CommunityThe Bullpen

The Weekend Roundup for May 16-17th, 2015

In honor of finals, let’s do another week of songs from around the globe. We’ll start in Pakistan.

International Politics


– Pope Francis I: Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is “an angel of peace“; Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s not get too carried away here

– U.S. commandos killed 32 Islamic State militants and officials, including the head of ISIL’s oil operations. It was approved by the White House

– Journalists are being charged with doing their job, specifically journalists who reported on corporate corruption in Luxembourg involving tax avoidance

Middle East

– In short, youths in Palestine are frustrated, angry and without any strong leadership

– Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. is only interested in securing the Persian Gulf

– The western Anbar province in Iraq may collapse as a result of ISIS forces

– At least 300 people have died in Syria as a result of fighting between the Syrian government and ISIS forces

Asia and Oceania

– The poor in Nepal need doctors and folks who understand the necessities in the country instead of soldiers; What rational person would even think soldiers are necessary?

– Even the animals stranded in Nepal need lots of love and help

– John Pilger: “Celebrating Real Heroes Like the One We’ve Just Lost

– For migrants seeking refuge, the seas are a place of unspeakable horrors 


– Mohamed Morsi will be sentenced to death and the White House said they were “deeply concerned

– Also, six men were hanged in Egypt after found guilty of killing soldiers. Not only that, but a court ruled “ultras,” fanatic fan clubs in the country, were no longer welcomed in the country

– Primitive accumulation can best be found in Ethiopia where land grabs occur


– Podemos should be careful in moving forward and must re-evaluate what needs to be done as it is losing steam

– Glen Ford: “EU Plans War to Keep Europe White

– Turns out American Christians are supporting a no vote in Ireland on an upcoming referendum on gay marriage. Christian immigrants in Ireland are even being mobilized to vote no

– France opposes any quota system proposed by European Union officials over the migrant crisis

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In spite of the accomplishments made by the Cuban Revolution, corruption still exists among the old guard of Cuba

– Glen Ford, a journalist, joins The Real News to talk about what Cubans believe about recent changes with the U.S. and what they need going forward

– Thousands of Guatemalans marched in the streets to demand the resignation of the president over a corruption scandal

Surveillance Planet

– Trevor Timm: “Surveillance diehards in the Senate will do anything to stop NSA reform

Part four of seven with journalist Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer, Truthdig editor-in-chief, on what needs to be done about surveillance

– Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Our nation will “go dark” if we do not still have powers to spy on phones

Financial Matters

An interview with Spanish professor Vincent Navarro, a member of Podemos, about changes needed in Spain and the overall economics profession

– There’s money to be made off tensions among Gulf states. Just ask companies like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin

Part six of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang about the importance of understanding different economic schools of thought and teaching citizens how to use economics

– How much are the Obamas worth? At least 1.9 to 6.9 million dollars; Hooray! Democracy represented by millionaires

– Iran announced it would cut interest rates in order to boost its economy

– China and India signed economic agreements with each other worth $22 billion

Labor’s a-Brewing

At least 72 people were killed after a fire broke out in a manufacturing factory in the Philippines. The fire occurred as a result of the ignition of chemicals at the factory

– JanSport operates in Bangladesh for workers to make their cheap and still refuses to sign any agreement to protect them

– Larry Hanley, an experienced union leader, joins The Real News to discuss lack of funding for Amtrak and why the current “military junta” refuses to do anything for the working class

– Incredible and great to hear U.S. Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders defend the Fight for 15 movement and call President Obama to join

Politics US

Washington USA

Let’s hear it for liberal apologists on behalf of a failed Obama administration that’s accomplished very little since 2009 for the American working class

– Looks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be President Obama’s biggest accomplishment if passed; What a fraud

– What should you do if you want to push forward a overzealous and patriotic Israeli narrative in the mainstream press? Call The New York Times of course!

