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Upsetment
Want to get upset? Here are some things to help.
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Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death. Seriously.

Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death. Seriously. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Given how savagely anti-gay the mainstream Oklahoma Republican party is, it’s no surprise that the state’s Tea Partiers are so rabidly hateful that they come across more as dark satire than as serious bigots. To wit: This week, an Oklahoma magazine discovered that last summer, Tea Party state house candidate Scott Esk endorsed stoning gay people to...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This suggests that under stand your ground rules gays have every right to shoot this varmint on sight. Is that what the far right is bringing our country to? Is that what we want? I suggest that any Oklahoman who would vote for this abomination missed not only American history in school but any meaningful education in the Judeo-Christian traditions the right claims to value so highly.

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Ruling on teacher job security is an attack on students, unions say

Ruling on teacher job security is an attack on students, unions say | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Teachers union officials denounced a ruling Tuesday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge deeming job protections for teachers in California as unconstitutional as a misguided attack on teachers and students.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As one who has taught public school and whose father was a teacher, I think the court is right. While teachers who are performing their duties must have tenure and protection, the tenure system has become a wall behind which the untalented, the lazy, and the sick have been able to hide. The teachers' unions should long ago have supported reform which allowed for appropriate review of teacher performance.

Teachers, good teachers, deserve our respect and far better pay than most of them receive. But that doesn't mean that every teacher should be protected no matter how little effort they put in nor how badly they do their jobs.

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Study: Hard Times Can Make People More Racist

Study: Hard Times Can Make People More Racist | Upsetment | Scoop.it
When the going gets tough, the tough get... prejudiced
Kenneth Weene's insight:

 Adversity should create a greater sense of community and awareness that we are in it together, but more typically it brings out a sense of threat and that we have to take care of our own.

I would add two points additional points. This study was not done with Black Americans; it would be interesting if they showed the same tendency to separate by color and how that reflected in their decisions as to how to divide what they were to give. Second,  those who are getting richer in the harder times tend to manipulate this awareness of difference because it is easier to take advantage of divided people.

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World's Most Expensive Dog Breeds - The Top 10 | Pets World

World's Most Expensive Dog Breeds - The Top 10 | Pets World | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Explore the top 10 world's most expensive dog breeds. Find pictures and information as to why these breeds have the highest price tag.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Thanks to Samar Oberoi for suggesting this lovely array of dogs. Some great looking animals here. Not sure if they are the most expensive, but certainly they look like great pets.

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Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA

Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- In 2011, a significant chunk of the congressional agenda was taken up by banks and merchants battling over swipe fees -- namely, how much could banks charge Walmart and others to run a debit card. The focus on the penny brawl made no se...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time to remove lobbyists from the congressional agenda. Why don't we have government funding of elections, clear spending limits, and strict penalties for those offering and receiving gifts, perqs, etc. If we don't clean up Washington and the money game, how can we hope to have responsive government?

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The female Sufi mystics of the Pankisi Gorge | Al Jazeera America

The female Sufi mystics of the Pankisi Gorge | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a valley with a reputation for arms smugglers and aspiring fighters, women keep the Sufi musical tradition alive
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A different side to Islam. Be sure to listen to the audio.

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Tribes get another opportunity at formal recognition by U.S.

Tribes get another opportunity at formal recognition by U.S. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
SEATTLE — The Chinook tribes greeted Lewis and Clark when the explorers arrived at the Lower Columbia River in 1805. The tribes helped members of the expedition through the winter, bringing them food
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course there is the question, why would any Native American group want federal recognition? To get infected blankets? Inferior health care? Attempts at their extermination? Unhealthy food allotments? Another casino? Seriously, given the track record of the U.S., they might be better off without federal recognition.

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His Name Is Nick. He'll Never Forget The Night A Stranger Decided To Call Him Something Else.

His Name Is Nick. He'll Never Forget The Night A Stranger Decided To Call Him Something Else. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Things that matter. Pass 'em on.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We must never forget the pain of a word; yes it can be just one word.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford: I could no longer ‘defend the American policy’

Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford: I could no longer ‘defend the American policy’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Mick Krever, CNN

The Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, who left his post just a month ago, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that he could no longer stand behind his government.

