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Barney, Former First Dog Who Loved Playing With His Soccer Ball, Dies : NPR

Barney, Former First Dog Who Loved Playing With His Soccer Ball, Dies  : NPR | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Barney spent all eight years of George W. Bush's presidency in the White House. His owner described him as a "faithful friend" who never talked about politics.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Looks like one of the stars of the Bush administration has left us. Sorry to see him de-bark.

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Judge says Bridgewater State Hospital lawsuit should move forward - The Boston Globe

Judge says Bridgewater State Hospital lawsuit should move forward - The Boston Globe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Superior Court judge has allowed a lawsuit against the state to proceed on grounds that conditions at troubled Bridgewater State Hospital may violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, a ruling that underscores the controversial use of seclusion and restraints at the facility.
The lawsuit, filed by the families of three former Bridgewater patients, claims that officials discriminate against the most severely mentally ill men in the state by consigning them to a facility run by the Department of Correction rather than one administered by the Department of Mental Health, where trained clinicians maintain policies designed to restrict the use of seclusion and restraints and provide higher-quality mental health care.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The treatment of the mentally ill is certainly one way in which a society defines its level of humanity. Want to read a fascinating book set inside the asylum? Here you go. https://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Asylum-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B004FN1VL0?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc ;
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Southern California Gas Co. ordered to stop cleaning Porter Ranch-area homes

Southern California Gas Co. ordered to stop cleaning Porter Ranch-area homes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered Southern California Gas Co. late Sunday to stop cleaning the homes of Porter Ranch-area residents affected by the gas leak at the company's Aliso Canyon facility, concluding that the utility’s contractor was not properly trained o
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is it not surprising that a corporation that has been so indifferent to the wellbeing of people should not provide adequate rendition for the damage that it caused. The need for government could never be clearer than when we see corporations make believe that they are being responsible members of the community. American corporatism as preached by the anti-government conservative right is a recipe for the accumulation of wealth by the few at the expense of the welfare of the many. 
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Judge Wants Government To Hand Over Names, Addresses Of Thousands Of Dreamers

Judge Wants Government To Hand Over Names, Addresses Of Thousands Of Dreamers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The young immigrants didn't do anything wrong, but they could have their identities exposed to hostile state governments anyway.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This insensitive ruling by a George W. Bush appointed judge reminds us why it is so important to keep the White House out of Republican hands. The judiciary is at stake, especially since the Republicans in the Senate have blocked and stalled on Obama's nominees. 
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“America was never great”: Home Depot worker receives death threats for Trump-trolling hat

“America was never great”: Home Depot worker receives death threats for Trump-trolling hat | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Krystal Lake has been bombarded with racist vitriol since her photo went viral. Now her job could be at stake
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What do you think? Is it reasonable for a person to believe that America was never great? Is it acceptable for a person to wear that sentiment on her hat at work? What would you think about a company if it told her to remove that hat r be fired? What about if other workers were wearing political pins and other forms of political statement and were not being told to remove them? 
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Oklahoma Passes Bill That Would Subject Abortion Doctors to Felony Charges

Oklahoma Passes Bill That Would Subject Abortion Doctors to Felony Charges | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The State Senate measure, the first of its kind, would revoke such doctors’ medical licenses. The bill is on the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While I understand that there are many who consider all abortion a sin, taking time to pass bills like this that can only reduce the healthcare of women in Oklahoma and lead to expensive and usually failed court cases for the state government is an exercise in stupidity. If it is suppose to divert the attention of voters from the more important issues that face the state, such as the dangers of fracking and climate change, we can only hope that the "Sooners" will have better sense and will recognize that it is time to change their state's political complexion from red to purple. 
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Transgender Bathroom Debate Turns Personal at a Vermont High School

Transgender Bathroom Debate Turns Personal at a Vermont High School | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An announcement supporting a transgender student’s use of the restroom of his choice has divided students and parents in Chester.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the long run, I think the kids in this small high school will get over it. How much do they really care? The young transgender person is not a threat to anyone, and those who feel threatened can certainly opt to use one of the individual bathrooms available until they stop being fearful. Whether AJ is at risk seems a bigger concern, but who is going to molest him in that boys' bathroom in a school that small? I wonder if the Times will follow up as time moves on and the kids of Chester decide it just doesn't matter as long as a person is a decent human being. I wonder how many gay men and lesbian women of the past have actually been transgender. Would their lives have been better had today's medical care been available to them? Is there any reason we should not be wishing this youngster the best of possible futures rather than worrying him with our sexual preoccupations? 
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Have Turkey-PKK clashes crossed fatal threshold? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Have Turkey-PKK clashes crossed fatal threshold? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The PKK’s alleged shooting down of a Turkish assault helicopter marks a major development in the ongoing fighting between the two sides.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sadly, things in the Middle East continue to escalate. The Kurds want and deserve a homeland. The Turks don't want to give up part of their country. I don't know how this will end, but I do know there will be lots of blood spilled before it's over. 
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Vermont college that Bernie Sanders’s wife once led is closing

