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‘Major setback’ in cliff talks

‘Major setback’ in cliff talks | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Republican party is marching itself off another kind of cliff.

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TPM Interview: Ex-Sheriff Says He Was Wrong About Bundy Ranch's Human Shields

TPM Interview: Ex-Sheriff Says He Was Wrong About Bundy Ranch's Human Shields | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Richard Mack, a former Arizona county sheriff, was one of the better known activists to voice support for Bundy Ranch during its long-running standoff with federal officials over cattle grazing rights. In recent days, as tensions rose, he eventually made his way up to the Nevada ranch to join the fight.

In an interview with TPM on Wednesday, Mack portrayed a scene where the protesters genuinely believed they could be killed by federal agents at any moment. But he also backed off one of the more striking claims he'd made during the standoff. He caught national attention on Monday when he said the protesters were "strategizing to put all the women up at the front" in case the federal officials fired on them. He later said it "was a tactical ploy that I was trying to get them to use."

But Mack backtracked somewhat and told TPM he was mistaken when he said those things. The women had volunteered to go to the front, he said.

"The mistake I made was it was never a strategy. It was never strategized. It was never talked about. The women just did it," he said. "I was never privy to that, so I thought they did strategize that. I thought that would be the only way they would send women up to the front."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I heard him last night on the radio. The man was not rational in his statements. For example when he was asked about the mercenary charge, he was only saying, "Well, we all knew they were mercenaries, why don't you?" And as for the implied claim that the federal forces were trigger happy, he started talking about how Rosa Parks was arrested when the cops should have taken her home in their car, which made no sense.

I don't want to belittle the Bundy Ranch supporters; I'm sure they have some truth in their position, but this guy just makes the whole bunch of them sound daft or worse.

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WASHINGTON: Issa, House oversight chair, keeps heat on White House | Congress | McClatchy DC

WASHINGTON: Issa, House oversight chair, keeps heat on White House | Congress | McClatchy DC | Upsetment | Scoop.it
_ From the plush chairman’s seat on the dais in the cavernous hearing room of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa peered down at Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen and offered a rhetorical pat on the shoulder, followed shortly by a swift verbal kick in the pants.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As a kid I watched Joe McCarthy bluster, slander, and eventually self-destruct. I listen to Issa and I see another demagogue and I only hope that he ends in the same ignominy. Witch hunting has no place in my notion of the U.S. Of course coming from Massachusetts, I am particularly wary of the witch hunters who feed on the public hysteria.

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Marilee Ritchie Hird's comment, April 16, 9:29 AM
Issa more than Cruz or Paul?
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LA school administrators suspend science teacher for doing his job

LA school administrators suspend science teacher for doing his job | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Two of his students made science projects that officials thought looked like weapons
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course to reinstate him and admit they were wrong would then mean taking a serious look at the judgment of the administrators involved. Can anybody say "Kafka" as in "The Kafkaesque world of school administration."?

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Top Democrat: 'Not All' Republicans Are Racist

Top Democrat: 'Not All' Republicans Are Racist | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- "Not all" Republicans are racist, said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) on Sunday, but "to a significant extent, the Republican base has elements that are animated by racism, and that's unfortunate."

Israel's comment w...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In this short debate we have the essence of the two parties. The Democrat is saying that race is a significant factor in Republican politics and especially when it comes to the subject of immigration reform. The Republican is saying tell us what we want to hear about Benghazi and the IRS targeting of conservative groups, not what actually happened as admitted to even by some of the Republicans involved.

So which person do you think is being honest and which disingenuous? For me, it's a no-brainer. Steve Israel is an outstanding and honest spokesman, Greg Walden, well I leave that to your judgment.

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Accusation in Montana of Treating Rape Lightly Stirs Unlikely Public Fight

Accusation in Montana of Treating Rape Lightly Stirs Unlikely Public Fight | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Prosecutors in Missoula County are lashing out against a federal inquiry into their record on sexual assault cases.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sexual crimes are offensive, and tolerating or minimizing them is unacceptable. If we cannot do better because "boys will be boys", then we are saying that we are nothing but brute animals. Perhaps that is true, but I, for one, would like to believe that our species has evolved beyond that to being thinking and moral animals. (Oh, dreamer that I am.)

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'Affluenza' teen's family won't pay full rehab fee

'Affluenza' teen's family won't pay full rehab fee | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ethan Couch, 17, killed four people last year when his vehicle rammed into a crowd of people.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

He suffers from "affluenza" so he shouldn't be put in a juvenile lockup, but he shouldn't have to pay the full freight of treatment? This seems absurd. This kid is literally getting away with murder.

