Upsetment
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Upsetment
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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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More US troops may be needed to fight ISIS, commander says

More US troops may be needed to fight ISIS, commander says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The US general commanding the coalition fight against ISIS expects the fight for its de-facto capital to have hit the city center by this summer, and in an exclusive interview with CNN, he held out the possibility that more US troops may be needed for that tougher fight.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Do we really want to send more troops to the Middle East? Is this really good for America or the world? Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, both Iran and Russia are now making nice with the Taliban. Somehow, that doesn't bode well for America either. And all this because we couldn't keep out of other countries, not Afghanistan starting with Carter and then going big time during Reagan's administration, or Iraq, especially under the second Bush. (And, let's not forget Libya under Obama) Intervention in the internal affairs of other countries is not a good way to go. In the end it drains a nation's coffers and manpower and leaves enmity behind. Military action should be the last option after all else has failed. When military actions is absolutely necessary, it should be done with others, have limited goals, and above all have a clear end game. Our attempts to destabilize Assad have obviously done more harm than good in Syria. Now, when we may actually have to go in and defeat ISIS, we lack good working relationships with Assad, Russia, and Iran and limited relationship with Turkey. The Kurds are our only good ally in that fight, and they have their own very clear set of goals that will in the end put us into conflict with Turkey. Great work, Washington. Oh, when was the last time the military didn't think they could win something if given just more men and equipment? (Where is the sarcasm font when I need it?)
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How to Get Paint out of Hair

How to Get Paint out of Hair | Upsetment | Scoop.it
If you've ever had paint in your hair, you'll know how difficult it is to remove. Luckily, there're some great ways of how to get paint out of hair.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Two other hints that are ignored in this piece. 1) Get a shorter haircut. 2) Change the color of your hair to match your wall. Meanwhile, how do I get you to read my books? Now that's the big question. Have you checked out www.kennethweene.com ? You won't find beauty tips, but you will find some great reading. 
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The Other Dispute on the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Other Dispute on the U.S.-Mexico Border | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Other Dispute on the U.S.-Mexico Border « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I always loved the song from Oklahoma, the cowboys and the ranchers should be friends. In a perfect world, that's how it should indeed be, those with very different visions should come together in a more perfect union. That was in part the motivation behind NAFTA. Certainly the differences among the three countries—sure less between Canada and the US than between both of them and Mexico—are real, but we not only share a common landmass but starting with the early conquistadors and explorers a common history. And for the Native populations there is even more in common across the borders. So who is responsible for heating up tensions. As it was in Oct of 1835 when the battle of Gonzales took place between Mexican soldiers and American settlers in Texas and in April of 1846 at Palo  Alto where the first battle of the Mexican-American war took place, it has generally been the Americans provoking and the Mexicans, however maladroitly, reacting. Yep, folks, we're the ones cutting those fences and trampling those crops. 

Probably, the international courts will avoid hearing this case and nobody believes that a verdict against American interests would or could be enforced. However, the very idea that the border is illegal and that the US has been a bandit nation show the degree to which Mr. Trump has managed to reverse the progress of bilateral relations during the last twenty years. At least, if Mexico were to take back much of the territory they would claim the farms would continue to be worked. That's probably the most basic reality, that the Southwest needs those Mexican workers. And, to be realistic, American companies need Mexican consumers. 

By the way, IMHO, the Mexican people would be much better off if they banned American corn. It really is different nutritional quality the the stuff the Native Americans first cultivated and that Mexicans have relied on for centuries. 


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Police Drag Passenger Off Overbooked United Flight

Police Drag Passenger Off Overbooked United Flight | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Airlines always overbook, and usually they can get a volunteer to wait for another flight. But instead of doing that, United had police drag an unwilling passenger off a flight from Chicago to Louisville. Horrifying.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I cannot imagine that I or anyone with a brain will willingly board a United flight after seeing this. The law suit will, I imagine, be settled quickly, but the public relations disaster will and should live on. We all know that airlines overbook, but that should not be at the expense of passengers. Unconscionable.
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What Does the Fourteenth Amendment Anchor?

