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First Nations of America Interview-Music by Young Medicine

First Nations of America Interview-Music by Young Medicine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It Matters is pleased to have this opportunity to bring our listeners insight and the chance to communicate and learn of the First Nations of America. Joining us is Charles, a representative of the Apache Nation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you missed the show, be sure to listen to the archive. Thanks to our guests and my great co-hosts.

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Scientists Predict 2018 Will Be a Bad Year for Earthquakes. Here's Why

Scientists Predict 2018 Will Be a Bad Year for Earthquakes. Here's Why | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new study suggests that we may want to brace for a surge of earthquakes in 2018, and the equator will be particularly affected. Here's why
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As our lives may seem to spin out of control. the rate at which the earth turns is somewhat stable, but not as stable as we'd all like to believe. When there's a change, that change works its effects from the core out to the mantle and into our already confusing lives. It's just about time for the rippling effects of the last slowdown. Of course, when we're talking about ripples in the earth's surface, we mean earthquakes. So hang on to something solid, especially if you live closer to the equator (or perhaps if you live in California). 

Going to take to your bunker an wait 2018 out? I suggest you bring some good books. Check them out at 

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Only On 2: LAPD Bodycam Video Appears To Contradict Officer Testimony, Investigation Discovers

Only On 2: LAPD Bodycam Video Appears To Contradict Officer Testimony, Investigation Discovers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This is the first time media has seen video from the cameras in a real police investigation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What bothers me is that the cop is obviously playing to the camera when he repeats the same line about finding drugs three times. If he had picked up the drugs and the wallet and said hey, here's his wallet and I bet these are also his drugs, I might be more willing as a potential juror to believe him. Now, however, he has tainted not only this arrest but every arrest in which he has allegedly found drugs and possibly every arrest in which drugs have been found on any suspect. In other words, once a cop is caught lying, that lie becomes part of how we all see the police. Therein lies the biggest reason that cops should reject the blue wall and start getting rid of their own bad apples. 

Next, those body cam shots, should be available for review by an independent board and those body cams should be saving audio as well as video from thirty seconds before activation. In case you don't understand, the cameras are always running, but the individual cop has to "activate" them for the material to be saved. Of course, I believe that they should be saving the officer's entire shift and that activation should only refer to the parts the individual cop wants to benchmark for easier access during preparing evidence. Then, no matter what the cop might claim, we'd have a record of actual actions available.

Are you wondering why I don't trust the police? Actually, I do. I think that the vast majority are good men and women trying to make the world in which they live better. That may even include this fellow, who may still be in the wrong even if he was trying to make the job of convicting a bad guy easier. The thing is that any perversion of justice even for that good cause of obtaining a conviction cuts at the very roots of the justice system. That is why we need to hold this cop accountable. 

Now, having said that I support the police, that doesn't mean I don't know that there is corruption among them. Consider Times To Try the Soul of Man, my novel of corruption in New York City before 9/11. Based on actual events and real people, sadly it includes some very real police corruption. 

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Senator Al Franken Accused of Groping a Woman in 2006

Senator Al Franken Accused of Groping a Woman in 2006 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A radio host said Al Franken, now a Democratic senator, forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, before he took office. He then apologized.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I had thought Sen. Franken one of the good people. Damn, this story upsets me. I wonder how many decent men (and women for that matter) there are in public life. Some days I figure they could meet in a phone booth, maybe they'll need a closet. Yeah, a reverse pun. At any rate. I certainly hope that we as a society can grow up. 
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McCaskill: What’s being done to address potential $400M failures in Afghanistan?

McCaskill: What’s being done to address potential $400M failures in Afghanistan? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sen. Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is demanding top administration officials explain why their federal agencies haven’t addressed nearly $400 million in U.S.-funded projects in Afghanistan on the verge of failure.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Add up the endless waste that has been Afghanistan plus the waste that was Iraq plus the waste that has derived from meddling in Syria and you have a heck of a lot of taxpayer money down the drain. At least Senator McCaskill is asking the departments of state and defense to explain why some of this dissipation of funds hasn't been addressed. By the way, let's me quite clear that what George W. Bush started Barack Obama continued. Now the question is will Donald Trump continue the same stupid path? While schools are underfunded, healthcare for those in need being cut, and natural disasters getting worse, the US cannot afford to squander our funds, especially building infrastructure in Afghanistan where there is no government commitment to maintaining what has been built. 

