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

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Upsetment
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Dante and David apply for the same job but only one gets an interview. Here's the rest of their day.

Dante and David apply for the same job but only one gets an interview. Here's the rest of their day. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
If you've ever wanted a side-by-side illustration of how racism seeps into everyday situations like job hunting, driving, and even going to the doctor, this video from Brave New Films breaks it down flawlessly.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is the institutionalized racism that haunts America. For those who do not understand the concept of social justice, I suggest you imagine yourself being a black person and a white person in each of these situations. Can you allow yourself to feel the rising gorge in your throat as time after time you are treated differently in one skin as opposed to the other?

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U.S. Ranks Worst Developed Country for Maternal Health

U.S. Ranks Worst Developed Country for Maternal Health | Upsetment | Scoop.it
But there's plenty of room for improvement
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is the U.S. slipping into the third world as the self-righteous and "christian-exclaiming" politicians yell, "We're Number One!" while ignoring the least among us?

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Elephants, Rhinos and Other Large Plant-Eaters Face Extinction, Study Says

Elephants, Rhinos and Other Large Plant-Eaters Face Extinction, Study Says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists see a bleak future for large herbivores
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We must act to preserve the balance of nature and the lives of animals or we shall surely leave our children a much poorer planet.

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Warren’s false claim that ‘auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year’

Warren’s false claim that ‘auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Massachusetts Democrat earns Four Pinocchios for mischaracterizing a report with fishy numbers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While there is much to love about Elizabeth Warren and her concern for American consumers, she is given to hyperbole. It seems to me that reformers like Senator Warren should strive to be as accurate as possible.

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Community remembers slain Fulton County police officer

Community remembers slain Fulton County police officer | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police continue to investigate what sparked a shooting in south Fulton County that killed veteran officer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A fine police officer is dead, lost to the senseless violence of a man who should not have had guns in his possession, a man who had repeated issues with anger, violence, and guns, a man who suffered from PTSD from military service, and a man whose guns should have been confiscated. But the NRA says guns don't kill people so everybody should be allowed to have guns. To me that's like saying that since cars don't cause accidents every drunk should be allowed to drive. Let's protect our good police by taking away the weapons of those people who should not have them.

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Foreign Lives Matter

Foreign Lives Matter | Upsetment | Scoop.it
American racism at home and abroad only highlights the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. And the rest of the world isn't buying America's message anymore.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I hope that everybody in the state department, the White House, and on the foreign affairs committees of Congress reads this article; but I doubt they will. It might make them think about how what happens inside the (dis)United States actually plays on the world stage.

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U.S. Navy warns Congress that piecemeal cruiser upgrades costly

U.S. Navy warns Congress that piecemeal cruiser upgrades costly | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - U.S. Navy Secretary RayMabus on Thursday warned that congressional plans for apiecemeal modernization of 11 cruisers would cost billions ofdollars more than the Navy's
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why are the members of congress mucking in and trying to  micromanage the Navy. If you read "Queen of the Dew Drop Inne," you might get an idea of how incompetent a bunch this house of representatives really is. That's chapter 3 of the book, and (IMHO) is one of the funnies of the Tales. Meanwhile, as usual the GOP led house is going to cost us hundreds of millions for less result.

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Houthis clash with Saudi forces on Yemen border, dozens killed

Houthis clash with Saudi forces on Yemen border, dozens killed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
ADEN (Reuters) - Dozens of Houthi fighters were killed in clashes with Saudi forces on Yemen's northern border, Riyadh said on Thursday, while air strikes and artillery fire rocked the southern city of
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of all the plagues God created in the Bible, the worst was clearly mankind. What an abominable species we can be. Of all the curses God created, the worst was clearly religion; oh the killing that is justified in the name of faith. And of all the madness of religious based barbarism the worst is clearly that of sect against sect. This proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia has all the insanity of a Mad Comic Book but sadly none of the humor.

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People love chickens that are “vegetarian fed.” Here’s why that’s bad for the birds.

People love chickens that are “vegetarian fed.” Here’s why that’s bad for the birds. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Food companies advertise that their hens get vegetarian diets, but chickens are omnivores, and their nutrition depends on proteins often unavailable in vegetarian sources.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Chickens are by nature carnivores. Not only do their need protein from insects, but their eggs do better if they eat shells from eggs or sea creatures. I'm no chicken expert, but I studied up enough to write Broody New Englander and I know that vegetarian chickens are not a good idea. How about a little common sense people; farming is not about political worldviews but nature.

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Insurers Flout Rule Covering Birth Control, Studies Find

Insurers Flout Rule Covering Birth Control, Studies Find | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Two reports say that failure to follow provisions of the Affordable Care Act had left some women with significant cost barriers to birth control.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If the proper goal is to reduce the number of abortions and reduce the number of unwanted children, then contraception and education are essential. Insurers cutting corners for short-term financial gain is unacceptable and a good example of the kind of thinking that makes me still support national healthcare. What the insurers are counting on is that if a woman becomes pregnant and has an unwanted child, she is likely to end up leaving her work and therefore her insurance plan and going on Medicaid or at least somebody else's dime.

