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Unrequired reading

Unrequired reading | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Many of the thousands of reports mandated by Congress will only gather dust.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Note: "In the past few years, both the Obama administration and several members of Congress have tried to reform this system. In the process, they have demonstrated how hard it is to reform."

Yes, it is time to make the government more efficient. Think of what greater uses to which these resources could go, perhaps repairing bridges and roads.

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NATO Weighs Rapid Response Force for Eastern Europe

NATO Weighs Rapid Response Force for Eastern Europe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
NATO leaders are expected to respond to increased Russian intervention in Ukraine by establishing a force capable of deploying quickly to Eastern Europe.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I find myself very mixed over this idea. Will 5, 000 troops make a real difference? How many of them will be Americans sent to police the world? Will this in any way help Ukraine? At the same time, there does have to be a sense that Europe is ready to defend itself.

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Putin Threatens Nuclear War Over Ukraine

Putin Threatens Nuclear War Over Ukraine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Raising the spectre of nuclear war over Ukraine, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is playing a new, and dangerous, game.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This may be the most foolish thing Mr. Putin could have said since it will assuredly end any support from China and alienate even farther the ex-soviet countries that have large Russian populations. I wonder at what point those countries are going to sign a treaty — perhaps secret — to protect one another from this bully. Meanwhile, I trust that the other nuclear powers, particularly the U.S., will refrain from saber rattling. It won't help, but will give Putin more support at home.

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

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

In honor of the Laboring men and women who built this country, let us remember their sacrifices and the battle they had to fight for dignity and rights. (Be sure to listen to the song. )

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Mitch McConnell campaign manager resigns in fallout from Iowa case

Mitch McConnell campaign manager resigns in fallout from Iowa case | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , locked in a fierce reelection fight in Kentucky, lost the services Friday of his tea party -allied campaign manager, who abruptly quit over a scandal involving the 2012 Iowa presidential caucuses.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I don't know why this is, but have you noticed that the same few political operatives keep showing up on the radar? Have you noticed that many of them seem to have clouds of questions about ethics and values over their heads? Is there something wrong with American politics? What should we do to change it?

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The Political Magic of Roads

The Political Magic of Roads | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Is real democracy possible without highways?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Actually, as Hitler realized and then Eisenhower after him, the existence of good roads builds national identity and allows for economic (and military) responsiveness. They also make people aware that the government is functional and important in their lives. Infrastructure is a necessity for a modern state, democratic, autocratic, or whatever. It is a major argument against anarchy or libertarianism. How are the roads near you? What infrastructure is most in need of work? For me, I think our railroads are in great need of help. Here in Arizona, the legislature has been remiss in funding for road repairs. In the father reaches of the state, there will be years before a road can be reconditioned, which means they will eventually have to be rebuilt. Of course, we don't have to worry about bridges the way much of the country does.

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The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Feds call it “twelve triple three”; whistleblowers says it's the heart of the problem.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

For all my libertarian friends and those concerned with government excess, please note that the order in question was signed by Ronald Reagan and expanded by George W. Bush. Yeah, spying on Americans by the U.S. government is a gift from the conservative right. How about that?

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Arizona Supreme Court to hear appeal on Medicaid

Arizona Supreme Court to hear appeal on Medicaid | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether conservative Republican legislators may challenge Gov. Jan Brewer's expansion of Medicaid health care coverage for low-income people.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again Governor Brewer has taken the compassionate and moderate position compared to the extreme wing of her party. Congratulations Governor in doing what is right.

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Iran Supplied Weapons To Iraqi Kurdish Forces

Iran Supplied Weapons To Iraqi Kurdish Forces | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Isabel Coles ARBIL, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Iran has supplied weapons and ammunition to Iraqi Kurdish forces, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani said Tuesday at a joint press conference with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Z...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Having destabilized the region by invading Iraq, it is in paramount that the U.S. recognize the role of Iran as a major power in the Middle East. This is a good first step for us all. The Kurds deserve support. Even the Turks are relatively okay with their emergence from the miasma that is Iraq. Now if the U.S. can get out of its own way.

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Christianity’s shame game: 5 dangerous & ridiculous sex myths spread by the religious right

Christianity’s shame game: 5 dangerous & ridiculous sex myths spread by the religious right | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From lying about sex education to smearing the LGBT community, here are the far right's favorite bogus claims
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I always figured the God created sex so he'd have something that was fun to watch. Let's face it, the Heavenly Host sound boring as hell. We, more than any other species, provide the material for a Divine soap opera. Now all these sinners on the right want to take away God's fun. By the way, I always figured J.C. tried it every way he could, certainly with that gal from Magdalene, probably with one or two of his apostles. What do you thing?

