Upsetment
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Upsetment
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MDMA, born as club drug Ecstasy, is 'breakthrough therapy' for PTSD

MDMA, born as club drug Ecstasy, is 'breakthrough therapy' for PTSD | Upsetment | Scoop.it
FDA designation opens door for advanced trials.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For those who suffer from PTSD, the use of a medication that might help them develop new associations that override the old as they share their traumatic memories in therapy might be helpful. In a sense, it would be speeding up the process that psychoanalysis provides—at least in the ideal—exploring those painful memories in the safe environment where they are still valanced with emotions. So, yes, let's try using MDMA, but let's also be mindful of the potential negative side-effects. We don't want to replace PTSD with brain damage. This is the kind of research that needs careful supervision and follow-up, not a wow, let's get  it done attitude. 

If you want to know more about PTSD and what it's like to suffer from that kind of anxiety, pick up a copy of Memoirs From the Asylum. Here's the link:
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Trump Says Border Wall Will Stop Drugs. Here’s What a DEA Intel Report Says.

Trump Says Border Wall Will Stop Drugs. Here’s What a DEA Intel Report Says. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump Says Border Wall Will Stop Drugs. Here’s What a DEA Intel Report Says. « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The wall may be one of the most simpleminded and potentially most wasteful of all the ideas that win popular support these days. Why? First, because it won't stop many drugs. Second, because it will divert money from programs that might actually help, for example increasing funding of the Coast Guard, which interdicts the large numbers of shipments that come into the states by sea and small plane. Third, because the real problem in the war on drugs is that prohibition never works well. If we legalize drugs and offer better diversion, treatment, and education, that might actually make a difference. Of course, that would mean giving up the government's own drug dealings, which—let's be honest—have been pretty huge. It would also mean lowering the economic boom on some of our close allies in places like Afghanistan, where poppy cultivation funds warlords who support the US presence. 

How complicit it the government in crime? Well, we may never know, but one story about that connection is to be found in Times to Try the Soul of Man. Have you read it? 
Her's the link: 
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Shock and fear amid South Africa cannibalism case - BBC News

Shock and fear amid South Africa cannibalism case - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Villagers in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal region are living in fear after the discovery of an alleged cannibalism ring.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A strange new reason for cannibalism: 
A pot of stewing human ears was found. "It is believed they were to be served to his customers, who were told they had magic properties and would convey money, power and protection." 

Just how crazy are people? Next they'll be thinking that rhinoceros horn will help their sexual prowess. Seriously, in a human's ear. On the other hand, humans are so wonderfully perverse and greedy. 

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Trump Reportedly Fed Up With Rex Tillerson: ‘Rex Just Doesn’t Get It’

Trump Reportedly Fed Up With Rex Tillerson: ‘Rex Just Doesn’t Get It’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump's patience with Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state, is wearing thin.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The question is which one of them gets it less competently. For my part, I think that Tillerson has no idea how to administer his department and that Trump has no idea how to craft a meaningful foreign policy. Between a pilot who doesn't know how to handle a ship and a captain who has no idea where the rocks and shoals are, I am just wondering how long before this ship goes down. One thing of which I'm sure, in the end there's going to be a lot of fingers pointed at the poor schmucks who man the lighthouses. Ain't that always the way?
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ETP Sues Greenpeace, Red Warrior Camp - Indian Country Media Network

ETP Sues Greenpeace, Red Warrior Camp - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Energy Transfer Partners is suing Greenpeace, the Red Warrior Camp and other environmental groups for their participation in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It is a sad day when those who support the environment and the right of people to clean water are hauled before the bar by those who would despoil the earth in their pursuit of profit. Sadly, we are coming to that moment when we must all decide in the fight "twixt truth and falsehood, for the good or evil side." I know that I want my grandchildren and yours to live in an world that is clean and non-toxic. 
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Photos of War-Torn Life in Afghanistan

Photos of War-Torn Life in Afghanistan | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Najibah tries to comfort her eight-year-old daughter Zahra as they both weep over the grave of their husband and father, Baynazar, just south of Kunduz City. Baynazar, 43, had been wounded by gunfire when returning home from work during the Taliban takeover of Kunduz City in northern Afghanistan in late 2015. He was taken to the nearby MSF trauma Center for treatment. However, in the early hours of October 3, during his second operation, a US AC-130 aircraft attacked the hospital for more than half an hour, killing 43 MSF staff, patients, and patient carers, and wounding dozens more.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
As we blithely organize sending more troops and weapons to Afghanistan, perhaps we should stop to think about the human costs, both for the Afghan people and for our own troops. Did George W. Bush give us a war without end? How mad is that? 