Also from military spending plans, a commitment to a larger fleet of Virginia Class submarines with extra spending for those and a larger army with not only more spending but reportedly (according to USA Today) a lowering of mental standards for new recruits.

Has anybody ever noticed that military heavy empires tend to fall. Rome, Soviet Union, Ancient Persia: hey guys first you build the infrastructure and the human resources then you worry about having the biggest guns. Oh, wait, I forgot, we're America, home of the masturbatory fantasy. Yep, we got bigger guns that shoot more bullets, who needs things like education and healthcare?! ARGH!


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Roy Moore’s Wife Has Been Spreading Fake News and Misleading Endorsements Online

Roy Moore’s Wife Has Been Spreading Fake News and Misleading Endorsements Online | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kayla Moore is claiming the Washington Post paid women to come forward.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Apparently Mr. Moore's wife is as inappropriate as he. The best part is that she is now publicly slandering and libeling the judge's accusers. Unlike him, they are not public figures and they may well end up suing her. Now, that would be great since there is no way the senatorial nominee could be punished for his past behaviors towards them. 

Of course, these are god-fearing right wing Christians, the Moores. When all this is finished and assuming that the truth does out, hopefully the boobs in Alabama who have voted for this piece of crap will get about tar and feathering them both. 

Seriously, have any of them bothered to think at all about what makes a righteous person or do they simply say amen to every Elmer Gantry that comes along?

Speaking of Elmer Gantry, which is a great book. I sure hope that people will check out some of my writing. Let's remember that often fiction helps us to see truth far more clearly than the rhetoric of midway barkers. You can find my work at http://www.kennethweene.com 
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Trump judge nominee, 36, who has never tried a case, wins approval of Senate panel – LA Times

Trump judge nominee, 36, who has never tried a case, wins approval of Senate panel – LA Times | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Brett Talley is a lawyer and partisan blogger who is slated to become a federal judge. At 36, he's never tried a case and was rated
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is this draining the political swamp or is it introducing yet another invasive species? It is nominations like this that will have to be undone by an overwhelming vote for the Democrats so they can rid us of the worst through impeachment. Seriously, this is a political hack of the worst kind and totally unqualified for such an important appointment. Once again, I wish that Mr. Trump knew the difference between the real world and reality television. Once this guy is on the bench, guess what, he's there for life barring impeachment. 
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Trump embraces Philippines Duterte at ASEAN as Asia trip winds down; claims great trade deals and progress on North Korea 

Trump embraces Philippines Duterte at ASEAN as Asia trip winds down; claims great trade deals and progress on North Korea  | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Leaders from left to right, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, U.S. President Donald Trump, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pose for a family photo during the ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Manila, Philippines on Monday Nov. 13, 2017. (Manan Vatsyayana/Pool Photo via AP)

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, so Mr. Trump has stopped concerning America with the rights of people in other countries. Personally, as much as I find wrong with Duterte of the Philippines  and many other governments in their dealings with their own citizens, I honestly agree that it is time for the US to stop trying to impose freedom in the world. So, yes, I agree with Mr. Trump in that area although maybe I wouldn't go out of my way to praise that thug. 

As for the rest of this story, particularly the claims of great business deals that have been made and ways to cut the American imbalance of trade, well, I'll wait and see. As for North Korea, a declaration that it is a state sponsor of terrorism will probably be coming, but I'm not sure how much impact that will have on anything. 

So how successful was this trip? Hopefully, the Trump administration has done better in Asia than I for one had expected. However, when it comes down to the bottom line, I am not holding my breath. Clearly, we can sell weapons. Is that what we should be doing? And, equally clearly, in a world of bilateral agreements, China is much more far-sighted than the US. Just look at Africa for examples of that. I'm sure that everyone of those  ASEAN leaders, with the possible exception of Turnbull of Australia, is just as willing to deal with Xi as with Trump. 