What Does the Fourteenth Amendment Anchor? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Official website for author Kenneth Weene.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
April 9, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. The War Between the States was effectively over, but there was never a peace treaty. In place of such a document was the Fourteenth Amendment. Which brings us to the efforts of many to fight that amendment to this day. Here's an essay I wrote a while back about that fight. 
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U.N. denied access to South Sudan town alleged to be massacre site

U.N. denied access to South Sudan town alleged to be massacre site | Upsetment | Scoop.it
South Sudanese authorities are blocking United Nations peacekeepers from visiting a town where soldiers are alleged to have killed civilians including children this week, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Friday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The future of South Sudan becomes ever more tentative. The rivalry between Dinka and Nuer is now spilling over onto the Acholi. Forget what the world can tolerate of such destruction, what can the people of South Sudan tolerate? 
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Autopsy 'shows chemical weapons used in Syria attack'

Autopsy 'shows chemical weapons used in Syria attack' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Turkey says autopsies were carried out on three bodies that were brought across the border after Idlib attack.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I agree with Mr. Trump that the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. However, I'm not sure that I believe they were used by Assad's government. Why suddenly do something so provocative when the rebels have been losing ground and support from Iran and Russia are at new highs? This despicable act smacks of some nefarious scheme, perhaps by ISIS, perhaps by the CIA, perhaps even by the rebels (or they could have been making the stuff and had it blow in their faces). We may never know, but I would certainly question the current belief. Assad has never seemed that stupid. Meanwhile, if we look at the map, what do we see, that Syria is a land torn apart. No wonder so many are fleeing. 
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Mexico says new EU trade deal is 'paramount', eyes 2017 conclusion

Mexico says new EU trade deal is 'paramount', eyes 2017 conclusion | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new free trade agreement with the European Union is of "paramount" importance for Mexico and both parties aim to conclude a deal this year, Mexico's deputy economy minister has said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Yet another way in which Mr. Trump's wall is going to come back to bite the US in the ass: Mexico is now more motivated than ever to build trade relationships with Europe and China. One of our biggest trading partners may soon discover it's a lot better to trade with rest of the world. One big cost in that will be at the grocery store as we compete with other markets for Mexican produce. The worst part is that much of that farm production was developed with American investment and support. Oh well, eat your guacamole now before the price of avocados soars. And, let's not forget the manufactured products that will now be shipped east and west instead of north to say nothing of the corn and other products that might just find it more difficult to go south. 
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Israeli Aviation Security Expert in Response to Report of New ISIS Laptop Bombs Able to Evade Detection by Airport Scanners: ‘Human Element More Important Than Technology’

Israeli Aviation Security Expert in Response to Report of New ISIS Laptop Bombs Able to Evade Detection by Airport Scanners: ‘Human Element More Important Than Technology’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In response to a report that US intelligence services fear that ISIS and other terrorist organizations have developed non-detectable bomb
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wouldn't share this story if it weren't for my post about the ban on computers aboard flights from certain airports put in lace by the Trump administration, a post which I made when that ban was announced. I just want to iterate, that this was clearly a policy intended to serve a few American lines. If Israel isn't worrying about this "new method of terror," my guess is it's not much more than an alternative fact. Can we stop all terrorists? Of course not. Can we make the world hate us and thereby increase the number of terrorists? I think that's how we're going at so many situations. Sadly, in my opinion, it is greed that is often at the core of such misguided actions and policies.
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Native History: First Wampanoag-Pilgrim Treaty Signed on April Fools’ - Indian Country Media Network

Native History: First Wampanoag-Pilgrim Treaty Signed on April Fools’ - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The first Wampanoag-Pilgrim Treaty was signed by Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag Nation, and the leaders of Plymouth Colony on April 1, 1621.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As an American history buff and one who is fascinated by Native American culture, I loved this article. As a New Englander, I was particularly interested in the conflict that was going on at the time between the Wampanoag and the Narraganset, two New England tribes. 

And, if you like stories in which the Native Americans win, you should check out Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. 