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VA GOP candidate: No incest exception for abortion because sometimes it’s ‘voluntary’ | The Raw Story

VA GOP candidate: No incest exception for abortion because sometimes it’s ‘voluntary’ | The Raw Story | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"A Republican candidate running for an open seat in Congress representing Virginia has defended his stance against abortion in all cases by stating that even incest can sometimes be “voluntary,” according to The Washington Times.

"Bob Marshall, who is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf (R- VA10), explained in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1989 that he wouldn’t make exceptions for abortions, even in the case of rape and incest, stating: 'What if incest is voluntary? Sometimes it is.'”

Kenneth Weene's insight:

And do we here a chorus of outrage from the GOP leadership? Of course not because there is a Republican war against women.

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Air Force plan to get rid of A-10s runs into opposition

Air Force plan to get rid of A-10s runs into opposition | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Supporters say the close-air-support aircraft saved lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and can’t be replaced.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is the kind of dance that is done every time an administration wants to cut the defense budget. I can't say which programs should be cut, but I do know that the DOD hemorrhages money. Perhaps Congress members should stay the heck out of the process and allow the military to make the decisions.

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New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line

New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line | Upsetment | Scoop.it
During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. In Miami-Dade County, they'll also have to wait to use the bathroom.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Some bureaucrats just don't have a brain to think with. This is so unconscionable that I can only hope that there will be real and immediate repercussions.

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U.S. prisons home to 10 times more mentally ill than state hospitals | Al Jazeera America

U.S. prisons home to 10 times more mentally ill than state hospitals | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
New report slams lack of treatment for seriously ill inmates as ‘inhumane,’ calls for reforms
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of the great differences between a compassionate society and one that lacks empathy is the way in which those who have mental illness are dealt with. Perhaps some of these people need the constraints of prison, but many need support, medication, and dignity. The saddest thing is that providing the proper care would be cheaper and would mean less danger for both the mentally ill and their "warders".

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Innocent man to be freed after 24 years for murder

Innocent man to be freed after 24 years for murder | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After nearly completing an entire 25-year sentence for a murder he did not commit, a Brooklyn man will win a bittersweet victory Tuesday, when he is expected to be vindicated…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Am I the only one who wonders if Mr. Fleming's skin were a different color would would the same miscarriage of justice have gone on? After all, how could a Black man be at Disney World? This injustice makes me sick, and in liberal New York no less.

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5 companies that excel at screwing over customers

5 companies that excel at screwing over customers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Time Warner Cable, Wal-Mart and others have made treating you like crap part of their basic business model
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The market only works if there is information. Here is some information that might well influence your consumer behavior. The two biggies for me are Walmart, against which I am always warning people, and Sprint, about which I have heard many complaints. Of course I don't live near the Time-Warner market.

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Nine-month-old boy charged with attempted murder in Pakistan granted bail by judge

Nine-month-old boy charged with attempted murder in Pakistan granted bail by judge | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A nine-month-old boy charged with planning a murder, threatening police and interfering with state affairs in Pakistan has been granted bail after appearing in court this week.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is the absurdity that comes with the wrong police mentality. To serve and protect becomes to control and arrest.

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Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes

Casual marijuana use linked to brain changes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Using marijuana a few times a week is enough to make changes in critical brain structures, according to a new study published today in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What they have not shown is that these changes produce problematic effects beyond the ability to do cognitive tasks, and that may reflect more motivation on the tests than actual deficit. Perhaps what they have demonstrated is that pot smoking leads to being less emotionality and  motivation -- whatever?

I say this not to defend pot, which I personally don't think is generally good to use, but to reflect my view that until serious negative effects are demonstrated we shouldn't be outlawing behaviors. Humans are not perfect creatures and we need the freedom to alter our moods and perceptions as part of our inherent human liberty.

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Political Rifts Slow U.S. Effort on Climate Laws

Political Rifts Slow U.S. Effort on Climate Laws | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Efforts to tackle climate change have repeatedly collided with politics in Washington, where Republicans question the science of global warming, and ties to the fossil fuel industry have made them resistant to change.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Strangely, many of my friends don't realize there really are differences between the two political parties in the U.S. Many others can only see government as the enemy. While I see the limits of government and the many mistakes to which both parties are prone, I do know that we cannot hope to solve the problems of the environment without rational thought and action so yes, I am picking sides. Perhaps it is time to put the survival of our world at the top of the list.

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The KC Klansman’s Missing Years as a Federal Informant

The KC Klansman’s Missing Years as a Federal Informant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
White supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller turned white opportunist when facing decades in prison, testifying against his fellow haters in two trials.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another sad example of how easily government departments can confuse pursuing their bureaucratic function with meeting their real-world responsibilities.

