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Top GOP Senator: Native American Juries Are Incapable Of Trying White People Fairly | ThinkProgress

Top GOP Senator: Native American Juries Are Incapable Of Trying White People Fairly | ThinkProgress | Upsetment | Scoop.it
INDIANOLA, Iowa — Republicans have offered a number of reasons why they oppose the Violence Against Women Act. Some think it’s unconstitutional. Others argue that it’s just a meaningless bill with a patriotic title.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again a leading light of the GOP demonstrates that the Republican party is just out of touch with the core notions of democracy, for example that all people are created and should be treated as equal.

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Baltimore Police Union Says Criminals are Emboldened

Baltimore Police Union Says Criminals are Emboldened | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officers are concerned about potential charges over use of force
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What is really saying is the the Baltimore police officers are afraid to do their job because they might be indicted for their wrongful acts. That suggests that they need some new cops in Baltimore, ones who are trained to do their job without resorting to bullying tactics and excessive force. Without realizing it, this union rep has basically admitted that his colleagues are not prepared to do the job properly. Consider how few police are ever indicted for excessive force or even the death of a suspect in custody. Consider how even fewer are convicted. It isn't like police aren't given latitude; it is that some police forces have given up doing the job properly.

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For Generals Fighting the Islamic State, a Sense of Déjà Vu

For Generals Fighting the Islamic State, a Sense of Déjà Vu | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The military is still facing the same problems in Iraq it has paid billions of dollars to fix over the past decade.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Not to worry America, the military-industrial-espionage complex is making lots of money. What the heck, so what if the military is still unable to effectively fight insurgents, so what if troops on the ground are at risk, and so what if our foreign policy is one failure after another? The real goal is making corporations rich and bureaucracies bloated.

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Award-Winning Teacher Fired for Reading an Allen Ginsberg Poem

Award-Winning Teacher Fired for Reading an Allen Ginsberg Poem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Defenders of Connecticut teacher David Olio say one mistake shouldn’t have cost him his job. But why is the work of a towering figure of 20th-century American poetry out of bounds?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What is happening to America? Are we afraid of sex? Are we afraid of individual's sexuality? I think not; I think we are afraid of thinking, of encouraging people to actually consider and discuss ideas. How sad that is for us as a nation. So long to literature, poetry, art, music, and all that enriches. The young people who are not encouraged to explore such ideas and such writing might have become the artists of the future, but they are being turned away by such political idiocy. I hope that at least one private school will hire Mr. Olio. Lord knows we need teachers like him.

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Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army?

Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army? « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The basic problem is that every time the U.S. tries to overthrow a government we do a horrendous job of planning. The British were great empire builders, which is why so many nations of the earth speak English. We Americans haven't a clue how to administer an empire. One of the worst decisions ever was to disband the Iraqi army. It is the leadership from that army that leads the troops of ISIS. Congratulations to our neo-cons and George W. The Taliban are coming back in Afghanistan while warlords prosper and grow opium poppies. Great going to America's CIA. Libya is a mess that drones on, and that one requires kudos to Mr. O and Mrs. C. Maybe it's time for us to get the idea and stop running the world; we do it very badly. At least Iran is getting its act together despite the best efforts of American politicians since Eisenhower to make a hash of that great nation.

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In Arlington’s ‘Old Guard,’ one soldier’s personal connection to valor and tragedy

In Arlington’s ‘Old Guard,’ one soldier’s personal connection to valor and tragedy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Army Lt. Col. Michael B. Baka led an infantry company through combat in Iraq -- and nominated one of his fallen soldiers for the Medal of Honor.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I can think of no better way to recognize the men and women who have served and those who continue to serve our country than to share this moving article about one commander and his thoughts about his soldiers who died in combat. I considered then and still consider the war in Iraq incredibly stupid and wrong, but I still respect those who served there and hope you do too.

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Racist Letter Urges African-American Lindenhurst Family to Leave Town

Racist Letter Urges African-American Lindenhurst Family to Leave Town | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police investigating incident as a hate crime.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I imagine that the bigots who sent this letter would say they aren't racists since they were polite, or at least didn't used "hateful words". Will America ever come to terms with itself? Oh, this is on Long Island, New York.