“I was no longer in a position where I felt I could defend the American policy,” he said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real problem, IMHO, is that the U.S. sees itself as having a role to play in a country that has historically been under Russia's ambit. We are getting ourselves into another Afghanistan; not as it is now, but as it was when Reagan was praising the rebels there as the moral equivalents of our founding fathers. Assad was "created" by the Soviet system and the Cold War. No matter who wins in Syria, Israel will be threatened, so that isn't the issue. If anything, the Israelis are better off with the devil they know. So how is it to American interest to get involved? Sure, try to get poison gas out in an international effort. Meanwhile, use the situation to point out to the world what is Russian responsibility. We do have a role in Egypt; we helped create that debacle by our involvement with their military, but Syria -- no way.

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Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers

Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of all the sins the Catholic Church has perpetrated on children, this is surely among the most disgusting. How can the Pope dare to say people should have children when his institution has their blood on its hands.

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When Doctors Ignore ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders

When Doctors Ignore ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Over 88 percent of physicians don’t want to be kept alive in a situation where doing so only prolongs their existence. So why aren’t they listening to patients who ask for the same?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is an important topic and supports my belief that we should have assisted suicide available as an option in order to give us more individual control over the ending of our lives. While my wife and I have all the necessary papers to "stop" heroic measures, we are very aware that many doctors, hospitals, and especially EMTs will ignore those documents. More importantly, why would we want the quality of our lives to reach that extreme when we knew that the quality of life had already sunk below what to us was an acceptable level?

We all deserve the right to die, to die with dignity and on our own terms.

 

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Which Countries Are the Worst Carbon Polluters in History? (Map.)

Which Countries Are the Worst Carbon Polluters in History? (Map.) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
To get a sense of how ridiculous carbon pollution has become, going back in time gives some perspective. So, let’s time-travel. The World Resources Institute just updated its compendium of historical carbon dioxide emissions for each country in the world to include 2011. More interestingly, the group has extended the...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Watch the map change as it reflects the change in CO2 pollution from the many countries that spew it into the atmosphere. The world’s top 12 emitters today are China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

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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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The Gulags of North Korea

The Gulags of North Korea | Upsetment | Scoop.it
When North Korea makes the headlines, you can be almost certain that it won't be for good reasons. With depressing regularity, we hear stories about military provocations against South Korea and the North's ongoing efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Or we hear about trivialities like the opening of an amusement park or the disgraceful antics of a former basketball star. But an issue of far greater importance than the trivial stories, and of equal importance to the security questions, gets only scant coverage: North Korea's atrocious record on human rights.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

That the rest of the world tolerates and deals with this regime, even if it is to send humanitarian aid, is an offense against our common humanity. That China continues to protect this dictatorship is one of the best reasons I know for not buying anything made in China. We should be pushing our government(s) to demand that China help stop the oppression of the people of North Korea.

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It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun

It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun | Upsetment | Scoop.it
My wife and I got into an argument last night over a dead man. His name was Joseph Robert Wilcox. He was 31 on Sunday, the day he tried to stop cop-killer Jerad Miller in a Las Vegas Walmart and was shot by Miller's wife Amanda. Wilcox was a good guy with a gun. It cost him his life.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In the madness of the NRA and its refusal to support reasonable gun control, the mantra has been "The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun." If you believe that, you might want to read this personal essay.

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Human faces evolved to be punched by human fists, researchers say

Human faces evolved to be punched by human fists, researchers say | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"According to researchers at the University of Utah, the bones of the human face have evolved to be more robust for protection against repeated impacts by small objects like the human fist, which they claim similarly evolved to protect the hand’s delicate musculoskeletal system when punching."

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Clearly, the apes (including man) have evolved in a world of violence. That the hominids have a violent side to them, including modern humans, should surprise nobody, not even Rousseau. We are not the offspring of his noble savage but of the battleground of evolution.

 

That said, I would point out to my "creationist" friends that hominids do not have inherited body armor, which suggests that guns are not part of our evolutionary scheme or some grand design. Either God screwed up, or we don't have a God-given right to open carry because if we did, then we'd be made of Kevlar.

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George Will: Being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges”

George Will: Being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges” | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Washington Post columnist thinks women are lying about sexual assault in order to get "privileges"
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The man is a poster child for the lack of empathy so common on the right. He has no understanding of what the average person goes through. While we may need to differentiate among sexual assaults -- some are clearly more heinous than others, I cannot imagine more than a tiny number of disturbed women wanting the coveted status of having been abused.

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War Gear Flows to Police Departments

War Gear Flows to Police Departments | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in the armories of local police departments, often with little public notice.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Will this make the police more dangerous to the rest of us?

