Upsetment
28.4K views | +0 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
onto Upsetment
Scoop.it!

Nebraska Court Says Teen Must Obey Religious Beliefs Of Foster Parents And Not Have An Abortion -

Nebraska Court Says Teen Must Obey Religious Beliefs Of Foster Parents And Not Have An Abortion - | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A 16-year-old girl has been denied her constitutional right to choose to have an abortion by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

No matter how pro-life you may be, to allow state imposed foster parents impose their religious views on a young woman for whom they have no responsibility beyond age 18. There is a big difference between real parents who have an emotional commitment for the rest of a child's life and this situation. I suggest the kid run away to another state and ask for sanctuary.

more...
No comment yet.
Upsetment
Want to get upset? Here are some things to help.
Curated by Kenneth Weene
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump blasts congresswoman's claim that he told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed up for'; lawmaker pushes back

Trump blasts congresswoman's claim that he told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed up for'; lawmaker pushes back | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After facing criticism for not calling the families of four soldiers who died in combat, President Trump reached out to one of th
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Apparently, Mr. Trump did say this, which demonstrates his insensitivity but also his bluntness. While I would never say such a thing to the family of somebody killed in action, I would at some level be thinking it. As the commander of the armed forces, the POTUS should not, however, be saying things no matter how honest that will put off people from being willing to serve. 

What would you say if you were the person making that phone call from the Oval Office? I'd try to say as little as possible and to listen for a couple of minutes to the person at the other end talk about their loved one. 

As for Obama reaching out to General Kelly when that officer's son died, I hope that he did reach out. I do know that he invited the Kelly family to a Gold Star parents' breakfast. I also know that General Kelly does not like his son's death mentioned in public. 

Sadly, Mr. Trump at the very best lacks class and at the very least lacks any capacity to edit himself. How very sad. I would at this point vote him off the island.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

North Korea Says Nuclear War 'May Break Out Any Moment'

North Korea Says Nuclear War 'May Break Out Any Moment' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The rhetoric is typical for Pyongyang but adds to an uptick in tensions with the U.S.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Hopefully, the cooler heads of China and Russia will come up with a way to prevent war, but ultimately the real answer has to be including North Korea in the greater world and that means convincing Kim that he will not only keep his power but that he will be better off for the change. It also means that the United States has to admit that it no longer can dominate the world, as if it ever could. I know that Mr. Trump doesn't want to be the POTUS to recognize the end of the American Era, but it is time for that conceit to end and we should stop shouting "We're number one!" before the rest of the world does a number two on our heads. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Iraqi forces capture Kurdish-held sites

Iraqi forces capture Kurdish-held sites | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iraqi forces move on Kurdish-controlled areas, weeks after the region voted to secede from Iraq.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As is so often the case in the Middle East, the United States finds itself caught between allies who are on the edge of war. Clearly, the government in Baghdad doesn't want to have an open war with the Kurds nor they with the central government. Rather, they both want to negotiate a peace that would most likely produce some form of confederacy. However, the Shia militias are less willing to compromise with the Kurds if only because of Iran's interest in suppressing its own Kurdish minority and the Turkmen population of places like Kirkuk are much less willing to compromise with the Shia militias. 

By the way, the Kurds: while almost all are Muslim and mostly Sunni, some in Iran are Shia. And the school of Sunni Islam that is followed is different from most of the Sunni in Iraq. 

So will heavy fighting break out in the region of Kirkuk with its oil reserves? Hopefully not. But, if it does, American troops may well be caught between the groups which they have been advising. Washington's best hope is to broker that confederacy deal and fast, but to do that they will have to have the support of Tehran. Gosh, I am so tired of pointing out how important cooperation with Iran is for the future of American diplomacy. I do wish the people in D.C. would start listening instead of living in their comic book world or good guys and bad. 

