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The Roundup for September 30th, 2013

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Hello all. Final day of September this month. Hope it’s a good one for you. I baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday. They were delicious.

International Developments

Can Pope Francis Really Change the Catholic Church? This happens as Pope Francis will meet with cardinals to discuss reforms to the Church. 

– “They ordered us to kill all the people”. First US trial for war crimes in Guatemala.

– Iran’s Rouhani states that flights between Iran and the US may restart up again in the future.

– Meanwhile, Netanyahu still wants sanctions on Iran to be held. 

“Golden Dawn is both a political party and a gang – and outlawing political parties often proves problematic and ineffective. The law can prohibit but cannot eliminate fascist ideas; these must be confronted politically. Anti-fascism is a political struggle fought daily by citizens, activists, civil society groups and migrant communities. It is a battle for democracy, solidarity and social justice. It cannot be won unless the systemic injustice of austerity is defeated.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has pledged to eradicate the “shame” of neo-Nazism.

Financial Matters

– Paul Krugman: “[A] U.S. government default, which will happen unless Congress raises the debt ceiling soon, might cause financial catastrophe. Unfortunately, many Republicans either don’t understand this or don’t care”

– Warren Buffett, darling of the Democrats, is “poised to get $2 billion stake in Goldman Sachs” 

– Twitter set to launch IPO soon. 

– Let’s change “Fast Food” to “Almost There Food” Wait time for fast food taking a longer time than usual. 

Surveillance Planet

Plot leak of al-Qaeda has scrambled US intelligence in ways you can’t imagine. Emptywheel has more.

– Need a new social network? NSA has GETPRISM to join. Don’t worry, you’ve already joined it whether you know it or not.

“Could an Independent NSA Inspector General Have Prevented 3 Years of Violations?” Michael Hayden, former NSA chief, thinks agencies should be more “transparent” so probably.

– John McAfee, of McAfee fame, is developing a program to kick out government spying. 

– Former NSA contractor has created a “surveillance-proof font”.

– Your metadata is stored for up to a year.

– Ex-Microsoft privacy advisor doesn’t trust Microsoft over NSA controversy. 

Labor’s a-Brewing

“The explicit and enduring ramifications of Wal-Mart v. Dukes are still to be determined. Two years later, it’s becoming clear just how much the ruling has reshaped the American legal landscape. But it’s not as though everyone is rolling up their tents and going home.”

– Here is another shutdown expected for LA workers: “Hours after their labor contract with Los Angeles County expires at midnight Monday, thousands of social workers, janitors, librarians and other municipal employees are expected to take to the streets of downtown L.A. to rally for higher wages and the protection of their benefits.”

– Missed the AFL-CIO convention? Here’s the 10 important initiatives that have come out of it. 

Politics USA

– Less than 24 hours. Here are the 21 things Republicans have demanded “in exchange for not tanking the global economy.” Meanwhile, 69 percent of Americans think Republicans are acting like “spoiled children.”

– Live updates of Congress attempting (key word here) to stop shutdown from occurring here.  Obama speaks against GOP ruining the economy here.

– Leadership of the House: “We Are Not Shutting Down the Government” Meanwhile, when it does shutdown, if you are in Washington, go to Z Burger since it will give free food to government employees. 

– Who is there in Congress since the last shutdown occurred? What should I know about the shutdown and how it affects me?

“Beltway reporters who see their professed neutrality as a higher ground bear an enormous amount of responsibility for encouraging this perversion of democratic governance. With a few notable exceptions, the media have framed what Jonathan Chait called ‘a kind of quasi-impeachment’ in typical he said-she said fashion, obscuring the fact that the basic norms that govern Congress have been thrown out the window by a small cabal of tea party-endorsed legislators from overwhelmingly Republican districts. “

– Sen. Angus King (I-Maine): Right wing extremists are “guilty of murder”

Richard Spencer is a new face trying to make white separatism respectable.

Here are the five industries that are robbing people like you and me.

– $167,731 is not only the cost of an Ivy League education, but NYC’s cost per inmate.

– Train crash in Chicago injures dozens, thankfully no deaths involved nor is it serious. 

– Queens bakery does not hire woman because she is “black”

We Don’t Need No Education

– How computer grading hurts rather than help students.

Health, Hunger, and Homelessness

– “Did you know that Nabisco touts a preschool-age ‘Oreo Cookie Counting Book’ and Hershey’s publishes a ‘Hershey’s Kisses Multiplication Book’? Did you know that these books are just one of the countless tactics Big Food uses to market to our kids throughout their lives — even in school?” Fast food companies target children, their most loyal customers.

– Children who were unvaccinated in California helped cause increasing of whooping cough in 2010. 

– The other deadline Congress will not address: farmers. 

The War on Women

– Gender wage gap in different states. Worst in Wyoming and Louisiana.

– What the US does not get about the violence against women. 

– Utah is a terrible place for women to be at now study says. 

Planet Earth

– We’re “electrifying Africa”, though at what cost are we doing it?

What is the social cost of climate change? 

– One meteorologist vows never to fly again after latest climate report.

– Common sense study says we can save more lives if we address climate change (not by speeches, but actual work)

The Lounge

Story of Small Businessman Struggling to Survive Comes to End Under Obama Administration

– *Slight Spoilers* Dying teen affected the finale of Breaking Bad. 

10 grammar rules you can forget.

– More information over a government shutdown. 

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.