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The January 2013 Issue Of Empirical

Music: "Durch die Menge" by Frithjof Brauer Learn more about Empirical magazine at: http://www.empiricalmagazine.com/ Follow Empirical on Twitter: @Empirical...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I am really delighted to be included in this dynamite lineup.

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Upsetment
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Foundation for Jazz Musicians Against Cancer

Foundation for Jazz Musicians Against Cancer | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Joining my good friend Sandra Booker in the fight against cancer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Pleaser check this out and support the fight against cancer. 
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Wyoming bill would all but outlaw clean energy, by forbidding utilities from using it

Wyoming bill would all but outlaw clean energy, by forbidding utilities from using it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Aiming to keep Wyoming electric utilities dependent on coal, the legislature proposes a bill preventing them from using the state's abundant wind power to in-state customers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Want to know what's wrong with American politics? Check out Wyoming where money bus stupidity. When will the American people learn to look ahead instead of worrying about losing the past? 
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Why Israeli ultra-Orthodox secretly visit West Bank tomb

Why Israeli ultra-Orthodox secretly visit West Bank tomb | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More ultra-Orthodox Israelis are refusing to coordinate their visits to the Tomb of Joshua, in the West Bank Palestinian village of Kifl Hares, in what the Israel Defense Forces considers an onerous security risk.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Personally, I would have let them deal with the mob on their own and then had the PA police decide to do with the Arabs. Seriously, this typical orthodox Israeli attitude is a major thorn in the side all. Meanwhile, my guess is that these guys are among the orthodox who refuse to serve in the Israeli army. They want to venerate Joshua as if he wasn't a military man. 
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More than 40 Democratic lawmakers now skipping Trump’s inauguration

More than 40 Democratic lawmakers now skipping Trump’s inauguration | Upsetment | Scoop.it
And the number keeps rising.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not sure how aaI feel about this. I know that the Dems find much about Mr. Trump objectionable and so do I. However, we are talking about respect for the presidency. We are talking about calling our basic democratic institutions into question. How sad is it that our country has fallen to such questioning? How sad is it that the respect for the process and, yes for one another's parties has declined to such a level? Were I in Congress, I would go to the inauguration and then go home and take a long shower.
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Northeast US temperatures are decades ahead of global average

Northeast US temperatures are decades ahead of global average | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"the fastest warming region in the contiguous U.S. is the Northeast, which is projected to warm by 3 degrees C when global warming reaches 2 degrees C."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This climate change news from Science Daily is enough to depress even this  Broody New Englander. Meanwhile, enjoy the book and share the love, life, and darkness. https://www.amazon.com/Broody-New-Englander-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B00QCUYK12/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 
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Did Netanyahu plot with his enemy?

Did Netanyahu plot with his enemy? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit might soon be confronted with a decision whether or not to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for receiving favors and benefits, including from the latter's arch-nemesis Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Way too many Americans buy into the image of Netanyahu as a great leader standing up to the villains of the Middle East and the appeasement oriented American POTUS. However, some of us long ago figured it out that the man is corrupt and more interested in his own political future than the wellbeing of Israel. Time for American Jews to see Israel more realistically. 
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Who's fighting whom in Iraq's Sinjar?

Who's fighting whom in Iraq's Sinjar? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani warned that the KRG may resort to force to expel the Kurdistan Workers Party from Sinjar, tensions rose in the region.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the madness that is the Middle East, Kurds fight Kurds to take over an area that is majority Yazidis. Saddam was right, by taking him down the US created a mess that will haunt us all for years. But try to tell that to the simple-minded of Washington. 
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Public Hanging Reenactment of Native Man Sparks Outrage - Indian Country Media Network

Public Hanging Reenactment of Native Man Sparks Outrage - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Westmoreland County Historical Society reenacts public hanging of Mamachtaga, a Native American Delaware man convicted of murder in 1785.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What do you think? Should we reenact the evil parts of history complete with its hatred in order to better understand what happened and how we should behave in the future? For example, don't we honor Schindler's List? On the other hand, if presented as a YouTube and out of context, are we presenting history or simply playing to and inflaming passions? Interestingly, when the question of race was raised, the discussion was in terms of a Black person instead of a Native American, but what if the hanged actor had been a white person, would the justifications have been the same? For my part, I honestly couldn't bring myself to watch this video, which I think was shot by somebody in the crowd. If you want to watch it, the link is in the article. I won't even paste it here. 
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The crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. A dramatic break could be imminent.

The crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. A dramatic break could be imminent. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A growing rift is setting the ice shelf up for an imminent loss of nearly 2,000 square miles of ice, scientists say.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This single event should raise the level of the seas about two inches. That won't matter much to those of us who live in Arizona or even most people who live in places like New York or Miami, but in island nations in the Pacific and Venice this is a real threat. Of course, for a while, this will cool the warming seas and people can make believe that this giant cocktail world in which we live isn't getting warmer, but reality is that our climate is warming and that is going to dramatically alter the quality of life on Earth. 
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Israeli-Made Active-Protection Hard-Kill System to Be Purchased by Swedish Defense Contractor, Dutch Army

Israeli-Made Active-Protection Hard-Kill System to Be Purchased by Swedish Defense Contractor, Dutch Army | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Swedish defense contractor and the Royal Netherlands Army have both ordered an Israeli-made active-protection system (APS) for armore
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Could Israeli membership in NATO and the EU make it possible for Israel to in turn actually work towards a two state solution with an economic union with the resulting Palestinian state that could change the tension in the Middle East? Clearly, Europe has an ambivalent attitude towards Israel and a real appreciation of what Israel has to offer both in science and in other products. And Israel wants the security of more than American support. Does the Jewish state want that security enough to leave its intransigence behind and move forward towards a new day? 
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WSJ: Trump Set To Restructure Intel Agencies, Which He Thinks Are Biased

WSJ: Trump Set To Restructure Intel Agencies, Which He Thinks Are Biased | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Donald Trump and his transition team are working on a plan to revamp and reduce the size of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA because the President-elect believes that the U.S. intelligence community is biased against him and has tried to undermine his election, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday evening.

Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and his nominee to lead the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) also believe that the DNI and CIA are biased, and the two are helping devise the plan to restructure the agencies, according to the Journal.

Per the Wall Street Journal:
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I figure this is going to get me some enemies, but I think Mr. Trump is right to question the goals and efficiency of the espionage (intel) community. While I know they love America, they seem to me to have distorted views of the world. Instead of changing with the times and encouraging us to grow new relationships, they are stuck in the mindset of the late 1940s and 1950s, a mindset in which Russian communism was the bugbear and the Kremlin's domination of the world was the great horror. While I'm not an apologist for the Kremlin or a Commie, I do know that the world wasn't that simple then and still isn't. 

For example, consider Asia. I know that Mao didn't steal mainland China from democracy with the help of Russia. Chaing lost it because his administration was totally corrupt and unconcerned in the face of the human suffering. In Vietnam, the same thing. The Buddhist people of the south didn't want to be taken over by Ho's communist regime, but they preferred it to the repressive and self-serving government in Saigon. Certainly the madness that took over Cambodia after the US forces did their dirty-work was done in the name of Communism, but the people who carried it out were detested in Moscow. Meanwhile, by ignoring and even trying to sabotage Chinese Mainland interests, we lost whatever leverage we might have gained by working with Mao and his government to alleviate the suffering of their people and to bring them into the modern world. Even in Korea, while we were right to oppose aggression from the North, we ignored China's message to us—via India because we refused to have relations with Beijing—as to what they would and would not tolerate. Instead, the CIA encouraged Douglas McArthur in his ill-advised adventure to the Yalu. 

And that's just my brief with our "intelligence community" in Asia. So, Mr. Trump, I think you may be moving in the right direction here. 
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Downing Street criticises US comments on Israel - BBC News

Downing Street criticises US comments on Israel - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Downing Street says the US secretary of state's comments on Israel's government are "not appropriate".
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Quite simply, it is time for the American alliance to come to terms with its own composition. For one thing, we can no longer make believe that Israel is the long-suffering good guy while it moves towards ever-greater repression of the Palestinians. And, at the midst of that problem is the role of Britain, the tightrope walker of diplomacy. Pakistan and India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Sudan and South Sudan, Israel and Palestine, Nigeria, Uganda: the high-wires that the Empire left behind as it retreated are places where others die. If we could go back in history, perhaps those many problems could have been solved, but we live today. It is time to address them. Can there be a viable two-state solution? I don't know, but the alternatives are worse. 
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40 shot in Chicago over the weekend

40 shot in Chicago over the weekend | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The city has been in the national spotlight for increasing gun violence in recent years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Am I the only one fed up with this kind of mindless, senseless gang violence? Obviously, the gang warfare in Chicago is out of hand. It has passed from being about drugs and money to being about tribe and power. I have this awful thought that the best way to deal with the level of violence is not to use the courts but to allow these hoodlums to have their war, just not on the streets where innocent people can be hurt and where the city has to provide the cleanup and medical care. Perhaps, as they are caught, gang members could be taken to a isolated place, given weapons, and allowed to figure out what their fight will get them. I know, I'm supposed to be a liberal and to care about every living being, but I don't want to spend our wealth and wellbeing on those who have no interest in a better way of life. I'm a strong believer in providing rehabilitation in prisons, but gangs seldom allow that to happen because tribal loyalty becomes the prime directive.  

