CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for December 1st, 2014

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Hey folks, I’ll be around the rest of this month to provide Roundups so disregard yesterday’s intro.

How are you enjoying today, by the way?

International Politics


– The Islamic State is successful not because of their terrorism, but because they could govern their own society effectively; Meanwhile, they moved more than 1 million tons of grain to Syria

– The U.S., meanwhile, was warned of a potential ISIL attack in the future; It’s like I’ve heard that one before

– At the end of the day, the U.S. seeks to gain control of the world’s energy supply and of the state of political affairs through any means possible; Interesting article consider Russia cancelled a pipeline to Europe and will work with Turkey as a result

Middle East

– Whoa, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dismissed 24 interior ministry officials; Quite the change

– Israel does not trust Turkey to follow-up on issues with Hamas as well respecting the right of Israel as a nation

– As a result of the bombings of Gaza over the summer, pregnant women are having difficulties needing help from doctors and/or hospitals

– A law in Israel’s Knesset (their parliament for those unaware) wants to ban the Palestinian flag

– The U.S. said it still was not interested in creating a no-fly zone between Turkey and Syria

Asia and Oceania

– After forcing the closure of the headquarters of the Hong Kong government, protesters were told by police that the latter would use “resolute action


– Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi: After the decision on Hosni Mubarak, I can guarantee we will not return to corruption; That sounds so honest and sincere, it looks like we got a real champion there

– A Cameroonian official said there will be a five-country coalition to fight against Boko Haram

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– It seems the U.S. sent some operatives into Mexico to arrest certain people and disguise them as Mexican troops; Insane

– Meanwhile, the popularity of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto continues to decline with the latest at 39 percent as protests continue to grow in the country

Surveillance Planet

– When a new report finds Google to be the largest lobbying group operating in Washington D.C., it only spells trouble in terms of the power they have

– The FBI is warning hackers are using harmful malware to attack businesses after attacking Sony Pictures Entertainment

– Meanwhile, the agency warned military soldiers not to display themselves online for fear of attempts by the Islamic State to find them

– NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden; The United Nations should do more to protect privacy rights

– Emptywheel: “Department of Justice Changed Its FISA Disclosure Policy on January 10, 2008

Financial Matters

– Gallup: In 2013, 51 percent of civilians worldwide were satisfied with affordable housing, which is down from 53 percent from the previous year.

– Dean Baker: “The Paid Vacation Route to Full Employment

– Reverse mortgages are a tricky thing to learn and for homeowners it can be a pitiful if they do not know what to do

– Gallup: The month of November saw an increase in the amount Americans spent for consumption with the average around $95

– With a new report finding out confidential information from the Federal Reserve was leaked to investors, it questions whether the Fed is able to secure all information within it

Politics US

Washington USA

– After President Barack Obama’s announcement of immigration reform, his approval rating among Hispanics increased

– Instead of, you know, cutting programs sending militarized equipment to police, President Obama promised to improve training for officers; What kind of nonsense is this?

– Looks the U.S. government is still allowing anti-abortion and anti-gay groups to receive taxpayer funding

– During a Supreme Court case regarding online harassment, Justice Antonin Scalia said the person sending the hateful comments has no First Amendment rights

– Natasha Lennard: “The Supreme Court Shouldn’t Say Intentions Matter Most When It Comes to Violent Threats on Social Media

– Next year, the U.S. will place a British person who is mentally ill on trial for terrorism

– AIPAC does not want any agreement with Iran and will be lobbying Congress to ensure the status quo will be upheld; AIPAC fearmonging? I would have never thought they would do that.

Anytown USA

– Chris Hedges: “Alcatraz: A Prison as Disneyland

– The Real News covers the #BlackoutBlackFriday protests in a short piece, which can be found here. Journalist Michelle Chen writes more on this here as well.

– Two years ago, in Cleveland, Ohio, a group of officers killed two unarmed black men after firing more than 100 bullets. Today, they sued the city. Why? They said they were discriminated against.

– Major changes will be brought to Ferguson such as more officers hiring more African-Americans and a civilian review board will be established; Very cautious considering some civilian review boards across the U.S. are ineffective if they have no teeth

– After some St. Louis Rams players expressed solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson, St. Louis police called for the players to be punished; Cry some more cops, please cry some more.

We Don’t Need No Education

– Some colleges actually fail to provide an education for low-income students and use them to get even more money

– We can not forget the ability of agencies like the CIA to hire students to work on its behalf as spies to promote the U.S.

– In Los Angeles, teachers are challenging the system of “teacher jail,” where they are removed from their teaching positions without any explanation and not placed in any other position

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

Great news as new research found the HIV virus is evolving to a point where it is having trouble causing the AIDS virus

– With a U.N. agency running out of money, more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees face an uncertain future in terms of food

The Second Sex

– Bill Cosby resigned from Temple University’s board of trustees after administrators planned to meet with him

– A group in the U.K. accused police officers of arresting rape victims for false rape allegations as well as neglecting to go after the people who cause rape

– Jessica Valenti: “If tech companies wanted to end online harassment, they could do it tomorrow

Planet Earth

– Dahr Jamail: “Are Humans Going Extinct?

– Scientists found an environmentally-friendly alternative to air conditioning considering its harmful impact on the climate

– The fracking industry in the U.S. will be losing as a result of OPEC’s decision not to scale back production

– In Ohio, a lawsuit challenges the fracking waste facilities in the state that state regulators care very little about despite its harmful effects

– The state of Florida decided to cut back its environment policy and it was supported by major energy firms in the state

Mixed Bag

– Pew: More men than women are harassed online when, for example, they are physically threatened or called something offensive. However, more female users experience higher rates of stalking and sexual harassment.

– Chris Rock talks about the state of America in terms of class and race and the problem the nation is facing here

– China announced it would ban puns and idioms because it may lead to “cultural and linguistic chaos.” No seriously, they actually did this.

– There will be layoffs soon at The New York Times after the outlet said they were needed to offset its losses

Break Time

Heads Will Roll [Yeah Yeah Yeahs]

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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.