Of course, if you've read Times To Try the Soul of Man, you know that I have a deep distrust of those folks inside the beltway.  Find the book at:
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden - Tsarizm

Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden - Tsarizm | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Chernobyl's Wild Animals Bring Radioactivity To Sweden. Wild Boar Found With 10 Times Safe Radiation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Just when you figure that we've seen all the horrors of the modern world a new terror comes down the pike. In this case it's the wild hogs migrating from the area of Chernobyl. Having fed on radioactive materials, these boars are walking sources of radiation. Kill and butcher a hog and potentially give a whole town cancer. I wonder if sows are passing along radioactivity to their litters. For how many generations is this danger going to continue? Clearly the stuff of science fiction and worse of reality. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Opinion | Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy

Opinion | Pierre Omidyar: 6 ways social media has become a direct threat to democracy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Social media was designed to bring us together. Instead, it’s tearing us apart.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I think this is well worth reading and thinking about. When you post, do you think about whether you are facilitating actual discussion and only sharing not just honest but truly representative and meaningful information or are you looking only to amplify your point of view and feed your own social media base? Those questions are important, especially to somebody like myself who posts a lot about issues of politics and foreign affairs. 

Of course, I am human and can get myself into a dark space, but I for one try to contribute to meaningful discussions of the world in which we live. In part that's because I'm a Broody New Englander and grew up revering the idea of the town meeting. 

So what is you goal in contributing political ideas on the social media? Do you look for real balance? Let's say that you're strongly opposed to Mr. Trump, do you ever find something that supports him that you feel called upon to share or to say in a thread? How about if you strongly support Mr. Trump, do you also admit to his flaws? Do you look for background or simply echo what the tip if the media is saying? 

Meanwhile, here's something we can all agree on: reading   Broody New Englander. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

America's shadow war in Africa

America's shadow war in Africa | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The U.S. has deployed at least 1,500 troops to the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions, with little public debate and what experts call an unclear strategy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We have become more and more involved in a never-ending war in Africa as Islamic militants push to convert and take over the countries in the arid Sahel and sub-Saharan regions. Sadly, not all the military operations in the world can end the ages-old belief of the Arab and other Muslim communities that theirs is a responsibility to force the Quran on others. Of course, the years of colonial rule followed by the chaos and for many the poverty of the post-independence years haven't helped. Sadly, the Euro-American response to this Islamic threat is military, which will surely backfire, but there is almost no growth of government, economy, or freedom in the countries involved so we are clearly going to lose the battle for hearts and minds. 

What would I be doing? Try to influence a change in the governments of the region by supporting those leaders who believed in democracy, education, freedom, and who were prepared to work for real economic growth, not simply getting wealth for themselves and their followers. While that kind of human-oriented policy might cost more, it might actually make a real difference. 

Of course, we are today seeing a growth in religiously dominated madness all over the world. Whether we are talking about the far-right Christians of America or the jihadists of the Middle East, or the Buddhists of Myanmar, all I see coming from such hyper-religiosity is pain, suffering, and hate. If there is a god, I cannot imagine that being sees much to like in the world of that being's creation. 

More and more, I think about Max, the defrocked priest in Widow's Walk. Haven't read it? You really should. https://www.amazon.com/Widows-Walk-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B004FN1VMO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces

Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Changes for “association health plans” may accomplish long-held GOP goals in the wake of failed repeal efforts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Some background on this:
"Back in 1992, the Government Accountability Office issued a scathing report on these multiple employer welfare arrangements (known as MEWAs; they’re pronounced “mee-wahs”) in which small businesses could pool funds to get the lower-cost insurance typically available only to large employers. These MEWAs, said the government, left at least 398,000 participants and their beneficiaries with more than $123 million in unpaid claims between January 1988 and June 1991."

So, it looks like Mr. Trump is setting millions of Americans up for a con game in which they think that they are being insured but in which there is no actual regulation requiring their medical bills be paid and no supervision of the offers being made. Can anybody say, Trump University?" 

