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Progress Kentucky activists behind McConnell tape, Democrat alleges

Progress Kentucky activists behind McConnell tape, Democrat alleges | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Members of the Democratic group Progress Kentucky were behind a recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign staff, a local Democrat says.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Now this is something I didn't expect. So if they were in the hallway and could hear the conversation would it be legal for them to record it? Certainly questionable ethics. As for the group, they sound about as relevant as the barnacles on the bottom of a boat.

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After Trump’s immigration order, anxiety grows in Florida’s farm fields

After Trump’s immigration order, anxiety grows in Florida’s farm fields | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Parks and schools are empty. Mass is filled. And most everyone is looking for a lawyer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As the grandson of four immigrants, I think these hardworking people who are providing so much of the labor in the American food industry should be encouraged to be here. Perhaps it's time to restructure our immigration system to make it easier for them to get working papers. That may not mean they get a path to citizenship, but they certainly are needed here. If the cost of picking vegetables, slaughtering and packing meat, and processing chickens goes up, not only will American consumers suffer but so will our exports. 
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A Dangerous Scam Is Lurking on Facebook. Here’s How to Avoid It

A Dangerous Scam Is Lurking on Facebook. Here’s How to Avoid It | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scammers create viral Facebook posts promising to help cancer patients that in turn are used to collect and sell information from users.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We all want to think of ourselves as compassionate, but on Facebook just as with real-life street beggars there are those with true need and those who are working the scam. That's why it's usually better to give to established charities in your community and not over the Internet or while driving by the street corner. 
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White House ‘blocks’ multiple reporters from attending press gaggle; other outlets boycott

White House ‘blocks’ multiple reporters from attending press gaggle; other outlets boycott | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The White House "blocked" multiple …
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder how my True[ supporting friends feel about this kind of attempted bullying of the news media. Is this the administration you thought you were voting for; one for which the press is the enemy? 
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Donald Trump moving forward with plans to kill National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and NPR

Donald Trump moving forward with plans to kill National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and NPR | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Federally funded art programs stand to be eliminated as part of 2018 budget.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Even the Roman emperors, even Hitler and Stalin, even Mao: almost all the dictators and worst people of all time knew that the arts were important and deserving of support. But not American conservatives. It surely isn't the paltry amount of money. I may be simply the idea of government. But, I suspect it is that the arts get people to think and wonder, and thinking and imagining are contrary to the simplistic, Christian authoritarianism of the American right. This is just getting sickening. 
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‘Absolutely False’: No Contact From Trump Administration, Archambault Says - Indian Country Media Network

‘Absolutely False’: No Contact From Trump Administration, Archambault Says - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault blasts Sean Spicer for saying Trump administration is 'in contact with all parties' on DAPL.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not sure that the Trump administration is lying as much as it is that they just don't see those who are in disagreement with them as "parties" or perhaps even as people. And, this raises 'uge, bigly problem, the ability of this administration to dehumanize and objectify others. Whether we are talking about the Sioux, the transgender, the Muslim, the Mexican, "we are all more nearly human than otherwise." That, by the way, is the real basis of democracy and of America, and this story is just one more example of how our way of life and values are now under attack. 
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The Travel Press is Reporting the 'Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in Tourism to the United States | Frommer's

The Travel Press is Reporting the 'Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in Tourism to the United States | Frommer's | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Experts across the travel industry are warning that masses of tourists are being scared away from vi
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Already over 6% drop in tourism, which is a labor intensive industry. I guess Mr. Trump will hire all those people put out of work in places like Orlando, Washington, and New York to work on his golf courses. And, folks, it isn't just Muslims who aren't coming here. This could be a big hit on our economy. 
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South Sudan Accused of Blocking Aid, Despite Famine

South Sudan Accused of Blocking Aid, Despite Famine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
UNMISS urges South Sudan's government to ensure aid agencies can reach starving people
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Over and over we see the capacity of humans for hatred. Why do we ask such questions as these:  What race are you? What tribe? What religion? What language do you speak? If there is a god, why did he create such cruelty in humanity? If there is not a god, when will we humans recognize that each and every one of us reflected in the eyes of a starving child? 
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Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Clean Up As Deadline Looms

