CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for May 29, 2013

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Hello, all.

International Developments

? “At least 15 more killed” by bomb blasts in Baghdad, Iraq.

? Syrian government representatives will attend peace talks next month in Geneva.

? Cold Warrior Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s sneak visit to Syria raises many issues, including those five separate on-going wars:  the Syrian people vs the regime; a sectarian war; Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Turkey vs. Iran; US vs Russia over naval bases; and US-Israel vs. Iran.

? “The UN Human Rights Council has condemned Syrian troops’ attacks on the town of Qusair, and the use of foreign fighters in the offensive.”  Resolution sponsored by Qatar; no other foreign forces mentioned.

? A Taliban #2, Waliur Rehman, reported killed in Pakistan,  by drone.

? A Red Cross office in Jalalabad, Afghanistan was attacked by “militants” who are occupying it.

? “U.S. Urges Myanmar To End Two-Child Policy Imposed on Muslim Minority”.

? Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s saga cont’d:  his “former staffers’ emails, telephone records ordered destroyed.”

International Finance

? “Brussels . . . is moving away from a crisis response based on austerity, allowing [France, Spain and The Netherlands] to overshoot budget deficit limits and pushing instead for broader reform.”

? The US Justice Department’s bust of Liberty Reserve  yesterday is “an important step towards reining in the ‘Wild Wise’ of illicit banking.”

? $7bn – $10bn in fines the US is expected to impose on Switzerland for those “tax-evasion cases”.

? Just another terrific Austerity idea: UK “Courts may be privatised to save Ministry of Justice £1bn” per year!

? And another:  “Britain is preparing to privatize Royal Mail”.

? Goldman Sachs runs Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Company which owns Shuanghui (Shineway), “China’s largest pork producer.”  Shuanghui just agreed “to buy the American meat processor Smithfield Foods for about $4.7 billion”.

Money Matters USA

? “GOP Austerity Enriches Billionaires at Workers’ Expense”.  If the economy begins to pick up and more people are hired, won’t that increase the possibilities of management once again having to deal with labor on a more equal footing?

? Jamie Dimon, aka “the sun god“, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, beat back efforts to split his job into two recently–despite federal investigations and CA’s Attorney General. How’d he do that?

? Remember that Shell offshore oil rig that got lose and finally rammed an AK island late last year?  A Shell spokesperson testified to the Coast Guard that Shell was trying to avoid “tax liability” at the time, supporting Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)’s suspicion. Edward Teller provided an FDL report on this back in February.

? Financial and real estate interests are closing in on New York City’s public libraries.

? Former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson is going to work for Apple.

? “America’s working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children”, most headed by single mothers.  Is this a positive?

Politics USA

? Senate Majority Leader Harry “Leader” Reid (D-NV) has noticed the filibuster is being “‘Abused'”.

? “The storm engulfing the Internal Revenue Service could provide a boost for lawmakers who want to simplify U.S. tax laws.”  Show of hands from all who think Congresscritters are capable of developing an equitable, just tax system.

? “All 45 Republican senators co-signed an amicus brief filed [yesterday] calling on the Supreme Court to curtail the President’s power to temporarily appoint nominees with the Senate’s approval.”

Republicans lie more than Democrats–about three times more.

? Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will not seek re-election.

? “Congress’s average I.Q. expected to rise in 2015″.

? “3 major Democratic fundraisers” are already at work for a Hillary Clinton presidential run.

? Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio will appeal the recent federal judge’s ruling that Arpaio racially profiled Latinos.  He’ll also “no longer detain persons believed to be in this country without authorization”.

? The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case judge won’t allow the defense to try a “character assassination” of Martin, at least in trial opening statements.

Gun Corner

? Adam Kokesh has cancelled the July 4th gun march on Washington, DC and says instead there should be marches in all 50 states.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? 22 war veterans commit suicide each day, based on 21 states’ data. While the VA struggles to get adequate resources in place to help those veterans, it’s not dealing with “moral injury”, e.g., the killing of civilians.  Volunteer efforts are helping.

The War on Women

? “Facebook is ramping up efforts to stamp out hate speech, particularly depictions of violence against women.”

? “Improvements in maternal health at risk because of data black hole: World Bank says maternal mortality lower in countries where girls complete primary school and women become MPS, but bemoans lack of data on reproductive health.”

Planet Earth News

? “Study shows genetically modified salmon that breed with wild trout can produce a fast-growing, competitive fish”.  There’s a need to “emphasise the importance of stringent regulations to ensure GM animals do not escape into nature.”  Like killer bees?

? Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) is reintroducing The Rural Economic Vitalization Act which “Address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient grazing policy on our public lands.”

? “How Corporations and Law Enforcement Are Spying on Environmentalists”.

Heads Up!

? Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond agrees to ‘non-cooperating plea agreement’ as alternative to endless court battle and decades of prison time.” He hacked into Stratfor and “law enforcement and defense contractor websites.”

Latin America

? “Brazil’s ‘lost report’ into genocide surfaces after 40 years:  Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and shed light on current land policy”.

? “The two most notorious and violent street gangs in Honduras have promised to end the violence which has claimed tens of thousands of lives.”

? According to officials, Venezuela is on track to eliminate hunger by 2015. (Google translation)

Mixed Bag

? Moon volcanic glass has water which matches traces of water in earth’s magma.  “[H]ow did the moon manage to maintain that moisture?”

? Did Stravinsky-Nijinsky’s original production “really spark a riot?”

Frozen woolly mammoth blood flows.

 Break Time

? Fab

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