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Creepy Photos Surface of First American Suicide Bomber in Syria

Creepy Photos Surface of First American Suicide Bomber in Syria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This week, U.S. officials say an American citizen helped launch
a suicide attack against the Syrian government. Jihadist
social media accounts circulated images purported to represent the
American, who went by the name Abu Huraira al-Amriki. The fact that Amriki
appeared to have honed the ability to conduct terrorist attacks in Syria is
unsettling for counterrorism experts who fear that more American extremists will pick up the tools of the trade there and then return to the United States to carry out attacks. But what's also unsettling is the smiling, giggling
imagery of Amriki that jihadists are now passing around in his honor:
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The incredible sadness of suicide bombings -- to think of a young person who does not see the road ahead as being the most important of possibilities. The thought of this young man and of all the others from other countries and cultures makes me wonder why we as a species have become so unable to build a world that beckons to them, that calls them to life.

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Poll finds gaping chasm in views between U.S. public, scientists

Poll finds gaping chasm in views between U.S. public, scientists | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American scientists and the general public hold vastly different views on key scientific issues including the role of people in causing climate change, the safety of genetically modified food, and evolution, a poll released on Thursday showed. Eighty-seven percent of scientists questioned by the Pew Research Center said human activity was the main cause of global climate change, compared with 50 percent of the public. The issue has become increasing divisive
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Interesting, I agree with the scientists about some things, evolution and climate change for example, have mixed feelings about immunization (not dangerous for most, but perhaps over-mandated) and disagree with majority of scientists about genetically modifying foods and foods treated with pesticides, both of which I think are potentially very dangerous, and using animals in research, which is sometimes necessary but should require stricter oversight and justification. What are your thoughts?

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Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad

Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Since the tragic attacks in Paris earlier this month, voices on the right and left have been vigorously debating the issue of Muslims’ assimilation in the West. But this focus on assimilation is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous. What has attracted young men to the global jihad is not necessarily their incomplete assimilation, but rather estrangement from the values and aspirations of mainstream society and ruling elites.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a reasonably good assessment of the issues, but it misses the biggest problem, unlike other crusades for social justice that have radicalized youth in other times and places, the current global jihad is about religion and its followers want to base their "utopia" on a specific faith not on real equality and opportunity for all. Starting from a "religious imperative" (as opposed to a religious perspective) is inherently the enemy of reasonable and therefore precludes meaningful dialog.

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DEA plan to track drivers went much wider, new documents reveal

DEA plan to track drivers went much wider, new documents reveal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officials tried to use license-plate readers to track travel patterns of Americans as critics say ‘This could be a really amazing level of surveillance we’ve not seen before’
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once again the federal bureaucracy is tending to violate the basic rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and this is once again being done in the name of "law enforcement" and the "war on drugs." It is time for the American people and their representatives to end this kind of bureaucratic overreach and to stop the bureaucracy's unwarranted efforts to supervise our daily loves.

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1 in 5 American Kids Needs Food Stamps

1 in 5 American Kids Needs Food Stamps | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Economic recovery is not really benefiting low-income familiies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There are three ways to see this. One is to say so what and let the children go hungry (an approach that might be called social Darwinism and extreme Libertarianism) Two is that the economic recovery is not working and we need to do more for companies so they can hire more people (an approach commonly called Reaganomics, trickle-down theory, voodoo economics, and which typifies the conservative mindset.) The third is to see this as an opportunity to make sure children receive proper nutrition through the spread of government programs, which may include having children eat more meals in public schools, providing more supervision of how food stamps, etc. are used, and possibly creating food distribution centers, possibly in cooperation with food banks. (An approach that might be called income redistribution, progressive-ism, and the nanny state.)

Of course, what makes more sense is to tie economic assistance to the well-being of the children who are in need. Once again, I say that those in need should be incentivized to do better for themselves and their families. The child who is regularly attending school and doing his/her best, who is taking part in community activities, etc. should be given our best possible assistance with the goal of producing more successful adults. Is that not the best use of capitalism?

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Video: Deputy Public Defender Unjustly Arrested

San Francisco, CA --- San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi today released video showing a deputy public defender being unlawfully arrested outside a courtroom as she attempted to protect her client’s right to counsel. The cell phone footage, taken Tuesday afternoon inside the San ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With this act, the San Francisco police not only are placed in jeopardy of a civil action but also obviously now face every piece of evidence elicited from an interview of these young men or any other defendant represented by legal aid being questioned as fruit of a diseased and poisonous tree. Congratulations to Brian Stansbury, an incompetent and criminally minded police officer.

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The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins

The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A city reaches out to its ‘hikikomori’ population. Some sufferers stay inside their homes for years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is interesting that nowhere in this article is the difference between a shame based culture (Japan) and a more guilt based one (U.S.) discussed. Indeed, the DSM tradition has been to move away from those kinds of concern and look only at behavior, to do away with the notion of neurosis. Here we see a shame based neuroses the successful treatment of which will require understanding not only the triggering event but the underlying propensity to feel shame.

