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Japan Stepping In to Help Clean Up Atomic Plant

Japan Stepping In to Help Clean Up Atomic Plant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for intervention as concern grew over new contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi plant into the Pacific Ocean.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I'd call this too little too late.

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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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Child’s Play: Team Trump Rewrites a Department of Energy Website for Kids

Child’s Play: Team Trump Rewrites a Department of Energy Website for Kids | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Effort meant to inform younger generations about energy and the environment sees sentences reworked and pie charts eliminated.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not all of the changes are terrible. Obviously, the previous owners of the website had overused the word impact. However, the overall effect is to tell kids that using coal is just fine and using fossil fuels is not an issue. While the administration would try to tell us that such changes are neither political nor a problem, I think this quote from the article reminds us otherwise.

"Since Trump took office, various government websites have been changed or taken down — such as climate change information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s site and an entire page dedicated to LGBT issues on whitehouse.gov."
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Can crunchy caterpillars help tackle malnutrition in Burkina Faso?

Can crunchy caterpillars help tackle malnutrition in Burkina Faso? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
With acute malnutrition affecting more than 10% of people in Burkina Faso, an innovative startup is mass-producing dried shea caterpillars high in protein
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if they are coming out with chocolate covered caterpillars for us spoiled westerners. I also wonder how the birds of Burkina Faso feel about this. With just about 17 million people, this landlocked country has been suffering drought which has affected both nutrition and export earnings. Over 10% of the populations suffers from serious malnutrition. At least these caterpillars are a small step towards feeding them. 
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Will Raqqa be site for clash of titan generals?

Will Raqqa be site for clash of titan generals? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Two admired military heroes of Iran and Turkey, both commanding elite military units in Iraq and Syria, could wind up confronting each other in northern Syria.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Will Syria bring the Shiite—Sunni conflict to its head? Even on the same side, the two branches of Islam are at odds and two military leaders are primed to face off. The defeat of ISIS could be the beginning of something very bad. When I hear talk of American boots being on the ground in Styria, all I can do is shudder. 
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CNN en Español kicked off air in Venezuela

CNN en Español kicked off air in Venezuela | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Venezuelan government Wednesday ordered cable providers to take CNN en Español off the air, days after CNN aired an investigation into the alleged fraudulent issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't know what the truth is, but my guess is that CNN did the job correctly. Apparently, American officials have known about this practice of selling passports for over a decade. Another bigly problem for the Trump administration, one that can no longer be ignored as it was by George W and Obama administrations; for that thanks again to CNN. 
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Species’ traits influenced their response to recent climate change

Species’ traits influenced their response to recent climate change | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"The results suggest that the impact of climate change on mammals and birds in the recent past is currently greatly underappreciated: large numbers of threatened species have already been impacted in at least part of their range."

Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the face of climate change, let's think about biodiversity. This is a worrisome article, but worth reading. 
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Chaffetz asks Trump for information about Mar-a-Lago security

Chaffetz asks Trump for information about Mar-a-Lago security | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Chaffetz asked Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to describe security protocols at Mar-a-Lago, including whether guests and staff are vetted and the classification level of the documents Trump reviewed on the terrace.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if they will ask Obama or even George W. how this situation would have been handled during their administrations, just so there is a clear standard against which judgments can be made. I'm going to guess that there was no vetting of the people on that patio; nor was there in restaurants when the Obamas would go out to eat. However, the discussion should have not taken place, just as 43 kept trying to read to the little kids on 9/11 and waited a short time before taking off. I keep asking myself, is Trump ready to do the job? Sadly, I keep answering, NO! 

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You’re more likely to die from air pollution in India than China, study says

You’re more likely to die from air pollution in India than China, study says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new study finds that air-pollution levels have risen dramatically across northern India and Bangladesh since 2010.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Speaking of pollution, while the Chinese are at least trying to clean up their act, it seems that India's air is getting dirtier. I've been to New Delhi, and let me say it was hard to breathe, very hard and that was some time back. 
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Police Chiefs Say Trump’s Law Enforcement Priorities Are Out of Step

Police Chiefs Say Trump’s Law Enforcement Priorities Are Out of Step | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police chiefs and prosecutors fear reliance on punitive tactics will erode trust and cause more problems than they solve.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We finally got rid of Joe Arpaio here in Maricopa County, Arizona. The last thing we need is POTUS ginning up the same kind of divisive, abusive, and failed policing approaches that Arpaio pursued. One of the major criticisms: by attacking the undocumented Hispanics indiscriminately, we lose the willingness of people to work with law enforcement.  
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Bernie Sanders cries foul over canceled town hall meeting in West Virginia

Bernie Sanders cries foul over canceled town hall meeting in West Virginia | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The town hall meeting was set to be held in McDowell County, the poorest part of West Virginia, with the highest rate of drug overdose in the state and the lowest life expectancy of any county in the United States.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Should national guard armories be open for political events, which this clearly was intended to be? If they should, who should be allowed to determine which events are okay and which are not? The holding of rallies and town halls is not just a normal part of politics but is essential to the health of the system. On the other hand, such large events can lead to uproar and action. Hmm. My view is that the benefits outweigh the negatives and government-based facilities like armories should be available to established organizations. What do you think?
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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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Migrants Choose Arrest In Canada Over Staying In The U.S.

