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U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistan

U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistan | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Obama, frustrated in his dealings with President Karzai, is considering speeding up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and even leaving no American troops after 2014.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

About time. The farce that has been America's Afgan policy has been a  waste of lives and treasure. As in Iraq, Bush and company got it totally wrong. Unlike Iraq, Obama has also made a botch of it by buying into the notion that we had some kind of "imperial" investment there. Our ownly goal should have been to get Bin Ladin and then to get out.

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31 scientific societies just told Congress to take their climate denial and shove it

31 scientific societies just told Congress to take their climate denial and shove it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An impressive 31 scientific societies issued a joint statement to Congress on global warming, but it won't have much impact.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is well-passed time for politicians to stop their denial of massive climate change. We need to do what we can to improve the future of the Earth and for the quality of life of generations to come—EVEN IF THAT MEANS CUTTING THE PROFITS OF TODAY.
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Trump Institute Offered Get-Rich Schemes With Plagiarized Lessons

Trump Institute Offered Get-Rich Schemes With Plagiarized Lessons | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The institute, to which Donald J. Trump lent his name in 2005, was owned by a couple accused of fraud, and its educational materials had been lifted from an old real estate manual.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Are we as a nation actually considering electing a con man to our highest office? Yes, we are. Why not? We've reduced our political process to a con game anyway. When will Americans take back their country from the scam artists and the money changers? Well, given the current election, maybe the answer is "Forget about it."
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Marines responding to Benghazi were held up by debate on weapons and uniforms, commander says

Marines responding to Benghazi were held up by debate on weapons and uniforms, commander says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Spain-based Marines trying to respond to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, were delayed for three hours as U.S. government officials debated whether they should wear their uniforms and carry weapons, according to Tuesday's report from the House Benghazi Committee.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This SNAFU, which cost little time but must have been irritating to the troops involved, seems to be the biggest finding from all the investigations of Benghazi. Seriously, maybe the GOP should work at investigating something worthwhile, like their party's nominating procedures or the influence of corporate money in Republican and Democratic politics. 
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What Does It Feel Like to Have Trichotillomania?

What Does It Feel Like to Have Trichotillomania? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For years, Cheryn Salazar never went anywhere without her makeup. Even in labor, she waddled over to the mirror to make sure her eyebrows were still drawn on. "It was like, ‘Don’t dab my brow
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Compulsive preening disorders like trichotillomania are some of the most powerful compulsions we have. Driven by a need to avoid looking bad, they like compulsive working out and eating disorders, can take over lives and can eventually even lead to serious physical illnesses to go along with the psychological torment. No, they are not a simple case of willful behavior. The combination of anxiety and fear that one somehow does not look right make body dysmorphia of any kind horrific. As with most behavioral expressed disorders, sharing recovery with others helps. 
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Refugees at highest ever level, reaching 65m, says UN - BBC News

Refugees at highest ever level, reaching 65m, says UN - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than 65m people worldwide are displaced by conflict and war, the UN refugee agency says, half from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The even more horrifying reality is that to be a refugee, you have to have fled your country; this number doesn't include the millions of displaced persons within countries like Syria and South Sudan where people have been running for their lives. We humans are brutish beasts and imposing so much suffering on our own species for what, in the pursuit of power and wealth, and at times in service to nasty critter god that we create in our own heads to justify our brutishness. 
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Gathering of Orthodox church leaders 12 centuries in the making falls apart - The Boston Globe

Gathering of Orthodox church leaders 12 centuries in the making falls apart - The Boston Globe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Orthodox Christian leaders meeting for a historic council aimed at promoting unity made a last-minute appeal Friday to the Russian Orthodox Church and three others to attend the gathering, the first such meeting in more than a millennium.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is difficult for most American and Western European Christians to fathom the deep divides that separate many of the Orthodox Church's sects. This article is, however, a good reminder that the ferocity of religious division is not only found in the Muslim world. Of course the vast majority of us believe that if there is a god then god's existence should bring humanity closer together rather than serving as a wedge between us. But, sadly there will always be those who think they alone can know the will of the "Almighty" Yeah, sure you do. 
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Middle East worst hit by rise in sand and dust storms - BBC News