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Clean Up As Deadline Looms | Upsetment | Scoop.it
They have until Wednesday to clean up and go home. Authorities want protesters off the land before the river thaws and floods the camp.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When that pipeline is build and when it leaks into the water, will those who are so determined to push the Native American protestors our of their camp be equally quick to help clean up that mess, that despoiling of the land? Somehow, I think not. Somehow, I think what is left of the EPA will make a small gesture and the Native population will get a couple months of bottled water. It seems our society of greed is not ready to learn that the earth must come first. 
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Trump's travel ban could prevent hundreds of medical students from landing hospital residencies

Trump's travel ban could prevent hundreds of medical students from landing hospital residencies | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Hospitals might be unfairly rejecting qualified medical students from residencies due to concerns over how President Trump's travel ban on seven majority Muslim countries could play out,

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not only has the Trump travel ban intimidated hospital administrators which might mean that some of the best foreign applicants for residencies may be rejected, but it means that the positive effect of having more physicians in those countries and more positive ties to the Unites States will be lost as well. So having invaded Iraq and created a failed state, the next Republican plan is to deny those of its citizens who might make a positive difference the opportunity to come here. And then there's Iran where we overthrew the government and imposed a brutal dictator. And then Afghanistan, where we've waged endless war not because of anything any Afghani did but because...well, why? Yep, and all three of those moves and this one were brought to us by our friends in the GOP.  For my part, I cannot see restricting the training of doctors, especially those from countries in which we have wreaked such havoc. 
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3 alternatives to two-state or one-state solution for Mideast peace

3 alternatives to two-state or one-state solution for Mideast peace | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his meeting in Washington, Israeli efforts have intensified to develop alternatives to the single-state or two-state solutions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Can there be an Israeli-Palestinian peace? It may require thinking outside the box. Here are some ideas. However, I don't see any of them dealing with Jerusalem, which is a major issue. How about a two state solution for the people in that city; that they could be citizens of either Israel or a Palestinian state and still be part of the city political process? How about a confederation of the two states with some federal government functions but separate voting and basic government services for each state? Well, what's your idea? Please, if you just want one or the other population to disappear or give up its identity, don't bother sharing that here. It isn't going to happen without genocide, and I have no use for that approach to any people. 
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Native History: Scalping of 10 Abenaki Celebrated; Where Did it Begin? - Indian Country Media Network

On February 20, 1725, a group of 88 scalp hunters led by John Lovewell attacked a band of Abenaki Indians living in a wigwam near Wakefield, N.H.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What do you think? Was scalping already a Native American customs or did it take the European idea of paying bounties for proof of death to create this barbaric practice? Can you imagine surviving being scalped? What a sense of horror, violation, helplessness and rage that must have produced. 
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How jails extort the poor

How jails extort the poor | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why do we jail people for being poor? Today, half a million Americans are in jail only because they can't afford to post bail, and still more are locked up because they can't pay their debt to the court, sometimes for things as minor as unpaid parking tickets. Salil Dudani shares stories from individuals who have experienced debtors' prison in Ferguson, Missouri, challenging us to think differently about how we punish the poor and marginalized.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
How much justice  is there in the criminal justice system? Often none. There is something so wrong in places such as Ferguson. It is time for America to reevaluate. 
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Oceans Are Losing Oxygen. Here’s Why That’s a Big Problem

Oceans Are Losing Oxygen. Here’s Why That’s a Big Problem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Oceans across the globe are slowly losing oxygen, a new study has found. That poses a major problem for every living marine animal.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Slowly but surely, earth is becoming less inhabitable, and we humans are a big part of the cause. We tell ourselves that we have a god-given right to go forth and multiply and rule the world when in fact we have an inherent responsibility to be part of the whole, to play a positive role in the bio system. 
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China is building its first military base in Africa. America should be very nervous.

