Upsetment
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Upsetment
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Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened. — Vox

Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened. — Vox | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Mars company has sponsored hundreds of scientific studies to show cocoa is good for you.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Did I ever believe that chocolate was good for me? Maybe when I was a kid. It doesn't matter. the good feeling that eating chocolate gives me, like the feeling I get from a good cup of coffee—yes with caffeine—is all the health I require. Seriously, I have a list of sacred foods. I don't care what anybody says about them. Hey, it's faith and taste. Absolutely dark chocolate, coffee, bagels with cream cheese and lox (it's the combination for full effect), baked potatoes (with sour cream and butter), bacon in any form, fried clams, raising (preferably chocolate covered), pistachio nuts, strawberries in deserts, and more. 

Seriously, don't we all have such a list? What are your sacred foods?
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South Korea lays out strategy to destroy the North's military in the event of war

South Korea lays out strategy to destroy the North's military in the event of war | Upsetment | Scoop.it
South Korea’s army has said it is confident it can quickly neutralise North Korea’s front-line artillery systems in the event of a war on the Korean peninsula.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Somehow preparations for war do not give me a greater sense of safety. On the other hand, I do think that the people of South Korea do deserve some kind of plan from their government. While the North Korean army is large and well equipped, I wonder how many of them actually want to go to war against the South. Against the US, well that's clearly another thing. And, will the soldiers of the South be prepared to fire on the North? My guess is that will depend on who fires first. 

I don't think that there is as strong a sense of two separate countries on the peninsula as the rest of the world may think. Of course, Kim doesn't want unification because it would mean he would lose his power, but I think most Koreans do want it, especially as it would combine the South's incredible economy and the North's powerful technologies. A unified Korea would be a formidable force in the world. I'm not sure that China or Japan would be happy. India, on the other hand, might see a unified Korea as a nice ally to have on China's flank. Were I in New Delhi, I would be trying to bring about that unification. 

Don't you love thinking about the world and the great game? Well, I do. 
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'This is a really big deal': Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared

'This is a really big deal': Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Pioneering peer reviewed study measured methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure in two regions in Alberta: ‘If we thought it was bad, it’s worse’
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Fossil fuels are essential to our society, but they may also cause the demise of our world. One reason for the danger is quite simply the preoccupation of private industry to make profits, and therefore its tendency to ignore and minimize social costs such as escaping methane. That is why corporate capitalism has to be reined in by government supervision. 

As we pollute the atmosphere in search of the good life, I wonder how many of us question the future. Between the end of the Second World War and now, we have been dumping our effluence into the air and the water as if the earth was an unlimited disposal system. The methane that comes from recovering oil is just one more example of that process. 

It is a truly stupid species that soils not only its nest but its entire environment. 
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Trump blasts congresswoman's claim that he told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed up for'; lawmaker pushes back

Trump blasts congresswoman's claim that he told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed up for'; lawmaker pushes back | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After facing criticism for not calling the families of four soldiers who died in combat, President Trump reached out to one of th
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Apparently, Mr. Trump did say this, which demonstrates his insensitivity but also his bluntness. While I would never say such a thing to the family of somebody killed in action, I would at some level be thinking it. As the commander of the armed forces, the POTUS should not, however, be saying things no matter how honest that will put off people from being willing to serve. 

What would you say if you were the person making that phone call from the Oval Office? I'd try to say as little as possible and to listen for a couple of minutes to the person at the other end talk about their loved one. 

As for Obama reaching out to General Kelly when that officer's son died, I hope that he did reach out. I do know that he invited the Kelly family to a Gold Star parents' breakfast. I also know that General Kelly does not like his son's death mentioned in public. 