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President Trump Still Hasn't Spoken to His Top General in Afghanistan

President Trump Still Hasn't Spoken to His Top General in Afghanistan | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump has yet to speak with the U.S. general in command of forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't know if this bothers you as it does me, but I would like to know that there is some overall coordination of policies in this government, especially given the relative failure of our military to achieve reasonable success in Afghanistan under Bush, Obama, and now Trump. Of course, for my part, I think we should get out of there and go about doing other more important things, like working for a more peaceful world and helping the emerging nations of Africa and of course trying to address global warming. But, nope, we keep dumping ordinance, money, and people into this Afghan fiasco. And, now to learn that POTUS isn't even taking a direct interest. WOW, what is wrong with our government?
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A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer | Quanta Magazine

A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer | Quanta Magazine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Elephants did not evolve to become huge animals until after they turned a bit of genetic junk into a unique defense against inevitable tumors.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Peto's Paradox put simply is that large animals don't necessarily have greater instances of cancer even though they obviously have more cells replacing themselves and therefore more opportunity for mutation. Here is some fascinating biology that suggests that some of these beasts have repurposed old genes to help recognize and reject such unwanted cells before they can become a health issue. However, at what price? Perhaps this is the same mechanism that keeps these animals from being able to adapt in other ways because mutation is less available or perhaps it makes conception more problematic. Like I said, fascinating. Enjoy.
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Puerto Rico Suffers Another Major Power Outage

Puerto Rico Suffers Another Major Power Outage | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In Puerto Rico, a transmission line failure left thousands without service in areas that had seen a restoration of power following the hurricane.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, I know that Donald Trump isn't personally responsible for this latest catastrophe to hit Puerto Rico, but his administration's choice of Whitefish Energy, which was the contractor when this line was fixed even though the tiny Montana company was subsequently removed from the contract, is just more evidence of how incompetent he has been in running the executive branch. If this were the reality tv show The Apprentice, somebody would be saying, "You're fired."
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Domestic Violence is the 'Canary in the Coal Mine' for Mass Killings

Domestic Violence is the 'Canary in the Coal Mine' for Mass Killings | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Mass shooters tend to have a history of domestic violence. Some argue we should pay more attention to it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
To put it quite simply, people who have less control over their anger and greater likelihood of acting out inappropriately are more likely to turn their rage on others, to grab a gun and start shooting. Sadly, while they are unable to control their rage, they all to easily can find some cause or rationalization for turning that rage on the world. That's why background checks for gun ownership are a good idea, especially if we screen for those with histories of mental illness and domestic violence. Will it stop all such incidents of gun madness? Of course not, but it might help stop some. 

Meanwhile, America's obsession with guns has led to a clearly unintended consequence, that using guns has become a favorite idiom of rage (a form of idiom of distress) for so many. We need to turn down our nation's gun fever and replace it with better mental health care. 
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Trump Calls Bergdahl Sentence A Disgrace To Country And Military

Trump Calls Bergdahl Sentence A Disgrace To Country And Military | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Fort Bragg military judge on Friday sentenced the U.S. soldier to a dishonorable discharge, fined him $10,000 and reduced his rank from sergeant t
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What do you think? No question that Bergdahl is himself a disgrace but was the military judge too lenient? What would be gained by keeping this guy in prison? On the other hand, how do we justify his release to the families of those who died or were injured trying to rescue him. One thing I'm quite sure of, should he write a book or get some kind of movie deal about his life, all the money should go to those whom his behavior harmed. Not to him and by the way not to the US government. 

I can't help wondering what if anything he'll be able to do with his life. Seems to me that his best bet is trying to get work as an interpreter; he must have picked up some Pashto during those years, if only comments like, "Worthless piece of shit."


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Trump seizes on N.Y. attack to push immigration and vetting policies

Trump seizes on N.Y. attack to push immigration and vetting policies | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Democrats complain that the White House is politicizing a tragedy after refusing to consider gun-control measures after the Las Vegas shooting.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
His disrespect for the American justice system is at total odds with his oath to the constitution. I haven't said it before because there were no grounds, but I do think we have a reason for impeachment. This man's lack of knowledge and respect for our way of life and system of government makes him ineligible to hold federal office. 
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Surgery Reveals North Korean Defector Is Riddled With Parasitic Worms

Surgery Reveals North Korean Defector Is Riddled With Parasitic Worms | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Dr. Lee Cook-jong, who operated on a wounded North Korean defector, on Wednesday showed journalists photographs of worms found in the defector’s intestines. Credit Kim in-cheol/Yonhap, via Reuters

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Can we hope that if the army is this badly off in North Korea that it will eventually turn on the sick regime that is running the country. While such parasites were once common in much of the world, they have been disappearing as medicine and hygiene have moved so many countries forward. Sadly, the rulers in Pyongyang don't care about the people, not even the ones who serve them. How sad a commentary on their worldview is that?
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Will a lawsuit help Ontario students get their money back?