I'm sure we can find a suitable uninhabited island in the Pacific. Set them down with some food and lots of weapons and come back in thirty days to drop off the next crew. I figure in thirty days a bunch of idiots can kill one another and maybe leave one or two survivors. I'd even tell them that when the fighting was all done whichever gang was left standing could get the drug trade in Chicago. Then, while they were killing one another, I'd legalize drugs. Seriously, which is worse, human vermin with guns or the drugs? 
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Fatah and Hamas to form unity government

Fatah and Hamas to form unity government | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Agreement reached after three days of talks in Moscow paving the way for the formation of a new National Council.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
At least the Palestinians are trying to make peace with themselves. That's a beginning. The biggest problem is that this allows for a real conflict of interest between the US and Russia as our surrogates are no where near ready to make peace. 
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A mayor denies it is his voice on lewd, racist tapes. His colleagues say ‘resign.’

A mayor denies it is his voice on lewd, racist tapes. His colleagues say ‘resign.’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Mayor Jim Fouts, of Warren, Mich., called the recordings "vile, vitriolic, phony." Numerous local, state and national officials have called on him to step down.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The obvious question is, "if the mayor of a large city is somebody who would say such vile things why is he so popular?" I looked at the statistics. Warren, Mich is a little capsule of White working-class angst. Only 24 miles from Detroit with its largely black population, Warren is predominantly white. However home values and wages in Warren are lower than the average in the state. And the economy, which has strong connection to the automotive industry, is not getting stronger. The huddle of America is feeling threatened and insecure and that has unleashed anger, resentment, and blame. This is not going to be a good time for diversity. But the real problem has been the failure of American workers (and investors) to embrace change and new technologies. Instead of worrying about traditional automotive jobs, we should be looking to electric cars and developing batteries, to alternative energy sources, to mass transport, and to technologies of which the average American has never yet heard. 
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Is 'grand political bargain' in store for Libya?

Is 'grand political bargain' in store for Libya? | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the commander of the Libyan National Army, leaves a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow,  "No matter which party is victorious in southwest Libya, if Misratan forces and Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter begin a full-scale battle for control, there is little doubt that the whole southern region will be destabilized as Russia’s increasing public support for Hifter and his anti-Islamist "strongman" credentials fuel the fire."

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Clearly, Moscow is reaching into the Middle East and trying to replace American and European influence with Russian. If they are able to bring warring factions, especially the forces of Gen. Hifter and the supporters of the "Third Force" from Misrata to the peace table, it will be a major step towards a new Libya. BUT, yes in countries like Libya there is always a big but. Now, if tin and Trump can agree to work together in such troubled countries, the world might actually be better off. Again, however, that big BUT! 
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The Trump story media dare not utter: They sacrificed democracy for ratings

The Trump story media dare not utter: They sacrificed democracy for ratings | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Democracy can't survive when media have a sole commitment to profit with little consideration for the public good
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This piece is worth reading if only to get us all thinking about the role of the press in politics. I'm not sure how much the free mentions in the media affect things, but then I don't watch television or listen to much radio, so how would I know. Do you think that the any free mentions of Trump and the few mentions of Clinton and earlier of Sanders had a major effect on what happened this last election cycle? Is the press becoming so concentrated and uninterested in fair coverage as to endanger our democratic system? 
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The Most Dangerous Jobs in 2015

The Most Dangerous Jobs in 2015 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The most dangerous jobs in the U.S. belong to lumber workers, fishers and pilots according to updated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Interestingly, while refuse collectors have high risk jobs, police are lower on the list and firefighters don't make the top group at all. Maybe it's time to rethink what creates risk and how to protect workers in all professions. 
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Search For Missing 5-Year-Old Leads To Body In Family's Restaurant

Search For Missing 5-Year-Old Leads To Body In Family's Restaurant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The girl's parents, who reported her missing Monday, now face charges over her death.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the midst of all the international and national news that so often makes us despair, it is often too easy to forget that the world is made up of people, of families in which there is also way too often much sorrow and pain. That a little girls is beaten to death by her mother, that the father tries to hide the realities: humanity cab be so ugly. 
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Donald Trump slams “overrated” Meryl Streep after her epic Golden Globes speech