China is building its first military base in Africa. America should be very nervous. | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Africa is likely to become one of the biggest stories of 2016, and not because of some horrific new disease or harrowing new war. Instead, an unprecedented new dynamic is about to shape the continent. The U.S. and China, major powers with a minor footprint, are both poised for much deeper and more direct involvement in African affairs.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
One thing I agree with Mr. Trump on, at least as I hear him saying it: Russia is not necessarily our enemy and China is definitely our competitor. The latter is especially true in Africa and potentially in South America. While the US has allowed itself to be bogged down in the Middle East and preoccupied with oil and Israel, the Middle Kingdom is looking to the future and to the rare metals to be found in underdeveloped nations. And, they are looking to the trade that will bring those rare metals to Beijing rather than to the rustbelt of America, where new technologies are often viewed with fear about jobs lost rather than possibilities opening. 

Where I disagree with Mr. Trump is that bluster, braggadocio, and the insulting of old friends is not the way to combat the threat of China or to change the direction of events with Russia. We need to have our allies join us in reaching out to the underdeveloped world. As for Russia, Putin would not have risen to such dictatorial powers had America recognized the Bear's legitimate spheres of influence. Syria, The Ukraine, and the oil rich areas of the Stans are all historically part of the Russian ambit. Certainly, we had no business in Afghanistan after the fall of Soviet Communism. 

Much work to do in the world, and I honestly doubt that Mr. T. (or his Secretary of State) is up to the task. Of course, Obama went with Hillary at State and (IMHO) she was one of the worst SoSs in history. No vision and no execution. Kerry was a bit better. However, it is time for a major reset of American foreign policy. Where better to start than in Djibouti. Located at the entry to the Red Sea and right across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait from Yemen and essential to the security of the African Horn. 
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Democrats brace for backlash as they vote on new party chairman

Democrats brace for backlash as they vote on new party chairman | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The next leader will take over a party that is financially drained but galvanized because of an unpopular Republican president.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is the Democratic Party capable of coming together with a clear, forward looking approach to the American electorate? Can the party find a chair that can unify the members, those who want change and those who just want to be pols? Can they find a chair acceptable to the same-old-same-old and to the Bernicrats? Will the Democratic Party rise from the debacle of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton? I hope so. Meanwhile, this article does a good job of bringing us up to date on the three major candidates left in the contest, Keith Ellison,, Thomas Perez, and the dark horse, Pete Buttigieg. In case your wondering whom I'd back, so am I. However much I like Ellison as a person, my tendency is to go with Buttiegieg so the fractured party can hope to come together. On the other hand, does he have the chops to actually lead? Perez can lead and get the money the party needs, but I fear he'd just mean more business as usual and we know how well that approach did in the last election. 
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10 Unique Newspaper Slogans - ODDEE

10 Unique Newspaper Slogans  - ODDEE | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From crudely xenophobic to funny, newspaper mottos are very often a reflection of the times.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With he Washington Post using its masthead slogan to take a stand, we have here a small collection of newspaper slogans with remembering for good or ill. 
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Shooting in Kansas bar sends shockwaves through India

Shooting in Kansas bar sends shockwaves through India | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Suspect Adam Purinton reportedly shouted ‘go back to your country’ before shooting dead Indian Srinivas Kuchibhotla
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Let's face it, guns, alcohol, and Alt_Right stupidity make for a dangerous cocktail. And, yes, the level of hate in this country is going up, not from Muslims and certainly not from engineers from India but from god-damned stupid Americans who think they're going to "take their country back." So horribly sad and dumb. 
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Homeopathic remedies harmed hundreds of babies, families say

Homeopathic remedies harmed hundreds of babies, families say | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Over a 10-year period, the FDA collected reports of “serious adverse events” in more than 370 children who had taken Hyland’s homeopathic teething products.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I won't say that homeopathic treatment makes no sense since we do have vaccination, allergy shots (which I suffered with as a kid and do question), and evidence that early exposure to dirt helps later health in kids. However, I do think that products marketed as medicines should be properly tested before being put on the market, but homeopathic products and other over-the-counter meds are put out there and can only be recalled if shown to cause serious problems. Somehow, that seems very wrong-way, especially when infants and toddlers' health are concerned. 
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Mexico: We 'Do Not Have to Accept' Trump's Deportation Rules

