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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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Financial despair, addiction and the rise of suicide in white America

Financial despair, addiction and the rise of suicide in white America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officials in Montana wrestle to explain why the state has the highest rate of suicide in the US at nearly twice the national average – and it’s rising
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real question is why struggle to live in a society that offers so little hope and care for the future. Sadly, as America becomes more feudal in its economic and social organization, there is less and less reason for people to "keep on trucking" and more and more reason to either jump out of the race or numb the pain with substances.Of course, there is another alternative for the disaffected, to take political action. Will we have a revolution at the ballot box or on the streets or will more and more Americans go gentle into that not-so-good night?

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Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders

Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ms. Steinem and Ms. Albright called on young women who favor Mr. Sanders over Hillary Clinton to essentially grow up and get with the program.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I can understand the special appeal of Hillary Clinton to feminists, and I agree that we are overdo for a woman in the White House, but the more important questions are: Who is the best candidate? Who will do the best job as POTUS? Whose policies will be the best for America? Sorry Gloria and Madeleine, but this is not a Claire Underwood moment for America. (Sorry, but House of Cards is coming soon.) 

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What happens to a tiny town when Walmart disappears?

What happens to a tiny town when Walmart disappears? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A pullback from underperforming stores has left some rural communities without a vital source of support.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Fifteen years ago driving through Texas I saw this coming. Walmart would destroy the main-street stores, consolidating all business in their one dominant box-store and then when the local economy flagged and its wealth had been siphoned into the Wall family's coffers, the store would be closed leaving an empty concrete monster to remind those who had hung on of the fantasies of local growth they had been fed. Walmart is, in the end, the template of the GOP economic policy and perhaps, just perhaps, this massive pullback will get Americans thinking about the impossibility of sustain the economy using a robber baron mentality. 

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The Veterans Scandal on Bernie Sanders’s Watch

The Veterans Scandal on Bernie Sanders’s Watch | Upsetment | Scoop.it
While on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Sanders ‘believed in government, and he believed in it to a fault’—and it prevented him from fixing the VA.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a serious challenge to Bernie's capability to govern. If you believe in government, you have to be always vigilant to see its failures or the bureaucratic bungle becomes a way of life for us all. 

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Report Finds Record Number of US Exonerations in 2015

Report Finds Record Number of US Exonerations in 2015 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Report Finds Record Number of US Exonerations in 2015
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While Tales From the Dew Drop Inne includes the exoneration of a Black man accused of murder, it does't take years from the man's life or put him on Death Row. Imagine: 149 people locked up wrongly. Imagine 44 of 58 homicide exonerations involved misconduct by authorities. Do we have a law enforcement system or a system of arbitrary punishment?    

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North Korea bombards South with used toilet paper

North Korea bombards South with used toilet paper | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Balloons used to deliver human waste as well as propaganda messages into South
Korea
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is at once so funny and so gross as to demand mention. I can only imagine the slave labor required to collect the used toilet paper. My only surprise in this is how does North Korea get toilet paper and helium. Clearly, their economy is doing better than we'd hope given its isolation. At any rate, Korea—north and south—is a place I would not want to live. 

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Fox says Trump wanted $5 million donation; other candidates spar at debate

Fox says Trump wanted $5 million donation; other candidates spar at debate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Fox News Channel accused Donald Trump of asking the network for a $5 million donation as a "quid pro quo" in return for Trump's promise to appear in Thursday night's Republican debate.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So he wanted payment to take part in a debate for Republican voters to learn about their potential candidates. The money was labeled as going for veterans but was in fact going to his own foundation to be spent as he saw fit. The man is pure huckster. P.T. Barnum was surely right, nobody ever went broke from underestimating the intelligence of the American public. 

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Shell shock as sacred Vietnamese turtle dies - CNN.com

Shell shock as sacred Vietnamese turtle dies - CNN.com | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An extremely rare, giant soft-shell turtle, whose existence was connected to the country's folklore, has died in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, according to reports.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I feel for the people of Vietnam for their loss. That there are only a few of these unique turtles left in the world and that they are not reproducing is even sadder.
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Hillary has nothing to brag about: Her foreign policy record is a disaster

Hillary has nothing to brag about: Her foreign policy record is a disaster | Upsetment | Scoop.it
She may have a wealth of experience on the international stage, but her judgment has proven wanting time and again
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is one of my major concerns about Hillary. I look, for example, at how John Kerry has done in the role of Secretary of State and am wowed, but Clinton's tenure was not so impressive. Yes, she did limp along with us through Arab Spring, but she couldn't reach out and talk to people as effectively as Kerry has done. I honestly think that she is nowhere near as prepared for the presidency as she thinks. 