Vermont college that Bernie Sanders’s wife once led is closing | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Jane Sanders was president of Burlington College from 2004 to 2011.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A big oops for the Sanders's campaign. And, let us not forget that Mrs. Sanders is the one who did the tax returns which so far she has been unable to find. As a Bernie supporter, I find this rather troubling. I don't particularly doubt her or the senator's honesty, but the last thing we need is a white knight whose horse isn't properly cared for. 
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Gaza farmers dodge bullets to harvest crops - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Gaza farmers dodge bullets to harvest crops - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Although the truce that ended the 2014 Gaza war is still in force, the Israeli army has recently escalated its actions against farmers in the buffer zone between the Strip and Israel.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you listened to my t Matters Radio, one of the things you would have learned is that the Israeli military routinely fire this way, not to actually kill as much as to intimidate. It is the constant sense of helpless threat that makes it impossible for the Palestinian people to help themselves. The Israelis army has become the guards in the new "camps." That is a major part of the shame that is Israel's. Sadly, American foreign policy continues to support such oppression, and we think of ourselves as the model for human rights. Yeah, really!

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WATCH: White cop brutally beats black teen for riding bike — then charges her with assault

WATCH: White cop brutally beats black teen for riding bike — then charges her with assault | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is why the Black Lives Matter movement exists because of the unnecessary violence against Black Americans, often done under cover of authority and in the name of the law. Let's be honest, if these kids had been white there is no way they would have been stopped and charged for trespassing or anything else. It is vile behavior like this display from Jared Williams that degrades our society and law enforcement officers everywhere. 
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8 TED Talks about the secret lives of plants

8 TED Talks about the secret lives of plants | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trees talk, flowers build elaborate traps and some plants can even come back from the dead. Skeptical? These fascinating talks may just grow on you.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Fascinating look at the secret life of plants. I highly recommend this 13 minutes to get yourself thinking. Of course, you may wonder about giving up the killing of plants for food and becoming a strict carnivore. 
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Why More Teen Girls Are Getting Genital Plastic Surgery

Why More Teen Girls Are Getting Genital Plastic Surgery | Upsetment | Scoop.it
We have ignored porn’s impact on girls’ sexual confidence—and its likely role as a culprit in the alarming increase in surgeries
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is incredibly sad. Young women should know that they are beautiful and more importantly that they have great value beyond the image of their bodies. We need to encourage the young—male and female—to look at their bodies with knowledge and love and to reject the cartoon thinking of porn, hero movies, and video-games. 
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We didn’t need to drop the bomb — and even our WW II military icons knew it

We didn’t need to drop the bomb — and even our WW II military icons knew it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Obama will finally visit Hiroshima. Moral leadership suggests both sides apologize for unspeakable acts
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We cannot know what went through Truman's mind at the time the decision was made. For instance, was he determined to limit the Soviet Union's role given the disastrous events taking place in Eastern Europe? Did he want to establish a misguided and mistaken sense of American hegemony by demonstrating a weapon so powerful? Was he that enraged by the Japanese war crimes that were coming to light? Who can actually say what he thought. Certainly years later it is easy to second guess, and when we do, the use of the Atomic bombs seems a brutal and horrible mistake. Do you think Mr. Obama should apologize for America's dropping those bombs? 
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'It's just not fair:' Massachusetts police officer killed, suspected attacker fatally shot after daylong manhunt

'It's just not fair:' Massachusetts police officer killed, suspected attacker fatally shot after daylong manhunt | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A police officer in Massachusetts was fatally shot over the weekend, sparking a day-long manhunt that ended with the suspected attacker dying in a shootout with police.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The data of a fine police officer like Ronald Tarentino Jr. is a loss not only to his community and to law enforcement everywhere but to our entire society. Just as Black Lives Matter, do too do the lives of hardworking and decent cops. I don't think that gun control laws would have stopped the animal who shot Mr. Tarentino from doing so. I don't think any law will stop somebody from killing a police officer. However, the climate of gun use and violence that is growing in this country probably makes it easier for a scumbag to figure using a gun is just fine. Since it is likely that the perpetrator is likely to die, we can't really consider the punishment for this crime except in the abstract, but I honestly believe that anybody killing a cop should not have the easy end of the death penalty until they have suffered cruel and unusual punishment. Of course, the constitution prohibits such punishment, but damn for that kind of scum. As for anybody who uses a gun to kill another person even unintentionally , I think the consequences should be heavy. It sickens me that gun violence is rising in this country. 
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Florida crocodiles: Man-eating Nile beasts confirmed in swamps - BBC News

Florida crocodiles: Man-eating Nile beasts confirmed in swamps - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Florida wildlife experts express concern about three man-eating Nile crocodiles found in local swamps, amid fears more may be at large.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There's an interesting story here, just nobody knows it. I'm wondering if this was an accident or an act of terrorism. Did somebody figure out that making the Everglades more dangerous they could get the government to allow more expansion into the wilderness that is left, to allow more killing of the animals. I don't mean to sound paranoid, but with pythons and man-eating crocs coming to the neighborhood, one has to ask. 
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What Science Says About the Bathroom Debate

What Science Says About the Bathroom Debate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Your genes don't care who you share a bathroom with, but your politicians do
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When I was a kid, Time Magazine was a bastion of conservative and Republican thinking. That makes this intelligent and anthropology-based piece all the sweeter. Of course, many cultures have included some concept of a third sex. While females acting and feeling more like men have been anthropologically rarer, the idea of a binary assignment of sexuality is something that doesn't necessarily make sense. 
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Why is the number of U.S. start-ups falling?