Of course, this is a direct attack on states as governing bodies. While the GOP has a long history of criticizing the Dems for trying to overbear state governments, the goal of the Religious Right GOP is to subvert states and enhance local government at the country level. Don't understand, read more about—yep, I'm going to say it again—Reconstuctionist Theology. 

Oh, and one more thing, this is a clear attack on the Obama era requirements for things like birth control coverage. In effect, these associations won't be required to follow government rules. 

In effect, here's there Trump message: So, America, you want health insurance? You don't need it because your employers know better. You want government to function and take care of you? You don't need it because god is watching out for you. Hey, besides, the end times will come faster this way. 

Seriously and sadly, that is how I read these rune that may soon turn into ruins. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump wanted dramatic increase in nuclear arsenal in military meeting

Trump wanted dramatic increase in nuclear arsenal in military meeting | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal in a meeting with military leaders this summer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What we don't need is a POTUS determined to add more nuclear weapons to the world's supply. Of course, that's predicated on the POTUS being able to understand the goals of government and that those goals do not include the Apocalypse. This is just one more indicator to me that Mr. Trump is being led by the Reconstuctionist and Dispensationalist Christians, groups that are hoping for the end of the age of man and ushering in the New Kingdom. 

For me, this is a time to be scared, very scared. I see the influence of such "thinking" and I wonder how long before this nascent theocracy of Amerika will actually bring the world to the brink. Can the more rational and informed heads keep us safe? Can they keep the idiocy and moronic among us under control? We can only hope and if you wish pray. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’

Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump Touts Military Option for North Korea That Generals Warn Would Be ‘Horrific’ « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is no good military solution to anything, which is war should only be utilized as a last resort to avoid the intolerable. What we need is to come up with a viable way to connect economically with Pyongyang, a carrot to offer instead of waving the big stick. No, I don't think the offer of a Trump golf resort on the beach of Wonsan would be enough. However, they are a growing tech powerhouse and perhaps would want to join the world's economy if they could be sure of respect not only for their country but also for their form of government no matter how out of date such a de facto monarchy might seem. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

The Jones Act Waiver For Puerto Rico Just Expired And Won't Be Renewed

The Jones Act Waiver For Puerto Rico Just Expired And Won't Be Renewed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
That means the U.S. island decimated by Hurricane Maria will go back to paying double the shipping costs for food and supplies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I seldom find myself praising John McCain, but here I think he is absolutely right. One of the many reasons that Puerto Rico's economy has done so poorly in recent years is that shipping to and from the island is dominated by inefficient American lines that can hide behind the Jones Act to gouge the territory. That the hurricane has made things worse has just highlighted this poor law which harkens back to the mercantilism of Great Britain, which in turn was one cause of the American Revolution. Yeah, I'm a history buff. 

By the way, if you live in the greater Phoenix, AZ area on Sunday, Oct. 22, we are doing a benefit open mic for the people of Puerto Rico at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theater. 4-7 PM. You are welcome to come and take part or just to come be entertained. There are no fees, but donations are being requested to help our fellow Americans who are trying to survive on that island, which as Mr. Trump reminded us is surrounded by a big ocean an water. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

A Wayward Weedkiller Divides Farm Communities, Harms Wildlife

A Wayward Weedkiller Divides Farm Communities, Harms Wildlife | Upsetment | Scoop.it
When a drifting weedkiller hit America's farming heartland this summer, it damaged crops and friendships. The chemical could also be bad news for other vegetation, as well as bees and butterflies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While other countries, for best example The Netherlands,  improve agriculture without destroying nature, America keeps turning to companies like Monsanto that produce poisons and mutated seeds. Sure, for a while this chemical company approach can increase yields, but what does it do to our environment and perhaps also to our health as we eat that mutated food. Take corn, which was once a healthy staple. The kind we get now not so good for us. Soy beans, which most of us non-vegerearians don't eat per se that often but which is a major component of processed foods and is fed to much livestock is now under attack and I fear that soon we will have lost another good source of nutrition while killing off who knows what in nature. Is dicamba a new Agent Orange, something from which we will be suffering for years? 

