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Hagel orders 20 percent cut in Pentagon top brass, senior civilians

The directive could force the Pentagon and military command staffs to shed 3,000 to 5,000 jobs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A good beginning, but it does remind of the question: What is the difference between the pentagon and kudzu? You can eventually cut back some of the kudzu.

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Upsetment
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More Jewish Settlers Move Into East Jerusalem Neighborhood

More Jewish Settlers Move Into East Jerusalem Neighborhood | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An earlier influx of settlers to the Silwan area had been condemned by the Obama administration as “provocative.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This gets really messy. They bought the buildings, which makes it their property and they have every legal right to turn them into Jewish buildings. BUT! My first but is about the people who sold the buildings, presumably Palestinians themselves. Were I an Arab, I'd want their heads on a platter for this betrayal. My second but is about the people moving there. Clearly, they are expecting this to lead to trouble and the eventual use of Israeli military and police force to expand their presence, and that is disgusting. I don't know which group makes me angrier; it seems that there are always those who want to fan the flames of rage in Jerusalem.

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Parkinson's Drugs Linked to Sex and Gambling Addictions

Parkinson's Drugs Linked to Sex and Gambling Addictions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists have new clues to what causes behaviors like pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping after a new study shows these behaviors may occur as the side effects of taking certain drugs, that affect dopamine in the brain.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Anyone who works with mental illness knows that dopamine is the neurotransmitter most likely to be involved in issues of impulse control and hallucination. Amphetamines are dopamine mimetic drugs, and we know what that using them does for many people. Clinical trials for any drug that acts within the brain should include careful attention to behavioral side effects.

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Pentagon plans Ebola domestic-response team of medical experts to aid doctors

Pentagon plans Ebola domestic-response team of medical experts to aid doctors | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The group of 30 medical experts would provide support for civilian doctors dealing with new cases.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I find this very troubling. The military should not be leading this effort, the CDC under the leadership of the Surgeon General should be carrying the ball. Of course, the Republican party pushed by the NRA have refused to confirm a Surgeon General leaving a gap, and the CDC, like most of the civil service, has become a bit creaky and overly bureaucratized, especially after all these years of out-sourcing and thereby making civil service reform hinge on the destruction of the unions instead of finding better ways. The result, that we need the military to take on such a major role in a domestic health situation implies that we are moving towards a military-dominated society, which may make the right wing happy but which certainly offends me and I hope you. I see this as a very real call to think about our government and how it is run. Your thoughts?

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The Black-Market Battleground

The Black-Market Battleground | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Degrading and destroying ISIS could take place in the halls of Sotheby's, not the Pentagon.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The looting of other cultures by imperialists, the theft of personal art by Nazis, the stealing from museums and archeological sites by terrorists: the culprit behind many of these acts has always been the auction houses and others who sell to collectors, and of course the collectors themselves who give no thought to the ethics of what they are doing. Until we are ready to punish the rich and their minions we cannot hope to stop such illicit trade or to stop such barbaric behavior. That our prisons are filled with poor people while the rich go scotfree is the underlying problem.

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Sheep munch through £4,000 of cannabis plants dumped in their field

Sheep munch through £4,000 of cannabis plants dumped in their field | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The animals accidental feast on the class B drug at Surrey farm
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Will their wool be made into psychedelic sweaters?

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Hamas leader urges Muslims to defend Jerusalem shrine from 'Israeli seizure'

Hamas leader urges Muslims to defend Jerusalem shrine from 'Israeli seizure' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
DOHA (Reuters) - The leader of the Palestinian group Hamas on Thursday called on Muslims to defend the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, saying Israel was trying to seize the site, revered in Islam
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As critical as I am of Israel, this is nothing but rabble rousing by Hamas. There  has been no attempt or plan to take over the mosque. Shame on Hamas, which should be trying to help the Palestinian people find a stable life path.