Sadly, Mr. Trump at the very best lacks class and at the very least lacks any capacity to edit himself. How very sad. I would at this point vote him off the island.
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North Korea Says Nuclear War 'May Break Out Any Moment'

North Korea Says Nuclear War 'May Break Out Any Moment' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The rhetoric is typical for Pyongyang but adds to an uptick in tensions with the U.S.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Hopefully, the cooler heads of China and Russia will come up with a way to prevent war, but ultimately the real answer has to be including North Korea in the greater world and that means convincing Kim that he will not only keep his power but that he will be better off for the change. It also means that the United States has to admit that it no longer can dominate the world, as if it ever could. I know that Mr. Trump doesn't want to be the POTUS to recognize the end of the American Era, but it is time for that conceit to end and we should stop shouting "We're number one!" before the rest of the world does a number two on our heads. 
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Iraqi forces capture Kurdish-held sites

Iraqi forces capture Kurdish-held sites | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iraqi forces move on Kurdish-controlled areas, weeks after the region voted to secede from Iraq.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As is so often the case in the Middle East, the United States finds itself caught between allies who are on the edge of war. Clearly, the government in Baghdad doesn't want to have an open war with the Kurds nor they with the central government. Rather, they both want to negotiate a peace that would most likely produce some form of confederacy. However, the Shia militias are less willing to compromise with the Kurds if only because of Iran's interest in suppressing its own Kurdish minority and the Turkmen population of places like Kirkuk are much less willing to compromise with the Shia militias. 

By the way, the Kurds: while almost all are Muslim and mostly Sunni, some in Iran are Shia. And the school of Sunni Islam that is followed is different from most of the Sunni in Iraq. 

So will heavy fighting break out in the region of Kirkuk with its oil reserves? Hopefully not. But, if it does, American troops may well be caught between the groups which they have been advising. Washington's best hope is to broker that confederacy deal and fast, but to do that they will have to have the support of Tehran. Gosh, I am so tired of pointing out how important cooperation with Iran is for the future of American diplomacy. I do wish the people in D.C. would start listening instead of living in their comic book world or good guys and bad. 

Of course, if you've read Times To Try the Soul of Man, you know that I have a deep distrust of those folks inside the beltway.  Find the book at:
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Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden - Tsarizm

Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden - Tsarizm | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden. Wild Boar Found With 10 Times Safe Radiation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Just when you figure that we've seen all the horrors of the modern world a new terror comes down the pike. In this case it's the wild hogs migrating from the area of Chernobyl. Having fed on radioactive materials, these boars are walking sources of radiation. Kill and butcher a hog and potentially give a whole town cancer. I wonder if sows are passing along radioactivity to their litters. For how many generations is this danger going to continue? Clearly the stuff of science fiction and worse of reality. 
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Opinion | Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy

Opinion | Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Social media was designed to bring us together. Instead, it’s tearing us apart.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I think this is well worth reading and thinking about. When you post, do you think about whether you are facilitating actual discussion and only sharing not just honest but truly representative and meaningful information or are you looking only to amplify your point of view and feed your own social media base? Those questions are important, especially to somebody like myself who posts a lot about issues of politics and foreign affairs. 

Of course, I am human and can get myself into a dark space, but I for one try to contribute to meaningful discussions of the world in which we live. In part that's because I'm a Broody New Englander and grew up revering the idea of the town meeting. 

So what is you goal in contributing political ideas on the social media? Do you look for real balance? Let's say that you're strongly opposed to Mr. Trump, do you ever find something that supports him that you feel called upon to share or to say in a thread? How about if you strongly support Mr. Trump, do you also admit to his flaws? Do you look for background or simply echo what the tip if the media is saying? 

Meanwhile, here's something we can all agree on: reading   Broody New Englander. 
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America's shadow war in Africa

America's shadow war in Africa | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The U.S. has deployed at least 1,500 troops to the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions, with little public debate and what experts call an unclear strategy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We have become more and more involved in a never-ending war in Africa as Islamic militants push to convert and take over the countries in the arid Sahel and sub-Saharan regions. Sadly, not all the military operations in the world can end the ages-old belief of the Arab and other Muslim communities that theirs is a responsibility to force the Quran on others. Of course, the years of colonial rule followed by the chaos and for many the poverty of the post-independence years haven't helped. Sadly, the Euro-American response to this Islamic threat is military, which will surely backfire, but there is almost no growth of government, economy, or freedom in the countries involved so we are clearly going to lose the battle for hearts and minds. 