Of course, this is the kind of thing that worries a Broody New Englander. If you want to get a sense of the New England I grew up loving, get the book at
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

A Struggle for Identity in a Forgotten Corner of Europe

A Struggle for Identity in a Forgotten Corner of Europe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Amid the ghosts of the past empires, residents of Gagauzia fight poverty and a loss of tradition to maintain their culture.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
During the lead-up to and subsequent fall  of the Soviet Union there came a breakup of many of its client states. Most notable for us was the dissolution  of Yugoslavia, which embroiled us in war in the Balkans. Then there was the breakup of Czechoslovakia and of course there was Rumania's split into Rumania and Moldova. (1992). However, even after all that splitting there are still regions that want their own independence. Gagaauzia is such a small region. Tucked inside Moldova, these people really identify more with Russia and to some degree Turkey. As a result, they struggle to maintain their language and their way of life. 

It fascinates me that in our world of growing interdependence and globalism there are still so many places where people crave such ethnic independence. For my part, I at once applaud such a sense of local identity and laugh at it. While Maine has never claimed such an independent ethnic or national identity, as a Broody New Englander I can truly appreciate some of that same sense of special separateness. Have you read the book?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Protect indigenous people to help fight climate change, says UN rapporteur

Protect indigenous people to help fight climate change, says UN rapporteur | Upsetment | Scoop.it
World leaders must do more to defend custodians of natural world whose lives are at risk from big business, says UN rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the end, we humans are not just despoiling our nest but devouring our mother, the earth. Overpopulation and consumption are outpacing the capacity of the world to meet our needs and those of other species. It is in the areas still controlled by indigenous peoples that there is at least some semblance of balance, and that is often failing. While I would not say abandon cities and go back to hunting and gathering, I would say it is time to rethink the land-grab that is civilization and to at least try to stop the steamroller that we call progress. 

I alway think back to the descriptions of the land that is now the United States and Canada when the first Europeans—after the Vikings that is—arrived. It was like a park in many places. The indigenous peoples knew how to live in harmony with their land, and for the most part with one another. Or consider the rather paradisiacal pre-European Hawaii, which of course we took over not just to raise pineapple but also to provide a first line of defense of our western shore, lot of good that did for the islands in 1941. 

I can't say that all indigenous peoples do the best job possible. I suppose you could, for example, consider the Pashtun the indigenous people of Afghanistan, and we can see how well they handle their lives...not. On the other hand, were not the Himalayans better managed by the Tibetans than the Chinese who have now taken over? 

At any rate, I ramble when I want to simply say that we must do more to defend the rights of indigenous people trying to save their territories from the encroachment of business and greed. 

Do you have a connection to this issue? If so, please contact us at www.itmattersradio.com and consider joining us on Walking on the Weene Side to discuss it. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

ME TOO: IS IT AMERICA OR THE NATURE OF HUMANS?

ME TOO: IS IT AMERICA OR THE NATURE OF HUMANS? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
So many women—and a few men—have been posting "Me too" on the social media. It's kind of horrifying
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So many women—and a few men—have been posting "Me too" on the social media. It's kind of horrifying to me, but as my wife has often said, she'd like to meet a woman who hasn't been sexually harassed. I don't want to say that such behavior from men is okay; IT ISN'T. However, it does seem to be so ubiquitous as to seem a part of our innate behavior, perhaps due to genetics or more likely social customs. While we can go after the turds like Weinstein, we really have to change our overall approach as a culture. How do we teach ourselves that respect for others is more important than libido? I don't mean the kind of phony desexualization that went on in Victorian times, when "proper women" were safe and prostitution was a major employment for most of the rest of the female population. 