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U.S. Soldiers Get Just Four Hours of Ebola Training

U.S. Soldiers Get Just Four Hours of Ebola Training | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the U.S. military rushes to combat Ebola in West Africa, soldiers are receiving on-the-fly instructions on how to protect themselves against the deadly virus.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Agent Orange, depleted Uranium, insufficient body armor, vehicles susceptible to I.E.Ds, most recently the outdated poison gas uncovered in Iraq, and now lack of training for dealing with Ebola: am I the only one seeing a pattern here — a pattern of putting our troops in unreasonable and unnecessary harm's way? The military mindset is one in which our sons and daughters have no value beyond filling the rosters of the dead, maimed, sick, and disturbed. Shame on the Pentagon and shame on us for allowing it.

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Who's Behind The Whopping Six Figures Being Spent To Oust A Dem State Judge?

Who's Behind The Whopping Six Figures Being Spent To Oust A Dem State Judge? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A month ago, Missouri GOP prosecutor Brian Stumpe had less than $100 on hand in his campaign to unseat Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Now, just a few weeks later, he has received $100,000 -- all of it funneled into his campaign by a national group, the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has spent a total of $200,000 so far in this race for a single state judgeship.

So just what the heck is going on? Democrats and liberals on t
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When I see this kind of unusual spending on an election campaign to oust a person who has not been the object of any meaningful public criticism and when that money has come from outside and unnamed sources, my reaction is to vote for the incumbent. I certainly hope that the folks in Cole Country, Missouri will make it clear that money is not the determining factor in elections and that spending too much is a questionable practice.

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40,000 unprocessed Georgia voter registrations go to court | Al Jazeera America

40,000 unprocessed Georgia voter registrations go to court | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Group behind minority registration drive wants to know why Republican secretary of state has not added names to rolls
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is unconscionable. Not only do we need the Voters' Rights Act but we also need serious criminal penalties for anyone who interferes with the right to vote. Might I suggest that the election in Georgia be held with open voting for all or that it be delayed while the state functions under U.S. government control (yes, reconstruction) until a proper election be held.

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How Cities Have Gotten Creative With Red Light Camera Tickets

How Cities Have Gotten Creative With Red Light Camera Tickets | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Chicago shortened yellow lights and made millions
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I do not believe in trying to beat yellow lights, this seems to be defeating the purpose of having that short warning interval. In fact, it may make driving more dangerous as people will see yellow and accelerate to beat the shortened time. More importantly, it seems to me that the mindset of using fines as government income is destructive to the quality of governance and to the trust of citizens in their government. There is nothing worse for the long-run health of a political system than the creation of such distrust.

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The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Pentagon kept silent as munitions left over from Saddam Hussein’s war with Iran found new targets from 2004 to 2011: American and Iraqi troops.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As with Agent Orange in Vietnam, our service men and women had more to fear from the dishonesty of our own military in Iraq and with its unwillingness to recognize dangers to troops than from the enemy. At least when somebody is shooting at you, you can shoot back. But when your own leaders aren't telling you the truth, you just get to sit there and take it. Just another reason why we have to limit the military-industrial-espionage industry.

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Gun nuts’ powerful new enemy: How pediatricians are taking on the NRA

Gun nuts’ powerful new enemy: How pediatricians are taking on the NRA | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As more kids in U.S. die from guns than cancer, NRA is fighting basic safety measures. Now doctors are pushing back
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Some simple facts:

The U.S. firearms fatality rate among children under 15 years old is nearly 12 times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined, a stunning lapse of core government responsibility.About 3,000 children and teens die from gun injuries every year. (That exceeds one Sandy Hook Massacre every three days.)A child or teen dies or is injured every 30 minutes from guns.
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Edward Snowden Asks U.S. for a Fair Trial

Edward Snowden Asks U.S. for a Fair Trial | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor and infamous leaker of the agency’s massive surveillance program, is again asking the government to allow him to return to the United States and stand trial for his alleged crimes. In an exclusive video interview with The New Yorker on Saturday, Snowden said government officials had routinely declined his requests to allow him to come back and stand trial.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is Edward Snowden an American patriot or a traitor? Why not have a trial? Why not have the story told to the American people? So often we are told if we have nothing to hide we have no reason to fear the police (or the government). Well, if the government has nothing to hide, why are they afraid of us? Will we see even on candidate for federal office with guts enough to come out in favor of a public trial?