Middle East worst hit by rise in sand and dust storms - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Middle East has been the worst hit by significant rise in sand and dust storms, with major impacts on human health, UN scientists say.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Meanwhile, how many people believe that there is no overpopulation problem, no climate change, no global warming, and well, like Alfred E. Newman, saying, "What me worry?" 
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Taliban use 'honey trap' boys to kill Afghan police

Taliban use 'honey trap' boys to kill Afghan police | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Taliban are using child sex slaves to mount crippling insider attacks on police in southern Afghanistan, exploiting the pervasive practice of "bacha bazi" -- paedophilic boy play -- to infiltrate security ranks, multiple officials and survivors of such assaults told AFP. The ancient custom
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Once again the United States has managed to find itself not simply on a wrong or evil side but on a side that disgusts (as does the enemy). Not to put a fine point on it, but Afghanistan is not a place where any sane foreign government would want to be involved. I must say, were I one of these boys, I'd kill as many as I could on both sides. First I'd kill the local police and then I'd turn my gun on the Taliban fighters when they arrived to "help" mop up the carnage. This is an incredibly sad and upsetting story. 
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Russian base in Tajikistan receives 100 vehicles

Russian base in Tajikistan receives 100 vehicles | Upsetment | Scoop.it
About 100 new vehicles, mostly BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and T-72B1 tanks, have reportedly been delivered to Russia's military base in Tajikistan.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While I fully understand Russia's concern about the violence in Afghanistan crossing the border into Tajikistan and think the Russians wise to upgrade their assistance to their ally, this move says something both about the failure of American policy in Afghanistan and the failure of America and Russia to develop a working partnership after the Cold War. My question: Can either Moscow or Washington function without have this dangerous enmity? Do these two great powers, like cops and robbers, need the enmity and lack of coordination between them to justify their endless waste in military spending? What if they agreed to work together in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere? Now that would be a different approach. 
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Latest group seeking to curb US gun violence: military veterans

Latest group seeking to curb US gun violence: military veterans | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Just two days before the Orlando shooting, a prestigious group of US military veterans launched a coalition to urge new policy actions 'to prevent gun tragedies.'
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This raises an interesting topic: How to people who have seen battle feel about gun regulation as opposed to those who have either not served or who have served but without battlefield experience. As one who has not been in the military, I claim no expertise on the way our veterans feel, but I would love to hear from you if you are a vet. Maybe you'd even be my guest on It Matters Radio. 
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Dutch Woman Convicted, Fined After Being Raped in Qatar

Dutch Woman Convicted, Fined After Being Raped in Qatar | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A woman walks along the waterfront against a backdrop of Doha, Qatar, May 14, 2010. A Dutch woman, imprisoned in Qatar for nearly three months for telling police she’d been raped, reportedly received a one-year suspended prison sentence.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Much of Islam is based on Arab culture, and particularly the way it treats women. I cannot fathom how any culture or religion can consider it a crime to be the victim of rape. Even if one condemns promiscuity, it is wrong and stupid to blame somebody who has been drugged or brutally raped for the actions of their attacker. Shame on the government of Qatar. They may have built a world class modern city, but morally they are living in the Dark Ages. 
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A young man is skinned alive. A sign of new Taliban brutality?