Of one thing I am certain: Not discussing sexuality and the power of sexual urges is not a solution. We need to educate our children from an early age onward about their sexuality and about how we as a civilized people need to contain our impulses so that everybody feels safe and respected. Of course, that is an ideal. In my view that ideal is based not on some kind of religious values system but the simple rational need for a society in which individuals can flourish. 

The question I would ask each and every person, but especially my fellow men: Do you believe that somehow your needs are more important than the self-respect of others? Sadly, from many, the answer is too often yes. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump’s claim about predecessors, fallen troops disputed

Trump’s claim about predecessors, fallen troops disputed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For U.S. presidents, meeting the families of military personnel killed in war is about as wrenching as the presidency gets. President Donald Trump's suggestion Monday that his predecessors fell short in that duty brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I am not a veteran and have perhaps a more jaded view of the military than most, still I must admit that I'm appalled by Mr. Trump's inappropriate and untrue claims about his predecessors to defend against the obvious, that he had just not gotten around to sending those letters and probably had no intention of making those calls. After all, he had done the right thing once for the first fallen American soldier on his watch. Everybody knows that you don't repeat stuff in reality television. Not only did George W. Bush and Barack Obama reach out to the families of the fallen but so did their wives. Both of them respected those who sacrificed and those who served. To suggest otherwise is quite simply disgusting. 

His press secretary's later comment that he was stating a fact, when obviously she by then knew that it was not a fact, is only to compound what is an insult to every person who has served and to the families of all those who have died. 

Yuck!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake

This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A remote area of Kazakhstan was once home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear testing. The impact on its inhabitants has been devastating.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With two foolish leaders, one in North Korea and the other in Washington, talking about building more nuclear weapons, it's important to remember just how horrible those bombs can be. Is it that humans forget too easily or that we find a few leaders who just don't care what happens to other people? Assuredly we must all work together to end such weapons or our children will suffer their use. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Amman Design Fair pays homage to disappearing crafts

Amman Design Fair pays homage to disappearing crafts | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Amman Design Week, one of the budding events in the region, underscores the need to modernize traditional crafts with new design.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Perhaps individual lives are better when an area undergoes economic growth and modernity, but I always mourn the loss of traditional arts, crafts, skills, values, and ways of life. Consider the wonderful daggers made in Syria, glass blowing from the same place, the baskets of Jordan, or the carpets—yes the wonderful carpets of the Middle East. At least, somebody is trying to preserve those crafts, and I applaud her and her colleague. I wish I could get to Amman Design Week, but I'll just have to ask if anybody is able to attend, please share photographs of the wonderful things you find. 

Meanwhile, for another kind of wonderful, be sure to check out my books at http://www.kennethweene.com  
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

A healthy mom gives birth at a hospital. Days later, flesh-eating bacteria strikes.

A healthy mom gives birth at a hospital. Days later, flesh-eating bacteria strikes. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a recent lawsuit, the family says the hospital is to blame.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If the hospital and doctors are responsible for this woman's developing such a horrible infection, I cannot imagine what an appropriate settlement would look like. The cost of her care for the rest of her life, the cost of child care for the baby whom this lady cannot properly mother. The cost of adapting their home and vehicles. The cost to the husband/father's career from having to be home and to take care of wife and child. The loss of the ability to have other children. And the list goes on and on. And, since there is pretty good evidence that the damage resulted from a failure to look carefully, to remove part of the placenta and to take proper care of a wound, well, that makes the damage more egregious, not just the result of some opportunistic infection that snuck by the best efforts of the hospital to sanitize the delivery room or the like. 