What would I be doing? Try to influence a change in the governments of the region by supporting those leaders who believed in democracy, education, freedom, and who were prepared to work for real economic growth, not simply getting wealth for themselves and their followers. While that kind of human-oriented policy might cost more, it might actually make a real difference. 

Of course, we are today seeing a growth in religiously dominated madness all over the world. Whether we are talking about the far-right Christians of America or the jihadists of the Middle East, or the Buddhists of Myanmar, all I see coming from such hyper-religiosity is pain, suffering, and hate. If there is a god, I cannot imagine that being sees much to like in the world of that being's creation. 

More and more, I think about Max, the defrocked priest in Widow's Walk. Haven't read it? You really should. https://www.amazon.com/Widows-Walk-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B004FN1VMO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 
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Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces

Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Changes for “association health plans” may accomplish long-held GOP goals in the wake of failed repeal efforts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Some background on this:
"Back in 1992, the Government Accountability Office issued a scathing report on these multiple employer welfare arrangements (known as MEWAs; they’re pronounced “mee-wahs”) in which small businesses could pool funds to get the lower-cost insurance typically available only to large employers. These MEWAs, said the government, left at least 398,000 participants and their beneficiaries with more than $123 million in unpaid claims between January 1988 and June 1991."

So, it looks like Mr. Trump is setting millions of Americans up for a con game in which they think that they are being insured but in which there is no actual regulation requiring their medical bills be paid and no supervision of the offers being made. Can anybody say, Trump University?" 

Of course, this is a direct attack on states as governing bodies. While the GOP has a long history of criticizing the Dems for trying to overbear state governments, the goal of the Religious Right GOP is to subvert states and enhance local government at the country level. Don't understand, read more about—yep, I'm going to say it again—Reconstuctionist Theology. 

Oh, and one more thing, this is a clear attack on the Obama era requirements for things like birth control coverage. In effect, these associations won't be required to follow government rules. 

In effect, here's there Trump message: So, America, you want health insurance? You don't need it because your employers know better. You want government to function and take care of you? You don't need it because god is watching out for you. Hey, besides, the end times will come faster this way. 

Seriously and sadly, that is how I read these rune that may soon turn into ruins. 
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Trump wanted dramatic increase in nuclear arsenal in military meeting

Trump wanted dramatic increase in nuclear arsenal in military meeting | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal in a meeting with military leaders this summer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What we don't need is a POTUS determined to add more nuclear weapons to the world's supply. Of course, that's predicated on the POTUS being able to understand the goals of government and that those goals do not include the Apocalypse. This is just one more indicator to me that Mr. Trump is being led by the Reconstuctionist and Dispensationalist Christians, groups that are hoping for the end of the age of man and ushering in the New Kingdom. 

For me, this is a time to be scared, very scared. I see the influence of such "thinking" and I wonder how long before this nascent theocracy of Amerika will actually bring the world to the brink. Can the more rational and informed heads keep us safe? Can they keep the idiocy and moronic among us under control? We can only hope and if you wish pray. 
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Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’

Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’ « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is no good military solution to anything, which is war should only be utilized as a last resort to avoid the intolerable. What we need is to come up with a viable way to connect economically with Pyongyang, a carrot to offer instead of waving the big stick. No, I don't think the offer of a Trump golf resort on the beach of Wonsan would be enough. However, they are a growing tech powerhouse and perhaps would want to join the world's economy if they could be sure of respect not only for their country but also for their form of government no matter how out of date such a de facto monarchy might seem. 
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The Jones Act Waiver For Puerto Rico Just Expired And Won't Be Renewed

The Jones Act Waiver For Puerto Rico Just Expired And Won't Be Renewed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
That means the U.S. island decimated by Hurricane Maria will go back to paying double the shipping costs for food and supplies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I seldom find myself praising John McCain, but here I think he is absolutely right. One of the many reasons that Puerto Rico's economy has done so poorly in recent years is that shipping to and from the island is dominated by inefficient American lines that can hide behind the Jones Act to gouge the territory. That the hurricane has made things worse has just highlighted this poor law which harkens back to the mercantilism of Great Britain, which in turn was one cause of the American Revolution. Yeah, I'm a history buff. 