Of course, if you've followed my posts, you know what negotiation I think should be tried. I won't iterate that here. Instead, I just want to make sure we take time to think about the humanity of it. 
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The Vatican’s secretary of state visits Moscow for the first time in 19 years

The Vatican’s secretary of state visits Moscow for the first time in 19 years | Upsetment | Scoop.it
CARDINAL Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, has just made a four-day trip to Russia. It was the first time in 19 years that a holder of that powerful office, sometimes described as “prime minister” of the Holy See, had visited Moscow.
On the face of things, the atmosphere during his visit looked remarkably warm.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For centuries one of the major fault lines of Europe has been the conflict between Eastern Rite and Roman churches. During the Communist era, the Catholic Church gained ground while speaking up for freedom. Now, with a new nationalism in Russia, the patriarchs of the East are pushing back. For example, that is just one more point of contention in Ukraine. While there are few Roman Catholics in that country, there are schisms within the predominantly Orthodox population, schisms that reflect a European orientation versus one that turns towards Moscow. The Russian church wants the Moscow oriented orthodox community, which is about 30% of the population, to have ascendency just as Russia wants to have hegemony. 

At any rate, I give Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Pope Francis credit for trying to bridge the widening gap between the West and Moscow. 
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Grassroots Democrats are more energized than ever — but DNC fundraising is a massive fail

Grassroots Democrats are more energized than ever — but DNC fundraising is a massive fail | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Opposition to Trump and the GOP has reawakened liberals and progressives — so why can't the DNC raise more cash? VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:
My guess is that if many of the Democrats who are seeking office were to disavow membership in that party they would do even better at raising money. Quite simply, most of us registered Dems are tired of being bombarded by requests for donations from the DNC while that body has in no way taken responsibility for the debacle of the Clinton campaign or its own mismanagement. "Don't like Trump, send us money," has become their new mantra. To put it simply, they sound like a Nigerian princess. I keep unsubscribing from their email lists; fat lot of good that does, which puts them right down there with Publishers' Clearing House. 

I would happily contribute to a party that stood for something besides keeping itself in or regaining power. Okay, that lets out both the Democrats and the Republicans. I want to see a party that offers a vision for a better America and a better world. Now, we may differ on what better would be, but my guess is that all of us on all sides want that sense of positive purpose. 
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President Trump Made a Confusing Reference to 'Clean Coal.' Here's What He Probably Meant

President Trump Made a Confusing Reference to 'Clean Coal.' Here's What He Probably Meant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Trump offered new hints during a campaign speech Tuesday about what he may mean when he uses the phrase "clean coal"
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I can appreciate the role of the press in exploring the implications of what political leaders say—and don't say. Lord knows, I try to do that with many of my posts. But we have here a man whose words we are struggling to make sense of. Yes, they do try at some mines to clean impurities out of mined coal to reduce pollution, but that hardly makes it clean coal. And, yes, they do try at many power plants to sequester the carbon dioxide that is released, but that hardly makes it clean coal. In fact, while the industry has tried to use that term in a few ways to make us feel better about burning coal, the simple fact is there is no technology that can really be called "Clean Coal." Now, I doubt that such a technology can be developed, but I'm certainly willing—especially given the amount of coal we have in this country—to see some money spent on trying to find such a technology. Here we get to the ultimate absurdity of trying to interpret what Mr. Trump is talking about: The man is opposed to any such spending on technology. Argh. Seriously?! 
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U.S. retailers hit as immigration worries weigh on Hispanic spending

U.S. retailers hit as immigration worries weigh on Hispanic spending | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Many U.S. Hispanics are venturing out only to buy essential goods and are cutting back on discretionary spending, worried about possible harassment by immigration or law enforcement officials since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to community groups, research firms and retailers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
And this story ignores the drop in cross-border shopping which will effect many towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. 

Now to be honest, if I were Hispanic I would probably be hoarding cash in fear that I would have to make some kind of escape when "they" came to round me up. Seriously, isn't that the kind of paranoia that our country is now producing? 

This Broody New Englander is really rather disgusted by the nastiness that has become so ingrained in our lives. Let us never forget this warning. 