Of course, some will say this is the result of socialized medicine in Canada, but note that the care given at the hospital to which she was ultimately brought was quite appropriate and very expensive. More likely, this is just one of those horror stories that happen when people don't do their jobs with care. Back to that law suit, I would say a trust fund that gave about $200, 000 a year would be appropriate with the capital going to the family after her death or if that death or 30 years, whichever came first. What do you think?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump’s Benghazi: Ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger goes unnoticed

Trump’s Benghazi: Ambush of U.S. soldiers in Niger goes unnoticed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Award-winning news and culture, features breaking news, in-depth reporting and criticism on politics, business, entertainment and technology.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
First, let's be clear, this military mission in Niger, which has never been authorized by Congress, did start under Mr. Obama; but things have clearly been going south since Mr. Trump took over and he has failed to make our men and women there safe. Worse, given his endless tweeting, he has neglected to express any concern about the situation or these deaths. A true POTUS takes responsibility and shows concern not just for their successes but also and perhaps even more so for their failures. Meanwhile, the US rains terror on so many places as if our terror isn't part of that which we most fear, the rage of humanity against itself. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort

Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A series a tweets marked the latest jab at Puerto Rico since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What is wrong with this man? He has absolutely no sense of the needs or worth of other humans. Is he really ready to abandon over three million Americans because they've been hit by a major natural disaster and are still reeling from it? And, yes, Puerto Rico was a disaster before the hurricane, but how much of that was caused by Washington? Many companies, including Trump's own, have failed to complete projects there with no federal reaction. The Jones Act adds to the price of everything brought in to the island and to everything the island tries to sell on the mainland. And, the government has done precious little to help bring industry to the island or even to spend on to help the tourism industry there. We as a nation should be ashamed that we have been such an irresponsible big-brother to this and our other territories. 

If you live in the greater Phoenix area, be sure to join us for a fund raising open mic at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theatre Center on Sunday, Oct, 22, 4-7 PM. Admission will be free, but we will be asking for your donations to help. 
more...
Occupy Hades's curator insight, October 12, 2:14 PM

This is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the US presidency.

Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Russia accuses U.S. of pretending to fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq

Russia accuses U.S. of pretending to fight Islamic State in Syria, Iraq | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Russia accused the United States on Tuesday of pretending to fight Islamic State and of deliberately reducing its air strikes in Iraq to allow the group's militants to stream into Syria to slow the Russian-backed advance of the Syrian army.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It would make great sense for the US to allow members of ISIS to escape from Iraq into Syria where they would add pressure on the Russians and their client Assad. However, it would also be one of most foolish ways to push yet another wedge between Washington and Moscow. Hopefully, ISIS will soon be defeated, but there will remain more than enough terrorists and crazed jihadists to go around and all governments will have to work together if terrorism is to be contained. Besides, isn't it time for America to give up its obsession with regime change in Syria or anywhere. That has been the biggest mistake in our foreign policy ever. Of course, there are times when humanitarian or possibly security concerns should take precedence in dealing with another country, but mostly I think we're better off just letting the world be no matter how much we dislike what others may do. We are no longer the city on the hill. Sadly, often America seems more like the shantytown in the holler.

If you like to read about the idealized America, you might read Broody New Englander. If you want more realistic views of how we function, check out Times to Try the Soul of Man, Widow's Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. All of which you can sample on my website: http://www.kennethweene.com  

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Nearly 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria, distributing aid across Puerto Rico is a mess

Nearly 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria, distributing aid across Puerto Rico is a mess | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Puerto Rico faces a logistical nightmare in getting aid to those in need weeks after Hurricane Maria knocked out power, communications and roads.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The aid Puerto Rico most needs now is not shipments of goods but help on the ground with distribution and repairing the infrastructure. There is a need for drivers who can deliver the supplies that are now building up and of course for workers who can clear and repair roads so those trucks can get through. Much of that aid should be coming via the US military. Hopefully, more boots will be landing on the ground and more resources will be directed to helping our fellow Americans. 

