Upsetment
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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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‘If They Kill Even One Hindu, We Will Kill 100!’

‘If They Kill Even One Hindu, We Will Kill 100!’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
‘If They Kill Even One Hindu, We Will Kill 100!’ « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In many ways the state of Uttaar Pardesh is the capital of Hinduism in India. It includes the sacred city of Varanasi, the place where Hindus go to bathe in the sacred River Ganges and Agra where one finds the Taj Mahal. It was also historically very much dominated by Islam, for example the Red Fort, the greatest Islamic fort, was built in Old Delhi. Delhi sits on the state's border. It was, understandable, an area of great tension at the time of Independence. Modi is a sharp politician playing to the ages old resentment against Muslims in this area, but he is also playing with fire. Just as medieval Popes used crusades to unify their power and prove they were righteous pontiffs and Muslim leaders ginned up attacks on Iberia, Constantinople, Jerusalem,  and the Balkans to prove that they were doing Muhammed's work, many of today's demagogues have made the fault line between Islam and other religions a battlecry. To which I say, "A pox on all those who claim to serve their god by attacking the followers of other deities." What do you think, is their one true faith that has the right and even obligation to attack the others?
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China Poised to Take Lead on Climate After Trump’s Move to Undo Policies

China Poised to Take Lead on Climate After Trump’s Move to Undo Policies | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For years, the United States pushed China to commit to limiting its use of fossil fuels. The countries now look likely to switch roles.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I know that many Trump supporters riled against what they saw as America's growing internationalism, by which they seemed to mean a growing commitment to following the rules and conventions created at an international level particularly through the United Nations. Ignoring the fact that most of those efforts represented not initiative from abroad but ideas started in the US, they saw such international agreements as attacks on American sovereignty. The current administration certainly seems to be in tune with those American-first-and-only values. This will, of course, leave our competitors, especially Russia and China, free to take the lead. As the world gets smaller and more interdependent, only Trump hotels and weapons sales any longer seem to brag made in America. 
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Russia’s General Staff blasts US-led coalition for destroying Syrian infrastructure

Russia’s General Staff blasts US-led coalition for destroying Syrian infrastructure | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Russian General Staff says the coalition delivers strikes on the quarters of Iraq’s Mosul where thousands of civilians stay besides the Islamic State’s militants
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not surprisingly, Tass has a very different view of what is going on on the battlefield than our American sources. They speak of both the success of their efforts in Syria and the failure of the coalition in Iraq and in Syria, but more importantly, they speak to the destructiveness of the American approach of bombing infrastructure like that near Raqqa, Syria. Since we never hear from the US military about such attacks on bridges, dams, and the like, I wonder whether we have taken to creating such damage and if so what the consequences will be for the people of Syria and Iraq and particularly cities like Raqqa and Mosul in Iraq once ISIS is driven back. Saddam had predicted the chaos that would follow his overthrow, and so far he has certainly been right. What he didn't perhaps realize was that it would bring out the worst thinking in America and perhaps the most strategic in Russia.
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Italy sex case dropped because woman 'did not scream' - BBC News

Italy sex case dropped because woman 'did not scream' - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Italy's justice minister is investigating the Turin judge's decision, which has caused outrage.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What is sufficient resistance from a woman to call it rape? She didn't say "no," and she didn't scream for help, but she did say, "enough." Is that enough? How much should the previous abuse experienced by a victim be taken into consideration when evaluating her testimony? Does a history of childhood abuse make it more difficult for the victim to protest vigorously or to shout. "NO!"? We may never know the full truth, but sexual violence is not acceptable in the modern world. 
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White artist’s Emmett Till painting sparks protest at Whitney Museum

White artist’s Emmett Till painting sparks protest at Whitney Museum | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An abstract painting of lynching victim Emmett Till on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York was the subject of a weeklong protest by a black artist who decried the canvas as "an injustice to the black community" because it was painted by a white woman.

Parker Bright spent several days this week standing in front of the painting by Dana Schutz, who used historic photographs as inspiration for her depiction of Till, a 14-year-old black Chicago boy killed by white men in Mississippi in 1955.





Till's mother insisted on an open-casket funeral to show the world the mutilated body of her son, and Jet magazine published photos of his corpse. The brutality sparked outrage that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

In an interview published Thursday in Artnet News, Schutz said that when she made the painting last year, it was a response to "a summer that felt like a state of emergency."

"There were constant mass shootings, racist rallies filled with hate speech, and an escalating number of camera-phone videos of innocent black men being shot by police," she said. "The photograph of Emmett Till felt analogous to the time: what was hidden was now revealed."

Bright, who engaged onlookers in conversations about "Open Casket," argued in a Facebook Live video that "Schutz doesn't have the privilege to speak for the black people as a whole or for Emmett Till's family."

"No one should be making money off a black dead body," he said, demanding that the curators remove the painting from the biennial exhibition.

Bright's protest found supporters online. A Berlin-based British artist, Hannah Black, sent the biennial curators a letter lambasting Schutz for using "black pain as raw material." She called on the museum to destroy the painting.