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."(Martin Niemöller) 
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What Cities Lose When an Alt-Weekly Dies NY City's Village Voice will no longer be in print.

What Cities Lose When an Alt-Weekly Dies NY City's Village Voice will no longer be in print. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the Village Voice stops its print edition, the alternative-weekly era officially ends.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What a deep sense of loss and regret this news elicits. I loved the voice when I lived in New York. Heck, I love newspapers and hate to see them disappearing. Besides lining birdcages and wrapping fish, they kept us informed, amused, and aware. 
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'I am very optimistic': Hopeful Afghans praise Trump's pledge to keep American boots on the ground

'I am very optimistic': Hopeful Afghans praise Trump's pledge to keep American boots on the ground | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Afghans met Donald Trump's pledge to keep American boots on the ground with hope Tuesday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Good lord, more stupidity in Washington and Kabul combined than I thought the intelligence community could muster. First, about 1/4 of Pakistan is Pashtun dominated and indeed they are about 1/4 of the total population. Second, the Taliban is primarily a Pashtun movement drawing on a religious justification but still about that people's aspirations for a return to their historic greatness. Third, the country that most shares our desire for a stabilized Afghanistan and a control of the Taliban is Iran followed by Russia, two countries with which we don't work and play well. 

Drawing on Iran, which many of the Afghan people look to as a great country even though most Afghanis are Sunni and Iran is of course Shia, a peace could possibly be negotiated. That peace would have to guarantee the safety of those who wished to not be under that central Pashtun authority, possibly by adding territory from Pakistan in the east and setting up a small country in the west for non-Taliban adherents. Of course, this would require a major expense in moving some people, but considering how little they have it wouldn't be that great a migration. Since many of those choosing to go to the smaller country would be Shia, Iran would have a major role in offering it guarantees. It should also have a border with Turkmenistan, not only because there is a small minority of Turkmen in Afghanistan but because that would also help maintain Russia's concern level. 

The specifics of the deal would take some working out, but it could be done a lot more easily than continuing the madness of this endless military adventure. 
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Saudi plane for Qatari pilgrims waits on Doha for landing rights: airline

Saudi plane for Qatari pilgrims waits on Doha for landing rights: airline | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia's state carrier said on Sunday it had been unable to send planes to transport Qatari pilgrims to the kingdom because it had been unable to get permission to land at Doha airport amid a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Saudi Arabia does not want to cut off pilgrims for the haj. To do so would offend Muslims everywhere, for it would be claiming that the worldly government of Riyadh has control over the Islamic faith. According to the religion, all true believers are equal before Allah and all have the obligation to make the haj at least once in their lifetime. On the other hand, Qatar doesn't want to play into Saudi Arabia's hands and make it look like that country is somehow in the right in their dispute. Hence, this strange standoff in which the willingness to supply planes is welcomed while the actual aircraft are not. If the word Byzantine to describe politics still has a use, it would be in the Middle East; a bit or irony there. 

Meanwhile, to my Muslim friends who are taking this sacred pilgrimage I would say, 
                                                  قد الحج الخاص بك تجلب لك أقرب إلى الله
May your pilgrimage bring you closer to god. 
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GOP Rep. King Defends Arpaio, Says DACA Recipients Should Turn In Parents

GOP Rep. King Defends Arpaio, Says DACA Recipients Should Turn In Parents | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What began as an opportunity for Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to defend President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Maricop
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Having spent a year in Iowa City many decades back, it horrifies me that this creature represents the northwest corner of that state, a state notable for its many find educational institutions and wonderful, caring people. What has gotten into the folks in the 4th Congressional district that they have this hate-monger representing them? First, he does't understand what profiling is. Second, he—like Arpaio—doesn't get what respect for the courts is. Third, he uses hyperbole and then swears it's the truth. Now, my god, he's calling on kids to turn on their parents. Not only that, but if they were to do so, those same kids would be screwing themselves. However, seriously, this call to turn in their parents, that's right out of totalitarianism 101. Nazis, Communists, and now this Right Wing hate monger. Yeah, he's in great company. 