Why is the number of U.S. start-ups falling? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The share of companies as a percentage of all firms has plunged since the late 1970s.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is a worrying trend here in America. Our young people are no longer so daring, so willing to go with their ideas. Perhaps this is part of the fear that is creeping over our nation and our people. When we become too afraid to take risks, we also become to frightened to move forward. Comfort becomes not the goal but the enemy of trying and of movement.  
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What to Know About Trump's Potential Supreme Court Nominees

What to Know About Trump's Potential Supreme Court Nominees | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Here's what to know about each of the judges who appeared on the list of potential nominees released by Donald Trump on Wednesday
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I was fascinated to see how many of his choices were connected to Clarence Thomas, one of the worst Supreme Court Justices in history and how many were appointed by either George W. or by governors like Snyder, people whose judgement I seriously question. If there is one reason for voting for the Democratic nominee be it Sanders, Clinton, or somebody else, it would be to make sure we have a SCOTUS that will help America to function and be free. 
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America’s Crumbling Dams Are A Disaster Waiting To Happen

America’s Crumbling Dams Are A Disaster Waiting To Happen | Upsetment | Scoop.it
New legislation could help minimize the risk, but it's not enough.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Calling all beaver, the damn dams are going to burst. Seriously, while we spend trillions on wars and banks get wealthier, the infrastructure is deteriorating. It is time to rethink American priorities, and while we're at it, the world's. 
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Cops Cuffed Me for Selling My Own Mac

Cops Cuffed Me for Selling My Own Mac | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Guilty until proven innocent? I tried to sell my MacBook using Craigslist, then three cops showed up, handcuffed me, and put a weapon to my back.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The question is why did they move in before they finished checking the computer to see if it was stolen? Certainly, there was no reason to do so other than the young man who was selling it was Black. Seriously, he didn't try to leave, gave no  indication he had a problem with the computer being checked. In fact, if it were the computer they were after, they would have had a better case if they waited for him to actually sell it. Nope, no other reason that comes to my mind except "Guilty for being Black." That is why Black Lives Matter. Note, by the way, they never identified themselves, which is probably itself illegal or at least against the rules. 
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Congress betrays Afghans who risked their lives to help the U.S.

Congress betrays Afghans who risked their lives to help the U.S. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Cutting back on a special visa program is a mistake.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Once again the US congress shows that it is not to be trusted, certainly not by people in other country's who are asked to risk their lives to help us. Meanwhile, if we look at the wonderful people who have come here under just such circumstances, people from the Philippines, Korea, and Vietnam, they make great contributions to America.Only a few have made it here from Afghanistan so far, but we should be welcoming them. 
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Meet the Shomrim—The Hasidic Volunteer ‘Cops’ Who Answer To Nobody

Meet the Shomrim—The Hasidic Volunteer ‘Cops’ Who Answer To Nobody | Upsetment | Scoop.it
New York pols from Mayor de Blasio down have supported the groups, even as accounts of their rough conduct pile up.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While I want our streets safe, the notion of a religious police force offends me as it should all Americans. This isn't a neighborhood watch but a Gestapo. The NYPD should be ashamed of this connection and of playing footsies with such a group. 
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Joseph Kony’s Former Bodyguards Are Now Helping U.S. Troops Hunt Him

Joseph Kony’s Former Bodyguards Are Now Helping U.S. Troops Hunt Him | Upsetment | Scoop.it
They were abducted as children and forced to protect a monster. Then one day, they turned on their master.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Working as I have been with a survivor of the war for South Sudanese independence who is wiring his memoir, I find stories like this really affect me. Personally, I am learning a great deal from my friend Deng, not simply about the details of these perilous times in Africa but also about the human spirit and the capacity to grow in the face of adversity. We are about 1/5th of the way through the book. Soon we will be looking for a publisher, one who can help get this story of strength and courage to the world. 
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How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics

How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The results show one reason why Obama's presidency has been so divisive.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While these studies have design flaws and deal with tiny differences, I thought them worth noting. The complex interplay of race and economics in American politics is a topic deserving of much research. 
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Saudi officials were 'supporting' 9/11 hijackers, commission member says

Saudi officials were 'supporting' 9/11 hijackers, commission member says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
First serious public split revealed among commissioners over the release of the secret ‘28 pages’ that detail Saudi ties to 2001 terrorist attacks
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One benefit of fracking is the diminished concern in this country with Saudi Arabian oil. That allows us not only to be more critical of the Saudis but also to be friendly with Iran, which I support. If we were going to invade some Middle Eastern country after 9/11, it certainly should have been Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq. Of course we all know that true to their creed, Cheney and Bush were more concerned with the money and the oil than with justice or rationality. If ever there has been a disastrous American foreign policy, it was during the Bush years. 
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