Will a lawsuit help Ontario students get their money back? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
College students in Ontario have been out of the classroom for more than a month, and some are seeking a class action lawsuit to get some tuition money back. The legal route can be long, though.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One of the consequences of the concentration of wealth is the growing competition for wealth and the means for creating wealth. Students want educations, teachers want higher incomes, and of course there is ever less money to pay for such community services as education, healthcare, road maintenance, etc. The result is that workers will be forced into collective action and government, in this case the Province of Ontario, will try to stop them. I don't see this process as being a good thing. 

The whole idea of unions where the public good is concerned, while essential and inherent, is somewhat upsetting. However having been the son of a teacher and having seen how vital his role in the union was to the benefits he and his peers ultimately received, I do have to recognize that such union actions can be essential. 

There is no easy formula for the distribution of wealth in a society. There is no simple rule that our country or Canada or any other land should be following. It does, however, seem that some countries are doing a better job of getting the right mix than others. Denmark, for instance, has found quite an effective mix. 

One thing I do know, that any country that thinks that cutting taxes so the rich and corporations are happy is the way to go will find itself in trouble. When greed becomes a national way of life, as has been the trend in the United State, the outlook is not good except perhaps for those in the barricade building industry. 

So, what are some of the worst groups for the greedy to piss off? I think students are at the top of that list. So far the students of Ontario are only talking about legal action to recover lost tuitions and expenses. However, if the colleges oppose that suit, I wonder where the anger will go. 

What will it take for the civil and mannered students of Ontario to take to the barricades? Now, what about American students when they realize that their educational expenses will no longer be tax deductible under the new GOP plan? 

The funny thing is that in places like China and Vietnam and Russia, the governments try so hard to make sure people feel things are getting better for the average person. Oh, wait, in the US we have Walmart and McDonald's, what more could a people want? Do you think the quality of life has been deteriorating because of greed in the US? In your country if you live elsewhere?
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Israeli right’s anti-democratic laws penetrate everywhere

Israeli right’s anti-democratic laws penetrate everywhere | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The accumulation of anti-democratic, anti-coexistence and nationalistic laws threatens the fabric of Israel’s society.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Israel was founded as a modern state during my life. When it came into existence, the root ideas of this new country were not only a homeland for Jews, especially those seeking refuge after the Holocaust, but also the creation of a just society, one in which human values were paramount. Perhaps it was the socialist underpinnings of the kibbutz or the inherent humanism is then modern Judaism, but this was to be a society not simply of law and justice but of compassion and concern. 

Sadly, there were plenty of Arabs who wanted to destroy the new nation, but I can't make believe that Israel is the good-guy in the story of the Middle East. Slowly but surely, I have watched the growth of an illiberal, theocratic, and nasty society centered in Jerusalem but particularly typified by the settlers in the West Bank. It really is time for those of us in the US and elsewhere who support Israel's right to exist to reevaluate what it is that will be existing. 

This article by Israeli journalist and author Akiva Eldar should be read. For my part, I think it is time for all of us to stop making believe that Israel is about planting trees and giving refuge and recognize it for the inhumanity it has come to harbor at its core. 
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Zimbabwe’s Military Just Took Control of the Capital

Zimbabwe’s Military Just Took Control of the Capital | Upsetment | Scoop.it

 Here's what you need to know about the political crisis in Zimbabwe.The photo of Mugabe is two years old. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
If lives were not involved, this would have operatic or perhaps bawdville (as opposed to vaudeville) tones. Post-colonial Africa has had more than its share of dictators and greed, but no country has had a more stable form of corruption than Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe has been running things since 1980. 

Will there someday be a broadway show titled "Grace" to commemorate this nonagenarian's wife? Not likely since she has no interest in the poor and downtrodden of her country only in her status and shoes, oh yes expensive shoes. 

However, my best guess is that the military will not remove him but allow Mugabe to serve as a figurehead. As for the economic disarray that his policies have caused, those will continue. It is unlikely that the next leader will have such widespread political and military respect and support and I feat that Zimbabwe will soon be in chaos. 

