CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for June 26th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you doing this Thursday? What’s on your mind?

International Politics


– NATO’s Secretary General asserts Russia is using spies to infiltrate environmental movements against fracking to further Russia’s goal. Keep in mind the Secretary General presented no evidence.

– The stories of undocumented children held in detention centers shows the terrible narrative of the right-wing

Middle East

– Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki cannot save Iraq by himself, but he can rely on Shi’ite forces for change

– Meanwhile, al-Maliki praised air strikes by the Syrian government against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant; What will people like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) say now?

– In addition, al-Maliki praised both Russian and Belarus jets for assisting against ISIS

– If there is anything to learn from the latest crisis in Iraq, it is that independent journalism in Iraq will be the first to go from international news coverage

– Militants with Al-Qaeda launched a series of attacks at different places throughout Yemen killing at least 15


– President Obama stated the recent elections in Libya show a country committed to moving toward democracy despite setbacks; Which Libya is he watching?

– Amy Goodman: “The Egyptian Counterrevolution Will Not Be Televised

– One of the Al-Jazeera journalists jailed by the Egyptian government called his sentence an “outrage

– Some suspected Boko Haram fighters are leaving their territory due to snake bites and bee attacks, which allows them to be captured by government forces

Asia and Oceania

– China announced dissidents of the state will be offered a “vacation” to different places throughout the country in an effort to remove them from politics; Can you imagine the U.S. doing that with Occupy protesters or “suspected terrorists”?


A lengthy, yet powerful article from The Guardian on the increasing number of migrants coming to Europe and the problems they face

Surveillance Planet

– Buzzfeed, the increasingly popular news/pop culture site, collects a lot of data including personal— on their users, which could be given/sold to any other company to peruse

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers interview journalist Sarah Harrison on the value of whistleblowers and the state’s power to further national security

– As a result of disclosuresy about the NSA, the German government announced it will end its contract with Verizon

Financial Matters

– Gallup: 26 percent of Americans have a “great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in banking institutions

– Economist Robert Pollin explains to The Real New the value of bailing out cities and why this is a preferable option for the Federal Reserve

– Despite Thomas Piketty analyzing the faults in our globalized system, he still does not believe capitalism would have to be abolished to further our society. FDL Book Salon will host a discussion of Piketty’s new book this Saturday with Knut and masaccio.

– After ProPublica requested information on how the money raised by the American Red Cross was spent after Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross refused, saying it was a “trade secret“; Reactionaries love to say charity is important, but what happens when the charity refuses to say how your money is spent?

– What is happening in Detroit, Mich., is the process of city and state officials to cut off water for residents in order to get the most money when privatizing the water system

– Amazon’s bullying tactics continue as book publishers in the United Kingdom also cite the company forcing its terms on authors

– The Obama administration announced plans to expand its affordable housing program with money from the Treasury Department

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Ikea, the Swedish furniture store, announced it will raise the minimum wage for its U.S. workers depending on the cost of living in their area

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Obama requests $500 million to support rebels in Syria after getting pressure from some lawmakers

A report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement found 72,000 undocumented parents of U.S. born children were deported last year

– The recent criticism against the Department of Veterans Affairs seems more motivated by ideology than actual meaningful reform

– An excellent article analyzing how Hillary Clinton’s exposure to compromise led her to joining the elite and made her different from the Hillary of her youth

– Without any objection, the U.S. Senate confirmed not only a new ambassador to Iraq, but also one to Egypt

Anytown USA

– As this article notes, there are at least four alarming aspects of the increasing militarization of local police forces across the U.S.

– A victim of police brutality and torture in Chicago, Ill., was given a little more than $3,000 by a federal appeals court as fair settlement

– It was found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) gave more than $1.25 billion in subsidies to pro-GOP companies and donors; The Stars and Stripes of Corruption

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Despite the USDA advising citizens not to frequently go out for fast food, a part of their system pushes for more profits for fast food companies

– A court in New York ruled the policy of banning large drinks with a lot of sugar is unconstitutional; Great day for companies, bad day for dentists

– The Obama administration wants the more than 8 million Americans who received health coverage through Obamacare to be able to renew their coverage when the time comes

The Second Sex

– The Supreme Court ruled buffer zones outside of abortion clinics are unconstitutional and violate the free speech of anti-abortion protesters

– Jessica Valenti: “The US supreme court’s abortion buffer zone ruling protects a gauntlet of horror

A funny segment at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart about the failure of colleges and universities to deal with sexual assault

Planet Earth 

– Gallup: More than seven in 10 civilians worldwide are satisfied with the quality of their water

– Infrastructure is known to be faulty in the U.S. with water systems being an example of this. It is important to note such faults cause major harm for low-income individuals and families.

– In Oklahoma and Texas, there is a growing number of earthquakes in the area, which made residents question whether it is linked to hydrofracking in the area

– Alleged “bee-friendly” plants sold at major conglomerate stores like Wal-Mart actually contain pesticides that can kill bees. Oh look, a major capitalist corporation lies to the public, what a surprise.

Mixed Bag

– “Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything

– PandoDaily fired two reporters (David Sirota and Ted Rall) and politics from investors may have been involved

– After a tycoon from China offered a free lunch to the homeless in New York City, the money never appeared and the lunch never happened

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.