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Upsetment
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TIME Picks the Best Space Photos of 2015

TIME Picks the Best Space Photos of 2015 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
TIME picks the best space images of the year, from stunning galaxies to dwarf planets to catastrophic rocket launches.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I'm not big on best of the year stuff, but these pictures are fabulous. If you're at all into astronomy, I bet you'll love them too. 

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For 55 officers involved in fatal shootings this year, it wasn’t their first time

For 55 officers involved in fatal shootings this year, it wasn’t their first time | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An analysis exposes another gap in the federal government’s oversight of fatal police shootings nationwide.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Certainly, every officer involved shooting should be rigorously investigated. While SWAT members are reasonably expected to be involved in multiple shootings, special attention should be paid to patrol officers who are so involved. Even if those shootings are found justified, such patrol officers should probably be reassigned to duties that will make additional deadly force situations less likely. 

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Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back

Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Debt buyers are using the courts to sue consumers and collect debt, then preventing those same consumers from using the courts to mount a challenge.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is enough to drive the common person to drink. The bottom line is that the American system is becoming more and more fascist, putting the partnership between government and business ahead of the people, whom the government should be serving. And the legal system, just as it did in Nazi Germany, is greasing the way. Will Americans be sheep in this process, use their vote to change the nation's direction, or end in revolution? There is a desperate need for leadership that will change the national dialog away from hate-mongering and fear and towards realistic social and economic change. 

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Putin ‘Seducing’ Iraq’s Tribes

Putin ‘Seducing’ Iraq’s Tribes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
‘Russia is serious in fighting terrorism,’ one sheikh tells The Daily Beast, ‘unlike the U.S.’
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course, the U.S. having created a regime has no capacity to recognize that the regime it has created is a farce and a failure. Just as in Afghanistan, the American intelligence community reveals its total lack of intelligence. Russia on the other hand wants Iraq to splinter. If he can build a coalition of Sunni tribes, they will give him credibility among the Muslims of Russia who don't want ISIS and it will give him a strong ally against Iran. Putin has no commitment to Iraq as a country. By the way, does anybody remember that many, including Joe Biden and myself were saying that Iraq should break into three cohesive parts? I still think that's the way to go. 

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Hospitality and Gambling Interests Delay Closing of Billion-Dollar Tax Loophole

Hospitality and Gambling Interests Delay Closing of Billion-Dollar Tax Loophole | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Lobbyists recently swooped in to add 54 words to a tax and spending bill of more than 2,000 pages that temporarily preserved a loophole sought by the hotel, restaurant and gambling industries, and billionaire Wall Street investors.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We get the Congress we deserve if we don't recognize that they will always go with the money. Republican of Democrat, if they aren't ready to put the nation first, they should be out of Washington. The best way to make this happen is through campaign finance reform. Pigs at the trough they are, and we have to stop the flow of corruption into that trough.

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The Islamic State creates a new type of jihadist: Part terrorist, part gangster

The Islamic State creates a new type of jihadist: Part terrorist, part gangster | Upsetment | Scoop.it
European followers of ISIS help finance the group’s war machine through petty crime.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Obviously, ISIS is becoming a gang just like the drug cartels and the street gangs of central America. While part of our response must be military, we also need to consider addressing the psychological and sociological conditions that lead young people first into criminality and then into the rationalization that being a hoodlum in the guise of jihad makes their behavior acceptable. 

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We obtained folk legend Pete Seeger's FBI file. Here's what it reveals.

We obtained folk legend Pete Seeger's FBI file. Here's what it reveals. | Upsetment | Scoop.it

from the 1940s through the early 1970s, the US government spied on singer-songwriter Pete Seeger because of his political views and associations. According to documents in Seeger's extensive FBI file—which runs to nearly 1,800 pages (with 90 pages withheld) and was obtained by Mother Jones under the Freedom of Information Act—the bureau's initial interest in Seeger was triggered in 1943 after Seeger, as an Army private, wrote a letter protesting a proposal to deport all Japanese American citizens and residents when World War II ended.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

It was my privilege to meet Pete. He was a great influence in my life; I even reference his group The Weavers in Broody New Englander. I share this post in part to honor him but more importantly to iterate my horror at the racism and bigotry recently being shown in this country towards Muslims and especially Arabs. Pete is an icon to those of us who know that what was done to Japanese Americans was wrong. More, he is a role model to all who believe in the dignity of the individual in the face of the politicians who would belittle others. His stand before HUAC represents a high-water mark for integrity. 

