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The Bitter Truth about the Settlements

The Bitter Truth about the Settlements | Upsetment | Scoop.it
How can talks succeed when, throughout the negotiations, Israel is building on the very land that would comprise a Palestinian state?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time for the United States to stop defending Israel and to start working for real justice in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The settlements are not part of a solution.

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Reginald Latson’s case points to a major problem in U.S. prisons

Reginald Latson’s case points to a major problem in U.S. prisons | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Neli Latson’s case shows that those with mental illness and disabilities don’t get the help they need.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Cases like this are an indictment of our criminal justice system, our mental health system, and worst our values as a nation. While this young man is trapped in the Virginia system, he could as easily be in almost any of our states. Why weren't his needs recognized and the necessary help given when he was a child in school? Why aren't police better trained to deal with people who are intellectually and mentally handicapped? Why isn't the justice system equipped with alternative approaches besides prison incarceration? Why aren't prosecutors encouraged to do the right thing instead of scoring convictions? Why, Why, Why?!

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Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed

Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Despite Qatar’s promises to improve conditions, Nepalese migrants have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The record of the oil-rich countries of the Middle East with regards to the treatment of poor workers from places like Nepal, Bangladesh, The Philippines, and India reveals a contempt for human life, even the lives of other Muslims. Still they come because they live in a world in which poverty and desperation rule. But that this is in the name of sport, football or as we Americans call it soccer; that disgusts me. Were is FIFA? Where are the football stars? Why are they not talking about a change in venue or boycotting the games? Because they live in a world in which money — not the worth of human life — rules.

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The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops

The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Evidence from photos, video, social-media posts and interviews suggests it was a single group, desperate to ‘turn up the anger’ at otherwise-peaceful protests.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I trust this is a small group and is surely made up from despicable people. I hope there are no undercover police (city, state, or federal) involved in this as there have been in many such hate movements. For my part, much as I oppose police violence, especially when there is a strong racial component, I recognize that the vast majority of police are good men and women trying to earn an honest living by protecting and serving the rest of us. When I have contact with cops, I make it a point to let them know they are appreciated. I think knowing that might give them as individuals the moral strength and sense of purpose that will help them deal with situations in a proper and professional manner.

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‘No Guns for Christmas’

‘No Guns for Christmas’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Based on two police shootings in Ohio, this short documentary questions whether toy guns can really be innocent gifts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What a condemnation of America and what our country has become. That children not be allowed to have toy guns because we have become so violent, so terroristic in our way of life and of policing, so paranoid in dealing with our citizens. As a child I played 'cowboys and Indians," "cops and robbers," and "Americans vs Japs or Germans." We went to movies and reenacted those gunfights as well. Nobody called the police to report the threat; and if they had, the police who came to investigate would not have started shooting. Who is at fault? Certainly not kids for being kids. How did we escalate to a culture so preoccupied with terrorizing ourselves? Certainly the war on terror and the war on drugs are part of this process. Certainly the encouragement of a culture of guns is part. Certainly the news media that gives such intense coverage to crime and such little coverage to normal life is part. Certainly the failure to recognize the emotional dysfunction of many, especially those who are swept into the criminal justice industry as opposed to providing them treatment is a part. And yes, the failure of our society to help its citizens to reach a sense of "life, liberty, and happiness" is part of the problem. What to do? What to do?

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Of $5.4 billion pledged for Gaza, only a fraction delivered

Of $5.4 billion pledged for Gaza, only a fraction delivered | Upsetment | Scoop.it
GAZA (Reuters) - Two months after donors pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza after the war between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian, U.N. and other officials say barely 2 percent of the money has been
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A sad reality is that the political groups within the Palestinian population are so busy fighting one another that they can and will not do what is necessary for the people. And the other Arab countries are sadly sitting back and waiting.

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I may be the last, says Dalai Lama

I may be the last, says Dalai Lama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course, according to the Tibetan belief system the soul of the Dalai Lama will continue to be passed in this world. However, the political/cultural title most likely will disappear or become a farce. Perhaps that is best in this materialistic world.

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Why Police Unions Are Lashing Out Against Cop Critics Like Never Before

Why Police Unions Are Lashing Out Against Cop Critics Like Never Before | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the backlash continues against police violence in the aftermath of multiple African-Americans being killed by officers, one wrinkle in the ongoing debate has been the aggressive reaction of law enforcement itself to the public criticism and protest.

Among the recent examples, a New York City police union has urged members to ban Mayor Bill de Blasio from their funerals if they die in the line of duty, saying it would be "an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice" after the mayor's han
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The police may be lashing back, but does that mean they have forgotten they are public servants? Of course they have as have most civil service employees. It is time for a serious rethinking of the laws that protect such jobs, including teachers, police,  bureaucrats, even firemen. No form or part of government should be outside the purview of the voters, of the citizenry.

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NASA’s $349 million monument to its drift

NASA’s $349 million monument to its drift | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space.

Then, NASA did something odd.

