Upsetment
28.9K views | +0 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
onto Upsetment
Scoop.it!

Do concealed-weapon laws result in less crime?

Do concealed-weapon laws result in less crime? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
FACT CHECKER | Some lawmakers argue more guns always bring the crime rate down. We investigate.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The facts are in and there is no clear evidence to support the claim.

more...
No comment yet.
Upsetment
Want to get upset? Here are some things to help.
Curated by Kenneth Weene
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

BlackLivesMatter Supporters Call Attention to Graphic Video of Arizona Cop Shooting suspect. By the way this suspect was white.

BlackLivesMatter Supporters Call Attention to Graphic Video of Arizona Cop Shooting suspect. By the way this suspect was white. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"Consider that Shaver might well be alive if only the Mesa police department had long ago adopted reforms of the sort that Black Lives Matter suggests."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Watch the video. The cop was acquitted because he saw Shaver's movements as being a threat. I don't know what if anything Philip Brailsford was seeing, but I sure have trouble seeing anyone doing anything threatening except him. IMO, once again, I think we have a cop getting away with murder. Was Shaver high or had he committed a crime, those things I don't know. But he was scared shitless and so was the cop. The big difference was that the cop had a weapon and was quick to threaten with it and to use it. 

Speaking of cop malfeasance, have you read Tales From the Dew Drop Inne? Yeah, there are some great cops, but there are plenty of bad cops to go around.

Here's the link to pick up your print, Kindle, or audio copy of Tales. https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Drop-Inne-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B0070FZBQQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

IS AMERICA BECOMING TOO DIVISIVE? In today's news, Poll Shows Trump's Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals

IS AMERICA BECOMING TOO DIVISIVE? In today's news, Poll Shows Trump's Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president's approval rating continues to fall in his first year in office.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As I read stories like this about Mr. Trump's failing support and the divisiveness that is wreaking America, I wonder how many of us wish that our country would simply fall apart into separate smaller units. Of course, those of us on Social Security and military or other federal pensions would want to keep those benefits, but if that could be provided, would we prefer dissolving this country? Would we want to replace it with totally separate countries or to try for some form of confederation, a weaker alliance to provide mutual defense and the like such as existed between the Revolution and the writing of the Constitution?

If you think America is becoming too divisive to remain united, what or who do you think is the reason and how could it be reversed if we wanted? 

These are the questions that are really bothering me and that's before I even think about the issues of gender, education, and human and property rights that need addressing. 

By the way, if you have some really good ideas about this topic or any other, I'm looking for guests for Walking On The Weene Side. Join me for an interview via Skype and let's have some meaningful conversations. Visit my website, www.kennethweene.com to contact me or the It Matters Radio website, www.itmattersradio.com 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

It's Time to End Mammograms, Some Experts Say

It's Time to End Mammograms, Some Experts Say | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Is it time to ditch the mammogram? A new study finds the screening tool does little to lower breast cancer deaths or pick up advanced cases
Kenneth Weene's insight:
"Breast cancer" is one of the most dreaded diagnoses in the world. Catching cancer early and treating it rapidly was the goal behind the movement to encourage women to have regular mammograms. However, the data coming in recently suggests that there are far too many instances of false diagnoses when mammograms are used and that the incidence of advanced cancer isn't really affected that much. Wow! To have a mammogram or not? That's a heavy question. 

Recently, on It Matters Radio I did an interview with a leading plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction. He had some interesting stuff to share and you can catch this Walking On the Weene Side interview at 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Conyers Will Leave Congress in Wake of Harassment Claims

Conyers Will Leave Congress in Wake of Harassment Claims | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Representative John Conyers Jr., who faces allegations that he sexually harassed former employees, announced Tuesday that he will leave Congress immediately, and he endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
First, I'm glad to see him or anybody so lacking in respect for others leave office. However, when I saw that he wants his son to replace him, I realized how sick our society has become. 