Yes, I am trying to get people to read my books, not just my social media posts. How about you? Have you checked them out? 
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Why Aren't All Members of a Species the Same? Exploring the Pangenome - The Extremo Files

Why Aren't All Members of a Species the Same? Exploring the Pangenome - The Extremo Files | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Prochlorococcus marinus are diminutive organisms. At less than a micrometer across, these photosynthesizing microbes may be small, but they’re plentiful – by many accounts one of the most abundant species on the planet. But that’s not quite the full story: like any other member of the same species, no two P. marinus individuals are genetically …
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Have you ever wondered why humans are all the same species and yet obviously vary both in groups and at the individual level? Here's something to help you understand what's been going on for millennia. 
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12 Jobs That Let You See the World for Free

12 Jobs That Let You See the World for Free | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This comprehensive list can help you find a job that let you travel the world for free.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There's nothing new on this list, but I enjoyed thinking about the possibilities. I didn't enjoy the regret that I hadn't thought of doing something that would have taken me around the world when I was younger. Now, looking back I wish I had been a _____________. Nope, I'm not going to tell you. Instead, you tell me, which of these great ways to travel and see the world speaks to you?
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Mexico judge suspended over 'no carnal intent' ruling - BBC News

Mexico judge suspended over 'no carnal intent' ruling - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The judge ruled that a sexual assault suspect be freed because he had shown "no carnal intent".
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sometimes I find a news story that suggests the asylum is being taken over by the mad. This is one such story.  Of course, if you want to read a great book about the insanity of asylums, there is Memoirs From the Asylum. Check that out at https://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Asylum-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B004FN1VL0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 
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Multiple Sanitation Violations Found At Mar-A-Lago Kitchen

Multiple Sanitation Violations Found At Mar-A-Lago Kitchen | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club, known in his administration as the “Winter White House” or “Southern White House,” was cited for a number of sanitation violations in a January inspection. First reported by the Miami Herald Wednesday afternoon, the club’s most recent inspection report listed “high priority” violations including keeping meat and fish at temperatures that were too high and not following protocols to destroy parasites in fish served raw or undercooked. The Herald noted that, compared to past publicly available reports, Mar-a-Lago’s most recent inspection, during Trump’s first week in office, had yielded a record number of violations. Trump has hosted high-profile visits at the club, including with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Luckily for Trump and Xi, nothing in the report indicates any liabilities in Mar-a-Lago’s chocolate cake, which Trump recently bragged was at the dinner table when he told Xi he had ordered a military strike against a Syrian airfield.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wonder if his guests suffering food poisoning would be considered an act of aggression. Seriously, is there anything this "businessman's administration" can run properly? I was critical of Obama's lack of administrative skill, but this is getting ridiculous. 
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United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It’s hard to find examples of worse decision making and customer treatment than United having a passenger dragged from an overbooked plane. But United’s shabby treatment of Geoff Fearns comes close.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In case you think United Airline's latest misadventure was out of their ordinary, this happened a few weeks back. I understand their stock fell about 5% today, but that hardly seems meaningful. Anybody want to fly with this bunch? Not I. Oh, a couple of years ago they supposedly promised that they would honor tickets, that to the government regulators. Now, I know problems can occur, but this company is just not customer friendly. Reminds me of Eastern, Don't remember them? Well, that's because they just went bust. Have you seen Southwest's new slogan, "We beat our competitors, not you." 
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The top 10 books Americans tried to ban last year

The top 10 books Americans tried to ban last year | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Censorship is on the rise in the US, suspects James LaRue, director of the US Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Every year, the OIF, a part of the American Library Association, tracks when parents and administrators "challenge" books by trying to remove them from schools curricula and libraries. This year, it recorded 323 attempt
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I detest censorship, especially when the attempt is to deny young people the wisdom about relationships and identity that comes from reading good fiction. I must admit that I am also jealous that none of my books has become sufficiently known to warrant such stupid attacks, because, let's face it, nothing makes a book more desirable in the eyes of the young than the demand of strong-arming parents that they not read it.
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How Many Tree Species Are There On Earth? The Number May Surprise You

How Many Tree Species Are There On Earth? The Number May Surprise You | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than 60,000 species are currently living. Many of them are in trouble, according to the world's first global trees database.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
And of those over 60, 000 species more than 15% are in danger of extinction. I for one love trees and worry that they, like animals, are under attack as a result of human indifference and greed.
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Why Trump is right: China isn't playing by trade rules