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National Review loses GOP debate sponsorship over anti-Trump issue

National Review loses GOP debate sponsorship over anti-Trump issue | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Republican National Committee ended the partnership after the conservative magazine devoted an issue to reasons why voters should reject Donald Trump's campaign.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I seldom support the National Review, even though it was at one time a great magazine and  major voice for conservative values; but in this instance I say, "Bravo, N.R. Your decision is right on."

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9 Cool Underground Places - ODDEE

9 Cool Underground Places - ODDEE | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From the massive underground city in Cappadocia to a mall in Paris, take a look at these unique subterranean locations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

To avoid weather, marauders, or the law: for whatever reason people dig down. Sometimes they can see the sky far above, as in Toronto, other times they do without. Here are a few interesting places beneath the surface. 

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Scientists in Belgium find a surprising reason why Greenland's glacier is melting so fast.

Scientists in Belgium find a surprising reason why Greenland's glacier is melting so fast. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
There's more going on in the skies over Greenland than we thought.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As climate change continues, the mechanism which underly it become clearer. It's great that science is giving better explanations, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be worried. Obviously, the increasing cloud cover over Greenland is a mediating variable worth understanding, but that knowledge won't keep the seas from rising or the planet from losing more fresh water to salinization. 

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Centuries-Old English Law May Hold The Answer To Ted Cruz's Birth Issue

Centuries-Old English Law May Hold The Answer To Ted Cruz's Birth Issue | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The answer to the question of whether Ted Cruz is eligible to be president of the United States lies deep in the recesses of English political history, according to a constitutional law expert who has researched the issue.

Mary Brigid McManamon, a law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, makes the case that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president because “natural born citizen” applies only to those born within U.S. territories. She wrote a Washington Post op-ed this week arguing as such, and previously wrote a 2014 legal paper on the topic.

What is certain is that the Constitution's definition of “natural born citizen” has not been tested and remains open to interpretation. As Michael Ramsey, a former clerk of Justice Antonin Scalia, put it in a 2013 essay otherwise defending Cruz’s eligibility: “[I]t's a mystery to me why any one thinks it's an easy question.”

TPM talked with McManamon by phone Wednesday to ask her a few more questions about her theory, which she said rested on English common law stretching all the way back to 1350.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Very interesting from an historical point of view. However, I cannot see how we can deny citizenship to those whose parents are abroad for good reason. I don't like Cruz, but I don't want to stop his candidacy for this kind of bulls*t
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Paying criminals to stay out of trouble? D.C. could be next city to try experiment.

Paying criminals to stay out of trouble? D.C. could be next city to try experiment. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The controversial plan has pitted the D.C. Council against Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If this includes real assistance and actual and effective monitoring, it could make a difference. Certainly, the solution cannot be to lock up more and more people or watching the civil society of a city slip into chaos.
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This is what happens when you reply to spam email

Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Too funny. Enjoy. 

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Drought-stricken Zimbabwe declares state of disaster

Drought-stricken Zimbabwe declares state of disaster | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The drought, which is hitting much of southern Africa, has devastated crops and sharply reduced rainfall
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Water, fresh water for drinking, bathing, and farming, is essential to life. The only water the people of Southern Africa can count on is their tears.
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The conductor

Stream The conductor by Kenneth Weene from desktop or your mobile device
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Enjoy a bit of micro fiction and have a wonderful day. 

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Donors Growing Weary of Reconstructing Gaza

Donors Growing Weary of Reconstructing Gaza | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than 18 month since the last Israel-Hamas war, Gaza reconstruction has progressed slowly and donor fatigue has set in
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I can only imagine the suffering and the hopelessness of the people of Gaza. Also, I can understand why they will inevitably turn to rage and violence if they cannot have lives of worth and dignity. It is past time for the world to impose a fair peace between Israel and Palestine, a peace that includes two states and both of those states being viable and secure. 