Whitney curators Mia Locks and Christopher Y. Lew, both Asian American, defended their inclusion of Schutz's "unsettling image" in the show.

"By exhibiting the painting we wanted to acknowledge the importance of this extremely consequential and solemn image in American and African American history."

Locks said any attempt to shut down a conversation about art "is a dangerous and slippery slope and feels to me like an affront to the belief in art and the capacity of art to hold all those complexities."

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney museum's chief curator, said the museum took pains to publicly acknowledge the controversy.

Schutz, who didn't respond to interview requests from The Associated Press, said in a statement provided by the museum that "Open Casket" was an effort to "engage with the loss."



"I don't know what it is like to be black in America. But I do know what it is like to be a mother. Emmett was Mamie Till's only son. I thought about the possibility of painting it only after listening to interviews with her," she wrote.

She dismissed accusations of trying to profit from Till's killing, pledging that the painting "was never for sale and never will be."

The controversy was the subject of false news reports. Several websites circulated a bogus letter purporting to be from Schutz calling for the painting to be removed.

Whitney patron Robyn Autry, an African-American professor of sociology who came to see the painting from Connecticut, said viewing it was painful because of the subject material, but "artists can do what they want. That has to be the case. But then people will respond to it however they will respond to it."

Elias Schultz, a 20-year-old student from New York, said it's important to let everyone be heard.

"I don't think that Schutz is doing any harm by bringing more attention to the story of Emmett Till," she said.

The 2017 Whitney biennial exhibition is on view until June 11. It features the work of 63 individuals and collectives, about half of whom are female artists and about half are non-white.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
First, I think this a strong painting and one that reminds us of a very serious issue, not just in American history but also in our current social climate. Second, I think it racist for a Black person to say that Whites cannot speak to the Black experience. Such an attitude would only deepen the racial chasm in America. I certainly include people of all races and ethnicities in my writing and believe that "we are all more nearly human than otherwise". What do you think? 
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What role will Crimean Tatars play in Russian-Turkish relations?

What role will Crimean Tatars play in Russian-Turkish relations? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Observers wonder just how far Turkey is willing to stick out its neck to support Crimean Tatars during its quest to further reconcile with Russia.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One reason I think the US should be more open to Russ playing her hand in Syria and other pars of the Middle East is that inevitably that will bring Moscow into conflict with the bigger players in that region. Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia: all have a stake in the game and the capacity to make mischief for the Bear. Turkey is certainly prepared to push the cause of Ukraine far more clearly than the EU or the US are. Instead of trying to build our controlled coalition, perhaps it's time to let a coalition develop in opposition to Russia just as one is developing against ISIS. Maybe America doesn't have to manage the world. 
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Do You Live Near Toxic Waste? See 1,317 of the Most Polluted Spots in the U.S.

Do You Live Near Toxic Waste? See 1,317 of the Most Polluted Spots in the U.S. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Hazardous waste sites are scattered all across the country. See a map showing where these "Superfund sites" are near you
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While Mr. Trump proposes cutting the EPA, there are so many places in America still in need of clean-up. Many of them are directly connected to the military and many others to mining. Check out the interactive map in the original article of find out what poison is near you.

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Here’s Why the U.S. Is Banning Larger Electronics on Some Overseas Flights

Here’s Why the U.S. Is Banning Larger Electronics on Some Overseas Flights | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The new U.S. ban on carry-on electronic devices on some international flights has raised many questions. Here's what you need to know
Kenneth Weene's insight:
First, detonating a bomb in the baggage hold of a plane is not that difficult. Second, the screening in airports requires competent and motivated screeners; is the US government telling us that in these "dangerous" places there will be great difficulty in finding somebody to slip contraband onboard a plane? PLEASE! Let me offer a different reason for this strange new travel restriction. 

     It has to do with the travelers and with getting them to fly on American carriers. Most of those who will be affected by this rule are business people, many of whom flying First or Business Class. Most of whom using their computers to make money and certainly unhappy at the thought of all that down-time. Also unhappy at the thought that their personal and especially business data might be out of sight and vulnerable. 

     What are they to do? They want to get to the US and England for business, but how to get there with computers in hand? Of course, they can fly to say Amsterdam or Frankfurt and change planes to the US. Then they can carry those precious computers on both flights. And, it just happens that the major American and British carriers offer just such connecting services while the national carriers of the countries that were named—many of them long-standing allies—do not. 