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Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow | Upsetment | Scoop.it

I wonder how many of the guys who hang at The Dew Drop Inne grew up feeling poorer than their neighbors? An important social issue.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

If there is one thing we know about boys it is that they compare themselves to others, play a constant mental game of king of the mountain. So, if your family is poorer, if you clothes are shabbier, etc., it has got to take a toll. Here's the study that shows the effect of coming from a poorer home in an affluent neighborhood, but what about the girls?

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Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal

Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
You'd think not breaking the law was not illegal. And yet here we are.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real problem is that the cop once aware that the musician was not breaking the law couldn't back down because the crowd took sides. My guess is he would have walked away if they hadn't cheered. It is sad that in his effort to save face, this officer walked into a trap. Clearly, once it was established that the musician was not breaking the law any arrest was going to be thrown out. Because there is a public record of the cop reading the law and knowing it, his behavior becomes suspect and personal, which may lead to punitive action against him and a cause of action by the musician against both the individual officer and the force. If I were the judge, I would probably order the cop be taken into custody and order the DA to prepare charges, and all the time I'd feel as badly for that officer as I do for the musician.

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Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama

Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a stupid and politically motivated act. Netanyahu is a loose cannon and we need a working relationship with Iran. Sure a few Jewish voters will move to the GOP side because of this, but in the long run it will alienate everyone who wants fairness for the Palestinians, which includes most American Jews.

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New police radars can 'see' inside homes

New police radars can 'see' inside homes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have quietly equipped their officers with handheld radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of suspects' homes to see where
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is America becoming a police state? If it is, why are we as voters allowing it? What can we do to suppress both police overreach and the growth of criminal enterprise? Assuredly, giving up our right to privacy should not be the price for security.

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Pope affirms contraception ban but encourages responsible parenting, not breeding 'like rabbits'

Pope affirms contraception ban but encourages responsible parenting, not breeding 'like rabbits' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said plenty of church-approved ways are available to regulate births. But he said most importantly, no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the "ideological colonization" of the developing world.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

He said, "The woman might argue that she should trust in God. "But God gives you methods to be responsible." I guess science and modern medical techniques aren't gifts from God so women aren't allowed to use them. Now that's downright absurd. And, by the way, why is it the woman's responsibility? Does that mean he endorses the conservative Islamic view that the woman must remove the temptation from the man by hiding herself? It is only when the Catholic Church accepts the right of women to have true equality and freedom that any Pontiff will be truly worth respecting.

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Bobby Jindal Blasts Muslim 'No-Go Zones' After Fox News Retraction (VIDEO)

Bobby Jindal Blasts Muslim 'No-Go Zones' After Fox News Retraction (VIDEO) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Monday sharply criticized so-called Muslim "no-go zones," just two days after Fox News apologized for discussing them without any evidence to prove they exist.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If the destructiveness of his stupid comment didn't concern me, particularly its potential for creating conflict, Bobby G would be another amusing example of why the rest of the world look at American politicians and laugh. Or maybe now they cringe. That the far right does its research by watching Faux News is of course part of the dumb show that has become American government.

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Judicial Campaign Contributions

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Judicial Campaign Contributions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Case could undo state laws that limit judicial candidates from asking for donations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Should judges even be elected at all? There are so many of them and the elections are so ignored. What I do know is we don't need more advertising at election time but less. We do need more real debate and discussion and more in depth information about candidates.

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Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students Threatening School Property

Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students Threatening School Property | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Legislation filed last week in Texas would allow teachers to use deadly force in order to protect school property, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So Johnny starts to write on his desk and boom he's a goner. Ooops, Mrs. Killjoy isn't that good a shot, so Johnny is fine but Susy is dead. What difference? Seems like a great plan to save the taxpayers money; kill the buggers in kindergarten. Hey, you kids who survive till third grade, instead of an apple bring teach some ammo. Yep, nothing wrong with this plan.

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Medicare Payments Surge for Stents to Unblock Blood Vessels in Limbs

Medicare Payments Surge for Stents to Unblock Blood Vessels in Limbs | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Some cardiologists are reaping huge reimbursements for operating to relieve blockages in peripheral veins and arteries, a treatment many may not need.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While there is sure to be an upsurge in such "unnecessary procedures" when a new technique comes around, after a while the huge backlog of willing patients and the growing awareness of primary care docs will get things under better control. In the meantime, as a consumer I would avoid a doc who was grinding out a procedure and making a fortune from Medicare; greed is not a good sign in the doctor who is going to cut into your body.

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Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A test told a couple their child might be intersex and have a genetic disorder. The test was wrong.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While mistakes may be rare, genetic testing that indicates a serious defect or those tests which are done with the goal of screening for such serious defects should be repeated and the clerical work carefully edited to make sure that mistakes are avoided. Aborting a fetus is too serious a decision to do less than the best medical science has to offer. In the case cited, clearly the parents should have been advised to do a retest and to wait to make sure that the information given had been correct.

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You Asked: Why Am I Cold All the Time?