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Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals

Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists don't know how climate change may affect life in the ocean
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Plankton, oxygen and viruses: all are showing changing levels and reactions to the rise of global temperatures and therefore the rise in temperatures of the seas. While the oceans are under that attack, we humans continue to dump waste and contaminants into the water. Let us not forget that the oceans, our largest single bio-system may be vast but it is vulnerable.

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Iraqi Shiite Militias Move In To Take Ramadi From ISIS

Iraqi Shiite Militias Move In To Take Ramadi From ISIS | Upsetment | Scoop.it
BAGHDAD, May 18 (Reuters) - A column of 3,000 Shi'ite militia fighters arrived at a military base near Ramadi on Monday as Baghdad moved to retake the western Iraqi city that has fallen to Islamic Sta
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Has anybody else noticed that Sadam was right? We are now mired in an endless and horrible war just as he predicted. Thanks neo-cons for your contribution to the world.

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Why the Gulf States No Longer Trust America

Why the Gulf States No Longer Trust America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Arab Gulf leaders meeting with President Barack Obama at Camp David this week are expected to seek big security guarantees from the United States. Some…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time that the United States stops trying to be the policeman of the world. It is not for us to provide security, especially not for theocracies and dictatorships. Neither is it up to the U.S. to stop terrorism. It is appropriate for us to help nations that are under attack and those facing not military style attack from within but rather barbaric attacks on civilians. But we have long since failed at being the beat cop. Besides which, the promise and possibility of democracy in the region will be greater if these countries must find loyalty among their own citizenry. Even as Tehran has expanded its disruptive role, it has been loosening the theocracy at home and reaching out to the U.S.. Why? Because it needs the support of its people. I am not saying disengage but rather engage more intelligently. By the way, did you listen to last night's It Matters Radio? We were discussing the Arab world and Islam. You can go to the show website and catch the podcast. www.itmattersradio.com

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UPDATE 1-McCain rejects Pentagon push for more Russian rocket engines

UPDATE 1-McCain rejects Pentagon push for more Russian rocket engines | Upsetment | Scoop.it
(Recasts and updates throughout with McCain statement)By Andrea ShalalWASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Armed ServicesCommittee Chairman John McCain on Wednesday rejected a requestby U.S.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So these large private corporations are buying rocket engines from Russia to then sell services to the U.S. government. Somehow given the tensions that exist between the U.S. and Russia at this time and the possibilities for competition in space, this seems an ill-advised approach. Perhaps we should be encouraging the American rocket engine industry. Of course that might mean rethinking priorities, such as getting the cheapest equipment possible (except when Congress wants to force incredibly expensive programs on the military). It might mean that we actually have to look at the fact that our government is terribly underfunded because of the foolishly low tax rates on the very wealthy. Yes, a little rethinking here please.

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Despots stunned as UK electorate actually votes to get rid of human rights | NewsBiscuit

Despots stunned as UK electorate actually votes to get rid of human rights | NewsBiscuit | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Despots from around the world have expressed shock as the UK electorate vote for the one party that wishes to scrap their human rights in an open and free election. At their annual gathering, leaders from countries such as Uzbekistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe and Kazakhstan all spoke of the difficulties they'd had in rigging elections so that they could continue to oppress their 'electorate', and how the British had now shown them a much simpler way.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Ordinarily I post satire in the "enjoy yourself" category, but given the way many Americans (and Europeans) talk about people who are "different," this seems more like a possible real news event than the satire that it is meant to be.

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Pakistan gunmen kill 45 on Karachi Ismaili Shia bus - BBC News

Pakistan gunmen kill 45 on Karachi Ismaili Shia bus - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Gunmen attack a bus in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least 45 Ismaili Shia Muslims.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Ismaili are a peaceful sect. While once quite dominant in Islam, this sub-sect of the Shia who revere the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader. They are very much about the symbolic and allegorical meaning of the Quran  as opposed to the more literal approach of the larger body of the Shia.