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Hong Kong Leader: We Can't Let Poor People Dominate Elections!

Hong Kong Leader: We Can't Let Poor People Dominate Elections! | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The chief executive of Hong Kong on Monday dismissed protesters' demand to allow the public to directly nominate candidates for the city's top post as unacceptable because it would allow poor people to dominate elections.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is the clearest statement I have seen of the reality that China has given up the illusion of democracy that underlay the peasants' support of the revolution. It is time for the people there to retake possession of their country and their lives. This should also be a warning to Americans (and Europeans) that the wealthy and powerful are almost always looking to take control of everything. Democracy may not be perfect, but it is better than oligarchy.

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Voyeur Case Spurs Rabbis to Add Post for Women

Voyeur Case Spurs Rabbis to Add Post for Women | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After a prominent modern Orthodox rabbi was charged with videotaping women as they disrobed for ritual baths, the council said it would add ombudswomen.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

That a commentator, the rabbinical council, and now the chief rabbinate even considered the question if these conversions were valid clearly raises  another question: Can Judaism ever get over its misogynism? Even more importantly, can these "leaders," men all, ever understand that a woman's faith is every bit as important as a man's. If a faith has any meaning it comes not from its rituals but from its congregants' belief.

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A Tiny Alaskan Island Halfway To Russia Could Decide Control Of The Senate

A Tiny Alaskan Island Halfway To Russia Could Decide Control Of The Senate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Russian fur traders came to Alaska's St. Paul Island, about 300 miles west of the Alaskan mainland and about 500 miles from Russia's easternmost coast, in the late 18th century. They enslaved the Aleut people, who lived in Siberia and on nearby islands, to hunt the fur seals that populate the island by the thousands. That is the only reason that this volcanic, treeless scrap of tundra in the middle of the Bering Sea became a permanent home for humans.

It was brought under U.S. control in 1870.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Far too many Americans only bother to vote when it is a presidential election. Far too many Americans don't realize that it does matter if they vote, that elections can hang on a very few votes. Many Americans don't take time to think about politics — the parties and the process — so they don't think it matters. Many Americans don't care except to complain that the system isn't working. Well, if you want it to change, get off your duff and do something. Get to the polls, but also take part in the process. Join one of the parties or an organization like Emily's List. Go to those local meetings and help shape events. Be active in your democracy or you will lose it to those willing to spend money on ads and to pass laws restricting your right to take part.

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U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Quite simply, when there are poor and hungry people in the US, when there are people trying to get into the States to escape the problems of  Central America, when there are allies like the Kurds who are in need, I cannot justify in my mind expending our charity and assistance to places where it will be abused or where people have to be bribed to allow our kindness. I can understand that in some instances for Britain and France as ex-colonial powers there might be a lingering desire to help in Syria or other such places, but I think it better to allow suffering on the ground rather than to in any way support ISIS or similar groups. Besides which, it is too easy for adi workers to become pawns and hostages. Your thoughts?

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Alex Dillon's curator insight, October 20, 9:39 PM

The aid being provided for civilians by Western countries like the US is intercepted by ISIS members and put towards their interests. This allows them to focus more money on their weapons with a free supply of food as well as money from bribes disguised as transportation costs.but there is a dilemma- if aid is continued, it falls into the hands of ISIS and helps them; if it is cut off,  then ISIS could use that against the US and turn its citizens away from us. There are benefits anc risks with each.

 

i don't know which would be the better solution. Both sides have factors that could create major problems. The risk of turning the citizens against the US and other helping countries is cancelled out by the risk of continued support to ISIS. It is a very tricky situation to navigate.