To those who oppose the estate tax, who say that what a person has acquired should be theirs alone to dispose of, I would ask is this not equally true for Mr. Conyers, whose great accomplishment in life has been to acquire a sinecure in Michigan's Democratic party? Shouldn't he be able to pass that along to his offspring? I mean seriously, how absolutely distorted has the American dream become. Sure, we don't want to confiscate a person's work at the end of their lives or careers, but we do want to make sure that we don't allow the emergence of a royalty of wealth or office. 

That's why I would oppose the younger Conyers being elected to this office and why I support a reasonable estate tax.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

What is an American Christian - some thoughts on the religious underpinnings of America. 

What is an American Christian - some thoughts on the religious underpinnings of America.  | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What is the purpose of salvation and who shall be saved?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A number of recent events have underscored a divide in America. It is a divide in our understanding of Christianity. 

One the one side is strict Calvinism with its emphasis on predetermination. One aspect of that view is that those who have economic success deserve it for they are the elect of God. Therefore, the worst thing that we as a society can do is interfere with that sacred will by taking away through taxation that which the wealthy have. Clearly, those who have less and are in need have a sin upon their souls and do not deserve a larger portion of the wealth. Along with that inherent view is another that education in the nonsectarian sense is counter to the proper preoccupation with godliness. Since such Calvinist Christianity is patriarchal, women and their right to be protected are secondary to the right of the older male to fulfill his "sacred" duties. To the degree that that duty is procreation and the passing on of God's granted abundance, those who do not conform to traditional gender roles are an apostasy. Another aspect of that same overall view is that the richness of the land is there for those who have the will to exploit it. Finally, there is a belief that a time of judgment is soon upon us, a time in which those who deserve will be given heaven and the rest of humankind will be cast into the pit. 

This American Calvinism is found in both the Millennialist and Reconstructionist communities, but the underlying views also exist in the larger community of those who believe that America is somehow special and a Christian fortress. This fortress mentality encourages the military, cheers for number one, and of course despises globalism. The resulting mix of that Calvinist and nativist strains, something that is also the continuation of the values of the KKK,  have become a dominant drumbeat across the land. 

On the other hand are those who see Christianity as the extension of the golden rule. They see the world not simply in terms of fairness but also acceptance. Those who are not actively doing evil should be happy and secure. Underlying this view is a more spiritual form of Christianity that emphasizes God's love and the abundance of grace. Because that loving God has given us much as individuals, families, communities, and especially as a country, the expectations are that we will use that abundance to make the world better and to care for the world so that happiness and love can abide. 

Spiritual Christianity leads to exactly the opposite views of those held by the stricter Calvinist school. Therein lies that divide of which I spoke. In many places, such as the Senate race in Alabama, the decision about the Bears' Ears and other national monuments in Utah, and of course the tax bill that is making its way through Congress, we see this battle being played out. 

I do not pretend that one political party is purely of one type of Christian and the second of the other. Life is never that simple, but we are living in times that challenge us to think about faith, values, and eschatology. What is the proper goal of government, especially our government? 

I know which side of this divide I stand on. Of course there are grey areas. My globalism doesn't include encouraging everyone who wants to come to this country. My concern for the environment doesn't include doing away with the right of people to live comfortably including say eating meat. I am not suggesting that we should become some new form of saint, some latter day saint. 

No, I am suggesting that we should recognize the divide, clarify what we individually believe, and work towards the world that is consistent with our beliefs. Clearly, we will not all agree; the divide goes deep and is broad. We can, however, make sure that the democratic ideal that the majority should rule and the republican ideal that all views should be given respect and be heard are respected. 

Currently, I perceive a much more coherent and articulated position being staked out by the Calvinists because their view is consistent with the short-term best interest of most of the wealthy. It is time for a similar clarity to come from the other side. 

Meanwhile, all I can personally say is that I hope if there is a God that God will bless and save the United States, because at this point I don't know that we are up to the task.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

So...An AK Isn't For Self Defense, Huh?