     Would the US government do something so blatant to assist American airlines? You bet it would. 
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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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The N.J. Theme Park Where Backhoe Dreams Come True

The N.J. Theme Park Where Backhoe Dreams Come True | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Can kids in bulldozers cure the construction worker shortage?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If I still lived in New York, I would be taking kids to this great sounding amusement park. There are way too few kids learning how to operate heavy equipment. Partly, that's because it's hard and dirty work, but the shortage of equipment handlers is due to schools that encourage books over doing and college over apprenticeships. Meanwhile, the infrastructure needs trained hands as does the construction industry to say nothing of the military. As a grandparent, I played digger and trains with my grandson. Who knows, maybe that should be his future not just his past. 
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Trump administration drops human rights in Bahrain F-16 deal

Trump administration drops human rights in Bahrain F-16 deal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump administration drops human rights in Bahrain F-16 deal
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So we can keep up with the times: The Republicans are now the party that is ignoring human rights issues when it comes to weapons sales and the US continues to sell weapons to Muslim countries in which civil war is likely. Yep, lots of great news here because Lockheed-Martin is going to make a shitload of money. Mind if I don't celebrate? Mind if I point out that once again we are supporting autocracy over liberty? Don't get me wrong, Bahrain isn't the worst country we could be doing weapons deals with, but it sure isn't the best either. 
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Iran says Russia can use its military bases 'on case by case basis'

Iran says Russia can use its military bases 'on case by case basis' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia could use Iranian military bases to launch air strikes against militants in Syria on a "case by case basis."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Iran has developed a very intelligent way to deal with Russia. Pragmatic with clear goals to be won for both. While the US blusters and over-commits, this is how coalitions actually work. Of course, Tehran is dealing with the Russian Bear, and that's always a bit dangerous, bit at least they have the right idea how to do it. I think we're going to see Russia doing a lot of this kind of dealing with other Middle Eastern countries. Besides shoring up Moscow's connection with the Muslim world and helping to cut off ISIS with its connections to Russia's own vast Islamic population, this will give Russia opportunities to develop business ties with those countries. On the other side, besides beating ISIS, which many Muslim countries both Sunni and Shia want to do, this gives them clout to bring to bear against their own dissidents and those on their borders. Russia is now seen as a reliable ally even to those who don't like Assad. The US on the other hand is seen as very unreliable. Sorry, America, but Washington is losing the diplomatic war. Just one more way we have stopped being number one. 
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Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy.

Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy. « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As Mosul demonstrates so clearly, the American invasion of Iraq left exactly the kind of power struggle that Joe Biden had warned against and the George H W Bush had been so aware of. Worse, we look at Libya and Afghanistan and see the same kind of fractioning of a country. While much of the blame goes for this chaos goes back before the American era to the colonists who created artificial national governments and borders, quite simply the US and its allies under George W. Bush and in Libya under Obama simply ignored the realities of division. Now in all three countries the question is how to put Humpty Dumpty back together. In Afghanistan the answer is probably to allow the Pashtun to rule, which means the Taliban. In Iraq it may mean division into three or more countries. In Libya it may mean allowing the emergence of a new strongman. 

So has America learned anything from all this? I fear not as we attack in Yemen and put boots on the ground in Syria. Instead, we try to convince ourselves that the chaos is nor of our making and that somehow it reflects societies and beliefs less worthy than our own. What fools we have become. 
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China air quality got markedly worse in Jan-Feb: ministry

China air quality got markedly worse in Jan-Feb: ministry | Upsetment | Scoop.it
China's air quality was markedly worse in the first two months of the year than the same period of 2016 following a series of smog outbreaks in northern China, official data published on Friday showed.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
China, still very dependent on coal, is trying desperately to solve its pollution problems but there are still way too many days when the skies look like this. One answer is to cut back on the use of coal, just as it has been and continues to be an answer in the US and other countries. There is no such thing as clean coal. 
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In unanimous decision, Supreme Court raises bar for special education (+video)

In unanimous decision, Supreme Court raises bar for special education (+video) | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The ruling could bring major benefits to students with disabilities – especially those with 'individualized education programs,' or IEPs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Often during my professional career as a psychologist I found myself dealing with school systems. Sometimes they wanted what was best for kids and worked diligently towards those goals. Sometimes they wanted to avoid costs and go with a one-size-fits-all special ed placement. A few wanted what was best for the child but had rather bizarre notions of what that meant, i.e. endless hours of reading instruction for the severely dyslexic depriving them of other studies and activities. Now, in a time of decreased funding for almost everything, the court says schools should in effect look to optimize the child's potential in a meaningful way. I love that but wonder how out of step the reality will be with the anti-tax sentiment of Americans and particularly the GOP and the current POTUS. What do you think, will this actually mean better education for kids with special needs?
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No Charges In Death Of Inmate After Forced Prison Shower

No Charges In Death Of Inmate After Forced Prison Shower | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Witnesses said Darren Rainey was cooked alive by water "hot enough to brew a cup of tea."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Constitution is very clear that there should not be cruel and inhuman punishment. Of course, when that document was written, it wasn't considered to apply to a black schizophrenic. So, did these guards knowingly harm Mr. Rainey or were they just trying to punish him in a reasonable way? Which version of the events do you believe? My guess: were Mr. Rainey's skin a different hue, he would not have died in that shower. But, then, if his skin were a different hue, he probably would have had a better chance in life. Instead of self-medicating on meth, he might have received treatment. Instead of being locked in a soulless prison, he might have been in a treatment center or group home. We cannot necessarily know, but cases like this remind us that there is still much that must be done to provide better care for all Americans. 
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