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These Black Boxes Guarantee Independent Radio to Thousands of Residents of Syria

These Black Boxes Guarantee Independent Radio to Thousands of Residents of Syria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Hidden transmitters can relay signals to areas controlled by ISIS and the Syrian government
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This reminds me of World War 2 and Radio Free Europe. The technology is better, much better; but the idea of people using radios to defeat tyranny, that is strangely old and yet still filled with the wonder of the enduring human spirit. In the end it is in the hearts and minds of the mass of people that the Middle East must find peace and freedom. 

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China To Launch The World's Most Powerful Hyperspectral Satellite

China To Launch The World's Most Powerful Hyperspectral Satellite | Upsetment | Scoop.it
China's space hyperspectral imaging is an eye in space that you can't hide from, not as stealth, underwater or underground.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What we need is more ways to search for peace not more ways to use technology for war. 

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Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis

Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The federal agency knew the water toxic long before the public
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is no clear mechanism by which the federal government could have pushed this issue more effectively. Could the EPA have gone public? Well, that would have become another "example of the Obama administration using its power to harass Republicans." That is the sad truth about anything the feds do, it can be used as political fodder no matter how it impacts lives. Could they have tried to go over the state bureaucracy's head to the governor? Good luck on that; it gets called federal overreach and becomes fodder for the "anti-government" far right. Maybe the real problem is our system isn't always the best. Maybe the problem is that we let politics run things until they go awry and then scream in pain. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to let the scientists and engineers do their jobs properly.
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A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint

A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Civil rights advocates say that the Michigan city’s health crisis smacks of the kind of discrimination that causes the disproportionate exposure of blacks to polluted air, water and soil.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I do not know that racism was at the heart of the bad decisions or the failure to act when problems became clear, but I do know that government is supposed to protect the most vulnerable not hang them out to dry, or in this case to soak in unhealthy water. Over and over, however, government at all levels has demonstrated its inability to take those little people and their needs into serious consideration. We can blame bureaucracy, we can yell racism, we can shout for free market solutions: all of that is crap. Until there are penalties for those who fail public trust, nothing will change. For a governor to say, "I let you down" without himself being forced to step down is as meaningful as saying next time we'll have cadmium in the water or arsenic instead of lead. Until public officials are really accountable to the public there is no possibility of good government. The question is will the people of Michigan hold the Republican party responsible for this disaster. That is the way to force real change, and it is why we need more than two parties in this country. Going from Tweedle-dy to Tweedle-dum doesn't make for real change, just musical chairs. 

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Prehistoric Massacre Hints at War Among Hunter-Gatherers

Prehistoric Massacre Hints at War Among Hunter-Gatherers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A dig in Kenya has uncovered the remains of a slaughter from 10,000 years ago, suggesting that warfare may have existed even before humans began agriculture.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Clearly, the brutishness and violence of humans goes back to our species's roots. Food, sex, slaves, other resources: sure we're always ready to fight for those. Sometimes, we just want to kill for the fun of it, too. Let us not consider man a little lower than the angels but only slightly higher than the demons. 

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Democrats are wasting their time obsessing over this Depression-era law

Democrats are wasting their time obsessing over this Depression-era law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The debate over the Glass-Steagall Act distracts from needed banking reforms.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The simple reality is that there has to be better oversight of the financial industry, including banking, investing, and insurance. The 2008 debacle was based the result of manipulative and exploitative behavior, especially in the creation of assembled debentures that hid real dangers. It was fueled by unbridled greed and and the profitability of churning markets. None of these would have been different if Glass-Steagall were in place. We need supervision of ethical practices and that takes a society that values ethics. 

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Republicans Criticize Deal to Free Iranian Prisoners

Republicans Criticize Deal to Free Iranian Prisoners | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"The fact is that we shouldn’t have to trade anything to get our citizens back home," Chris Christie said
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The simple fact is that diplomacy worked and I hate to think what would have happened if one of these blustering idiots had been at the helm instead of Obama and his Secretary of State, Kerry. Iran and the U.S. should be friends; we had a long history of friendship before we overthrew their government and supported a dictator. So, please let's keep rational and caring people in the White House. My question for the election is who is most capable of negotiating with others. So far, my answer is Sanders. I honestly think he's the only one whose ego won't get in the way. 

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