So...An AK Isn't For Self Defense, Huh? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An Ohio man proved the gun grabbers lie when they claim that an AK-47 style rifle isn't for self-defense...by defending himself with one.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I wouldn't bother to comment on or share this story if it weren't so close to what happened in South Sudan. If the memoir I co-wrote with my South Sudanese friend Deng Mayik Atem gets published, you will have a better way to put things in perspective. 

The muraleen, Arab marauders from Sudan, had for years raided the tribal communities of South Sudan, which at the time was part of the same country, to steal cattle—and sometimes to take slaves. The Dinka and Nuer would drive them off with spears and old rifles. But, the government in Khartoum armed those marauders with better rifles leading to greater carnage. 

The tribesmen were alienated from the government and became determined to arm themselves against these attacks. Deng, only a boy at the time, was one of those who trekked to Ethiopia and were trained to fight. 

The great goal of those people was to get and AK-47 with which to fight the muraleen. 

The resulting war ended with an independent South Sudan that is now filled with weapons and consequently with horrible civil war and bloodshed. Of course weapons like AK-47s can be used to protect yourself. However their proliferation is not necessarily a good thing for social order. 

If the memoir interests you, you can check out the trailer at 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Donald Trump Says He 'Had to Fire' Michael Flynn Over Lies

Donald Trump Says He 'Had to Fire' Michael Flynn Over Lies | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Donald Trump says he had to fire Michael Flynn because of his lies to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Okay, I just don't like headlines and stories like this, more gotcha than substance. I think what this shows definitively is that Mr. Trump is not careful with words and doesn't get proper briefings before opening his mouth. As a result he constantly rearranges ideas and understandings in his own head. Did he know Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time he fired Flynn or only that he had lied to Pence? My guess is we'll never know. However, I don't think this misspeak is worth getting riled over. 

Yeah, I know, I sometimes defend Donald Trump, albeit half-heartedly. That isn't because I want him in the White House but because I want us as a nation (and a world) to think and discuss not go on witch hunts. We Broody New Englanders had enough of witch hunting centuries ago. Although I do know that when I was a kid there was open-season for hunting Democrats all year around in Maine. (joke) 

By the way, have you read Broody New Englander? You really should. It's some darn good writing. Find it at
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Israeli Bedouin policewoman blazing trail, making enemies

Israeli Bedouin policewoman blazing trail, making enemies | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An Israeli Bedouin woman who joined the Israel Police to serve her community has become the target of Arabs who consider her a traitor.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Is it possible for Arabs to be come an integral part of Israeli society? Is it possible for women to take an equal part in Arab society? This young woman has the courage to raise both those questions with an affirmative action and a brave attitude. Meanwhile, without trailblazers like Sabrin Saadi the Bedouin people living in Israel will almost surely continue to lose both their identity and their sense of purpose. 

The world doesn't need any more minority groups descending into the maelstrom of poverty, despair, and violence. Empowering young women like Ms. Saadi is hopefully a step forward for her community. Yes, she can. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

WaPo: Trump Told Friends A Government Shutdown Could Benefit Him

WaPo: Trump Told Friends A Government Shutdown Could Benefit Him | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the deadline to fund the government fast approaches, President Donald Trump has been telling acquaintances that a governmen
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If there is a record of his saying this, does it constitute a high crime or misdemeanor? Seriously, can the POTUS constitutionally work to shut down the government? There is nothing in the constitution that says he can't, but it defies logic. What is more to the point, can he engage in clearly planned deceit for his own political purposes, in this case planning to blame the other political party? Again, there is nothin in the constitution that prohibits it, but it defies logic. 

Now, to the more concerning point, that he sees the government as something to be destroyed. This is taking Reagan's rhetoric to the next level and reflects a growing sentiment among many people, especially on the religious right, that the federal government should be limited so that local opinion can be dominant in the lives of people. Therein is where I see a threat to religious freedom; fairness with regard to race, ethnicity, and political opinion; and decent education for all. 

What do you think? Is the federal government the enemy to be limited or the leavening force that keeps America strong and socially viable? 