Migrants Choose Arrest In Canada Over Staying In The U.S. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A rural road in northern New York has become a magnet for migrants who no longer want to stay in the U.S. Growing numbers are stepping into Canada, knowing Mounties immediately will arrest them.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
My take: people like these refugees from American anti-Hispanic prejudice will make great contributions for our neighbor to the north. How sad that they have to flee this way to find the simple security that every human deserves. 
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Cummings: ‘No idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today’

Cummings: ‘No idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Democratic congressman from Baltimore emphatically denied he canceled a meeting with President Trump for political reasons.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not to worry Congressman Cummings, the rest of us have nod idea why Mr. Trump says what he does about anything, and it is getting a bit confusing. Also, don't keep jacket on waiting for his call to a meeting; I don't see him interested in meeting with anyone who isn't syntonwc with his delusional set, whatever that may be. Are we getting scared yet? 
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Analysis | Trump’s claim that there’s ‘tremendous amount of increase’ in autism cases

Analysis | Trump’s claim that there’s ‘tremendous amount of increase’ in autism cases | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump characterized autism as an increasingly common disorder, but there’s not enough research and no medical consensus to determine that.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There are a few factors at play here. First, more parents (and educators) are looking for diagnoses so that kids can receive special help, even some kids who probably don't need that extra assistance. Second, the criteria for the diagnosis of autism (or at least the spectrum) have become much broader in part due to greater awareness of the problems of children but also in part due to the pressure of those parents and educators. Third, whenever a kid has difficulties of any kind there is now a propensity to see this as a mental health issue when those same kids used to be seen as behavioral problems. Take Mr. Trump as an example. As a kid, he was sent off to a military school because he had some issues. Today, he would be given a diagnosis, pills, and have a plan drawn up to meet his special needs. 

How do vaccines fit into this? Minimally at best. There is little to no evidence that they create mental health or developmental issues and a heck of a lot of evidence that they prevent a lot of health problems. 
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Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump

Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Moscow is believed to have two battalions of the ground-based missile, and it has moved forward despite U.S. protests, administration officials say.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is certainly a serious matter. I have long hoped that Russia and the United States could reach a mutually beneficial agreement, one that recognized Russia as a major power with its own areas of influence and as a partner in creating a peaceful world order. I'm not sure what Mr. Putin's goals are, but my guess is he feels the same way about the United States's intentions—wary and uncertain. After all, we have pursued a policy of building missile defenses around Russia for years and that has to threaten Moscow. I may seem naive, but I honestly think that the US and Russia have more reason to find common ground than to go back to the Cold War and waste our nations' resources that could be used for good. 
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The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In effect we used a dangrous chemical weapon even while we were condemning the use of other such weapons, chlorine gas for one, by the Syrian government. It's time for the American military to clean up its act or we will become the pariah of the world, assuming we aren't already. (Sorry if you can't open this article, but you can sign in using Facebook or other social media accounts.) Is this a war crime? I think it is. 
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Oklahoma lawmakers debate bill requiring men's permission for abortion (+video)

Oklahoma lawmakers debate bill requiring men's permission for abortion (+video) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
HB 1441 would require a woman seeking an abortion to obtain written permission from her sexual partner.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
And exactly what responsibilities will the man have if the child is born? Will he have to notify sexual partners that he has had a child "against the wishes of the woman"? Will he be required to provide for the child materially and also emotionally? If we equate the sperm not just with the egg but the entire gestational, birthing, and raising contribution of the mother, then we surely had best punish any many who wastes something so valuable. Or, we could perhaps start respect the fact that women should control their own lives even if some women may make decisions we wish they didn't. 
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Desperate Chinese Snap Up Dubious 'Anti-Pollution' Products

Desperate Chinese Snap Up Dubious 'Anti-Pollution' Products | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From antismog tea to water cannons designed to blast particles out of the air, there's a buck to be made from China's pollution
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I want to burn anti-smog incense and drink kumquat and red date tea before I go out hunting smokies with my water cannon. Meanwhile, what the smog of China is doing to the people there, well that is a horrible thought. What the greedy are trying to sell them, well that is a study in human nature.
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The Blackwater of Jihad

The Blackwater of Jihad | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Blackwater of Jihad « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Good to see that the call for mercenaries is increasing. (Sarcasm intended there.) Not surprisingly, as countries like Russia and the U.S. insist on training special ops, there will be those who go on into the private sector. I wonder if the US could hire Malhama Tactical to fight against ISIS instead of for them. On the other hand, will American ex-soldiers be attracted to work for MT in places like Libya and Yemen? Maybe training jihadists in America. A new scary reality in our world. 
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