As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially “mothballed” — closed up and left empty — without ever being used.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another monument to the idiocy of the American government's bureaucracy the small-mindedness of politicians, and the frustration of trying to lead. We need to set clear and meaningful goals, reach them without political interference, and then above all be ready to limit the inevitability of projects and not require they be finished before recognizing their redundancy. In other words, we need to be rational — now there's a concept, rationality in Washington.

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How Brownback Is Relying On O-Care To Close Kansas' Huge Budget Hole

How Brownback Is Relying On O-Care To Close Kansas' Huge Budget Hole | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is calling all hands on deck to fix his state's huge self-imposed budget crisis, which nearly cost him re-election this year, and the staunch conservative is now receiving an assist from an unlikely source: Obamacare.

The state's well-documented budget troubles came after Brownback's dramatic reductions in taxes since taking office in 2011. With its revenue drying up and cash reserves depleted, Kansas is staring at a $280 million hole in its $6.4 billion FY 2015 bu
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In case you don't get it, what the guy is doing amounts to reducing possible services to the poor who are on medicaid to pay for his tax cuts to the rich. Okay, folks in Kansas, you voted for him, you live with him.

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The CIA torturers should be prosecuted

The CIA torturers should be prosecuted | Upsetment | Scoop.it

The primary international treaty against torture, the Convention against Torture, which the United States ratified in 1994, contains two key requirements. First, it bans torture, without exception, as well as other inhumane treatment. Second, it requires that torturers be prosecuted.  (Picture is CIA Director John Brennan at news conference on Dec 11).

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can the United States prosecute those who tortured and lied to allow torture while maintaining the increasingly fragile agreement necessary to govern? Are we as a people ready to deal with the evil in our own government? Let me ask the question just a bit differently, are we unlike the Germans in 1933 willing to face the conflagration in the Reichstag, to look at the real culprits? How far up the food-chain should we be willing to take this?

 

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Toronto Man Arrested While Depositing Money Into His own Bank Account

Toronto Man Arrested While Depositing Money Into His own Bank Account | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Frantz St. Fleur has accused Scotiabank of racially profiling him, leading to his arrest in April.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is what racism looks like. This time in Canada, but it is so common throughout North America and is so totally wrong. I am not sure how the bank should make amends, but clearly the employee has to be dealt with and the bank has to take some kind of socially meaningful position as well as some form of compensation to their victim. A hundred dollars? That doesn't even compensate him for his time.

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Black Teenager Taken Out Of School And Jailed For A Month Without Probable Cause, Lawsuit Claims

Black Teenager Taken Out Of School And Jailed For A Month Without Probable Cause, Lawsuit Claims | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In September, police took a 17-year-old African-American boy out of high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and arrested him on the suspicion that he had participated in an armed mugging. There was no evidence connecting him to the alleged crime, his public...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Yet another example of institutional racism in America. Would a white boy have been arrested on such a flimsy case? When do we as a country grow beyond this kind of crap? This was a kid with no history of being in trouble whose family attested he was at home in bed; the cop should never have arrested him. The police no longer understand probable cause, and the courts no longer are setting limits.

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Schools’ Discipline for Girls Differs by Race and Hue

Schools’ Discipline for Girls Differs by Race and Hue | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For graffiti on a Georgia school’s walls, two girls were suspended. Then one of them ended up in the criminal justice system.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is an example of the racism so inherent and unrecognized in our society. It so often starts with different subjective words so filled with hidden code. The white kid is a free spirit and the black is defiant of rules. The while kid is shy and diffident and the black is secretive and unresponsive. And all of it based on the madness that is American racism. By the way, did you read my piece on race in The Write Room Blog?

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Tree Tipping Generates Cash and Seasonal Woes in Maine

Tree Tipping Generates Cash and Seasonal Woes in Maine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The telltale white tips of snapped off branches may be signs of the seasonal larceny, in which branches are snatched without permission and sold to make wreaths.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sure it isn't taking rhino horns or elephant tusks, but it is still a form or poaching and even when legal harmful to the growth of these great trees, which I grew up loving. And for what? That wreath somebody buys at WalMart or Target or Michael and discards after the New Year. We are such wasteful creatures, we human scavengers.

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U.S. State Department's Guantanamo envoy resigns

U.S. State Department's Guantanamo envoy resigns | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department envoy responsible for negotiating prisoner transfers from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is resigning, officials said on Monday, even as President Barack Obama is promising a stepped-up push to close the facility. The surprise announcement of Clifford Sloan’s departure followed a flurry of detainee repatriations and resettlements, though officials at the State Department and White House had made clear their frustra
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WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited 'Kill A Cop' Chant

WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited 'Kill A Cop' Chant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Baltimore Fox affiliate apologized Monday night for a report it ran over the weekend that deceptively edited protestors to look like they were chanting "kill a cop."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is what I would have said were I the  lady being interviewed: "My guess is there are very few who would want to kill cops. Even among protestors against police violence, we respect the great majority of cops who are dedicated to serving and protecting all of us. But bringing killer cops to justice doesn't make your newsroom cut. So why not edit the words? Why not change the meaning of what people are saying? It will feed your rabid listeners, the ones who really do want violence. You see, it is stations like yours that want violence because that makes exciting news. Shame on you for trying to tell me that it was an accident. The only accident here is that you are being called on it."