You may want to read my essay on the Fourteenth Amendment. http://www.kennethweene.com/what-does-the-fourteenth-amendment-ancho ;
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

With Raqqa fight over, 400 US Marines leaving Syria

With Raqqa fight over, 400 US Marines leaving Syria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
With Raqqa fight over, 400 US Marines leaving Syria
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Amazingly,  while the Pentagon announced that 400 troops of the 503 troops in country were leaving, they say there are still 503 there. Now, the leaked reality is that there are about 4,000 American troops in that country. You can call it the new math or the cooked math, or the math on meth, but the reality is that the Pentagon is never truthful. 

Of course, those of us old enough to remember Vietnam bodycounts already know this, but I sure hope younger Americans get the drift soon. We have to stop funding the military-industrial-espionage complex and turn our wealth into making a better world for our own country and the rest of humanity and the environment. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Good Guy With A Gun Stops Potential Mass Shooting In Florida

Good Guy With A Gun Stops Potential Mass Shooting In Florida | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Do good guys with guns stop mass shootings? Yes. Here's a case in Florida where just that happened when a maniac entered an auto repair shop.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
No question about it, this is a time when a good guy with a gun saved the day. It isn't clear that there would have been a mass shooting; nor is it clear what would have happened if the people in the auto repair shop had just barricaded themselves and waited for the cops. However, I can't say I'm upset that the gunman was seriously wounded before more people might have been hurt. All that said, I support the right of people to have guns, but clearly this gunman should not have had one. He's the kind of nut job most of us want to have screened. Want to be that when all the data is in that he had a history of violence, crime, and probably some kind of domestic abuse? Also, my bet is that a link to somebody at the auto shop will come out, probably something about a sexual frustration, perhaps because the gunman was wanting somebody else's girlfriend. Usually shooters have somewhat limited mental health and very limited judgment. 


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Brazil lower house extends oil industry customs regime

Brazil lower house extends oil industry customs regime | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Brazil's lower house of Congress on Wednesday approved the basic text of a decree that extends for 20 years a preferential customs regime for the oil industry, a measure that has helped make Brazil attractive again to major global oil companies.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course we all want to see an end to the world's dependence on oil, but that day is far off. In the meantime, we can't ask Brazil, or an other country, to hold off while they are sitting on possible wealth. It just bothers me terribly that we are potentially talking about more incursions into the Amazon. Let's just remember that we also need breathable air and that the rainforest is part of our world's breathing system. Let's also remember that it is the home to many people who do not want to give up their pre-European way of life. 

In the end, however, we all know that Brazil will take the oil if it can find it. That brings up another question, how will that money be used? Will it be squandered on social welfare programs that leave no long term economic growth like Venezuela; or perhaps will the wealth be concentrated in the hands of a few, which is the model we see in many African countries; or can the people of Brazil hope for a playful and responsible use of any oil wealth the way it has been used in Qatar to help the entire nation move forward both at a personal and social level? 

Sadly, given what I know of the characters and region, I am betting on the rise of a few very rich people in collaboration with some incredibly rich corporations. 

Of course, for those of us driving around in the USA, we'll just be happy that more oil will keep the price of gasoline down. What do we care about little things like pollution, human rights of original peoples, or economic justice? Now, let's drive to the game and tailgate. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

WaPo accuses conservative activists of pushing fake Moore allegations

WaPo accuses conservative activists of pushing fake Moore allegations | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Washington Post says that a woman approached the newspaper and falsely claimed that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore impregnated her when she was a teenager — seemingly as part of an undercover operation with a conservative activi
Kenneth Weene's insight:
So the liars on the right are trying once again to embarrass the "liberal press." Of course, nowadays the media and all liberal causes are aware of the crap that people like O'Keefe pull. So what do we know? First, that the Post is vetting its stories about Moore which makes the claims that he's a predator more believable. Second, that the far right and people like James O'Keefe are the real purveyors of fake news. I hope that this will give some of my friends on the right pause. Maybe, just maybe you should start questioning your sources. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

As L.A. burns, Republicans vote for a tax hike on the victims - Actually it is about removing the deduction for catastrophic loss.