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When 8 Adults And 3 Children Are A Family

When 8 Adults And 3 Children Are A Family | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Justice Alito used them as a scare tactic, but why doesn’t the law recognize unusual family configurations?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The issue should be separated from what is a valid marriage. The idea of marriage is to create a simple legal solution to a basic pattern of relationship, one which involves property, tax status, and especially the raising of children (Yes, children in same-sex or hetro-sex marriages). When we get to intentional families, or even extended biological families, the issues of such civil rights would become muddied by making them all one concept. My cousins have no rights to what happens in my home nor I in theirs. The fact that we are family is irrelevant. If people live together as an intentional family, that doesn't create a legal status anymore than I would have legal status living in that cousin's home. I might be a lodger, even a loved and welcomed one, but still a lodger. While I agree that such a mutual agreement should be allowed bu the city of Hartford, I also recognize that the community has a right to limit the nature of such group dwellings. How to keep a religious commune or a fraternity house out when accepting such blended intentional-families becomes a tricky wicket, but the issue is not about marriage. Justice Alito was distorting the issues. Marriage is a contractual relationship between two people. That status is available to two people if they are of different races, religions, and obviously genders; so how does it change things to say that two people of that same gender can enter into the same class of contracts.

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Bird accused of working for Pakistani intelligence placed in custody 

Bird accused of working for Pakistani intelligence placed in custody  | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It was discovered on Wednesday near the Pakistan border by a 14-year-old boy whose suspicions were aroused when he spotted a stamped message in Urdu on its tail.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Bird brains.

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Selling Off Apache Holy Land

Selling Off Apache Holy Land | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What motivated Congress to give Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site, to a mining company that will certainly destroy it?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

American history is a study in the dynamic tension between idealism and greed. Sadly, greed is once again on the ascendency. If you ever travel to Globe, AZ or visit the San Carlos reservation, you will quickly realize that the unholy alliance of corporations and government has no concern for values or people but worships money. In the end, when the land is desolate and the people dying, what will money be worth?

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Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him

Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Justin Way was in bed with a knife. His girlfriend called a non-emergency number to try to get him into a hospital. Minutes later, cops shot him dead.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is becoming clear that  calling the cops for assistance is no longer such a good idea. "Serve and protect" has too often been replaced by "Stand your ground and kill the sucker".  I wonder how many police officers and retired police will be horrified by this story. Do note where the blood was, on the mattress, not on the walls or floor.

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Saving coffee from extinction - BBC News

Saving coffee from extinction - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Two billion cups of coffee are drunk around the world every day but scientists says the most popular species, Arabica, is under threat - they are now working to save it from extinction.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I worry a lot about the environment and climate change, but nothing scares me more than this. My coffee, not my coffee? Argh! Without my morning coffee my mind goes numb.

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Cleveland officer acquitted in killing of unarmed pair amid barrage of gunfire

Cleveland officer acquitted in killing of unarmed pair amid barrage of gunfire | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Michael Brelo fired repeatedly on Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after their car’s backfire was mistaken for gunshots in 2012. In the wake of the ruling, the Justice Department said it would review the case.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real crime is that we as a nation provide such poor care and supervision for our mentally ill and marginal citizens. These two "victims" were in need of care and supervision, but that is not and should not be the job of the police. Once the mindset of stopping them as potential gun-toting gangsters set in, the police could no more help themselves than could the two sad people in the car. It is time for us to ask how we can help the least among us with compassion, understanding, and effectiveness. It is not time to blame police officers for responding as they are trained to do. Of course, we also have to ask ourselves why Black Americans feel so threatened by the police and address the racism that definitely exists; but IMHO not every police reaction is based on race.

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Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment

Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment | Upsetment | Scoop.it
World Bank report says Israeli blockades, war and poor governance have left 43% of people out of work and the strip facing dangerous financial crisis
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Take Israel and Hamas, add International indifference and the despair of the people of Gaza, now throw in religion and a belief that suffering will be rewarded: what you have is a recipe for suicide. We are watching a small nation, Gaza, commit what amounts to just that, communal suicide. The question is whether that suicide will come from starvation or gunfire. Even if an NGO or even a government tries to intervene and halt the slide into poverty, between Hamas and Israel they will fail. If there is one thing to learn from this horror it is that God is not going to intervene, is not going to rescue these poor people from themselves and the forces surrounding their lives. Sorry, guys, but no parting of the sea, no fiery pillar, no plagues and burning bushes.