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ISIS and the New Middle East Cold War

ISIS and the New Middle East Cold War | Upsetment | Scoop.it
F. Gregory Gause, III considers how the territorial gains this summer by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have played into the new Middle East cold war. He argues that ISIS is an outgrowth of a region-wide crisis that reflects the failure of state authorities to be able to control their borders and their territories, to provide services to their populations and, ultimately, to forge a common political identity that could be the basis of political community. Sustaining a temporary alliance against ISIS is not easy, but it is a much simpler task than having to deal with a consolidated jihadist state at the center of the Middle East.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In effect, without major powers fighting a cold war by supporting corrupt and repressive regimes as central governments, there is insufficient power in the central governments to contain the growing force of populist right-wing Islamic organizations like ISIS. Such movements, like the right-wing in the U.S. and Europe, feeds on the belief that the current government has strayed from the real values and meanings of the founding values, be they of Islam there or Republican government here. For U.S. foreign policy, this leads to two alternative paths: support for repressive government or trying to find ways to reach out to the discontented of the Middle East and offer them a more modern way to live. What do you think?

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The Fall of Amran and the Future of the Islah Party in Yemen | Middle East Institute

The Fall of Amran and the Future of the Islah Party in Yemen | Middle East Institute | Upsetment | Scoop.it

The Middle East Institute.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

As the pots boil in Syria and Iraq, new pots start simmering. Yemen is moving towards change, perhaps with Saudi backing.

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BAGHDAD: Turkmen surrounded by militants in enclave in northern Iraq plead for U.S. help | Iraq | McClatchy DC

BAGHDAD: Turkmen surrounded by militants in enclave in northern Iraq plead for U.S. help | Iraq | McClatchy DC | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At 62, Abu Ali thought he was done taking up arms to fight in Iraq’s conflicts. Then, in late June, Islamic State militants encircled his small Shiite city of Amerli in northern Iraq and began eight weeks of constant shelling.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Yet another humanitarian crisis in Iraq; but this time the people at risk aren't crucial to American interests like the Kurds. Will the U.S. and other western governments help save the Turkmen of Amerli?

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Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In the chamber where Officer Wilson received a commendation six months before killing Michael Brown, a minor court generates major money from the city’s poor and working people.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you read this article, what becomes apparent is that there is institutionalized racism in Ferguson even though the city is predominantly Black. The bottom line: If Black Americans don't vote, they will never get the boot off their necks. That is why voter registration is so vital and so opposed by the conservatives.

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Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq?

Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Pentagon is denying that U.S. troops are fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq—but eyewitness accounts and Kurdish officials tell a different story.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Damn, what are we getting ourselves into now? I hope these "American" and "German" fighters are volunteers and mercenaries and not members of our actual military (of Germany's). Quite simply, we had no place in Iraq to begin with and we shouldn't be there now. And, yes, I do want the Kurds to be okay. And, yes, I do want ISIS defeated. But not using U.S. troops. Enough with the world's policeman already.

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Israel proposes taking more West Bank land for Jewish settlers

Israel proposes taking more West Bank land for Jewish settlers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The appropriation of almost 1,000 acres would be the largest in years in the occupied territory.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

1, 000 acres may not seem like a lot, but it is everything to a Palestinian trying to raise olives and to a people who want and deserve a state of their own. Once again, Israel does what it can to avoid meaningful peace.

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California Legislature fails to reach a deal on Tesla battery factory

California Legislature fails to reach a deal on Tesla battery factory | Upsetment | Scoop.it
SACRAMENTO — Looks as if California's effort to attract an electric car maker's battery factory has run out of juice, at least for now.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I can see giving tax breaks to an innovative industry, but isn't the big point for Tesla its lack of environmental impact? Why do they need to waive the environmental protections? Somehow that sounds like robbing Peter to pay Peter.

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“I’m not your brother!”: Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans

“I’m not your brother!”: Video reveals police’s stunning double-standard for black Americans | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a shocking video posted to YouTube, police tase & arrest a black man picking his kids up from pre-school VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is assault under cover of authority. I wish I could be on the jury awarding damages to this man. While he could have identified himself, the police were absolutely wrong. As is often the case, the original complaint was made by a private party with no right to harass him, presumably a white person — and therein lies the problem: RACISM. 