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UN: World's Refugees And Displaced To Exceed 60 Million

UN: World's Refugees And Displaced To Exceed 60 Million | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"One in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What a horrifying commentary on our species. My heart aches for these millions. 

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Ignorant parent shuts down entire school district after complaining about “Muslim indoctrination” in calligraphy assignment

Ignorant parent shuts down entire school district after complaining about “Muslim indoctrination” in calligraphy assignment | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Islamophobia is thick on the ground in Augusta County, Virginia
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What strikes me is not just the bigotry of the parent and the silliness of the uproar but the stupidity of the teacher who failed to come up with an alternative piece of Arabic calligraphy. That suggests that the teaching is being done not from understanding but rote which means the kids won't learn about the topic but only how to parrot. That's like the literature teacher having them copy one of my great short stories rather than writing their own. While it would expose them to beautiful prose, it wouldn't help them learn how to be a creative writer. That comes from beating ones head agains the wall for years. 

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Pentagon Officers: We Quit if Trump Wins

Pentagon Officers: We Quit if Trump Wins | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The plans of the next president are personal to the officers of the Pentagon, who are threatening to retire if The Donald becomes commander-in-chief.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Republicans are always saying we should listen to the generals; so let's give some thought to what military leaders think of the GOP contenders. In effect, this article says our military leadership thinks this crop of GOP contenders are clowns. I can go along with that. 

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Asia's Least Developed Country Is Afghanistan: UN Report

Asia's Least Developed Country Is Afghanistan: UN Report | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The United Nation's Human Development Office has ranked Afghanistan as 171, out of 188 countries, in the human development index.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is time for presidential candidates to discuss how to extricate our nation from the sinkhole created by the Bush administration's march into war.
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Saudis announce Islamic anti-terrorism coalition - BBC News

Saudis announce Islamic anti-terrorism coalition - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia announces the formation of a 34-nation military alliance to fight terrorism made up of mainly Muslim countries.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The problem is who is defining terrorism. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia, home of the most virile jihadist philosophy, is not likely to fight the same people the Euro-American world would want to fight. We might agree on those who want to establish a caliphate, groups like Al Quaeda and ISIS, but not on those who, for instance, want to further women's rights or extend democratic processes. 

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US-backed Syrian rebel group on verge of collapse

US-backed Syrian rebel group on verge of collapse | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The main Western-backed Arab rebel group in Syria appears on the verge of collapse because of low morale, desertions, and distrust of its leaders by the rank and file, threatening U.S. efforts to put together a ground force capable of defeating the Islamic State and negotiating an end to the Syrian civil war.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why can't the American military ever pick a winner or even a righteous leader? Is it perhaps because we look for people who think money is the key instead of people who are looking to truly serve their people. Since the end of World War 2, this country has had a history of backing dictators and thieves; time for a wakeup call in Washington—our intelligence agencies aren't very bright. 

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Rhode Island Prep School Expresses ‘Sorrow and Shame’ Over Sexual Abuse

Rhode Island Prep School Expresses ‘Sorrow and Shame’ Over Sexual Abuse | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An investigation by the prestigious St. George’s School found that 26 students were abused by school employees in the 1970s and ’80s.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As a graduate of another New England prep school, I was horrified a couple years back when one of my classmates contacted me to discuss his abuse by a teacher, one whom by the way I had detested. Not being particularly attractive has its advantages, at least in world with such predators and I was never approached let alone molested, but now every time I am contacted by the school, I wonder which of the others were victimized and why had I not known and not done something to help. At least there are some victims receiving some recognition of their pain. 

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Americans are drinking themselves to death at record rates

Americans are drinking themselves to death at record rates | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This drug kills more than heroin and painkillers combined, and it's perfectly legal.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Alcohol can have health benefits but not when you use it to escape. For my part, I share a glass of wine with my wife at least once a month, but once upon a time... Anyway, I have done enough drinking to write a book set in a neighborhood bar. Check out Tales From the Dew Drop Inne and "Enjoys yourself." www.kennethweene.com
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Saudi Arabia 'jails reformist writer Zuhair Kutbi' - BBC News

Saudi Arabia 'jails reformist writer Zuhair Kutbi' - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Saudi writer who has called for political reform is reported to have been sentenced to four years in jail and banned from writing for 15 years.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is there a reason other than oil why Saudi Arabia is considered a friend and ally? Seriously, they have no regard for human rights and freedoms. They treat others horribly. And they are the home to some of the most pernicious theology not only in Islam but in all of religion. So, once again the U.S. will stand by while they impose their royal dictatorship. What a sad commentary on the nature of American (and European) diplomacy. 