– Keep your eye on Martin O’Malley, another reactionary Democrat pretending to act like left alternative to Hillary Clinton. He’s just another liberal

– Speaking of the bourgeoisie, both Hillary and Bill Clinton together made more than $30 million in their speaker fees and book royalties; I’m Ready for Hillary then!

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): I actually like Hillary Clinton and don’t want to be a spoiler for her; It’s all for show then. He’s just creating illusions

– Sen. Paul Ryan (R-WI): I don’t think funding has anything to do with the Amtrak crash

Anytown USA

– Uh-oh. Rail superhighways in the country are breaking down despite transporting more folks than ever

– All black officials and leaders must come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would negatively affect the black community

– In light of the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, let’s not be another snobbish liberal who loves the death penalty when it’s applied to “monsters

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Michelle Chen: “90 Percent of the Over 10,000 Chemicals in Nail Products Haven’t Been Evaluated For Safety

– Cannabis is already here making money in some U.S. states and it looks like it’ll continue to expand

Planet Earth

– The U.S. government admitted a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico can last for another decade if nothing is done about it

– Good news as global warming is slowing down because the land and air is absorbing more carbon emissions than expected

– The second part of an interview with author and professor Christian Parenti on Marxism, nature and why capitalism is unsustainable

– Agroecological farming can be an alternative to our current and unsustainable farming system

– Now the state of Washington is in a drought crisis and are feeling the pain

– Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, is shrinking as a result of climate change

– Beneath the drought crisis in California is class tensions, especially against the rich

– There were demonstrations and protests in Seattle against Shell’s presence to drill

Mixed Bag

The Onion: “Tsarnaev Death Penalty A Warning To Any Other Religious Fanatics Hoping To Be Martyred

Inspiring to see community rebuilding in a neighborhood in Baltimore where a basketball hoop wasbuilt

– In just one day, volunteers in Ecuador planted 647,250 trees, which is a new world record

– Ali Abunimah: “NY Times public editor criticizes reporter’s “unacceptable” questions to Palestine activist

Break Time

– Jhoot Ka Uncha Sar [Laal]

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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.


  1. ThingsComeUndone
    May 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    “– How much are the Obamas worth? At least 1.9 to 6.9 million dollars; Hooray! Democracy represented by millionaires”

    All of Linda Gottfredson’s papers on intelligence and health are available on her website. Her paper with Ian Dreary showed that childhood intelligence predicts differences in longevity. (PDF format)…”

    “84.125 years is the average billionaire life expectancy for 2014


    United States 83.48”

    Some people think IQ is linked to both wealth and higher life expecatancy unless of course poor Dark People are living longer:)

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    May 18, 2015 at 10:55 am

    “– Beneath the drought crisis in California is class tensions, especially against the rich” Real Estate Republicans suburban GOPers who bet on the rising value of their home’s to get rich do not want to see the rich water their lawns and fill their pools while their lawn dies. They love their Lawns Hemingway is rumored to have said
    “Oak Park is a place of broad lawns and narrow minds.” That quote captures the Real Estate Republican perfectly he is much like the Corporate GOPer but lawn first business second, social shamming for not cutting your lawn was common practice even before the drought. But now their lawns are being taken away… I expect riots!

  3. TalkingWarrior
    May 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Reuters reported that the Syrian Army took out the IS oil minister.

    Almost an hour later, the US Nat’l Sec Council sent out a press release claiming the US military had taken him out, bin Laden-style.

    The first casualty of war ….

    I do like the bin-Laden-esque US version, though. Wonder what they’ll call the movie, Zero Dark _______ ?

    As eCAHN remarked so frequently, the US needs better scriptwriters.

  4. ThingsComeUndone
    May 18, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Syria would allow American troops inside Syria especially when we right now are trying again to tie the Syrian Government to that Sarin attack in Syria over a year ago? Knowing that our relations with Syria are frosty like Negative Zero wind chill 30 below what American pilot is going to risk flying over Syria?