Why Trump is right: China isn't playing by trade rules | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president toned down his anti-China rhetoric during this week's summit with China's President Xi. Now, some urge him to follow up with consistent multinational pressure on Beijing.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Quite simply, China engages in industrial espionage, steals intellectual property, and frequently places sub-standard and even adulterated products into the market. The Obama administration had some success approaching these issues on a specific instance by instance basis. However, no pressure has been put on American distributors to stop importing products that are produced by a Chinese company that has been found adulterating or cheating beyond the specific product in question. And in China, responsibility is typically directed only at the person in charge of the "shamed" company and not at government officials who should have prevented those shameful actions. And, those Americans who provide information to Chinese companies that is supposed to be restricted, seldom face serious criminal consequences. However, the simple reality is that China is not stealing American jobs as much as globalization and new technologies are making those jobs disappear. 

If the US government wants to exercise more influence on Chinese manufacturing, let it have more inspectors, perhaps even creating some to work in China to make sure that products meet US standards instead of waiting for inferior and often dangerous products to appear in US (often mega-)stores. Let's go after those individuals who either provide sanctioned information or facilitate its theft by introducing an FBI department of international-commerce-crime. And, let's go after importers of goods that don't meet health and safety standards. Let's insist on fines being levied and proceeds given to those in the US who have created pirated intellectual property and enforce this if necessary by a tariff, which would only need be fairly low to create the necessary fund, on Chinese manufactures. And, we could limit American purchases by creating tax laws directed at the funds taken out of the US to purchase in standards-non-compliant countries. It might take some bookkeeping, but I bet we could do that so we would be taxing the big-box companies that are more the real culprits in my mind than any Chinese entities. 

Finally, let's continue to engage China in positive directions such as the cooperation of the Paris Accords. 
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The Economist explains: Why doesn’t China rein in North Korea? | The Economist

The Economist explains: Why doesn’t China rein in North Korea? | The Economist | Upsetment | Scoop.it
NORTH KOREA is nothing but trouble for China, its main international backer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I see things a bit differently. China doesn't want to be in the position that the US has so often had to face, having to turn its back on an ally. China takes a long-term view of the world, much longer term than America. Gradually building bilateral alliances in Asia, Africa, and South America, the Chinese are playing for economic dominance in the world. 

Typically, Beijing has not wanted to take over areas that have not been part of historical China. In part that is because of a sense of ethnographic-racial purity, which is strange given Chinas incredible diversity. For that reason, China has avoided the obvious alternative, which would probably not be resisted by the rest of the world, of simply absorbing North Korea as a Chinese province. 

Then, too, there is the usefulness of North Korean as a threat to Japan and other countries of the region. While that threat binds South Korea and the US, for many countries it makes sense to side with China and thereby have a strong hand if needed against any North Korean actions. This is especially true for the Philippines and Vietnam, countries that historically haven't liked China much. 

Finally, the Chinese are probably enjoying the consternation that North Korea creates for the US as that rogue country sells weapons and offers even more dangerous ones to countries that are potential powder kegs. North Korean weapons are already found throughout Africa; can missiles and even atomic bombs be that far behind? This has to have the US policy makers in a tizzy. 

But, what is the US to do? Stay tuned for what is probably going to be a "bigly" problem. 
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Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With the Same Risk

Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With the Same Risk | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Our analysis of premiums and payouts in California, Illinois, Texas and Missouri shows that some major insurers charge minority neighborhoods as much as 30 percent more than other areas with similar accident costs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One of the proper goals of government is the creation of fair markets. All too often the poor are being taken advantage of. That's something I learned a long time ago. Have you read my essay "Oy vey iz mir"? http://www.kennethweene.com/oy-vey-iz-mir ;
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Beating of Asylum Seeker in London Is Said to Be Hate Crime