 

What this article misses is the changing mindset of the police, who -- given this gear -- begin to think more militaristic. Many unnecessary raids, more aggressive in non-threatening situations. If an officer has a machine-gun available in his (her) car trunk, obviously (s)he thinks of a handgun as a more acceptable tool than if (s)he only has a shotgun. It is about the perspective that changes.

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Religious orders allowed over 2,000 Irish children to be used in medical experiments

Religious orders allowed over 2,000 Irish children to be used in medical experiments | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Cork historian discovers shocking evidence of 1930s trials. More than 2000 Irish children in religious run homes were subjected to drugs trials in the 1930s according to a shocking new report.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Hell surely runneth over with Irish nuns (and priests). How does any member of the Catholic hierarchy sleep? How do they not spend their every waking hour doing penance (as if that would help).

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Israeli Soldiers Break Silence With Tales of West Bank Occupation - NBC News

Israeli Soldiers Break Silence With Tales of West Bank Occupation - NBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Before he became a paratrooper in the Israeli army, Avner Gvaryahu saw himself as a good person.“I was raised in a family and in a society, in a country that...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Evil triumphs when good people remain silent. It is time for the people of Israel to deal with the realities of the occupation just as it is time for the people of Palestine to deal with the reality of Israel.

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The Hero Who Died Looking for Bowe Bergdahl

The Hero Who Died Looking for Bowe Bergdahl | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Lt. Darryn Andrews left a pregnant wife and son behind when he saved six fellow soldiers at the expense of his own life. But his family never knew his true mission—until now.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While Lt. Andrews deserves honor for his service and his sacrifice, it discredited him and his colleagues when the Army chose to lie about the mission on which he died. If, and I don't think this the case, the mission had to be kept secret, then they could have just said the mission was classified. What, however, would it have complicated to have the truth known, that the Army was looking for a soldier who had apparently been captured? Is there something wrong in trying to recover a lost soldier? I thought that was part of the credo of war -- even, by the way, if that soldier was a deserter who may be then tried.

Once again the shame goes to the Army and to the bureaucracy that has so much difficulty in being straight with the American public.

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Senate GOP presses new bill to overhaul VA

Senate GOP presses new bill to overhaul VA | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Senate Republicans led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday unveiled their plan to repair the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs health care system by weeding out wrongdoing and expanding access to private care.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I thing (and assuredly hope) that all Americans are outraged over the recent revelations about the Veterans' Administration, the real question is can the prima donnas and self-serving politicos (along with those who are such ideologues as to be unable to consider the need for spending money) can work together to push a real reform bill through. Many changes are needed at the V.A. Many of them will involved spending money (for salaries or to obtain private care when that is the better choice) There also is a great need to streamline the process of care so that each vet has a primary care specialist who actually will be there when needed, not just a rotating cog in a lopsided wheel.

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Judge challenges attorney to courtroom brawl

Judge challenges attorney to courtroom brawl | Upsetment | Scoop.it
BREVARD, Fla. — Tensions erupted in a courtroom Monday when a judge challenged an assistant public defender to
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This judge needs to have his ass handed to him. His behavior is outrageous. The lawyer should not have gone out the door. He should have continued to stand for his client and let the judge hold him in contempt. Then it would be a clear constitutional case, which the lawyer would win. It isn't contempt to insist on your client's rights.

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Derpitude: Open Carry Group in Texas sues because they can’t approach motorists while fully armed | FreakOutNation

Derpitude: Open Carry Group in Texas sues because they can’t approach motorists while fully armed | FreakOutNation | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Let's get this picture. You're in your car and this guy comes walking towards you. Do you sit there patiently waiting for him or do you react with fear, gun your motor, and run the idiot over? I go with door number 2.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

And what makes him think he has the right to harass and intimidate others? When somebody in a car takes him out, I would not vote to convict that person. Call it Stand Your Ground or self-defense or just plain common sense; I'd see this guy as a threat to my and my passengers' lives.

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When 9,800 Doesn't Equal 9,800

When 9,800 Doesn't Equal 9,800 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The dirty secret about Obama’s Afghan plan is that tens of thousands of American civilians will be on the ground long after the troops have left.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Afghanistan is where dreams of empire go to die. There is no good reason to leave our people there as hostages. We are not defending freedom or protecting people who want our protection; we are the foreign invaders, the colonialists. And why? Not to punish the perpetrators of 9/11 but to satisfy the neo-con ambitions of a discredited Bush administration and of course to keep the military-industrial-espionage industry happy.

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