As L.A. burns, Republicans vote for a tax hike on the victims - Actually it is about removing the deduction for catastrophic loss. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Award-winning news and culture, features breaking news, in-depth reporting and criticism on politics, business, entertainment and technology.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
One of the real issues about the tax code is the plethora of deductions that have evolved as the government tries to micromanage the economy through incentives, both negative and especially positive. Simplifying is certainly a good idea, one that goes back among others to Bill Bradley, the great basketball player, Princeton alum, and Democratic senator from New Jersey. I, for one, strongly agree that simplification is called for. However, there is also a strong case to be made for some of those deductions. This one, for losses due to catastrophe, is just simply right for reasons of compassion but also because it helps the people in an area that has been hit to bounce back. 

I wonder if the GOP in writing this new tax bill have given any thought to anything at all except their unreasonable belief in the Laffer Curve, which is actually not good economics. 

At any rate, the way these disasters have been hitting the US this past year, I'm going to say we had all better start thinking of in which cave we can take shelter. Not to worry, though, no global climate change as long as we have the strongest military. Right?! Yeah, sure. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Nikki Haley Calls U.S. Presence at South Korea Olympics an ‘Open Question’

Nikki Haley Calls U.S. Presence at South Korea Olympics an ‘Open Question’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The American envoy to the United Nations expressed concerns about whether tensions on the Korean Peninsula could pose a threat to athletes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
LOL and then shock of horror. She actually put the Olympics and Jerusalem into the same sentence as she said the goal was to protect American citizens. Yeah, great way to protect people to heat up world conflict. If there is a troublemaker in the world today, it isn't some terror group in the Middle East or some rogue state like North Korea. Hey, it isn't even Russia for all their aggression in Ukraine. Nope, the big veytik in di tokhes in today's world is Washington, DC. 

Got to love that the Security Council is meeting today to discuss the effects of the US statement on Jerusalem and that today we are flying bombers over that Korean peninsula. Yep, real troublemakers. 

Got helft aundz; es iz a idyot aoyf di fray. 
Fod help us; there's an idiot on the loose. 

Meanwhile, if you at least enjoy the quirkiness of my humor, check out Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Hey a bunch of drunks isn't that different form Washington. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Pentagon Acknowledges 2,000 Troops in Syria

Pentagon Acknowledges 2,000 Troops in Syria | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officials have no plans to withdraw U.S. forces until ISIS is beaten.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is good too see that the Pentagon is getting more willing to acknowledge the presence of American troops rather than trying to hide the real numbers. On the other hand, am I the only one who feels we have too many soldiers fighting in too many places? Having created this game of whack-a-mole we call the War on Terror we seem determined to waste a lot of energy trying to beat on the heads of people all over the world. Maybe, we should recognize that trying to create and manage an empire produces terrorism and that perhaps in many of those places we should stand down. 

When you're standing down, what better way to spend that leisure time than a fun read or listening to a good story. Here's one just for you to enjoy. The 25th Hour

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

The CBO's Analysis of the Long-Term Costs of the Trump Administration's Goals for the Military is now available. The numbers stagger.

The CBO's Analysis of the Long-Term Costs of the Trump Administration's Goals for the Military is now available. The numbers stagger. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Coming soon a 20% increase in military spending. Can America afford it?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the Trump administrations plans for the Pentagon over the next ten years and the report is out. For a country that is already spending way more than any other, the increases seem almost grotesque, approximately 20% increase over the next ten years. 

Of course, there is an increase in military personnel including almost 200,000 new recruits in the Army, 10,000 in the Marines, and 30,000 for the Air Force. The personnel numbers for the navy aren't available, but there would be about 80 more ships so you can guess what that means. 

And this on top of cutting revenues by cutting taxes. 

