CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for August 15th, 2014

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End of the week folks. By the way, I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night and they came out great!

International Politics


– Whatever we think of the apartheid system in Israel, what matters is that it will fall, as history shows

– Ray McGovern: “The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities“; I really enjoyed this piece as its historical analysis links up well with contemporary issues

– The European Union offered its help to secure borders in Gaza and to stop illegal weapons trafficking if a new peace deal is reached

– Speaking of the EU, they announced support for the Kurds in Iraq through weapons

Middle East

– Propaganda from Israel on how tunnels would be used by Hamas to attack civilians despite evidence to the contrary

– Meanwhile, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was extended by five days

– Israel announced people would no longer be able to serve in B’Tselem, the human rights group that is the alternative to mandatory military service, as a result of B’Tselem’s opposition to the war in Gaza

– Terrible news as Islamic State massacred at least 80 people from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq

– There is good news as Sunnis and Shi’ites may be working together in the new Iraqi government


– Alleged Boko Haram militants kidnapped nearly 100 men from a village in northeastern Nigeria


– German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Russia should stop sending military aid to eastern Ukraine; Would it be a fair to say she is attempting to follow the majority in Germany who favor action against Russia?

– Here is a quick top 10 list on the rise of the far-right in Europe and how they were able to grow

– Ukraine stated it destroyed Russian military vehicles, although Russia responded that Kiev was lying

– The Prime Minister of Hungary called for a reassessment of sanctions against Russia since the country’s economy was suffering

Surveillance Planet

– Looks like Raytheon, a contractor that worked with the NSA, will be getting a contract to record license plates

– Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) stated rules on surveillance in contemporary times should be properly updated

Financial Matters

– Gallup: 45 percent of Americans state they are spending more this year than last year; Millennials were the age group spending the most this year

– Attorney Ellen Brown writes on the significance of Argentina’s debt and what is really missing in the discussion around it

– In a reversal of policy, the American Red Cross decided to release their record of spending after Hurricane Sandy

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Despite Costco’s policy on supporting workers with high wages and benefits, they still work with contractors that are not so pro-labor

Politics US

Washington USA

– Phil Donahue and James Risen speak to The Real News about the value of grassroots resistance against the war on journalists like Risen; More on the precedent that can be established if Risen is convicted for not disclosing his source

– David Sirota: “Whose Presidential Campaign Will Your Pension Finance?

– The U.S. government detains 34,000 immigrants a day just to fill a quota and it is pathetic

Anytown USA

– Officer Darren Wilson claimed he was responding to a robbery of cigars that led up to the death of Michael Brown. Wait no, he stopped traffic. Wait no, he uh…I’ll get back to you on that.

– In Ferguson, Mo., there are lessons that need to be learned and these are essential if we want to move forward to a place where there is no brutality

– Speaking of lessons, journalist Gary Younge has a powerful article of what to learn from the death of Michael Brown

– Need a recap or to catch-up on what is happening there? ProPublica has a helpful resource here.

– Since 1991, marijuana arrests in the nation tripled. That’s right. Tripled. Such strange priorities in this War on Drugs, no?

– Meanwhile, an elderly woman in Colorado was forced out of her home for possessing marijuana due to federal law

– Activists on the West Coast will block an Israeli ship from docking to protest for its actions in Gaza

– Sarah Jaffe: “How Zephyr Teachout Became a Contender

We Don’t Need No Education

– In response to the University of Illinois deciding not to hire Steven Salaita, nearly 300 scholars wrote a letter stating they will never go to the college until Salaita is reinstated

– The future of Cooper Union, historically a college that was free, might be in the hands of a judge as students and faculty alike are trying to keep it free

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The United States Department of Agricultural decided, in response to the growth of weeds, to turn to a GMO seed for resistance, which caused controversy among farmers and activists

– Medecins Sans Frontieres assert the Ebola crisis in West Africa will last for six more months 

The Second Sex

– Despite Columbia University releasing new guidelines on sexual assault, it still was criticized for not doing enough

– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in his address to the nation on the country’s Independence Day families should blame sons for raping women rather than attacking victims

Planet Earth

– Part five of five with Chris Williams on the elites’ plan to save themselves from climate change as the rest of us suffer

– In Spain, farming with a focus on the environment has done well in spite of the terrible recession

Mixed Bag

– In Britain, according to a new poll, one in 10 people state they do not have a “close friend.”

– With the co-founder of Vice writing a piece in defense of transphobia (how is this even a thing to defend?) in Thought Catalog, writers like Matt Saccaro decided to stop writing for the site

Break Time

Spiderwebs [No Doubt]

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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.