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Fairfax officials say some people may have crossed Va.-Md. line to vote twice in 2012

Fairfax officials say some people may have crossed Va.-Md. line to vote twice in 2012 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An advocacy group’s claims about the presidential election spark probe in Fairfax into dual registrations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

First off, this is not a problem that would be fixed by voter ID laws. Second, the actual number of people involved in voting twice (as opposed to the people who are multi-listed because the bureaucratic process from removing their names once they have moved from a state takes time) is low. Second, we have no current knowledge of who these people are. Most of the time the actual perpetrators who have been caught have been older Republicans with two homes and typically voting with absentee ballot in one place. This apparently involves crossing state lines. Perhaps still two-home owners. No matter, I agree, if they have knowingly voted twice they should face the consequences.

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Police Handler Let Dog Urinate on Michael Brown Memorial the Day He Was Killed

Police Handler Let Dog Urinate on Michael Brown Memorial the Day He Was Killed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Several hours after Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, a police dog handler let his dog urinate on a makeshift memorial that had been created on the street where Brown fell, a Mother Jones piece citing "several sources" says: The incident was related to me separately by three state...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

And there are still some people out there who don't get it. The killing of Michael Brown is only the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong in Ferguson, and it starts with the police.

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American fighting with Islamic State killed in Syria | Al Jazeera America

American fighting with Islamic State killed in Syria | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, was killed during weekend; had traveled to Syria this year to fight with the radical group
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is interesting to speculate on the psychological journey that radicalizes somebody so they end up fighting and dying for a cause far from home and from their roots. Was he looking for meaning in his life or did he believe that he was making a great difference in the course of history? Had he become a true believer in a particular sect or simply been caught up in a moment's caprice? We will probably never know, but my guess it is a descent into madness, a break with reality.

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Intelligence Gap: How a Chinese National Gained Access to Arizona’s Terror Center

Intelligence Gap: How a Chinese National Gained Access to Arizona’s Terror Center | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An un-vetted computer engineer plugged into law enforcement networks and a database of 5 million Arizona drivers in a possible breach that was kept secret for years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Yet another example of how government bureaucracy works more to grow and defend itself than to serve the people. There is a glaring absence of oversight which is cloaked behind the supposed respect for privacy and the legal need to not comment on ongoing investigations. How about the even great need for government transparency?

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New Palestinian Town in West Bank Awaits Israel’s Approval for Water

New Palestinian Town in West Bank Awaits Israel’s Approval for Water | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Rawabi, a heralded enterprise in the West Bank, lacks residents more than a year after its first 600 apartments were sold, becoming a cautionary tale about investing in the area.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There is no more foolish thing Israel can do than to resist the growth of a Palestinian middle class, and such a new, planned community would certainly encourage the growth of that middle class. It is only when people have something worth having that they are willing to fight for the status quo.

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Where slavery thrived, inequality rules today - The Boston Globe

Where slavery thrived, inequality rules today - The Boston Globe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than a century later, some experts say, a terrible institution is still exacting its price
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you know the history of slavery in the U.S., this makes sense. Join us on It Matters Radio ( http://www.itmattersradio.com ) this Thursday evening (9 PM Eastern time) when I interview historian Gerald Horne and we discuss the role of Africans in America at the time of the Revolution. You may be surprised by what you learn.

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The Price of Blackness

The Price of Blackness | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In undergrad, I drove a '92 Ford Taurus that just hulked, tank-like, up and down the streets of Berkeley. The thing was conspicuous, an ocean liner. I was pulled over all the time, once or twice a week at one point. Often I'd see a squad car following me and just pull to the curb to get it over with. An officer would walk up to the car, one hand on that little button that secures the strap over his gun. He'd ask for my license and registration. Some inner voice would remind me that this was the time to point out I'd done nothing wrong; I'd ask for a badge number, I'd take a stand. But black boys are supposed to know better.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

An excellent short piece on being Black in America. If you like this piece, you may want to check out this Thursday evening's discussion on It Matters Radio; we will be discussing the history of Black resistance to slavery and its effects on the American Revolution. The show website is http://www.itmattersradio.com where you can find the link. The show is live at 9 PM Eastern Time.

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George Zimmerman Arrested While Visiting Ferguson - National Report

George Zimmerman Arrested While Visiting Ferguson - National Report | Upsetment | Scoop.it
George Zimmerman was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri after a verbal altercation with two black teenagers, all of which was captured on cell phone.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this story is accurate, we have a true menace walking the streets of America and this guy must be considered mentally incompetent and a danger to others. Thanks to sick racist behavior like that described in the story, our nation is in great danger. 

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