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Taliban close to taking over Helmand: Afghan official

Taliban close to taking over Helmand: Afghan official | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Deputy governor takes to Facebook to warn president the southern province may fall after 90 soldiers killed in two days.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Quick, let's send more Americans to die, drop more American bombs on the hapless people, and remember that the Afghan government has minimal popular support or capacity to govern, Enough. We should never have gotten involved in this civil war.Instead of taking sides, we should have gone after bin Laden and gotten the hell out. 

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One governor bucking the bipartisan tradition of passing the buck

One governor bucking the bipartisan tradition of passing the buck | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, is redefining responsible governance.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It may be a tiny state, but it has a great governor going for it. Her motto: "“Don’t ignore big problems and don’t try to pretend that problems are smaller than they are.” I guess that means she's actually telling the voters the truth, which is quite a different approach from politics as usual. 

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We Blew $17 Billion in Afghanistan. How Would You Have Spent It?

We Blew $17 Billion in Afghanistan. How Would You Have Spent It? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The U.S. government has wasted billions of dollars in Afghanistan, and until now, no one has added it all up.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Our friends in the military-industrial-espionage complex are at it again. In a total denial of reality they are dumping money and materials into the failure our Afghanistan policies. To begin with, they don't get it that the people of Afghanistan are not interested in serving in the face the is their national military and police. They sign up to get some money, weapons to take home, and maybe a bit of education; then they're out of their with the guns they can carry.
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It’s the “clock kid” all over again: A 12-year-old Sikh boy is the latest victim of racist terrorism paranoia

It’s the “clock kid” all over again: A 12-year-old Sikh boy is the latest victim of racist terrorism paranoia | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In Dallas, Armaan Singh Sarai spent 3 days in juvenile detention after a classmate said his backpack held a bomb
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When this kid is cleared, and it sounds like that should happen quite easily, what should be done with the bully? The school authorities who acted without any consideration of reality? The police who acted without any investigation? The authorities who did not reveal the boy's whereabouts to his parents? I have no simple answers but I do know this is beyond wrong and once again from our friends in Texas. What is wrong with a country in which such anger and destructiveness lies so close to the surface. Am I the only one who weeps for America?

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DNC penalizes Sanders campaign for improper access of Clinton voter data

DNC penalizes Sanders campaign for improper access of Clinton voter data | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Sanders campaign has fired a staffer but also blamed the national party and its data vendor.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Reality check guys, the web is a porous system at best. Data is constantly being compromised. That the DNC can't maintain its web services more effectively is hardly a surprise and certainly isn't a knock on Mr. Sanders or his staff. I wonder what the DNC thought this staffer should have done; not looked. "Hey, I left the girl's locker room  door open, but that's because I expect you not to look. Yeah, that happens in life. 

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The Proxy War in Libya — The UAE vs Qatar

The Proxy War in Libya — The UAE vs Qatar | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The UAE and Qatar have an opportunity to positively shape the future of post-Qaddafi Libya. The question is whether they will seize that opportunity or continue to wage their proxy war in Libya.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
All too easily, we think of Islam as a unified entity. Realities in the Middle East and North Africa reveal that even within the Sunni world there are major tensions.
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Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages - Medievalists.net

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages - Medievalists.net | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Fascinating. For my part, no way would I do this. But if I had to, I'd want a lot of mead or ale for my lonely winter. 

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America's newest warship breaks down at sea after 20 days

America's newest warship breaks down at sea after 20 days | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The USS Milwaukee, launched with much fanfare 20 days ago, had to be towed
back to shore after engine problems
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sadly, nobody can protect us from the incompetence and greed of the military-industrial-espionage complex. America, time to wake up and see that we are often our own enemy.

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Disturbing new twist in Chicago’s police crisis: Embattled state’s attorney refused to prosecute cop who admitted to perjury

Disturbing new twist in Chicago’s police crisis: Embattled state’s attorney refused to prosecute cop who admitted to perjury | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Documents revealed to Salon show how State's Attorney Anita Alvarez killed an investigation into police perjury VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The greatest crimes are those perpetrated in the name of maintaining the system of justice. 

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