Donald Trump slams “overrated” Meryl Streep after her epic Golden Globes speech | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president-elect is using his Twitter account to address a major priority — responding to Meryl Streep
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I thought Meryl Streep out of line for using the Golden Globes for a political agenda when that topic was already well known to the public, but (IMO) for Mr. Trump to feel the need to respond is simply pathetic. My advice to him: Get over yourself and get on with providing leadership.
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GOP Congressman removes painting from U.S. Capitol with pig in police uniform

GOP Congressman removes painting from U.S. Capitol with pig in police uniform | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In this Jan. 5, 2017, photo, a painting by David Pulphus hangs in a hallway displaying paintings by high school students selected by their member of congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP PHOTO/ZACH GIBSON
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't necessarily like the painting, which I find overly busy and too political and topical to be good art for the long haul, but I strongly oppose censoring the art of others. Art helps us to grow and adds to our understanding of the world. Worse, this one man arrogated the right to decide what is and is not free expression in our capitol. Is this what we as a people want, censorship? Not this Broody New Englander. 
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Alleged Fort Lauderdale shooter heard voices telling him to join ISIS

Alleged Fort Lauderdale shooter heard voices telling him to join ISIS | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The horrible intersection of inadequate mental health care, the American gun culture, and the climate of terror that is taking over our world. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Here we see the horrible intersection of inadequate mental health care, the American gun culture, and the climate of terror that is taking over our world. Which is the biggest failure in this story, the failure of the FBI to keep track after this guy even came to tell him that he was contemplating terror, the mental health professionals who didn't see that he was so dangerous, the gun laws that didn't allow the FBI and mental health professionals to make sure he wasn't armed, the military first for not catching his mental health issues and then for not recognizing that he had been deteriorating over time and would need serious supervisory mental health care, the lack of such longterm and supervised mental health care in America so he could so easily go off his medications even if he was a danger. When will we get it that some people need more support and supervision and less freedom than others. There aren't that many people who require that kind of support, but we do need to make sure those who need it get it. And, of course, we have to recognize the potential of military service to produce or exacerbate mental health issues. 

In the end, the people who died, lost loved ones, or were harmed are the victims not just of this one crazy man but of the failure of the entire system, especially the military. And all they wanted was to take a trip to sunny Florida. How horrible. 
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Lawmakers in 6 More States Are Pursuing ‘Bathroom Bills'

Lawmakers in 6 More States Are Pursuing ‘Bathroom Bills' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The battle of the bathrooms is about to resume. Lawmakers in at least six states have already filed bathroom-related bills
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What are people so afraid of? What is America's preoccupation about hiding genetalia about? Are we going to insist on fig leaves for the animals at the zoo? How about on our pets? Actually, do most of us even care about this? I feel like this is a ginned-up issue to get people on the right to think they are having an effect when in fact the important issues of morality, justice, and governance can be manipulated unnoticed. What do you think?
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Sheltering in place: For students in Donald Trump-loving coal country, “school choice” isn’t a solution

Sheltering in place: For students in Donald Trump-loving coal country, “school choice” isn’t a solution | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The only high school in Martin County, KY, is condemned. 45% of its minors live in poverty. How will Trump help?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I've written often of my understanding of why Trump won. This essay by a teacher in Kentucky captures from her experience the same sense of frustration and of feeling ignored that I have tried to present, the same sense that the security of life—no matter how thin it may have been—has been lost. Like rioters angry at the system end destroying their own neighborhoods, the people of coal country have voted to further befoul their lives in the vain hope that somehow things will change. As I read this essay, it brought tears to my eyes. As for this teacher and those like her trying desperately to help and for the students she writes of, gathered in the tight knit sense of group and desperation, to them I can only send my prayers and hopes. 
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Israeli PM summons US ambassador amid UN vote row - BBC News

Israeli PM summons US ambassador amid UN vote row - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Israel's prime minister summons the US ambassador amid a growing row over a UN vote on settlements.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Did the Obama administration in fact draft the resolution? That's an interesting charge from Netanyahu. Personally, I think the resolution was spot on and think it time for the US to push Israel towards a real peace with the Palestinians (And to help the Palestinian state to develop so it can be a real government.) I would remind Israel that your best friends are not those who go along with you but those who push you towards doing what is just and what will end in a good result. I only wish Mr. Obama had done this earlier, when he still had time to push on Israel. Of course, if Mr. Trump comes up with a solution that will give Israel both the land it wants to grab and the security is needs to feel, then there will be a major realignment of the Jewish vote in America. Meanwhile, I want to see a just situation given the realities of both history and current conditions. 
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