By the way, if you live in the greater Phoenix, AZ area on Sunday, Oct. 22, we are doing a benefit open mic for the people of Puerto Rico at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theater. 4-7 PM. You are welcome to come and take part or just to come be entertained. There are no fees, but donations are being requested to help our fellow Americans who are trying to survive on that island, which as Mr. Trump reminded us is surrounded by a big ocean an water. 
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The White House Keeps Attacking Congresswoman Who Has Been Right All Along

The White House Keeps Attacking Congresswoman Who Has Been Right All Along | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Calling Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) a liar keeps backfiring.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sadly the inability of this White House to speak honestly has now infected the words of General John Kelly. By attacking Congresswoman Frederica Wilson for what she did not do, take credit for the building of the FBI headquarters in her district, he has highlighted her decency in spearheading the drive to have that office named for two fallen officers. 

"A congresswoman stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building, and she sat down,” Kelly said.

Actually, at the ceremony, Wilson was praised by Republican Rep. Ileana Pos-Lehtinen and the-FBI director Comes for pushing through bill to name the office for agents Jerry Dove and Ben Grogan who were killed during a shootout with bank robbers. Yeah, that't really taking credit for something she hadn't done, right?

So, another member of the Trump administration is tarnished, and this time a genuine good-guy. How sad is this getting? I can only hope that the general will get his facts straight and rise above his boss's style to apologize publicly. And that will be when? 


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Putin dials up anti-U.S. rhetoric, keeps mum on re-election

Putin dials up anti-U.S. rhetoric, keeps mum on re-election | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Vladimir Putin launched one of his most stinging critiques of U.S. foreign policy on Thursday, listing what he called some of the biggest betrayals in U.S.-Russia relations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is interesting that Mr. Putin echoes much of what I have said for years. While he doesn't specifically get into Hillary Clinton's role in creating a distance between the US and Russia, it is implicit in his emphasis on the failure of the American government to be an honest partner after the fall of the Soviet government. She was allegedly going to reset that relationship and instead of course helped her husband's friends to take advantage. It is my strong belief that had Obama gone with a different first Sec. of State, even Kerry although he was no friend to Moscow, that the world would be a lot better off today. 

Also, I think that many of the sanctions that we have imposed in response to situation in Ukraine represent exactly what Mr. Putin says, an attempt to push Europe into dependence on our gas instead of Russian oil and gas. Diplomacy should facilitate trade but should not exist in the service of corporations. 

Of course, I think that the situation in Ukraine was a response to the West's ill-conceived notion that Russia could be pushed around and that Moscow would't defend its sphere of influence. Can Washington get stupider than that? Well, let's look what we're doing in the rest of the world now. 
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The Disturbing Numbers on Puerto Rico a Month After Maria

The Disturbing Numbers on Puerto Rico a Month After Maria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
One month after the hurricane hit, a million people in Puerto Rico lack water and three million are still without power.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Things are still really bad in Puerto Rico. Potable water is unavailable to many. Electricity is not available and even if it were, the distribution system is limited. Phone service is in bad shape. While FEMA claims there are tens of thousands of federal personnel on the island, the relief efforts are going slowly. For those reasons, I agreed to use the Downtown Phoenix open mic this coming Sunday, Oct 22, to help raise funds which will be focused on helping with the transportation and distribution of aid. So if you are in Phoenix, this Sunday, join us at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theater Center (4-7 PM) to share the performances and to contribute. There will be a raffle, some items for sale, and a chance to just contribute. Admission is free. 
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ME TOO: IS IT AMERICA OR THE NATURE OF HUMANS?

ME TOO: IS IT AMERICA OR THE NATURE OF HUMANS? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
So many women—and a few men—have been posting "Me too" on the social media. It's kind of horrifying
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So many women—and a few men—have been posting "Me too" on the social media. It's kind of horrifying to me, but as my wife has often said, she'd like to meet a woman who hasn't been sexually harassed. I don't want to say that such behavior from men is okay; IT ISN'T. However, it does seem to be so ubiquitous as to seem a part of our innate behavior, perhaps due to genetics or more likely social customs. While we can go after the turds like Weinstein, we really have to change our overall approach as a culture. How do we teach ourselves that respect for others is more important than libido? I don't mean the kind of phony desexualization that went on in Victorian times, when "proper women" were safe and prostitution was a major employment for most of the rest of the female population. 