A young man is skinned alive. A sign of new Taliban brutality? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A cycle of rage and revenge keeps Afghanistan one of the world’s most dangerous countries.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The barbarity if some humans make it clear that a raging animal lies within our species.What reduces us to this level? Surely it is the force of madness, Surely it is the force of evil. Foul beasts abound in the modern age. We need no god to punish us; clearly we are preparing our self-destruction. Humanity they name is beast.
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For the Alt-Right, the Message Is in the Punctuation

For the Alt-Right, the Message Is in the Punctuation | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This is how a hate symbol rises in 2016: A podcast sound effect becomes a Twitter meme and a browser extension before it finally slithers into the physical world.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there's one thing I hate, it is meming, which my spell check wants to confuse with miming, which in turn is something I love. It is exactly that kind of confusion of meaning that I find in the world of memes, except the fun ones about cats. Don't get me wrong, in addition to mimes I also love graphic design. Show me a good book cover, a well done event poster, something that uses design to provide clear information, and I am delighted. Memes exist for the purpose of evoking emotions that are not clearly connected to the thought content of the communication. When in the hands of political extremists, they can contribute to rancor and civil disturbance. So, please join me in targeting memes and supporting mimes. 
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Birds’ Beaks Deformed in Alaska; Grants Help Researchers Investigate

Birds’ Beaks Deformed in Alaska; Grants Help Researchers Investigate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists in Alaska are studying ever-increasing beak deformities, and others are investigating climate change effects on songbirds.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
How sad that we humans have so disconnected ourselves and our ways from the animals with whom we share the earth. 
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Russia is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table

Russia is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, 51 mid-level officers at the U.S. State Department wrote a “dissent cable” arguing for the limited use of U.S. military force against t
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I have said all along that the US should recognize Russia's preeminence in Syria. Let the bear bear the brunt of the war, let him pull his hair out over the intransigence and eventually, he will, however reluctantly, agree that Assad has to go if there is to be peace. Let's assume that Moscow has learned something from Afghanistan, that their political will cannot be imposed on a nation that wants its own direction. Meanwhile, let's do all we can to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people and to support them without making this a Russian-American confrontation. 
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‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare

‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Over 85,000 have fled, with more expected to follow, as forces battle the Islamic State for the city.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If the United States and Western Europe want to create more jihadist groups in Iraq, this is the way to do it. By underfunding and under-supplying assistance to those displaced by the fight against ISIS, we create new cadres of dispossessed and angry refugees looking for an answer from Allah rather than believing in their fellow humans. Hell, maybe believing in a fictitious god is better than believing in humanity. 
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Bahrain revokes top Shia cleric Isa Qassim's citizenship - BBC News

Bahrain revokes top Shia cleric Isa Qassim's citizenship - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Bahrain strips the Sunni-ruled kingdom's most prominent Shia cleric of his citizenship, accusing him of promoting sectarianism.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This may be the dumbest move b any country in the world for today. In effect, the Sunni dominated government of Bahrain is challenging the majority of its people to give up their allegiance to their Shia beliefs, Can anybody there remember what happened to Iran? Can the government believe that in the face of the protests and uprisings that may well follow this feckless move the many banks and tourism businesses that have found a home in Manama won't get the heck out of Dodge? 
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Military aircraft accidents costing lives, billions

Military aircraft accidents costing lives, billions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A rash of recent military crashes has cost the lives of several service members as well as billions of dollars worth of damages.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The question is clear: Do we spend more money to build more planes and to train pilots mechanics and retain them, or do we cut back on the seemingly endless military commitments of the United States? I think the answer is probably both, but if we are going to spend money, let's take it from other wasteful expenditures of the military and espionage communities and not from infrastructure or other government programs. Most importantly, let's take a hard look at the money we are expending on other nations' militaries, especially their air forces. Are they really helping our national interest or just playing Washington for all they can get?`
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Here Are The Names of 630 Mass Shooting Victims

Here Are The Names of 630 Mass Shooting Victims | Upsetment | Scoop.it
These are the names of mass shooting victims killed in the United States since 1982. There have been at least 630 victims in 82 attacks
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Here are the names of 630 men, women, teens, children who died in mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982. It does not include those wounded. Let's stop to remember this tragic list of the dead and ask that we consider rational gun control including background checks, restrictions on some weapons and magazine capacities, and most importantly encouragement of research into the development of early identification and intervention for those most likely to use violence. Take time to read the list; seriously, stop to think about the dead. All too often it is the killers whom we remember and not the victims of such senseless violence. 
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GOP Makes 'Appalling' Pitch To LGBTs: Dems Are Choosing Muslims Over You

GOP Makes 'Appalling' Pitch To LGBTs: Dems Are Choosing Muslims Over You | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The same Republicans who have argued that gay couples should not be allowed to marry, that LGBT Americans don't need federal anti-discrimination protections and that trans people should not use the bathroom that matches their identity are now claiming that they -- not Democrats -- are the party on the LGBT community's side.