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Jesus painting, removed from school, now on lit sign

Jesus painting, removed from school, now on lit sign | Upsetment | Scoop.it
NEW CONCORD, Ohio — Almost a year after a painting of Jesus was removed from a high school here, a sign showing the same image is on private property in view of the school. The sign was finished Tuesday. It is
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I consider this atrocious art, the fact is the ACLU has no place telling schools what art they can display or what books they can read. As long as it is displayed or read as art and ideas not as "THE TRUTH." I am as against censorship from the left as much as I am against it from the right. I do wish the school system involved had stood up against the bullying.

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When the Ayatollah Said No to Nukes

When the Ayatollah Said No to Nukes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In an exclusive interview, a top Iranian official says that Khomeini personally stopped him from building Iran's WMD program.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can I prove that this piece is more accurate than the espionage community's assessments? No. On the other hand,  I have no reason to believe that the N.S.A., C.I.A., DOD Intelligence, etc. get much right. Perhaps the real problem is a mindset in Washington that cannot allow us to have real peace. Is Cuba our mortal enemy? Is Iran? After all those years, Nixon managed to go to China. Other than North Korea, which is a madman's fiefdom, do we really have enemies? Competitors of course, but real enemies?

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Uncle Sucker to the Rescue

Uncle Sucker to the Rescue | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Washington is making all its favorite mistakes in (another) Iraq war.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What this well written piece reminds us  and what most Americans have not yet understood is that the entire military-espionage community is devoted to creating war scenarios. War has become a major American industry and the real goal is simply to keep the country expending weapons and making noise. That it is in the long run absolutely foolhardy and designed to make the country a pariah never enters the minds of the people involved. It is a sad commentary on what Amerika has become. 

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FBI Chief: Your iPhone 6 Is a Threat

FBI Chief: Your iPhone 6 Is a Threat | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The FBI has long had the ability to tap into the nation's telephone exchanges. James Comey wants it to be able to access computer servers as well.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is very upsetting. The key to democracy is not government surveillance of the people but the ability of the people to see the government clearly.

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Voters are punishing Obama for this one economic failure

Voters are punishing Obama for this one economic failure | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Obama's economic performance has been middling compared with other presidents, except for one key thing.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Until we have a political party willing to address the issue of income distribution, willing to recognize that the concentration of wealth is the real issue in every system, nothing will be accomplished to address the stagnation of incomes.

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Cornel West was right all along: Why America needs a moment of clarity now

Cornel West was right all along: Why America needs a moment of clarity now | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It’s sad that it's come to this. But social justice in America is officially stunted -- and there's only one answer
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of the most articulate statements about the current status of race in America I've read in a long time, and that status is seriously out of whack. As long as we continue the delusion of a white race, which was actually the creation of early slave owners wanting to "import" non-slaves to help balance the population in early times, we will never have equality of opportunity or of justice in this country.

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“We hope they were duped”: How prosecutors gave banks the best “penalty” ever

“We hope they were duped”: How prosecutors gave banks the best “penalty” ever | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Wells Fargo engaged in awful, deceptive practices. For its sins, it engaged in a settlement that brought... profits
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of the proper functions of government is the protection of individuals from the predations of the dishonest be they other individuals or corporations. When a government can no longer provide that basic service it means that society needs to consider changing that government. Is it perhaps time for a change in the U.S.? I think so.

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Oil Tankers Leaking into Seattle’s Water

Oil Tankers Leaking into Seattle’s Water | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A highly flammable byproduct flowed from oil tankers into an area stormwater system for at least a year before state regulators inspected the problem.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Often we here how there are too many regulations and regulators strangling business. Here we see the other side of the problem: there are too many regulations and regulators for government to exercise proper supervision. Time to simplify regulation and enforcement by creating integrated systems for specific problems and industries. In the process, my guess is that most of the small businesses that actually get stifled will actually be given more freedom while real problems are addressed. Most important, we need better whistle-blower laws.

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