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State GOP To Vote On Affirming Wisconsin's Right To Secede

State GOP To Vote On Affirming Wisconsin's Right To Secede | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Wisconsin Republicans will vote at their convention next month on a proposal affirming the state's right to go it alone, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Daniel Bice reported Monday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

On this the anniversary of his assassination, we can safely say that the GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln or of union. Sure the state convention won't vote in favor of this bilge, but that it would entertain such a vote is truly beyond my comprehension.

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Canadian Inuit snap ‘sealfies’ to defend way of life | Al Jazeera America

Canadian Inuit snap ‘sealfies’ to defend way of life | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Indigenous community in crisis hopes social media campaign draws positive attention, despite ire of seal advocates
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Modern values often clash with traditional cultures, especially around the treatment of animals. There is no clear right and wrong of this, but if we are going to impose the modern world on traditional societies, we must be mindful of their needs and not just our "superior" way of life.

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Kansas to Black Out "Cosmos" Show Over Controversies

Kansas to Black Out "Cosmos" Show Over Controversies | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The State of Kansas is pushing to ban the Fox show "Cosmos" from airing on television
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If we just keep  our children ignorant of science, why that will make their god happy. These guys are so sick as to be beyond the pale. And it's the Fox Network these Neanderthals are going after; how bizarre is that?

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Tennessee Legislature Passes Far-Reaching Bill That Could Make Pregnant Women Criminals

Tennessee Legislature Passes Far-Reaching Bill That Could Make Pregnant Women Criminals | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Tennessee state legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that allows women to be charged with assault if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs. Advocates argue that the bill is so poorly written that it could subject any woman with a poor pregnancy outcome to criminal investigation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What war on women? The one the GOP continues to wage. This travesty was pushed through a Republican dominated state legislature. (House 71 GOP, 1 GOP connected but separate, and 27 Dems; vote 64-30) (Senate 26 GOP, 7 Dem; vote 26-7) Sure we want to discourage drug use in general and especially during pregnancy, but this is a vicious and stupid Republican war on women law.

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They were children when Social Security overpaid their parents. Now the Treasury is seizing their tax refunds.

They were children when Social Security overpaid their parents. Now the Treasury is seizing their tax refunds. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Treasury has intercepted millions in tax refunds, often without notice or proof that money is owed.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The government bureaucracy once again running amok. This is the kind of irresponsible behavior that makes people believe that government is the enemy. Perhaps a member of Congress could step up an push for an investigation.

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Retired British art teacher ends life at Dignitas ‘because she couldn’t adapt to modern world’

Retired British art teacher ends life at Dignitas ‘because she couldn’t adapt to modern world’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An 89-year-old British woman has killed herself at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, in part because she had become fed up with the modern world of emails, TVs, computers and supermarket ready meals.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

My belief: Every person should have the right to end his/her life with dignity and comfort when they feel that the meaning and quality has gone. What say you?

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80 Percent of Young Teens Have No Sexual Education Before Having Sex

80 Percent of Young Teens Have No Sexual Education Before Having Sex | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new CDC report finds significant progress in reducing teen pregnancy, but finds sexual education seriously lacking.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What bothers me the most is not that the schools aren't doing the job, but that parents try so hard to keep their kids away from sex education. What upsets me the most is not that religion considers sex its province but that then the churches (etc) don't teach the children about sexuality. What confuses me the most is not that kids have sex before they have sexual education but that the adult world doesn't realize that this sexual behavior is going on.

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House Committee Finds Evidence IRS Official May Have Committed Crimes In Tea Party Scandal

House Committee Finds Evidence IRS Official May Have Committed Crimes In Tea Party Scandal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says investigators have uncovered evidence that a former Internal Revenue Service official may have committed crimes as part of the agency's tea party controversy.
...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

And who is this miscreant? I believe she's a Republican who got her job under Bush. Sometimes the GOP just is so busy trying to play politics that they end up scoring for the other team. By the way, IMHO, what she did was not unreasonable. You have to use some criteria for prioritizing, and the ones she chose were understandable.

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Wish for Change Animates Voters in India Election

Wish for Change Animates Voters in India Election | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Narendra Modi, a front-runner for prime minister who campaigned as a technocrat but rose as an ideologue, has won admirers among the disillusioned working and middle classes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The sea winds are changing in the world's largest democracy. As elsewhere, a religious right political leader is emerging. The question is can he keep the well-being of the common citizens in mind as he pushes economic development and his Hindu faith. It is not just the Muslims and other religious groups that have to wonder but also those who want to share in the economic possibilities.

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