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Lebanon civil marriage raises hope for change

Lebanon civil marriage raises hope for change | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Ratification of country's first non-religious nuptial seen as step towards more secular society despite criticism.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While we in the U.S. and most of Europe battle over marriage equality for our gay and lesbian community, in the Middle East, to just get married without clergy is a major first step for civil rights. Congratulations to these two brave Lebanese Muslims, one Sunni and one Shia, whose love has taken precedence over the fractiousness of their respective religious communities.

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Missouri GOP Outraged About Voter Registration Booths In Ferguson

Missouri GOP Outraged About Voter Registration Booths In Ferguson | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It seems that some citizens of Ferguson want to increase the extremely low voter participation rate in Ferguson, and the Missouri GOP (or, at least the leadership) is not happy about that effort ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How does it fan racial tensions to suggest that the community register to vote? Why isn't the GOP suggesting that is the correct way to respond to injustice, to take control via the ballot box?

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Have You Ever Heard Of The Ludlow Massacre? You Might Be Shocked When You See What Happened.

Have You Ever Heard Of The Ludlow Massacre? You Might Be Shocked When You See What Happened. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Here’s a bit of history that you probably never learned in school.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When we think of Ferguson, it may be a good idea to remember how many Americans have died as a result of similar social issues. Be sure to join us on It Matters Radio Aug 28, when we'll be talking about the role of Africans at the time of the American Revolution. You may be very surprised.

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Mom seeks change after gay son rejected as eye donor

Mom seeks change after gay son rejected as eye donor | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A.J. Betts' heart, lungs and kidneys all went to needy recipients for lifesaving surgeries. But other tissues — such as bone, tendons and the corneas of his eyes — were rejected because A.J. was gay and had an unknown sexual history.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The sickness of homophobia will take years to eradicate. How sad a story.

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Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica

Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Facing the prospect of impossibly long waiting lists for organs, some have turned to an underground trade that pairs them with people willing to sell an organ.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you listened to It Matters Radio this past Thursday, you would know about the Iranian system which not only provides more than enough kidneys but also makes it affordable to donate. You would also know that the U.S. makes it extra difficult to donate kidneys, which is why this black market exists.

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Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joi...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While Mr. Paul has articulated the issues quite well, I think this is almost a universal concern in America today. The bureaucratization of government in general and the application of that unthinking bureaucratic dictum -- we must expand the growth of our role -- approach to law enforcement has made this moment, at which American values come into conflict with policing, inevitable. The best side libertarianism is the aversion to bureaucratic thinking. How do we make government more responsive to the people without losing those functions we need? It is time for a new management approach to public administration. Any suggestions for a better paradigm? I wish I had a simple answer. What I do know is that a police force which is measured by the number of arrests it makes will make arrests and the one that is measured by the number of false arrests it corrects will have fewer arrests but perhaps more justice. Funding should be based on performance, but performance has to be properly measured using appropriate metrics.

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In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest

In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Wesley Lowery, in Missouri covering the aftermath of a teen’s shooting, was detained by police Wednesday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This kind of abuse of police power should be a central concern to the people of America. It is becoming more and more apparent that there is a cancer in the Feguson PD. At what point is the governor of Missouri going to step in and demand a proper investigation? At what point is Gov. Jay Nixon going to take the situation in hand? At least he's talking about making a visit to the community, but will that include bringing state police in to oversee?

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Saudis Give $100 Million to U.N. Fight on Terrorism

Saudis Give $100 Million to U.N. Fight on Terrorism | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A large gift to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center as Islamist militant extremism hits ever closer to home.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Apparently, the royal house of Saudi Arabia continues to follow that fine line which allows it to continue as a "modern state" and to resist Islamic fundamentalism, much of which is germinated and expressed intellectually within the country's borders. So they help to fight ISIS and terrorism in general, stay mute on Gaza, but refuse to crackdown on the crackpot mullahs who want to bring the world back to false "traditional" values such as not allowing women any rights or respecting rights of other religions.

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LAPD fatally shoots man; family calls it unjustified

LAPD fatally shoots man; family calls it unjustified | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An unidentified person shot Monday night by a Los Angeles police officer in the Florence neighborhood has died, authorities said Tuesday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How often are the people who are killed by the police mentally challenged or mentally ill? Is there a reason that police cannot identify those whose erratic behavior may be without malice, criminality, or serious drug involvement? In point of fact, do those cops who do shoot (or use lasers on little kids or epileptics) care? It is a sad commentary on what is happening to our nation that the compassion of the cop on the beat has been replaced by the thuggery of the officer in a patrol car. The remedy would include more than just better training; it would mean spending more money on police salaries and the size of forces and stopping the crazy preoccupation with violence that starts with the War on Drugs and its creation of gangs and law enforcement-gang violence. We have convinced those who are there to protect and serve that they are in a struggle to save their own lives.