Of one thing I am certain: Not discussing sexuality and the power of sexual urges is not a solution. We need to educate our children from an early age onward about their sexuality and about how we as a civilized people need to contain our impulses so that everybody feels safe and respected. Of course, that is an ideal. In my view that ideal is based not on some kind of religious values system but the simple rational need for a society in which individuals can flourish. 

The question I would ask each and every person, but especially my fellow men: Do you believe that somehow your needs are more important than the self-respect of others? Sadly, from many, the answer is too often yes. 
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Trump’s claim about predecessors, fallen troops disputed

Trump’s claim about predecessors, fallen troops disputed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For U.S. presidents, meeting the families of military personnel killed in war is about as wrenching as the presidency gets. President Donald Trump's suggestion Monday that his predecessors fell short in that duty brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I am not a veteran and have perhaps a more jaded view of the military than most, still I must admit that I'm appalled by Mr. Trump's inappropriate and untrue claims about his predecessors to defend against the obvious, that he had just not gotten around to sending those letters and probably had no intention of making those calls. After all, he had done the right thing once for the first fallen American soldier on his watch. Everybody knows that you don't repeat stuff in reality television. Not only did George W. Bush and Barack Obama reach out to the families of the fallen but so did their wives. Both of them respected those who sacrificed and those who served. To suggest otherwise is quite simply disgusting. 

His press secretary's later comment that he was stating a fact, when obviously she by then knew that it was not a fact, is only to compound what is an insult to every person who has served and to the families of all those who have died. 

Yuck!
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This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake

This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A remote area of Kazakhstan was once home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear testing. The impact on its inhabitants has been devastating.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With two foolish leaders, one in North Korea and the other in Washington, talking about building more nuclear weapons, it's important to remember just how horrible those bombs can be. Is it that humans forget too easily or that we find a few leaders who just don't care what happens to other people? Assuredly we must all work together to end such weapons or our children will suffer their use. 
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Amman Design Fair pays homage to disappearing crafts

Amman Design Fair pays homage to disappearing crafts | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Amman Design Week, one of the budding events in the region, underscores the need to modernize traditional crafts with new design.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Perhaps individual lives are better when an area undergoes economic growth and modernity, but I always mourn the loss of traditional arts, crafts, skills, values, and ways of life. Consider the wonderful daggers made in Syria, glass blowing from the same place, the baskets of Jordan, or the carpets—yes the wonderful carpets of the Middle East. At least, somebody is trying to preserve those crafts, and I applaud her and her colleague. I wish I could get to Amman Design Week, but I'll just have to ask if anybody is able to attend, please share photographs of the wonderful things you find. 

Meanwhile, for another kind of wonderful, be sure to check out my books at http://www.kennethweene.com  
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A healthy mom gives birth at a hospital. Days later, flesh-eating bacteria strikes.

A healthy mom gives birth at a hospital. Days later, flesh-eating bacteria strikes. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a recent lawsuit, the family says the hospital is to blame.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If the hospital and doctors are responsible for this woman's developing such a horrible infection, I cannot imagine what an appropriate settlement would look like. The cost of her care for the rest of her life, the cost of child care for the baby whom this lady cannot properly mother. The cost of adapting their home and vehicles. The cost to the husband/father's career from having to be home and to take care of wife and child. The loss of the ability to have other children. And the list goes on and on. And, since there is pretty good evidence that the damage resulted from a failure to look carefully, to remove part of the placenta and to take proper care of a wound, well, that makes the damage more egregious, not just the result of some opportunistic infection that snuck by the best efforts of the hospital to sanitize the delivery room or the like. 