If you live in greater Phoenix,  AZ, we are doing a dedicated open mic at the Kax Stage of the Herberger Theatre on Sunday, Oct 22 (4-7 PM) to raise money for the island. Admission is free, but we will be asking donations. Come share your performance skills or just come to be entertained and bring some cash to add to the kitty as we try to do some good in this world. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

29 states have legal pot. Jeff Sessions wants to stamp it out, and he's closer than you think

29 states have legal pot. Jeff Sessions wants to stamp it out, and he's closer than you think | Upsetment | Scoop.it
One of the only thing stopping Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions from cracking down on medical pot is an obscure budget amendment passed almost as an afterthought late in the Obama administration. Now Congress may rescind it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the face of all the evidence that medical use of marijuana helps people and the growing evidence that legalizing pot doesn't increase but rather decreases drug related problems, Mr. Sessions remains determined to destroy those who use and those who advocate for the its use. One has to wonder from whence this zealotry comes. It reminds me of the prohibitionists at their most zealous and we all know how well prohibition did for this country. It is closed-minded authoritarian thinking like the Attorney General's that most scares me about the American right. Heck, even many GOP pols agree that at least medical use of pot should be protected. 

All of this brings up a simple fact of life: Laws, even the best laws, can be repealed by the simplest of political processes. So, we have a situation in which guns are protected as if writ by the hand of god because they are in the constitution but normal human choices such as using reasonable drugs or having necessary abortions are open to the whim of the political process. Should a law once passed be open to such easy change or should it require more than a simple majority to change laws once they are established? Yes, that would included the Affordable Care Act, but it would also have included many other laws passed over the years. Perhaps part of the reason that America feels like a drunk lurching from lamppost to lamppost is that we have no keel of stability to our lawmaking process. 

I wish the constitution could be amended to provide just such protection for laws so that they would require say a 2/3 vote to overturn what has already been set into law. Just one more platform for the third party I would want to see come forward. 

Of course, I grew up thinking that the town meeting was the highest form of political process, one of the topics explored in Broody New Englander. Have you read it? Here's a trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYVKuPyM_rY 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

3 ways Obamacare changed birth control

3 ways Obamacare changed birth control | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Trump administration issued a rule Friday that makes it easier for more employers and organizations to drop coverage of contraceptive services from health insurance plans for religious reasons. Critics say that it is possible hundreds of employers could take advantage of the rule.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While it is questionable if the Obamacare mandates on birth control expanded use, it certainly reduced out-of-pocket expense for many women. And, we do know that contraceptive availability lowers the rates of unwanted pregnancy. So why role back that mandate and make life just a bit harder for many women? Quite simply, and I will keep pointing this out, there is a Reconstructionist Christian underlay to this administration. I don't know how they have captured Mr. Trump, who I honestly see as a know-nothing and think-less POTUS, but that theocratic wing of the GOP is pushing us towards many unhealthy cliffs. As Mr. Trump feeds them, and feed that wing of his base he must, there will probably be many questionable little decisions made. Among these will be destruction of public education, allowing greater freedom to local policing—yes which means more issues of race in many places—allowing more misuse of public lands, and of course cutting the role of federal government except in defense, but there will be an increase in federal combativeness towards regimes that don't support Christianity, except where Mr. Trump sees money, that being his personal motivational force. Anyway, you heard it from me, so you can listen to the prophecy based on historical reasoning and insight or turn away. Your choice. I don't speak for some god. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Iceland PM sold bank assets hours before financial crash, leaks show

Iceland PM sold bank assets hours before financial crash, leaks show | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Exclusive: Bjarni Benediktsson, current Iceland leader, sold millions of króna of Glitnir assets before state took control in 2008
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love Iceland and have to quickly mention the art there, which is seen behind the current prime minister in the attached photo. Because of that love for the country, I was particularly heartened when it took down the banks and bankers in response to the worldwide financial scandal of 2008. Therefore, I am terribly saddened to see that Mr. Benediktsson apparently used his insider knowledge from the government to protect his own wealth. That plus his father's rather questionable behavior in writing a letter of support for a know-pedophile are more than enough reason for a change of leadership. It seems to me that even in the best of places such as Iceland finding good leaders is getting very difficult. Ours is a species driven far too often by greed. 
more...
No comment yet.