Their reasoning? That somehow, in the wake of the Orlando shooting at a gay night club that left 49 people dead, there's now a mutually exclusive choice between supporting Muslims and protecting gay people, and Democrats have chosen the former.

The unlovely premise of that rationale is that all Muslims are terrorists, as one Republican congressman has baldly stated.

"Democrats are in a perplexing position. On the one hand, they’re trying to appeal to the gay community, but, on the other hand, they’re trying to also appeal to the Muslim community, which, if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said on a radio show Thursday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The disgusting politics of division. I grew up in a country that celebrated diversity even while it opposed the rights of Blacks, gays, Native Americans, and Asians. We have moved forward towards fulfill our pledge of "E pluribus unum", and now the far right would have us turn our backs on that movement. Shame on them! 
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Hot Drinks a Probable Cancer Cause, Says WHO

Hot Drinks a Probable Cancer Cause, Says WHO | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In its latest report, the World Health Organization(WHO) reclassifies hot beverages, which include coffee, tea and mate, as probable cancer risk for people
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'll have to have a good cuppa and think about this one. Although, most of the time, my coffee and tea are well below their concern—149F (65C)—point before I take a swallow. More importantly, who can go through a day without a good cup and of course a great book. For the latter, visit http://www.kennethweene.com 
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The Muslims Are Coming! The Muslims Are Coming!

The Muslims Are Coming! The Muslims Are Coming! | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Muslims Are Coming! The Muslims Are Coming! « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
An interesting look at views of Islam in American history. Where do you stand on freedom? Are we a nation of religious freedom and appreciation of diversity or are we in the end xenophobic? In case there are any questions, I stand for inclusion and welcome the diversity of my neighbors as long as they respect me in the same way that I accept and respect them. 
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Orlando Shooting a Haunting Reminder of How Many Guns Are in America

The Orlando shooting underscores a simple, indisputable fact: The United States of America has a lot of guns
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Why are Americans so preoccupied with guns? Maybe it's time to take stock of our national mental health and question this need for weapons. Take a look at  how the rest of the world handles gun ownership. I'm not for gun confiscation, but maybe it's time for some reasonable controls. 
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Cruz Calls For Abandoning ‘Political Correctness’ In Wake Of Orlando

Cruz Calls For Abandoning ‘Political Correctness’ In Wake Of Orlando | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the country’s leaders must “abandon political correctness” in the wake of the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida over the weekend.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Will the GOP ever get it? It is not political correctness that keeps me from calling the horror of Orlando an Islamic Terrorist Attack, it is the absence of evidence. The Boston Marathon attack was Islamic Terrorism. 9/11 was assuredly Muslim Terrorism. The attack in Paris as well. This incident is more about a single paranoid personality who finally cracked all the way. There is no reason to believe he was particularly religious or that he had previously been involved in any plan. He was more of a grandiose idiot, the kind who wants to tell himself and others how central to big things he is. If we conflate the nut cases with the true terrorists we will end up failing to properly respond to either. In reality, we need to be vigilant about both. However he came up on the radar of the FBI, this guy should have been screened for mental illness as well as for political beliefs and associations. That is the real failure, the failure to understand that the mental health issues underlying such horrific acts are just as real and perhaps more dangerous than any political agendas. 
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Donald Trump Stole Wages from Hundreds of Workers: Report

Donald Trump Stole Wages from Hundreds of Workers: Report | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Republican presidential candidate Trump campaigns as a savior of the working class, but as a businessman he stole from its members.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you're a working person, you may want to read this before you decide to vote for Trump. 
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