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The Roundup for September 17, 2013

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Good day to everyone. Hope your day is bright.

The Breaking Story of the Day

– Apparently, the Navy was warned by Rhode Island police that Alexis was “hearing voices” and had people “vibrations to his body” that prevented him from sleeping. Also suffered from mental illness. More details will follow as Pentagon increases security on all military bases.

International Politics 

– “Doctor” Elizabeth O’Bagy, whose research on Syria and Syrian opposition had influence lawmakers like John McCain, has admitted that she does not hold a Ph.D or even attended a school there.

“The Arab World needs to unify its position on Syria and back a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Middle Eastern state, UN and Arab League Special Envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, told RT’s Arabic channel, Rossiya al-Yaum.”

– Writer Dimitris Psarras on Golden Dawn: “Their agenda, clearly, is to create a climate of civil war, a divide where people have to choose between leftists and rightists.” Thousands of Greeks protested Golden Dawn on Friday as the danger of Golden Dawn in Greece continues.

– Prime Minister of Greece Antonio Samaras: “According to most, we will not need a couple of decades, not a couple of generations, but only 6 years to get back at the pre-crisis levels of our standard of living and GDP.” Also according to most: eating pizza and ice cream together is a good idea, driving a car with no hands is possible, and you can tell everyone it’s going to get better even if their friends, neighbors or family members committed suicide due to austerity.

– Compromise with Iran over nuclear issues? Apparently so. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “I’m not opposed to proper moves in diplomacy, and I still believe in what I named years ago as champion’s leniency.”

– Why do I feel Iraq (and Afghanistan) is now a footnote for our media and politicians? The increase of violence in Iraq has “threatened to renew civil war in Iraq.” 

Financial Matters

“Remember when people had pensions?” Not really…

– “Five Charts You Need to See” Since the Great Recession

– The annual list of “Am I richer than you?” among billionaires has come out with Bill Gates topping the list. “Because the bar is so high, 61 American billionaires didn’t make the cut.”  Darn it, I’m sure they were disappointed when they heard the news in their mansions surrounded by their low-income housekeepers.

Surveillance Planet

– Brazilian hackers “accidentally hack” NASA’s website as “payback for NSA surveillance.” The lesson here is: NASA should change its name.

– Brazilian President snubs Obama and states “given the proximity of the scheduled state visit to Washington and in the absence of a timely investigation … there aren’t conditions for this trip to be made.”

– Barack Obama, that guy who told you that “this is the most transparent administration in history”, upheld that by killing a bill that would allow transparency over US military aid. Wait, did I say upheld? I meant, lied once again.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Miners in Mexico are displaced by their government and not welcomed by the United States, but that isn’t stopping them.

– 100,000+ workers in Poland have been protesting Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s new “pro-market” agenda. “[Solidarity], [t]he trade union, is calling on the government to raise the minimum wage and public sector wages as well as bolster job security, particularly for Poland’s youth.”

– In Chattanooga, Tennessee, workers at the Volkswagon assembly plant has scored a victory by signing cards with the United Auto Workers to form a union.

Politics USA

– A bit old, but I discovered it today. How Big Sugar echoes tactics used by Big Tobacco or how corporations never learn.

– An executive with a security firm for the US Open is being sued “for discrimination and and retaliation after he allegedly sent racist emails calling African-Americans the N-word.”  I don’t think it’s “allegedly” when he states something like this: “If he [a dog trainer] likes what he sees [in the dogs] he will fly the Dog to Denver. There he will do a great deal of bite work, off leash training and some n*gger eating exercises.”

– Why did Occupy Wall Street “fizzle” out? Was it the police? Was it repression? Was it unity issues? Was it “too many Indians, not enough Chiefs”? I don’t know.

– In University of Alabama, they had to deal with racism among its Greek system. Another reason why I don’t join frats.

More than 1 in 7 Americans are living in poverty as things remained unchanged. DSWright has more here.

Health, Homelessness, and Hunger

– Crack addicts are not what you expect. When given alternatives to crack, they choose the alternative. “Eighty to 90 percent of people who use crack and methamphetamine don’t get addicted,” said Dr. Hart, an associate professor of psychology. “And the small number who do become addicted are nothing like the popular caricatures.” Put another tally against Reagan and co.

– There were 6.7 million more people in poverty for 2012 than in 2008. Coalition on Human Needs releases an interesting report on this and more. Statement by Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, on this (I apologize for not providing the link, but I cannot find it at this time): “There were nearly 6.7 million more poor people in 2012 than in 2008, a year deep in the Great Recession. Three years into the Great Unshared Recovery, poverty is worse than in 2008, median income is down, and people are slipping out of the middle class. More than one-third of our nation is near poor—106 million people live below twice the poverty line, one lay-off or crisis away from poverty”

– Colbert’s hilarious segment of “The Word” yesterday over critics of food stamp programs.

CDC: There is a link between antibiotics at farms and human deaths. What’s Big Agra gonna do about it? I’m assuming nothing.

– USDA’s latest genius plan to save us all from illness: Instead of placing independent inspectors that cost a lot of money in industrial meat plants, why not use inspectors employed by the plants themselves? Where’s the Department of Common Sense? Was that bought by corporations too?

The War on Women

“Media Misogyny & Its Impact on Women’s Self-Esteem.” Good read.

– How socio-economic status can “influence risk of violence against aboriginal women in Canada.”

How sexual harassment is strong within the Afghan police. “The report, which the United Nations has circulated only among senior Afghan officials at the Interior Ministry, found that about 90 percent of the policewomen interviewed described sexual harassment and sexual violence as a serious problem, and that about 70 percent of the policewomen said that they had personally experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence themselves, according to people who saw the report or had it described to them.”

Planet Earth

– How climate change affects Alaska’s “crab fishing” for fishermen.

“Jaw-dropping photos” and more on the Boulder floods and their significance in the world today relevant to climate change.

Death toll rises in Mexico as floods “submerge” beach resort Acapulco.

– “We are failing as an international community. We are not on track.” states Halldor Thorgeirsson, a UN climate official.

Mixed Bag

– Why are some people left-handed? Scientists have discovered “a network of genes” that “relate to handedness in humans.”

– Dartmouth researchers have “discovered how and where imagination occurs in human brains.”

– “More than half of all patients with pre-existing dementia will experience delirium while hospitalized. Failing to detect and treat their delirium early leads to a faster decline of both their physical and mental health, according to health researchers.”

– After 19 hours, Costa Concordia is now upright.

Break Time 

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Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan is a freelance journalist in Queens, NY and written for publications such as The Nation, In These Times, Truthout and more.