Beating of Asylum Seeker in London Is Said to Be Hate Crime | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The 17-year-old was set upon by a mob of about 20 people and suffered a fractured skull and a blood clot in the brain. Five people have been charged.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is the kind of hate that no country needs. One of the fascinating things to me is that often these racist, xenophobic, brutish attacks are directed against people who don't even represent the groups to which the attackers object. In this case we are talking a Kurd; the Kurds have been outstanding allies in the fight against ISIS and for freedom in the Middle East. Others who have been attacked have been Sikhs, a group that predominantly is peaceful, law abiding, and devoted to the country in which they live. This kind of stupidity just illustrates how it is the haters and the prejudiced that must be gotten out of the way not the honest, hardworking, and often bright refugees. Be it in America, Canada, Britain, or wherever this kind of thuggery should be unacceptable. 
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Trump’s bid to federalize cops faces roadblock: cops

Trump’s bid to federalize cops faces roadblock: cops | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Not only do local police departments not have the budget or manpower to hunt for undocumented immigrants, police say prioritizing immigration could in some cases make it more difficult to keep their communities safe.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Early in his first term, Mr. Obama's White House was faced with a situation in which it was asked to simply comment on a local police matter (Cambridge MA). They refused pointing out that such behavior would be inconsistent with the constitution. Here we have Mr. Trump trying to in effect federalize the police across the country. This puts him in direct conflict not only with a basic notion of our republic but with the Reconstructionist Christian community that has strongly supported him. While they recognize the role of the federal government in protecting our borders, those same people jealously guard the localism of law enforcement. I really have to question if Mr. Trump has a clear understanding of his role or the overall process of governance. 

Anybody care to share their views on this topic? How about joining me to discuss it. Let's go Walking on the Weene Side.
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Sen. Rand Paul: Montenegro Joining NATO Is Against U.S. Interests

Sen. Rand Paul: Montenegro Joining NATO Is Against U.S. Interests | Upsetment | Scoop.it
'This is the crux of the debate: Congress abdicating its role in declaring war'
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Good Lord, I'm agreeing with Rand Paul. Adding Montenegro to NATO represents not just another commitment by the US to rush to the aid of another country—in this case one that can hardly contribute to its own defense—but amounts to a provocation towards Russia. Clearly, the idea of a European Union is now the driving force behind NATO's expansion. This is the means by which Brussels is striving to create its own super-state. The interests of NATO and the EU are not the same. Why do I feel like we are back in the Middle Ages? We have the Holy Roman Empire, the Eastern Orthodox force of Russia, and the issue of the Muslims—especially in Constantinople (read modern Turkey) and the Islamic invasions of Europe. Did somebody call for the Borgias? 

By the way, if you like plots and corruption, check out Times to Try the Sou of Man.

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He couldn’t believe it was butter. So he sued Dunkin’ Donuts. - The Boston Globe

He couldn’t believe it was butter. So he sued Dunkin’ Donuts. - The Boston Globe | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Worcester man claims Dunkin didn’t use real butter on his bagel.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Good to see that there are people out there willing to fight to hold fast food companies to a higher standard. But, while we're talking higher standards, who puts butter on a bagel. Seriously, where's the shmear? And, that doesn't look like a real bagel. The people from Bialystok would call this a piece of brad with a hole. What is this the chop suey of American Jewish? Next, McDonalds will be selling gefilte fish made from mullet instead of gifilts. I don't mean to carp, but a line has to be drawn in the charoset. Which reminds me, Passover is coming. To all my Jewish friends, I wish you a a koshern un freilichen Pesach.
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Trump nixes Obama order preventing federal workers from being fired because they’re LGBT

Trump nixes Obama order preventing federal workers from being fired because they’re LGBT | Upsetment | Scoop.it
With a stroke of his pen Trump has knocked the teeth out of federal compliance regulations protecting LGBT workers
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In one way, this is no big deal since most American businesses,, especially the large ones, have embraced diversity in the workplace. And, I honestly don't think it reflects Trump's personal prejudice or antipathy towards any group. However, it's certainly a slap at the LGBTQ community and it reflects the Trump-Pence view that liberty doesn't imply equality since that like everything else should trickle down from the haves to the have-nots. Just one more way in which this administration would make government not about caring for the people but supporting their feudal masters. When I see this man in action, I think of King John and the Magna Carta. It was only when the king wanted to limit the hunting and riparian rights of the nobility that there was real change enacted (at the points of the nobilities' swords). I look into a dark future and wonder if someplace down the line, when King Donald tries to reserve the deer parks for the pleasure of his paying guests, will some of his supporters will finally get it. 
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