So how many schools will go unfunded, how many programs for those in need will go ignored or be cut, how much money for the arts will be forgone, how much infrastructure will be allowed to crumble? 

Clearly, the Reconstructionist agenda of a federal government that provides only defense and courts (for non-local matters) is the goal. What will happen to this military-based empire? My guess is that it will find itself in perpetual war until the grandiosity of its believes ends in defeat.

Meanwhile, if you want to read the CBO report, follow the link. 

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/53350-costsofadministrationsgoalsformilitary.pdf
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Grassley: Ending estate tax 'recognizes people that are investing,' not ‘spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies."

Grassley: Ending estate tax 'recognizes people that are investing,' not ‘spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies." | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on the record to the Des Moines Register

Kenneth Weene's insight:
OMG, did an American politician just totally diss the hardworking people of America who aren't fortunate enough to be rich? Will the people of Iowa put up with this kind of contempt? Just in case you were wondering if the Republican party is worth the support of the greater number of Americans, this comment should give you quite the answer. I guess the good senator has never tried to get by on a working person's wages. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

US quits UN global compact on migration

US quits UN global compact on migration | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The United States notified the United Nations that it will no longer take part in the global compact on migration, saying it undermines the nation's sovereignty.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In what is clearly an anti-globalist move, the Trump administration has pulled the US out of a convention that we helped bring into being and further cuts our country off from the world and undermines our rule as global leader. The upside of the Trump administration's positions on immigration has been a decrease in undocumented aliens and asylum seekers. The downside has been a decrease in foreign interest in coming here for tourism, education, and even trade. Remember those sales of corn to Argentina? Gone, now Mexico will be providing lots of food to Latin America, which leaves us getting less of their produce in winter and our farmers in worse shape all year. 

I highly recommend that you open this story and watch the video from CNN. It's a good, balanced job. One fascinating thing on it, the cost of a coyote taking an undocumented person into the US has gone up from $3,000 to $7,000. Something ironic about how that free market has worked. 

So do you believe in more open borders and "globalism" in dealing with problems or a fortress USA keeping those yearning masses and those universal laws out?

Please be civil and respect the right of people to have different opinions on this divisive issue, but I do hope you'll share yours. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

New York City Has Genetically Distinct ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats

New York City Has Genetically Distinct ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A graduate student sequenced rats all over Manhattan, and discovered how the city affects their genetic diversity.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not a big fan of rats, never really enjoyed teaching them to press levers in Skinner Boxes or run mazes. Obviously, I'm even less of a fan of the Rattus rattus that roam our cities. Still, they can be fascinating subjects for study. Having lived in New York City for three years, I can appreciate the work behind this study of their biology and behavior. 

For my part, when I lived in the big apple I was more fascinated by the two-legged rats I found around me. Here's the link to one essay I wrote about those experiences: http://www.kennethweene.com/oy-vey-iz-mir

If you want to read more about my experiences in the New York City night, well you can find a lot of that in my book Times To Try the Soul of Man. Sorry, while the essay is a free read, the book is for sale, 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Alt-right catches knight fever — but medieval scholars strike back

Alt-right catches knight fever — but medieval scholars strike back | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Award-winning news and culture, features breaking news, in-depth reporting and criticism on politics, business, entertainment and technology.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't care how we scratch it, under the surface lies the KKK and the obsession with race and nativism that makes America so potentailly problematic. Who were those medieval knights, the ones that are so celebrated by the unthinking and the lovers of role-playing games? They were mercenaries and thugs, freebooters and thieves. 

And, to the degree that we think of chivalry, let's remember that was about a paternalistic view of women, not about defending their rights to be full adults. 

One more thing worth noting, that ISIS and similar Islamic terrorist groups have a similar obsession with the medieval knights. for every Arthur there was also a Saladin fighting for the purity of Islam. 