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Police Reportedly Refused Offer to Interview Man Who Was With Michael Brown During Shooting

Police Reportedly Refused Offer to Interview Man Who Was With Michael Brown During Shooting | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Early this morning, MSNBC posted an interview with Dorian Johnson, a 22-year-old from Ferguson, Missouri who says he was the other man walking with Michael Brown before the incident that led to Brown's death. The officer demanded that the two “get the f—k on the sidewalk,” Johnson says. “His exact...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is beginning to look very bad for the police involved. If they refuse to interview witnesses, they have in effect said they don't want to know the truth.

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Coaxing Fire and Police Staffs in Arizona to Cut Own Pensions

Coaxing Fire and Police Staffs in Arizona to Cut Own Pensions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
With many pension plans for the state’s police officers and firefighters underfunded, the firefighter association’s leader says his group must protect the public from financial ruin.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is one of those conservative idea wolves in responsible citizen sheep clothing. Do cities and other levels of government need to renegotiate their pension plans to stay solvent? Sure along with raising taxes to pay those obligations and not allowing pension funds to be raided by either the government or corporations that "manage them." However, let's be aware that many workers, especially fire and police, put themselves at incredible risk and often have careers cut short by injury, etc. Perhaps we should as a country begin adding to the Social Security taxes of high income earners to offset some of these public pensions for states , counties, and municipalities.

Oh, Mr. Jeffries has made a small political career out of challenging pensions of others and he has supported conservative, anti-tax candidates. I have to wonder if this position is actually his own unique thinking or if he has been receiving some kind of inducement from ALEC or the like. The Times should be looking at those questions before running this piece without.

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Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less

Democrats Pay Black Staffers 30% Less | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Campaign staffers who are people of color routinely get paid less than their white counterparts, and are often given less glamorous jobs. How an antiquated understanding of race relations results in minority staffers getting the short shrift.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Shame on the Democrats. Is this stupidity or racism? Of course, I don't know that the GOP is any different, but the Dems should know better.

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Do No (More) Harm

Do No (More) Harm | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Every time the U.S. touches the Middle East, it makes things worse. It's time to walk away and not look back.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We have certainly helped to create chaos in the Middle East, but having helped break it can we morally walk away? What options does the U.S. have? What options do the people of these various countries have? Certainly, the return to tyranny as government feels wrong be it in Iraq or Egypt or anywhere in the region. Theocracy that respects other religions and groups might work; Iran is at least stable. Democracy and nation building has proven a farce. My own view: a recognition of divisions and the creation of an International consortium to enforce the rights of nationalism and ethnic identity. That at least would be a starting point. Second, recognizing that the Sunni Shia split in the Muslim world is real and recognizing the inherent right of coreligionists to help one another. Underlying all of that is rejecting the leavings of the British (and to a lesser extent French and Russian) Empire which gave us artificial states. What do you think?

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Activist meets 'stolen grandson'

Activist meets 'stolen grandson' | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Argentine human rights activist Estela Carlotto has been reunited with her long-lost grandson for the first time since he was snatched by the 1970s military junta.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Argentina remains one of the best examples of what the horror of dictatorship can be. While we should be happy for this woman and her family, we must never forget that human rights must always be defended and enlarged because the alternative is so horribly sad.

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Pope lifts ban on 'left-wing' bishop

Pope lifts ban on 'left-wing' bishop | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is about time that the Catholic Church recognizes the Christian value of Liberation Theology. The beatification of Oscar Romero  is long overdue if you want the Church to represent the striving of decent, hard-working, but often poor people throughout the world. Next, perhaps we can have some recognition of the need for birth control. I have no doubt that were Jesus alive today and concerned as he was for people and especially those in need, he would be supporting Planned Parenthood and the use of prevention.

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Suspect in revenge killing of Palestinian teen hunted victim, prosecutors say

Suspect in revenge killing of Palestinian teen hunted victim, prosecutors say | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Man charged with killing Arab teen went on "hunting expedition"
Kenneth Weene's insight:

These scum deserve no mercy. Young? Insane? They are the dregs with neither the capacity for justice towards others nor empathy. Perhaps they could be sent to Guantanamo. Now, that might be a reasonable use for that cancer.

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Hamas says Israel must accept Palestinian demands or face long war

Hamas says Israel must accept Palestinian demands or face long war | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Asma Alsharif and Dan Williams CAIRO/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hamas rejected on Saturday as insufficient offers made in Cairo to Palestinian negotiators seeking to end Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, and raised the possibility of renewed fighting when the current truce expires. Israel said it had also not yet accepted any proposals made in the Egyptian-mediated talks but, like the Palestinians, its envoys would continue attending them on Sunday. Hamas, Gaza's dominant Islamist group, wants an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the coastal enclave lifted, as well as the establishment of a seaport and airport, as part of any enduring cessation of hostilities with the Jewish state. "Israel must accept the demands of the Palestinian people or face a long war," Osama Hamdan, the head of Hamas's foreign affairs, said on Facebook.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Israel cannot give up security and the Palestinian people cannot give up their freedom and economic self-determination. Both will have to recognize the legitimacy of the other is any peace is to come. A two state solution requires recognition that there are in fact two states, both worthy of respect and of safe borders.