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Meet Doug Jones the Democrat Running Against Embattled Republican Roy Moore in Alabama

Meet Doug Jones the Democrat Running Against Embattled Republican Roy Moore in Alabama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing sexual misconduct allegations. Interest in his Democratic opponent Doug Jones is growing
Kenneth Weene's insight:
At what point do the people of Alabama or any one-party state decided they've been backing the wrong horse? Perhaps, the people of Alabama believe that self-proclaimed men of god are above criticism. Somehow, it seems to me that voting for Moore is a bit like snake handling, just not as safe for everyone else. 

If you live in the Yellowhammer State, I hope you'll take a good look at Dough Jones, who has done a lot of good fighting for justice in your state. Of course, if you think of yourself as living in The Heart Of Dixie, you might not value his efforts to fight racism and bigotry. If you think of yourself as a true Christian, you may want to think about his desire to bring jobs, justice, and healthcare to everyone. If you're a deconstructionist Christian, one of the self-selected-elected, then you may you may just want to support somebody who has repeatedly been banned from a shopping mall because of stalking young women and who has been accused by five women of being abusive towards them as girls. 

Like I often say, our political choices reflect our personal values. This election in Alabama makes for some clear choices. 
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Hannity Diehards Smash Keurigs After Company Boycotts Fox Show over Roy Moore appearance

Hannity Diehards Smash Keurigs After Company Boycotts Fox Show over Roy Moore appearance | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Should advertisers be involved in the content of "news" shows? 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
I've only had a few cups of coffee from a Keurig and honestly thought the product rather blah. I've only watched Sean Hannity a couple of times and thought him superficial and a rabble rouser, hardly a news commentator and certainly of no interest. I've never met or seen Roy Moore in person, but I abhor everything he seems to stand for. I don't know if he is the sexual predator that at least four women have claimed. He claims that he isn't and that he is going to sue the Washington Post. Well, as a public figure he's going to have trouble winning that one unless he can prove not only that the women were lying but that the Post knew they were. Given his position in the one trial that I know of in which he was a judge and which addressed the question of sexual preditation by an older man on a girl, I would guess that his accusers may be telling truth. 

However, this story raises another question about corporations. It's the other side of Citizens United. Should corporations be trying to control the content of shows be they new, opinion, or just plain dreck by changing the allocations of ads based on what has been said on the show? Part of me wants to cheer for Keurig and the other companies that are withdrawing from the Hannity show, but part of me is concerned that we are all too willing to have corporations messing in to the political realm and object only when it is our horse that is gored. 

So, should these companies be boycotting the Hannity Show? Do such boycotts affect your decisions and purchases? For my part, of all three: Keurig, Hannity, and Moore, I really don't like any of them. The result is that the issue is clearer since I have no horse in the race at all. 
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Why 60,000 people joined a nationalist march in Poland. messages included: "Clean Blood", "Europe Will Be White" and "Pray for Islamic Holocaust".

Why 60,000 people joined a nationalist march in Poland. messages included: "Clean Blood", "Europe Will Be White" and "Pray for Islamic Holocaust". | Upsetment | Scoop.it
'F*** off with refugees' was just one of the chants that echoed in Poland as thousands rallied against Islam and EU.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
To call for a Holocaust against any group is despicable. When that call is coming from Poland where so many Jews died, my sense of horror and outrage to say nothing of my despair for my fellow humans reach levels that make me sick to the depth of my soul. I can only hope that the Catholic Church of Poland will call for the immediate excommunication of any person who supports such a corrupt view. Not that I believe in Hell, but surely such vermin deserve to rot someplace far from the view of their fellow humans. 

Who would have thought that in my lifetime the hero of the Polish resistance to the inhuman Nazis would be so dishonored in their own land. Please share this story. We can only hope that all of decent humanity will say, "Stoję z muzułmanami tego świata przeciwko uprzedzeniom i nienawiści jakiegokolwiek narodu." Which translates to, "I stand with the Muslims of this world against the prejudice and hatred of any nation." 

If we do not reject such hatred, ignorance and prejudice, who will be there to defend us when those same base instincts are turned on us?
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US and North Korea on track to meet for unofficial talks

US and North Korea on track to meet for unofficial talks | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Policy specialist says the two sides are likely to talk part in multilateral discussions at regional forum next month
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm sure we all want talks between the US and North Korea. However if the reason for those talks is that the confusion of America's position is too upsetting for the madness that leads North Korea, are we hoping for talks or just looking at more chaos? It would be nice if both sides could clarify what they think will work and give the best outcome for all. It would be nice, but...