Mexico: We 'Do Not Have to Accept' Trump's Deportation Rules | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Mexico reacted with anger to what one official called "hostile" new U.S. immigration guidelines from the Trump administration.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Apparently the United States and Mexico are now living in parallel universes. With an uptick in emigration from the US (particularly to Canada) and stories like this one, we can see that it may be the US that has somehow found its way to a new dimension. Is this the dawning of the age of nefarious? 
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Fearing "feral hog apocalypse," Texas approves drastic measures

Fearing "feral hog apocalypse," Texas approves drastic measures | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has approved pesticide targeting wild pigs, but the move has upset hunters, who have gathered 12,000 signatures in opposition
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Anyone who is familiar with the Texas way can understand what's happening here. In Texas more than anywhere else in the US, except perhaps Wall Street, money is the only consideration for those who have the upper hand. In this case, the money is the cattle and farming industries. When money rules, decisions are always short-term and usually stupid because they don't consider the costs down the road. Obviously, there are better options, including trapping trying to use baited birth-control, and encouraging more hunting of wild pigs. 
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Will Trump's Hostility Drive Australia Closer to Asia?

Will Trump's Hostility Drive Australia Closer to Asia? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For many, the diplomatic debacle surrounding a phone conversation between the U.S. and Australian leaders should make Canberra sit up
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there is one issue on which the GOP has claimed superiority over the years, it has been national security. Somehow, I don't see the deterioration of many of our closes alliances during the first Trump month as being good for national security at all. As countries drift away from Washington-based alliances, much of our power in the world will go with them. For one thing, we will no longer have their fairly automatic support in the United Nations or their support when it comes to times of actual battle, as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Evidently, Mr. Trump doesn't know how to play well with others, and we desperately need a grownup on the playground. 
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If Your Child Has This Doll, You Should Get Rid of It Now

If Your Child Has This Doll, You Should Get Rid of It Now | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Tech news sites like PC Mag and even the BBC are reporting that, in Germany, the My Friend Cayla dolls are basically illegal. And that they put any child at risk for have his or her privacy invaded, since hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device that is embedded in the toy "to listen and talk to the child playing with it."

Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if they also have video cameras built in. All I know, if somebody gives your kid one of these dolls, I'd be very suspicious. Just exactly did they want to say, to hear, and perhaps even to watch? Creepy? Yeah, I'd say so.
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Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at reversing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the matter.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is a very stupid bird that shits in its own nest. When did the American eagle develop dementia? 
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Donald Trump's Demands on NATO Defense Spending Are Driving a Wedge Into Europe

Donald Trump's Demands on NATO Defense Spending Are Driving a Wedge Into Europe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Under pressure from the Trump administration to fulfil NATO's spending targets on defense or face the consequences, Europe turned inward
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Will the American position move us closer to a third world war and to the breaking up of alliances? Would a Nato commitment to helping avoid war in Africa and the Middle East be worth more in the end than buying more munitions, enriching the military-industrial complex, and creating a stockpile of weapons that can only be justified by fighting someone---anyone? Sure there are times when military actions are justifiable and can lead to good ends. Sadly, looking back at Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and other American adventurism of the past 70 years, I'm not sure that Washington can tell the difference between real need and a simple readiness to fight.  
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What happened when these restaurants lost their immigrant workers for real

What happened when these restaurants lost their immigrant workers for real | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Obviously, if you look at the chart in this article, you will see how important immigrant workers are to the restaurant and food industries. For some companies, this means exploiting those who are desperate; for others it means finding the workers that are needed from the people willing to do the jobs. Perhaps the real solution  is to allow aliens, including those living here illegally now, to get work permits. Then they can work, get paid, pay taxes, and have some security without being allowed to expect citizenship. My guess is that a lot of relatively innocent people would happily register for such work permits, and those permits should be independent of the employers so we don't create a serf system. 
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