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UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It boggles my mind that the UN would place secrecy over the protection of children. It is amazing how some organizations lose their moral compasses and become about maintaining and expanding themselves rather than caring about the rights of the downtrodden. I wonder if the French government really prefers that this report be kept secret rather than doing something about the abuse involved.

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GOP, Pentagon tussle over East Coast shield

GOP, Pentagon tussle over East Coast shield | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Pentagon has repeatedly said it doesn’t need — nor can it afford — a third anti-missile battery on American territory to defend against a possible attack from North Korea or Iran. But that hasn’t stopped congressional Republicans, ideologically predisposed to a more comprehensive missile shield than Democrats, from pushing...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

They are cloning the ghost of Ronald Reagan and his star wars defense boondoggle. Then they complain about spending money to help those in real need to escape the cycle of poverty and to have a real piece of the American pie. Wait, you say, those missile defense systems will create jobs; sure but most of tax dollars will end up in the hands of corporations and not in communities. Besides which, and this is the real icing on the cake, these missile defense systems don't work. If you really want to defend the East Coast of America, spend some money getting the inner cities, like Baltimore, Trenton, and Philadelphia, brought up to code—the code of the human heart.

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Federally-run Indian schools are in rough shape because of a broken bureaucracy

Federally-run Indian schools are in rough shape because of a broken bureaucracy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Bureau of Indian Education has struggled to staff, manage and repair its schools because of "management challenges," according to federal auditors.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With the absence of any accountability to the end users, in this case the local Native American communities, no federal bureaucracy can fulfill its mandate. Contacts made in Washington are more about greed and corruption than about outcomes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been a stink hole of corruption and failure from the very first. And our nation's policy towards Native Americans is somehow symbolized by giving these young people huge bags of candy for their homecoming; is that really what Native Americans, who have higher than normal rates of diabetes and obesity, need? Who the heck is minding that train-wreck?

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Is Baltimore’s Prosecutor Wrong About Freddie Gray’s ‘Legal’ Knife?

Is Baltimore’s Prosecutor Wrong About Freddie Gray’s ‘Legal’ Knife? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? Part of her case vs. the cops may be in jeopardy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This case reminds me of Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Dysfunctional people, hangers-on, seldom get proper justice. It's just too easy.

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Iraq sends troops to key refinery amid Islamic State clashes

Iraq sends troops to key refinery amid Islamic State clashes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
BAGHDAD (AP) — Reinforcements were rushed to Iraq's key Beiji refinery amid heavy fighting with Islamic State militants who have been trying to capture the facility for months, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. But Brig. Gen.…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The neo-con inspired invasion of Iraq has left us facing exactly the kind of massive populist war that Saddam predicted. Still those same jabbering pundits what to run American foreign policy. Will the American people ever again trust the GOP in foreign policy? Of course they will because they don't recognize that this mess is from Bush not Obama. Such a sadly unthinking nation we have become—or perhaps have always been.

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The Elephant Watcher

The Elephant Watcher | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As poachers grow bolder, Andrea Turkalo studies the behavior of a vanishing species.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If we are going to save elephants and other animals of Africa, China will be a central player. The rich of China are the major consumers of animal parts, such as elephant tusks, that fuel the poaching. Ultimately, rational economic development and responsible government throughout Africa can only occur if the rest of the world supports those changes. The Iranian bullets found among poachers, the Russian and U.S. made weapons: all of that indicts the rest of the world in the destruction not only of animal life but also of African societies.

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Relief goods for Nepal quake victims held up at customs: U.N.

Relief goods for Nepal quake victims held up at customs: U.N. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Frank Jack Daniel and Andrew R.C. Marshall KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Bureaucracy at Kathmandu airport was holding up vital relief supplies for survivors of the earthquake in Nepal on Saturday as the death toll from the disaster passed 6,600. U.N. Resident Representative Jamie McGoldrick said the government must loosen customs restrictions to deal with the increasing flow of relief material and avoid bottlenecks. Material was piling up at the Kathmandu airport instead of being ferried out to victi
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Meanwhile, some of what is being sent to Nepal is irrational. Why would you send the makings of tuna salad to a country where eating fish, especially ocean fish, is relatively unknown and in which there is no refrigeration? How about a little common sense on both sides. It seems so sad that bureaucratic incompetence makes the suffering of these poor people even worse.

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Witness behind Freddie Gray video briefly detained by cops

Witness behind Freddie Gray video briefly detained by cops | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The witness that recorded video of Freddie Gray’s seemingly painful arrest has been taken into custody by police, a report says.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

He was arrested after cooperating with the police and giving them a copy of the film. He was arrested at gun-point at a supposed traffic stop, but there were no charges or even a ticket. The two people with them are from Cop Watch and they are still in custody for no known reason. Can everyone say "INTIMIDATION!"? I wonder if any police spokesperson will try to defend this example of the blue wall. For my part in itself this kind of behavior justifies a thorough investigation and shakeup at the Baltimore Police Department.

