbid that the two main branches of Islam cooperate on educating the young. When the blood bath comes in this peaceful country, will anyone deserve the blessings of their god? Have you listened to my short story In My Father's House? https://soundcloud.com/kenneth-weene/in-my-fathers-house

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A dog explains why Phoenix's pet store law is such a big win for shelter animals.

A dog explains why Phoenix's pet store law is such a big win for shelter animals. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This dog is adorable and so articulate!
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I find this an abhorrent law. While I am all for adopting shelter animals and strongly advocate spaying and neutering programs, this law is a politically motivated restriction on trade. I want to get rid of puppy mills, too; so let's make trafficking in puppy-mill bred dogs illegal. Let's define what that abuse of animals actual constitutes. But there are many good breeders and many pet lovers who want particular breeds. Over the years I have had both shelter and breeder dogs; they were all loved and lovable. It fascinates me that this kind of restrictive law is pushed by the Republican party in a state so committed to its Libertarian past. Is this really about dogs and animal welfare? Nope, it's about the "We're animal lovers," pose of political righties like Joe Arpaio, who know that this will play well with their uninformed base.

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George Zimmerman partners with Florida “anti-Muslim zone” gun shop owner to sell customized Confederate battle flag paintings

George Zimmerman partners with Florida “anti-Muslim zone”  gun shop owner to sell customized Confederate battle flag paintings | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Zimmerman claimed "we need the Confederate battle flag to protect the American flag," whatever that means VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:

 What is the difference between these two low-lives and two slugs? When you pour beer on slugs, they die; these two just get more disgusting.  By the way, CAIR, which is referenced,  is The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a bête noire for the anti-Muslim crowd.

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Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin

Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin | Upsetment | Scoop.it
To meet the U.S. demand for heroin, Mexico is enlisting children to harvest opium. The money is too much to ignore for most, and the terrain is more manageable for those of slighter frame.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The collateral damage from the War on Drugs grows. The simple reality, stop the stupidity of this war and the total demand for poppy cultivation would drop dramatically; it isn't that difficult crop to grow and the amount of heroin that is destroyed and confiscated would drop. With lower price also would come less allure. Simple reality: the war on drugs causes far more pain than it helps to prevent.

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Neurologist and Writer Oliver Sacks Dies at 82

Neurologist and Writer Oliver Sacks Dies at 82 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
He was famous for books like "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I never met Dr. Sacks, but I did meet some who had and who found him eccentric, charming, and brilliant. I did meet his books, which were lucid and entertaining. The movie "Awakenings" was one example of his writing skill and of the ultimate sadness that underlay much of the reality of his work and the neurosciences.

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Kentucky Clerk Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in Gay Marriage Case

Kentucky Clerk Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in Gay Marriage Case | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The illogic of this woman's argument amuses me. While it is quite true that an executioner would not be forced to electrocute a prisoner against his convictions, he could not reasonably expect to hold that position anyway. As for conscientious objectors, they are not only required to provide alternative service but more importantly, they are not made officers in the military. She is in effect saying that she should be paid to not perform her job, not that she is being forced to hold that job. Her choice is clear, do the job or resign. Otherwise, be prepared to accept the legal consequences of not doing it.

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This Black Driver’s Mistake Was Looking a Police Officer in the Eye

This Black Driver’s Mistake Was Looking a Police Officer in the Eye | Upsetment | Scoop.it
John Felton was driving to his brother’s house in Dayton, Ohio, on a recent night when he noticed a police car tailing him. Not wanting to give the officer any excuse to pull him over, Felton, who is black and was visiting Dayton from Michigan, tried to drive extra carefully....
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So to make eye contact while Black is different from making eye contact when White? There is something seriously wrong with that. It is pure and simple discrimination. That the police department is trying to make it a personal issue rather than a disciplinary one demonstrates that once again institutional racism is a problem in America. Should the cop be disciplined? I don't know, but certainly made an example. How about a simple statement saying something like,  This officer was wrong in his actions and we cannot condone such racist law enforcement. Future incidents will meet with disciplinary action." ?

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Conservatives Chase Mom Off Twitter After She Called Out Anti-Abortion Education

Conservatives Chase Mom Off Twitter After She Called Out Anti-Abortion Education | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Conservatives on social media heckled and chased an Arizona mom off the internet in recent days after she publicly complained about her son's high school pushing abstinence and anti-abortion education.

Suzanne Young briefly spoke to TPM on Monday about her decision to leave the internet, saying she tried to explain herself on social media to no avail.