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Despite Risks, Trump Administration Moves Forward With Afghanistan Mining Plan

Despite Risks, Trump Administration Moves Forward With Afghanistan Mining Plan | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Despite Risks, Trump Administration Moves Forward With Afghanistan Mining Plan « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
And, when somebody does finally mine the great mental resources of Afghanistan, who is to say what direction a then wealthy country would take. Maybe, the best plan is to first reach a negotiate peace, which will require Iranian involvement, and then try to figure out the best way to integrate a new, Pashtun state which will probably be fiercely Islamic, into the world economy. That process will take years so, Mr. 45, please don't go salivating over the money to be made. It won't be in your lifetime let alone during your administration. 
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Man Who Claimed He Was Stabbed After Being Called A Neo Nazi Admits He Lied

Man Who Claimed He Was Stabbed After Being Called A Neo Nazi Admits He Lied | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A 26-year-old man who claimed he was stabbed after being mistaken for a “neo-Nazi,” admitted to local Colorado polic
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Looking for fame or looking to make trouble? Maybe a bit of both. Clearly, this fellow and people like him who try to inflame situations by claiming to be victims have a loose screw or two. However, he does suggest a character or two for those of us who write. I can certainly imagine somebody like this hanging out at the Dew Drop Inne. Been there? 

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Top State Department Officials Step Down in “Black Friday” Exodus

Top State Department Officials Step Down in “Black Friday” Exodus | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Top State Department Officials Step Down in “Black Friday” Exodus « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Let's not make believe that the people who have been guiding American foreign policy from within have always done a stellar job, but it is concerning to see so many leaving. One gets the feeling that this ship of state is foundering on the shoals of Trump. Yes, the rats may be leaving, but that doesn't mean the boat isn't going down. 

Meanwhile, In Texas, where the rain continues to fall and people are in great danger, he has already declared that everything is going fine—well perhaps swimmingly but not fine by my notions. And I keep wondering when Mexico will start restricting passage into the states from their country, in which case the people of South Texas—and New Mexico, Arizona, and California—may have a serious economic problem to face as well. 

This is not the kind of Monday morning news that brings joy to my heart. 

By the way, did you know that you can get Memoirs From the Asylum in audio? I highly recommend it for insights to the Trump administration. 

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Northern Arapaho Boys of Carlisle Indian Industrial School Going Home - Indian Country Media Network

Northern Arapaho Boys of Carlisle Indian Industrial School Going Home - Indian Country Media Network | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Recently a team of archaeologists dug up the remains of Northern Arapaho boys who attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School so they could be returned home.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Carlisle School is one anchor of the novel I am currently writing. In "Red and White" I strive to capture not only the relationship between Native and Euro-Americans in the late 1800s, but also to reflect on how prejudice and hatred have been poisoning our country. The book is about 2/3 written and is a work of great emotional meaning to me as I struggle to make it my best work yet. Isn't that always a writer's goal, to keep writing better and more meaningful material?

I hope you'll visit http://www.kennethweene.com and check out the works that I've already published. Did you know, you can actually buy my books and keep this author happily moving forward. YES YOU CAN. 
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Mr. Trump Pardons a Bigot, Joe Arpaio. Shame on them both. 

Mr. Trump Pardons a Bigot, Joe Arpaio. Shame on them both.  | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sometimes we need reminding that the rights of individuals are paramount and that tyranny has no place in our system of government. 
Kenneth Weene's insight:
By pardoning Joe Arpaio even before the bigoted sheriff has been sentenced, Mr. Trump has clearly shown his disregard for the separation of powers. While I had no need to see Arpaio in jail, I certainly think our country had a need to demonstrate clearly that lawmen are not above the law. 

I do think that with the act of callous disregard for Arpaio's long history of bigotry and oppression of Hispanic Americans Mr. Trump raises questions not only about his moral fitness but also his desire if any to heal this country. 

Were I a member of congress, I would certainly keep this pardon in the back of my mind when the subject of impeachment comes up. Not that pardoning Arpaio is a high crime or misdemeanor but because it reminds us that he has no respect for the other branches of government and therefore that they should have none for him. 

Wouldn't it be grand if now our local law enforcement went after Arpaio for his other  more seriously criminal actions, like the extortion that has often been mentioned. If he's convicted on those kinds of crimes, it wouldn't be federal and he could rot in jail as a clear reminder that tyranny has no place in our system of government. Perhaps that is something Mr. Trump needs reminding of. 
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U.S Vows to Fund a U.N. Agency For Palestinian Refugees Israeli Leader Wants Shuttered

U.S Vows to Fund a U.N. Agency For Palestinian Refugees Israeli Leader Wants Shuttered | Upsetment | Scoop.it
U.S Vows to Fund a U.N. Agency For Palestinian Refugees Israeli Leader Wants Shuttered « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This story illustrates the non-productive way politics works. First, let me say right off, I want to help the people of Palestine, especially those who have been uprooted from their homes, which is well over 5 million people. I want them to have schools, hospitals, sanitation, and more. However, to keep dribbling money for those goals as charity doesn't help them obtain dignity or respect from the world. How about rethinking the creation of a refugee oriented agency and start thinking about the creation of a viable state which is given aid as part of its establishment just as Israel received aid to reach its viability. Only with statehood can the Palestinian people take over their own destiny and deal in positive ways with their neighbors. 