Of course, some will say this is the result of socialized medicine in Canada, but note that the care given at the hospital to which she was ultimately brought was quite appropriate and very expensive. More likely, this is just one of those horror stories that happen when people don't do their jobs with care. Back to that law suit, I would say a trust fund that gave about $200, 000 a year would be appropriate with the capital going to the family after her death or if that death or 30 years, whichever came first. What do you think?

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Trump’s Benghazi: Ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger goes unnoticed

Trump’s Benghazi: Ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger goes unnoticed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Award-winning news and culture, features breaking news, in-depth reporting and criticism on politics, business, entertainment and technology.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
First, let's be clear, this military mission in Niger, which has never been authorized by Congress, did start under Mr. Obama; but things have clearly been going south since Mr. Trump took over and he has failed to make our men and women there safe. Worse, given his endless tweeting, he has neglected to express any concern about the situation or these deaths. A true POTUS takes responsibility and shows concern not just for their successes but also and perhaps even more so for their failures. Meanwhile, the US rains terror on so many places as if our terror isn't part of that which we most fear, the rage of humanity against itself. 
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Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort

Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A series a tweets marked the latest jab at Puerto Rico since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What is wrong with this man? He has absolutely no sense of the needs or worth of other humans. Is he really ready to abandon over three million Americans because they've been hit by a major natural disaster and are still reeling from it? And, yes, Puerto Rico was a disaster before the hurricane, but how much of that was caused by Washington? Many companies, including Trump's own, have failed to complete projects there with no federal reaction. The Jones Act adds to the price of everything brought in to the island and to everything the island tries to sell on the mainland. And, the government has done precious little to help bring industry to the island or even to spend on to help the tourism industry there. We as a nation should be ashamed that we have been such an irresponsible big-brother to this and our other territories. 

If you live in the greater Phoenix area, be sure to join us for a fund raising open mic at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theatre Center on Sunday, Oct, 22, 4-7 PM. Admission will be free, but we will be asking for your donations to help. 
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Occupy Hades's curator insight, October 12, 2:14 PM

This is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the US presidency.

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Russia accuses U.S. of pretending to fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq

Russia accuses U.S. of pretending to fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Russia accused the United States on Tuesday of pretending to fight Islamic State and of deliberately reducing its air strikes in Iraq to allow the group's militants to stream into Syria to slow the Russian-backed advance of the Syrian army.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It would make great sense for the US to allow members of ISIS to escape from Iraq into Syria where they would add pressure on the Russians and their client Assad. However, it would also be one of most foolish ways to push yet another wedge between Washington and Moscow. Hopefully, ISIS will soon be defeated, but there will remain more than enough terrorists and crazed jihadists to go around and all governments will have to work together if terrorism is to be contained. Besides, isn't it time for America to give up its obsession with regime change in Syria or anywhere. That has been the biggest mistake in our foreign policy ever. Of course, there are times when humanitarian or possibly security concerns should take precedence in dealing with another country, but mostly I think we're better off just letting the world be no matter how much we dislike what others may do. We are no longer the city on the hill. Sadly, often America seems more like the shantytown in the holler.

If you like to read about the idealized America, you might read Broody New Englander. If you want more realistic views of how we function, check out Times to Try the Soul of Man, Widow's Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. All of which you can sample on my website: http://www.kennethweene.com  

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Nearly 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria, distributing aid across Puerto Rico is a mess

Nearly 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria, distributing aid across Puerto Rico is a mess | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Puerto Rico faces a logistical nightmare in getting aid to those in need weeks after Hurricane Maria knocked out power, communications and roads.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The aid Puerto Rico most needs now is not shipments of goods but help on the ground with distribution and repairing the infrastructure. There is a need for drivers who can deliver the supplies that are now building up and of course for workers who can clear and repair roads so those trucks can get through. Much of that aid should be coming via the US military. Hopefully, more boots will be landing on the ground and more resources will be directed to helping our fellow Americans. 

If you live in greater Phoenix,  AZ, we are doing a dedicated open mic at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theatre on Sunday, Oct 22 (4-7 PM) to raise money for the island. Admission is free, but we will be asking donations. Come share your performance skills or just come to be entertained and bring some cash to add to the kitty as we try to do some good in this world. 
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