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Pope Francis Visits 'Cemetery For Abortion Victims' in South Korea

Pope Francis Visits 'Cemetery For Abortion Victims' in South Korea | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It's a strong anti-abortion gesture
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I visited the U.S. military cemeteries in Belgium; they are much bigger, the crosses and stars much more substantial, but the existence of those fields of death do not deter us from making war. This maudlin gesture will not stop a single abortion. What stops abortion? Better sex education, better availability of contraception, clearer support of the sexual rights of women and especially their right to say no, and the best possible role-modeling from the community about how to be sexually responsible adults.

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Child's detention despite citizenship reveals immigration case woes

Child's detention despite citizenship reveals immigration case woes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An 11-year-old boy — one of hundreds who have been shuttled to an immigration detention facility in the middle of the New Mexican desert — was released this week after it was discovered that he is a U.S. citizen, according to the child's attorney.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When you tell a bureaucracy to hurry, this is the kind of mistake that is going to happen. Is this our better natures? Is this the shining city on the hill? While I believe have to protect our borders and to stop illegal immigration, the way to do it is through the best practices and with care and compassion.

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U.S. says siege of Iraqi mountain is over

U.S. says siege of Iraqi mountain is over | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Further intervention by U.S. forces is now far less likely
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This may be the dumbest move possible. It is only a matter of time before the ISIS inspired mobs return to their objective. Isn't anybody in Washington smart enough to recognize good tactics? "If they Americans are willing to use their power here, we'll forget about it for now and come back when they aren't looking." It doesn't get much simpler than that. If we wait until ISIS returns to the scene of the potential crime, it will be way to late. Does the U.S. ever finish anything? Even something that is just plain humanitarian?

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House GOP Campaign Arm Created Misleading Fake News Sites

House GOP Campaign Arm Created Misleading Fake News Sites | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The National Republican Campaign Committee has created fake news sites about House candidates, presumably to take advantage of readers who don't pay close attention to what news sources they read, National Journal reported.

Earlier this year, the NRCC got in some trouble for creating deceptive fake campaign sites for Democrats that ask people to contribute in order to help "defeat" the candidate.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Partisan reporting has always been a staple of American politics. However, never before the Internet was it so easy to hide the funding and the bias of a source. My assumption is that if I agree with the vast majority of the material from one source, it is probably skewed. That's why I use so many sources. Do you?

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Here’s How to Dig Out of This Stupid Sh*t U.S. Foreign Policy

Here’s How to Dig Out of This Stupid Sh*t U.S. Foreign Policy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
There’s a lot of trash talk at the top (Obama, Hillary, McCain) about what to do in the Middle East. Unfortunately it reflects shoddy leadership at every level.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The most important simple fact Mr. Gelb addresses is that the U.S. cannot run the world on its own. It is time to recognize the legitimate interests of other large and powerful countries. A second fact is that unity of purpose among nations can only be accomplished when there is an agreed upon great enemy and an agreed clear way to avoid greed in the outcome. To have that second agreement is the task of great diplomacy, which can never come from a country driven by lobbyists. We need a modern-day Cardinal Richelieu, somebody who can see the big picture and work unceasingly towards it. 

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“I just wish I could have been there to help him"

“I just wish I could have been there to help him" | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Mother of Missouri teen killed by police opens up
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If it turns out that the young man did nothing of significance to elicit this brutality, then it will not be enough to punish the cop(s) who pulled the trigger(s). The moment that somebody started the attempt to cover up the truth, they were complicit in the events. Somehow, his wrestling for a police weapon doesn't sound like the truth.

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How the U.S. Sold Out Indian Asylum Seekers on the Border

How the U.S. Sold Out Indian Asylum Seekers on the Border | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Dozens of Sikh men fleeing political persecution showed up on the Texas border last year—and U.S. immigration allegedly outed them to their home government.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In addition to being a clear violation of our laws, this act by ICE is against everything our country stands for. Perhaps we can send the people responsible to India or some other place and keep these Sikh refugees here, where they can become good American citizens. Don't get me wrong, I am pro India in most things, but I do know that in many areas the Sikhs face terrible treatment.

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Who is pulling the strings at the School Nutrition Association? | Al Jazeera America

Who is pulling the strings at the School Nutrition Association? | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why the largest school pizza supplier might be behind the school food lobby's scuffle with the first lady
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Profit margins are the nutritional necessity of corporations, but they should not affect the nutritional value of school lunches. Despite the Supreme Court of the U.S., quite simply, I never saw the place of a corporation in kindergarten.

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A Bite From This Tick Could Make You Severely Allergic to Red Meat

A Bite From This Tick Could Make You Severely Allergic to Red Meat | Upsetment | Scoop.it

 Doctors suddenly see hundreds of cases of this allergic reaction to red meat. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:

As a dedicated carnivore, this just sounds awful. It is also one strange sounding food allergy. Wow.

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