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Experts Are Really, Really Worried About The State Of The 2020 Census

Experts Are Really, Really Worried About The State Of The 2020 Census | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Census Bureau faces budget shortfalls and is cutting back on testing. But an inaccurate count could have severe consequences, especially for peopl
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Given that ours is a republican system with representation and distribution of federal services based on the distribution of population, especially across state lines, the health of the constitutionally mandated census every ten years is really important. Of course, we once again have the Apprentice White House administering the government and that means this next census may not be done as well as it should be. You may wonder if that is just an accident, but I think it does serve the GOP to not have the changes in our population documented. Not only is there movement of people out of some of the traditionally red states which might mean changes in the House but far more importantly there is likely an increase in minority populations, the elderly, and the poor; all of which might well require some rethinking and for that party re-branding. 

One way that failed states have historically dealt with demographic changes is to deny and ignore them. The resulting upheaval and failure, well as Madame de Pompadour said, "After us the deluge." 

So are you getting your post-apocalyptic gear together? If so, don't forget a supply of books. (Note, your Kindle will not be functional.) I suggest that you visit my Amazon page today and order some good reading, at least enough to keep you entertained in your bunker before you go out to see if the rioting is over. 


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Roy Moore Co-Authored A 2011 Study Guide That Promoted 'Biblical Patriarchy'

Roy Moore Co-Authored A 2011 Study Guide That Promoted 'Biblical Patriarchy' | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The course criticized women's suffrage and said women shouldn't hold political office.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Am I the only one who is yelling "Reconstructionist Christianity?" Well, I hope you'll take a serious look at what they believe. I fear the voters of Alabama are either ignoring this topic or quite simply agree with creating a new order theocracy in America. The saddest part for me is that many women don't realize what they are going to be getting from these old time religionists. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

SF set to become first US city to price all metered parking based on demand

SF set to become first US city to price all metered parking based on demand | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Surge pricing could be coming to every parking meter in San Francisco in 2018 under a plan being considered by the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Under the proposal, each of the city's 30,200 meters would be subject to hourly rates that vary depending on demand. The charges would fluctuate block by block and by time of day. For example, a neighborhood with a lot of restaurants might see higher meter rates during evenings than during other times of the day.

MTA officials say the approach is intended to increase the availability of coveted city parking spaces, particularly in areas where demand is high.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Slowly but surely the American way of life is being tilted to favor those with money. This is just another example. Instead of building more parking structures or creating parking areas and offering public transport, we'll let those with less money walk farther. So, for example, in effect raising the price of a ticket to a ballgame, an activity that many working class people prize or the price of going out to dinner in a restaurant rich area. In addition to its impact on the middle class, this approach may also harm those restaurants since it will in effect raise the price of a meal. Yes, I am in favor of a market-based allocation of resources, but is parking which is provided by the government using the common streets really a resource that should be allocated in that manner? I do know that in downtown Phoenix, which has an absurd meter system that has charges even when there is nothing happening, there is a tendency for people to not go downtown. The cost of parking has certainly affected the attendance at the open mic I host and I think at many other events as well. The parking situation at ASU in Tempe also deters attendance at things like plays and musical performances even during the hours those same lots would be empty without the arts activities.

Is greed the ultimate American value? 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kenneth Weene
Scoop.it!

Trump Retweets Inflammatory Islamophobic Videos

Trump Retweets Inflammatory Islamophobic Videos | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The tweets came from a British far-right leader with a history of spreading hoaxes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This kind of impulsive and irresponsible behavior has me worried.. I know that there are people around him to protect us from Mr. Trump's starting a war or doing some other terrible things, but I am wondering if there might be a neurological problem. While I have never met the man, I am getting the same sense from him that I had years ago working in a mental hospital. We had many patients suffering from Tabes, which is the result of untreated syphilis. Am I the only one worrying about this? 

By the way, if I'm right and he is suffering from such a neurologically based illness and given the Reagan had Alzheimer's, exactly what would this say about the Republican party and what would it say about how we have been screening our political leaders? (And yeah, I have to wonder how Hillary made it through, too.) 

How should we be making sure that we have mentally healthy and decent people running the ship of state? 
more...
No comment yet.