You Asked: Why Am I Cold All the Time? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The science behind your shivering
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I saw this story, thought of my friends and family still living in the Northeast and just had to share it from nice warm Arizona. Now there's a solution; forget those socks and mittens and head for the beautiful Southwest.

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On climate change, 'not a scientist' not enough for some U.S. Republicans

On climate change, 'not a scientist' not enough for some U.S. Republicans | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Valerie Volcovici and Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rick Perry's farewell speech to the Texas legislature listed the accomplishments expected from an outgoing Republican governor of the country's largest oil-producing state. "We have expanded our economy while protecting our environment," said Perry, who is openly exploring a second White House run in 2016. It was a greener message than the one he delivered ahead of his last presidential campaign, when he called climate change a "contr
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why do people trust a politician who changes positions only as the popular mind changes? Oh, wait, we are talking about politicians. Now if we wanted real leaders, we'd be looking at the people who went out on a limb to tell us what was going on before it was the popular point of view. Not too many of them around. Even better, those who changed their minds based on evidence before the public agreed but who helped to shape our commonly held view. Can we find real leaders?

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Anti-Tesla laws In AZ, MI, NJ, and TX nominated for 'Luddite Award'

Anti-Tesla laws In AZ, MI, NJ, and TX nominated for 'Luddite Award' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A technology think tank has nominated four anti-Tesla states for its annual Luddite Award – so named after the 19th-century British artisans who protested against industrial progress. Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, and New Jersey all passed laws restricting Tesla sales last year.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Where were these states when Amazon was putting bookstores out of business and when McDonalds and the like were destroying the local diners? Now those were businesses worth saving, but of course they didn't have all that money and organization ready to fight of innovation. I wonder how much money has been slipped under the tables in these states.

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Rand Paul’s claim that ‘over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts’

Rand Paul’s claim that ‘over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Kentucky Republican says half of the people on disability get payments for back pain and anxiety. We check his math.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Anecdotal comment: I have two friends on disability. One has been on it for years due to mental health issues. He has finally achieved a reasonable level of medication and reduced his anxiety. One of his first moves was to find a full-time job, which has some of us worried because he might be overdoing, but he so wants to support himself. The second has debilitating arthritis. For years I told him to stop working and go on disability, but he wouldn't think of it. Even know that he no longer can work at all, he talks about maybe someday returning to construction. These two men are far more typical of what I have seen in this world than Mr. Paul's distorted vision of a world of cheaters.

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Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change

Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Senators are using the Keystone XL pipeline debate to argue over climate issues.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When the politicians sit in judgment over science rather than drawing on it for information and counsel, we have created a true assembly of dunces. If humans survive, our great-great-grandchildren will talk about the U.S. Senate with the same scorn as we now use for Pope Urban VIII, who imprisoned Galileo. Way before that the rest of the world will have dismissed The United States as a clown, no longer a nation to follow but one to ignore.

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A Rough Childhood Can Literally Age You

A Rough Childhood Can Literally Age You | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists see a link between early trauma and cellular aging
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Having been more aged fifty, it has been my goal to youthen ever since. I am now about six and quite happy to stay that age for ever and ever more. On a serious note, this is a fascinating piece that suggests our bodies at the cellular level respond in a negative way to the pressures of an adverse childhood. In case you don't know the terms telomeres are the protective caps that exist at the ends of our strands of DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from our mothers and regulates the mitochondria, small organelles within the cell that generate the power of the cell.

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Islamic State threatens to kill two Japanese hostages, demands ransom from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Islamic State threatens to kill two Japanese hostages, demands ransom from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"You willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade," an alleged militant said in a video.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How should countries react to this kind of demand? What should the nations of the world be doing to combat the madness of ISIS and similar groups? Obviously paying ransoms and giving aid and comfort are not a solution. Equally obviously, saying "We don't care what happens to our citizens," would be political suicide for any government. What would you do if you were the leader of Japan, or of any country caught in this predicament?

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Turkey’s Proxy War in Libya

Turkey’s Proxy War in Libya | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why did Saqr Geroushi, the commander of Operation Dignity’s Libyan air force recently announce that the forces under his command would shoot down Turkish aircraft...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One thing the Euro-American alliance and all the non-Islamic countries of the world must keep in mind is that Islam, particularly in the Middle East, is divided not only between Shia and Sunni but also between factions as to who will hold the caliphate. Yep, that fantasied seat of power still looms as the ultimate prize just as the Holy Grail dominated the minds of Medieval Christians. To believe that our non-believer states have real allies in that region, even those like Turkey that proclaim their non-sectarian status or those like Egypt that are dominated by their military, or those like Saudi Arabia that are quick to take our money for their oil, is to build foreign policy on fools gold.

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This powerful image perfectly captures how divided America was when MLK died

This powerful image perfectly captures how divided America was when MLK died | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Chilean artist highlighted the number of whites vs. blacks in the sea of people following King’s coffin.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Most men live and die without changing much. King changed a great deal. Hopefully we have not lost our way and continue to move our society in the direction to which he gave his life, towards justice, equality, and a system that judges people on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Hopefully, but let's not fool ourselves into believing it has been easy or will be easy in the years to come.

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