The entire thing is beginning to remind me of Memoirs From the Asylum. If you haven't read it yet, you really should for in the mirror of madness we can better see the truth of ourselves. 
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Alabama state official defends Roy Moore, citing Joseph and Mary: 'They became parents of Jesus'

Alabama state official defends Roy Moore, citing Joseph and Mary: 'They became parents of Jesus' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus," Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Well, now we have a couple of fascinating questions. The first is, of course, how does this Biblical interpretation square with the idea that Mary was impregnated by the holy spirit? Now she was molested by a lech, Joseph?! Whoops. Next question, for Christians is there a difference between molestation and rape on the one hand and marriage on the other? Even assuming that Joseph did impregnate Mary, they were betrothed. Third, and perhaps the central one, can a person be a lech or otherwise disgusting in their personal life and still be an upright servant of the people? 

Of course, we know that many of our historical leaders have been less than pure in their personal lives. We also know that until Bill Clinton most of those "indiscretions" were kept hidden. Here's the thing that makes this all so sick. The very people who are trying to say that Roy Moore and his ilk can function for the good of us all are the very ones who most condemned Clinton. We are entering the age of hypocrisy and it isn't a very pretty place to be.

So here is the question I want you to answer for me and for yourself:

Do you believe that a person can be of low personal morals and willing to take sexual advantage of the young and still be a competent counselor for our government? 

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U.S. military joins Brazil army exercises in Amazon

U.S. military joins Brazil army exercises in Amazon | Upsetment | Scoop.it
U.S. military personnel are taking part this week in the largest international army operation ever held deep in the Amazon jungle of northern Brazil, in a sign of closer U.S.-Brazil defense ties.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The idea of international cooperation among military forces in providing humanitarian assistance is a great one. However, the photos show guns and not a single pallet of food or medical supplies. It isn't that I don't trust there are plans for humanitarian aid; in fact I know somebody who worked directly on that end of the U.S. military. However, wouldn't a far better plan be to create international humanitarian forces rather than relying on militaries? At least one up side is that the US is managing to create some good-will in Brazil and maybe with a few other South American countries. That's been a long time coming. Most of Latin America quite correctly sees Washington as a bully. At any rate, the fifty or so American military personnel taking part in this exercise are getting to see part of the world that is under threat. Hopefully, they will bring back photographs and stories that will remind us why protecting that ecosystem is important and not evidence that they took mindless target practice at flora, fauna, or natives.
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Trump says 'samurai' Japan will shoot North Korean missile tests 'out of the sky' in the future

Trump says 'samurai' Japan will shoot North Korean missile tests 'out of the sky' in the future | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Members of the Japan Self-Defence Forces stand guard near Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) land-to-air missiles, deployed at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, December 7, 2012.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Mr. Trump's bombast seems to be heading us towards a war. Reality is that our missile defenses are nowhere near as good as he things. It's one thing to shoot down SCUDs in the Middle East and another to defend against ballistic missiles flying at high speeds across oceans. I hope that Prime Minister Abe explained that the samurai tradition involves using swords and dying bravely not some superhuman abilities. You'd think Mr. Trump would know that those powers go with super-ninja turtle status only. 

Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, they are still figuring out how to deal with the collapsed mountain that was one, not long ago, their nuclear test site. 

Anybody care to relax with a good book? Head for http://www.kennethweene.com and find some great reading. 
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Polish pope devotees petition against French plan to axe cross - France 24

Polish pope devotees petition against French plan to axe cross - France 24 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than 38,000 people signed an online petition as of Thursday protesting against a French court order to remove a cross from a statue of the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II in Brittany, western France.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is one of those controversies that I just love. Then I've always loved irony, sarcasm, and the  Kafkaesque. 

Despite my views on removing the statues of the Confederacy, I do love public art and have a great fondness for statues, especially when they are sans pigeon poop. I'm no big fan of John Paul II, but I certainly don't begrudge him recognition by this French town. But, then there's this whole religious symbol thing. Should public spaces harbor religious symbols? One of the more fascinating to me parts of this is we are talking France, a country that has so intimately been involved with Catholic Church history and which is so Catholic. 

Clearly, there is a difference between having faith and making public display of it and between private space and public. Personally, although I do not consider myself a Christian, I find this monument not in the least offensive. It isn't as if there was a statue of the ten commandments being put up in front of a court house, this is about local belief and no implications for law. Still, the question runs deep. 

What is your take?  
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