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The United States’ irresponsible praise of Ethiopia’s regime

The United States’ irresponsible praise of Ethiopia’s regime | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The country has grown more repressive. So why is the Obama administration praising the regime?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This administration, like its predecessors for years, is guided not by morality but by imagined American security. That means the U.S. willingly undermines governments that are truly democratic and supports those that are actually repressive dictatorships based on how the moment indicates they will support us in our insatiable material needs. I wonder if the day will ever come when we are able to formulate a foreign policy based on a clear vision of what is right for humanity. Of course the U.S. cannot make any country just, democratic, peaceful, and equitable. Heck, we can't even make the U.S. all those things, but we can base our support on quality of government rather than narrowly perceived American self-interest which seems to invariably go awry. Consider Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Congo (in all its forms and names), and the list goes on. I think this goes back to the foolishness of the State Department in the 1940s when we went with the wrong China policy, and it doesn't seem to end.

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Protesters, police clash at Ethiopian Israeli demo against police brutality - National

Protesters, police clash at Ethiopian Israeli demo against police brutality  - National | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The protest was prompted by a video of a police assault against an Ethiopian Israeli soldier; 10 protesters and three police officers receive medical treatment.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Israel has yet to come to terms with the racism of European Judaism, which has never acknowledged the equality of African Jews. I thought this statement from one of the protesters particularly powerful and hopefully instructive for us in America. "Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene and spoke to the protesters trying to lower the flames. 'Do you doubt that the prime minister, ministers, and 120 Knesset members want to embrace the Ethiopian community?' Barkat asked a young protester, who responded 'I don't want a hug. Look at me as you would look at a white person. I don't need a hugs. That is a patronizing attitude that says that I'm incapable, so let's give him a hug.'"

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Baltimore Police Won't Make Report on Freddie Gray's Death Public

Baltimore Police Won't Make Report on Freddie Gray's Death Public | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Baltimore police said Wednesday that their internal report into the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who died in police custody this...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How does releasing a summary of findings and reasons impede  maintaining the integrity of the evidence? It is important to avoid the appearance of a coverup. Sure release of such findings might affect potential jurors if there is a trial, but no more so than in any newsworthy event. This is why investigative journalism is important. It is why the hero of my newest book, Times to Try the Soul of Man, is an investigative journalist, maybe only starting out, maybe not even a good guy, but a reporter to his core. 

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These Are America's 10 Most Polluted Cities

These Are America's 10 Most Polluted Cities | Upsetment | Scoop.it

California is well-represented on the list, but Arizona has two locations on it, one of those the Phoenix metro area. Here's a picture of morning from Piestawa Peak. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is a matter of personal concern for me that Phoenix has now slipped into the bottom ten places for air quality in America. It is important that all Americans have clean air and clean water.

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The Last Time Freddie Gray Was Arrested

The Last Time Freddie Gray Was Arrested | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The bondsman who bailed him out of jail says the 25-year-old learned that staying put meant certain arrest.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real question isn't why didn't Freddie Gray run but why didn't he run fast enough. There is something so sadly inevitable about the lives of people like Freddie Gray, from the lead paint in their childhood homes, to their lack of educations and jobs, to their addictions, to their arrests, and ultimately to their lives in prison or deaths by violence. It is time for America to recognize the need to make the whole trajectory different.

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Police morale can wait: How the Baltimore riots should reshape Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s agenda

Police morale can wait: How the Baltimore riots should reshape Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s agenda | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the chaos in Baltimore has shown, it's far too soon to shift our attention to the grievances of cops
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This article is right on target. In Baltimore and elsewhere the morale of the police must be balanced with the rights and needs of the people, especially the poor and those who are otherwise unheard. Of course there must be law and order, but that means behind the blue line as well as in front of it. Sadly, the police of Baltimore have a long record of abuse. Which leads us to another question, can the federal government effectively step in to find that balance or should it be a local or perhaps a state issue? In all honesty, I think it must be local and state first and the federal government should only step in under the most egregious situations. What the feds can do is stop selling military and militarizing weapons to local police; they can stop making believe that police science is perfect so there is room for juries and investigators to have doubts when appropriate, and they can work more assiduously to protect and encourage investigative journalism. Remember that our "First Amendment Rights" are way more effective and important than our "Second Amendment Remedies".

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After peaceful start, protest of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore turns violent

After peaceful start, protest of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore turns violent | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Fans at an Orioles game were briefly asked to remain inside the stadium after a protest over a police-custody death left six unoccupied police cars damaged.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I thought this an important point in the article. "

Also rejecting the disruptive acts was Gray’s sister, Fredericka.

'My family wants to say: Can y’all please, please stop the violence? Freddie Gray would not want that,' she said at a news conference. 'Freddie’s father and mother don’t want no violence. Violence does not get justice.'” It is a sad fact of life in American cities that there are always going to be a small number who will push every demonstration towards violence. Kudos to the police department of Baltimore, which tried to avoid a confrontation, and to the thousands of peaceful demonstrators. Meanwhile, there is way too much police use of violence against relatively minor targets like Freddie Gray.

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