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White America’s Waco insanity: The shocking realities it ignores about racism & violence

White America’s Waco insanity: The shocking realities it ignores about racism & violence | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The response to the Twin Peaks shootout says everything you need to know about how white privilege really works
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While the police in Texas did a wonderful job of handling this explosive situation, the point Brittney Cooper makes about the way this extensive and explosive White criminal behavior was dealt with in comparison to the way police routinely respond to even a whiff of Black violence is damning of American law enforcement and reveals the extent of our racism as a country.

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Tomgram: William Astore, America's Mutant Military | TomDispatch

Tomgram: William Astore, America's Mutant Military | TomDispatch | Upsetment | Scoop.it

In September 2001, the Bush administration launched its “global war on terror,” to which its supporters later tried to attach names like “the long war” or “World War IV.” Their emphasis: that we were now engaged in nothing less than a multi-generational struggle without end.  (World War III had theoretically been the Cold War.)  In fact, only the “war on terror” would stick and, in 2009, even that would be tossed overboard when the Obama administration opted for a global war with no name at all.  Nonetheless, the idea that we were now in an eternal “wartime” became part of the post-9/11 atmosphere.  At the same time, George W. Bush famously called on Americans to act as if everything were normal -- to spend, vacation, and visit Disney World.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

A thought-provoking essay on the American government's journey into a state of perpetual war, a journey that makes this country a far greater threat to peace and stability than all the terrorist organizations in the world. Assuredly, the promise of a post-cold war world has been debased. The big question, which Mr. Astore has not answered, is "How do we right the situation and truly work to share the promise of freedom, human rights, and democratic processes with the rest of the world?" Assuredly, the answer is not at the control modules of drones.

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12 Years Later, a Mystery of Chemical Exposure in Iraq Clears Slightly

12 Years Later, a Mystery of Chemical Exposure in Iraq Clears Slightly | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Since moving abandoned barrels out of an Iraqi warehouse in 2003, a number of soldiers complained of health effects. But they found the Army evasive.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Second Iraq War was not only unnecessary but badly managed. Obviously if you believe there are poisonous weapons of mass destruction around, you don't send plain troops without protective suits and with no special training to empty weapons depots and warehouses. Just one more example of the incompetency of the Bush administration, of the bureaucratic dysfunction of our military, and of how disconnected from the common people our government has become. Of course there are risks in the military, but our troops are not expendable pawns who should sent to die for political stupidity. 

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VA improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says

VA improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An internal memo accuses agency leaders of leaving doors “wide open for fraud, waste and abuse.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:

For well over ten years it has been obvious that the VA is badly managed. For well over ten years it has been obvious that whistle blowers within the VA system have been either suppressed or ignored. For well over ten years, it has been clear that management of the system needs to be overhauled. What terrifies me is that now Congress is going to get involved. Seriously, instead of a real overhaul with clear new rules and mandates, the VA will get rhetoric and waste. Is it not time for our government to create commissions of competent professionals to provide administrative review of large programs like the VA or defense procurement? Perhaps we need to get ourselves some royal commissions from England. Seriously, included in my thinking is the use of experts not just from the States but from abroad. It might actually make a difference.

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10 members of Congress took trip secretly funded by foreign government

10 members of Congress took trip secretly funded by foreign government | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan paid for travel, rugs and other gifts for lawmakers, staffers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The role of money in our government stinks like fish that have rotted and then are shoved into our noses. I don't know if these members of congress knew they were taking from a foreign government. I don't know if they knew the value of the gifts they were given. What I do know is that members of congress should either pay for their own trips or the trips should be exclusively paid for by the government.

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'Creeping Sharia' Howls Its Way Back Into The Spotlight

'Creeping Sharia' Howls Its Way Back Into The Spotlight | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It's been a few months since talk of Muslim "no-go zones" was all the rage among conservative politicians and pundits, but the people in that same circle are starting to gin up fears of "creeping Sharia" law again.

The uptick in concern about the threat of Sharia law to the United States came even as some prominent conservatives surprisingly refused to lionize Pamela Geller, the notoriously anti-Muslim blogger who organized the Mohammad cartoon-drawing contest where two gunmen opened fire earli
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I wonder if sharia law will be a topic tomorrow evening, Thursday, May 14, at 9 PM Eastern U.S. Time, as I discuss Islam and the Rab World with noted Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi on It Matters Radio. http://www.itmattersradio.com

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