How about an aid package that included investment in infrastructure and industry and that committed other countries to protecting the territorial integrity of this new state.Those would be starting points. 
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White House to instruct Pentagon on how to implement president's transgender ban in the military

White House to instruct Pentagon on how to implement president's transgender ban in the military | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The White House is preparing guidance for the Pentagon to implement President Trump's decision to ban transgender people from military service.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I have to wonder why transgender or gay persons would want to serve in the military while Mr. Trump is commander-in-chief. It would serve us right if all these fine transgender people took the opportunity to opt-out and find someplace to use their great skills where they will be appreciated. As for the gay members of the service, he hasn't gone after you yet, so you can't just opt out. However, I would question the future. Hey, Black and Hispanic members of the armed services, are any of you also asking yourselves "Do I want to have this guy giving the orders I have to obey?" 

Now, I've never been big on taking orders from anybody and I never served in the military, but I just am wondering how people feel about it. Seems to me it would be like a Jew joining the Nazi party, and that is something I definitely would never do. 

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Qatar restores diplomatic ties with Iran amid Gulf crisis - BBC News

Qatar restores diplomatic ties with Iran amid Gulf crisis - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Four Arab nations boycotting the emirate had demanded it curb ties with the regional Shia power.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm sure that many people will get tired of my saying this, but I think Iran may be the good guys in many situations and might be a better ally for the US going forward than Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have a habit of making trouble in order to push forward their primacy in the Arab world. For my part I like seeing a predominantly Sunni country, Qatar, finding a way to move forward with Tehran. Now if Washington could to the same. For one thing, I know that Iran would be a much better partner in trying to find a way out of Afghanistan. Yes, I will keep beating that drum, better than waving an old battle flag.
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Brazil opens vast Amazon reserve to mining - BBC News

Brazil opens vast Amazon reserve to mining - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The previously-protected area is bigger than Denmark and is thought to be rich in gold.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I read this just after reading that King Salmon stocks are depleted. Then I thought about the history of European-Americans and all the ways that Indians have been cheated of their land and lives in search for the yellow metal. How about our species learning how to better live in harmony with the earth, to not be so greedy, to not over-populate? Yeah, that will be the day. This story makes me want to spit with rage, but I know the indigenous people of South America will eventually lose out and we'll tell ourselves that they are somehow better for learning to be like us. As for the animals and vegetation, well aren't minerals more important? (Yes, that is sarcasm you hear dripping.) 
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Building the Afghan Air Force Will Take Years

Building the Afghan Air Force Will Take Years | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Building the Afghan Air Force Will Take Years « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If we are committing to another 5-10 years to build an effective air force in Afghanistan, then that must mean we don't actually see an end to this crazy war. Absent the civil war, what other reason would there be for such a buildup of that force. 

Meanwhile, the plans to modernize that air force have demonstrated how clearly unready Afghan society is for modernity and how totally useless the American effort has been in helping that preparation. For example, after all our efforts one female pilot. After all our efforts too few would-be pilots who can communicate in English and even fewer American service people who can speak in Pashto or the other local languages. 

Please, let us end the farce.
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The cost of running for Congress has risen 500 percent since 1984.

The cost of running for Congress has risen 500 percent since 1984. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The cost of running for Congress has increased more than 500 percent since 1984. Here's an interactive look at how campaign expenditures have outrun inflation, health care, and even the rising cost of college
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In an ideal democracy people should be able to run for office based on their ideas, character, and intelligence not the size of the bankrolls backing them. However in the last 35 years the cost of running for congress has gone up about four times faster than the cost of living, even more than the cost of healthcare. Check out the reality and I'm sure you'll be as horrified as I. How do we change this madness? It seems that advertising, which should IMHO be relatively unimportant, has become the tail that wags the political dog. Are we that unsophisticated and uneducated that ads really have a large effect on how we vote? If so, what does that say about us? 
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