CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for May 23rd, 2014

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Hey folks, it’s Friday! I’m done with classes until August so I’ll be giving more attention to the Roundup.

International Politics


– Vladimir Putin: We will recognize the elections in Ukraine, but we do not stand for the coup generated by the West

– The Pentagon stated they have seen a small number of Russian troops pulled from the Ukrainian border

– Former Polish president and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa declared the U.S. is not upholding its active role in the world

– The annexation of Crimea may have not been a move by Putin but a misstep by the West and energy market elites

– The Western-style democratic system is a sham featuring death, destruction, primitive accumulation, privatization and more. No wonder it’s popular among elites

Middle East

– Juan Cole: “Pope Francis to call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State from Bethlehem

– Syrian rebels shelled Assad supporters in the southern part of Syria, killing 21

– The only hospital located in Falluja, Iraq is running out of essential supplies and much-needed staff as only three doctors and six nurses remain

– Sure the U.S. military is out of Iraq, but U.S. corporations like ExxonMobil are still in the country accumulating so much cash, thanks to the occupying force


– While the West continues to talk about Boko Haram in the most cliché way on the topic of contemporary terrorism, there is still a lot to talk about on its rise in Nigeria based on the history of the country

– The retired renegade general in Libya, who was trained by the CIA decades ago, says he will continue to fight until militants in the country are gone

Asia and Oceania

– Thomas Crowley explains the victory of Narendra Modi is the elites in India embracing the neo-liberal model, as well as giving the keys to someone “embodying fascistic tendencies

– Jason Jones on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart goes to India to report, not only on its corrupt media, but its inane political elections

– The military in Thailand detained Yingluck Shinawatra, former prime minister, to keep order in the country. They said she will be held for no more than a week.

– The general leading the Thai military takeover, according to someone close to the former prime minister, is a supporter of the monarchy; Meanwhile, the U.S. suspended $3.5 million in aid to the country and the head of the U.S. Army called for a return of democracy


– Gallup: 63 percent of Ukrainians say the level of corruption in the country grew in the last five years

– Clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators in Istanbul, Turkey, left one person dead 

– A group of Italian activists entered a U.S. Army base and planted pot seeds to protest U.S. foreign policy

– Some Jews in Kiev, in response to instability in Ukraine, formed a self-defense force in case of attacks against the Jewish community

– Russia Today (RT) responded to Prince Charles’ comment that likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler by showing pictures of the royal family with Hitler

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– There is also talk on reparations not only in the U.S. but also in the Caribbean

– Brazil will mobilize 157,000 cops and soldiers in order to prepare for the World Cup

Surveillance Planet

– Michael Ratner discusses with The Real News the issue of the unnamed country that The Intercept declined to publish though WikiLeaks disagreed and released the name of the country, which was Afghanistan (emptywheel’s guess)

– A House committee passed an amendment to remove the NSA from interfering with encryption standards

– Groups that defended the USA Freedom Act now withdraw from giving it support as they view it now watered-down

Financial Matters

– Part three of eight with Costas Lapavitsas on how large financial institutions became the dominant force throughout the world

– The World Trade Organization ruled China’s tariffs on U.S. cars violated rules, giving a victory to the U.S.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– There is a proposal to raise the minimum wage in California to $13/hour by 2017 (not $15/hour unfortunately) as the current proposal of $10.10 is too low

– Good news out of Portland, OR. where zoo workers there are fighting for $15/hour

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: 26 percent of Americans say the Army is the most important branch of the military for national defense, while 23 percent say the Air Force

– Medea Benjamin: “Drone Deaths and Force-Feeding: Obama’s Trail of Broken Promises

– With President Obama going around the country talking wit black America, once again he talks pure rhetoric with no progressive action

– The Social Security Administration is considering closing most of its field offices by 2025 and replacing them with online access and features

– Attorney General Eric Holder ordered all federal law enforcement agencies to record all interrogations with suspects

– John Kerry stated he will testify in front of the select committee on Benghazi

– Julian Castro, a rising star in the Democratic Party, was nominated by President Obama to be the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

– After Citizens United, “dark money” ruined the Democratic Party and turned it into a corrupt machine (As if they weren’t before)

Anytown USA

The Real News reports on Jackson, Miss. where new models are being created to uphold the ideal of democracy

– In Connecticut, a transgender girl is being held in prison despite being 16 years-old with no charges against her

– A district judge lifted a restraining order that kept the U.S. military from force-feeding an inmate at Guantanamo Bay for fear the inmate might die 

– In the much-discussed article, Ta-Nehisi Coates explains why reparations are needed for blacks

– There is race and gender culture, but class culture is one of the most important subjects to talk about, especially for social movements

– In what is certainl unconstitutional, Tennessee returned the electric chair for death row inmates

We Don’t Need No Education

– In contrast to the “follow your dreams” to success stories commencement speakers give, there is a valuable lesson to learn after graduating from college: stay curious and keep learning

– Colleges and universities are accumulating borrowing costs, which they pass onto students thinking they could shoulder a little more

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Six mothers, worried about the nutritional state of their children due to fast food advertisements, marched to a shareholders’ meeting at the McDonalds headquarters

The Second Sex

– A short graphic of states in the South showing the consequences of attacks against reproductive rights

– WalMart is attempting to wage a PR campaign as more stories of pregnant employees being treated poorly come out

– Women’s rights is something to discuss and value as they are viciously under attack by extremists in Afghanistan

Planet Earth 

– The House Science Committee passed a bill that includes an amendment restricting the Pentagon from spending on climate change

– The Ecuadorian government issued permits to begin drilling for oil in the Yasuni natural park; An analysis into this could be found here

– Some of the governmental elites may be dunces, but they are dunces deciding major issues such as keeping secrets on fracking, for instance

Mixed Bag

– Bored GOP Vetting Rand Paul Just To Kill Time Before Viable 2016 Candidate Emerges

– Scientists may have found a “couch potato” gene that leads to laziness

– An asteroid that exploded near a small town in Russia collided with another one before hitting Earth scientists found 

Break Time

3, 6, 9

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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.