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Video Shows NYC Plainclothes Cop Punching Young Black Suspect

Video Shows NYC Plainclothes Cop Punching Young Black Suspect | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The New York Daily News reports that the NYPD is investigating an incident recently caught on video in which a plainclothes police officer can be seen punching a black boy who is being held by three other officers. An onlooker can be heard yelling "He's twelve! He's twelve" and identifies...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this isn't criminal assault under cover of police authority, what the hell is? By the way, the kid who had been attacked by juveniles was very clear to the cops that this kid who is being punched wasn't one of the perpetrators. Can anyone say Central Park Five?

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Stray bison which charmed rural village in Poland shot dead by local farmer who feared it was seducing all of his cows

Stray bison which charmed rural village in Poland shot dead by local farmer who feared it was seducing all of his cows | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There is a message here about the brutishness of man and the loneliness of the animals we humans consider ours. How sad and how pathetic. Oh, well, at least this gang of thug-farmers can say their collective pricks were larger than a buffalo's.

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U.S. terrorism insurance bill killed by objections in Senate

U.S. terrorism insurance bill killed by objections in Senate | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By David Lawder and Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill to extend an expiring federal terrorism insurance program effectively died on Tuesday when the U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement to hold a vote before Congress wraps up its business for the year. The program, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that provides a federal insurance backstop for owners of skyscrapers, sports stadiums and other large projects that could face terrorism threats, is now expected to lapse at y
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have to question the role of the federal government in providing insurance to businesses, especially to those that sell insurance. It seems to me that such insurance support should only go to businesses that pay federal taxes. How about limiting the amount the government would pay in the case of an attack based on the portion of the building that housed tax-paying businesses? Also, where local governments (and state) have given tax or other incentives to allow a structure to be built, perhaps those local governments should be partly responsible for the costs. It just seems to easy for the federal government to be taken advantage of in this.

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Afghanistan Watchdog Pushes Pentagon on Lavish Spending

Afghanistan Watchdog Pushes Pentagon on Lavish Spending | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The top American watchdog for Afghanistan's reconstruction is investigating whether a Pentagon task force charged with juicing Afghanistan’s moribund economy misspent millions of taxpayer dollars…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The only industry that seems to have flourished is the opium trade, which the Taliban had almost destroyed. Yay, us. Aren't we just a splendid creator of Democracy? (Hell, no) of bureaucracy. While the Bush-Cheney administration created this mess, the Obama administration has been way to slow in correcting it. And this report doesn't even begin to take into account the money the military wasted in creating facilities they never used.

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Supreme Court Rules Traffic Stop OK Despite Misunderstanding Of Law

Supreme Court Rules Traffic Stop OK Despite Misunderstanding Of Law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The court has upheld a cocaine conviction that began when police stopped a car with just one brake light, even though state law in North Carolina requires only one brake lamp.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time for the courts to take a serious look at the word reasonable when applied to the police. Too many reasonable causes for suspicions, searches, and simple violations of privacy.

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The shocking truth about law enforcement’s most self-serving myth

The shocking truth about law enforcement’s most self-serving myth | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The reason it's so hard to prosecute cops who use deadly force is the same reason minorities are so often targeted
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Do decisions by law enforcement actually get made in a split second? Not if they are programed to think in particular ways. This is an important contribution to the discussion of police and race.

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‘Twin’ from ‘Nobody’s born gay’ billboard: I am gay and I’m not a twin

‘Twin’ from ‘Nobody’s born gay’ billboard: I am gay and I’m not a twin | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Obviously nobody ever told this so-called Christians that it was against their faith to bear false witness. So much for their credibility.

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In 2003, U.S. experts doubted key Iraq war claim: cable

In 2003, U.S. experts doubted key Iraq war claim: cable | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A CIA cable disclosed on Thursday showed that U.S. counter terrorism officials in 2003 discounted reports that a leader of the Sept. 11 attacks met an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague just before the attacks, further undermining a Bush administration argument for the invasion of Iraq. Senator Carl Levin released a newly declassified section of a March 11, 2003 cable that undercut administration statements that Mohammed Atta and Iraqi agent Ahmad al-Anian had met in th
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The question in my mind for some time was how much of the lying that led to the foolish invasion of Iraq came from the military-industrial-espionage complex and misled the administration and how much was it the White House leading the way in the face of information. This document appears to make it clear that the administration was calling the shots, all in the wrong direction.

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Cheney Throws Bush Under The Bus On Torture Program

Cheney Throws Bush Under The Bus On Torture Program | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Dick Cheney discussed the newly released Senate torture report Wednesday on Fox News, and in particular challenged a finding that former President George W. Bush hadn't been briefed on the CIA's harsh interrogation methods until years after they'd already been in use.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So Bush was either a dupe or knowingly involved in committing unthinkable and certainly un-American acts. And Cheney was just despicable. Can anybody say Nixon-Agnew? Somehow the GOP comes up with some of the most reprehensible and un-American leaders. How can John McCain be involved with them? Or any decent person for that matter?

Perhaps we need something like the Nuremberg Trials to find out who was in this loop of evil.

 

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