"I spent the first two days explaining my position, but people were just woefully misunderstanding me," she told TPM when reached by phone.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have no issue with the intent of the sticker, to encourage adoption over abortion and to support sexual abstinence among teens. I certainly have no problem with encouraging teens to talk about sex with their parents. I do, however, think these stickers a pathetic example of bad educational practice. It is almost a dare to an adolescent. Cloaking these moral positions in the authority of the school and worse the state is asking for rebellion against them. Making what should be an invitation from the adult community to the young to take part in meaningful discussion about sexuality becomes a sticker that says in effect, "This is what you are supposed to believe and accept." What is saddest is that good sex education does work to reduce unwanted pregnancies and empowers young women to say no. The best way to actually achieve the goals of reducing abortions and unwanted pregnancies is through dialog, which this sticker, for all its fine advice to the contrary, will discourage.

 

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Inquiry Weighs Whether ISIS Analysis Was Distorted

Inquiry Weighs Whether ISIS Analysis Was Distorted | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The inspector general is looking into a claim that military officials reworked assessments about the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq against ISIS to be more optimistic, according to several officials.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can anybody say, "Body Count"? How about that great oxymoron, "Military Intelligence"? It is time for America to realize that an empire that must constantly police its borders and impose its legions on the known world will eventually run out of legions and territory.

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Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students

Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students | Upsetment | Scoop.it
While black students represented just under a quarter of public school students in the 13 Southern states studied, they made up nearly half of all suspensions and expulsions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In case you were wondering about whether this might not be racism but realism, consider this:  in a study of students in Texas ,  in situations where laws require schools to suspend or expel a student — such as when the student brings a gun or drugs to campus — whites are more likely to be suspended or expelled than blacks. It would be interesting to see similar studies of the treatment of Hispanic students in the southwest and Texas, and of course of Native American kids in  the Dakotas, Montana, and of course the southwest. As a society we must stop condoning institutional racism.

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Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Resolve Allegations Related to Lobbying Activities | OPA | Department of Justice

Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Resolve Allegations Related to Lobbying Activities | OPA | Department of Justice | Upsetment | Scoop.it

“The money allocated by Congress for the Sandia National Laboratories is designed to fund the important mission carried out by our national laboratories, not to lobby Congress for more funding,”

Kenneth Weene's insight:

At least there are some limits being placed on the greed of corporations. Of course, there are many who will think that the Justice Department has overstepped by saying no to a corporation.

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The New Face of Jewish Terror

The New Face of Jewish Terror | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A growing radical fringe is taking aim at Palestinians — and the Israeli government.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Here is a useful Yiddish word, meshugener; it means a crazy person. A disgusting person for a male is paskudnik; for a woman the word is paskudnitse. And one last is heslekh, which means hateful. I think you can figure out my reaction to this story from these clues.

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Trump’s $1 Land Deal With a Corrupt Mayor

Trump’s $1 Land Deal With a Corrupt Mayor | Upsetment | Scoop.it
When an amusement park Trump promised to Bridgeport, Conn., fell through, he still owed $300,000 a year in taxes—until its mayor bailed him out.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The bottom line of this is that Mr. Trump is about making money. He doesn't particularly care about how low on the food chain that will take him. If politics is the competition of jackals and hyenas,  he has certainly found his niche.

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St. Louis police fatally shoot teen while trying to issue search warrant : News

St. Louis police fatally shoot teen while trying to issue search warrant : News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Shooting happened on Walton Avenue near Page Boulevard in Fountain Park neighborhood
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As much as I oppose the "War on Drugs" and detest police violence, I honestly believe that any Black American who engages in the drug trade and arms himself with a gun to protect that trade is not only setting himself up for death by cop but is also a traitor to all Blacks by setting the stage for such violence and thereby justifying more police over-reaction. As for those who assume that every such shoot-out is an attack on their "brother," that is such a sad commentary on how our society is deteriorating.

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ISIS Beheads Elderly Archeologist In Palmyra, Syrian Official Says

ISIS Beheads Elderly Archeologist In Palmyra, Syrian Official Says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
DAMASCUS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Islamic State (IS) militants beheaded an antiquities scholar in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and hung his body on a column in a main square of the historic site, Syria's
Kenneth Weene's insight:

These barbarians are a disgrace to Islam and to the Arab world. It is time for the states of the Middle East to recognize that they have a cancer in their midst, one that feeds on poverty, ignorance, and the confusion that exists between historical faith and the modern world. If Islam is the "true expression of Allah's will", then its believers had best get to work to heal the body of their faith.

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