  5. Alice X
    May 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

    – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): I actually like Hillary Clinton and don’t want to be a spoiler for her; It’s all for show then. He’s just creating illusions

    There is a fundamental conundrum. Ralph Nader has more to say below but I will throw my two cents in first.

    If Sanders had run as an independent he could go until November but a huge effort in time, money and manpower would be needed to get on the ballot everywhere/anywhere. The uniparty has the system thoroughly rigged. He would not get on any debates between the two wings of the uniparty. Certainly not with either wing in the primaries.

    He is running as Democrat. Now he will go until the end of the primaries, unless he wins.

    He has said he will support the Democratic Nominee, he therefore will probably be invited to debate. An understanding of how real he is might be gleaned there. Though many progressive stalwarts will already have written him off. Hillary will seem to agree with him in general terms and thus neutralize him. She will be applauded by the Hbots and Dbots for moving to the left.

    Sanders on the other hand could have held off on saying he would support the Democratic nominee. He then would be treated just like Kucinich and wouldn’t get in the room to debate.

    If Sanders maintains his stated position on the D Nominee he will have lost whatever credibility remained for progressives.

    If he reneges he will never run as Democrat again. From my standpoint that would be the honorable thing to do.

    Eleven dimension chess.

    Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid & His Unanswered Letters to the White House

  6. TalkingWarrior
    May 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) actually took the time to read the TPP then wrote a five-page “Dear Colleagues” letter to his fellow senators detailing the reasons they should oppose it – which got leaked last Friday.

  7. Hugh
    May 18, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Ha-Joon Chang’s call for greater pluralism and interaction among today’s economic schools illustrates the absurdity of what happens when your central premise is wrong. He is a like an alchemist arguing that the “science” of alchemy will be much improved if there is greater contact and cross-fertilization among its schools. No matter how he spins it Chang is still peddling a quack science.
    The Obamas current net worth is unimportant. They are starting off from a base that they are set for life no matter what happens. In our system of pay-after political bribery, they will add to this with millions from speeches at a couple hundred thousand a pop, book deals worth millions for uninformative defenses of his time in office, and probably a foundation worth millions and millions more whose main purpose will be to provide a forum for Obama to bask in his own magnificence. The Clintons are, of course, the model for all this. Speaking of which, the Clintons really like money. I mean they really like money. I mean they really, really, as in you would not believe how much they like it, which makes all the more laughable and hypocritical Hillary Clinton’s current campaign strategy of portraying herself as a SUV riding, diner stopping person of the people.
    Re immigration, large regions of the planet are set to destabilize over the next 20 to 30 years due to overpopulation, climate change, resource exhaustion, ecological collapse, war, and the failures of civil societies and state institutions, indeed of the states themselves. The current waves of immigrants and asylum seekers are only the precursors to the tsunami which is coming, and increasingly they will have no place to go. The US, Europe, and the Asian economies are all kleptocracies. They are not meeting the needs, let alone the aspirations, of their own citizens. If we look at the EU, it has largely failed to integrate its work force across state boundaries. With many EU economies doing poorly, there is increased resentment against workers from other member countries, especially Eastern Europe. As well, several EU countries have substantial minorities from their colonial pasts who remain unintegrated into their societies and discriminated against. At the same time, most of the current immigrants are coming in through the Southern Tier of the EU, the PIIGS, which have been the hardest hit by the Euro-crisis. And let’s look at the immigrants themselves. They are fleeing intolerable conditions, but many of them have few or no skills, are not proficient in any European language, and come from cultures that are very different from those they are trying to get into. Even in the best of times, and we are far from those, they would be hard to integrate into European societies and many, while knowing what they want to get away from, may have no interest in integrating into the societies where they are going. Is racism a factor in all this? Of course, but it is not the only one, and the racism can come from both sides. What I am getting at is this is a complex problem, and as far as I can see, both a tragic and insoluble one.

  8. mulp
    May 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    “– At least 72 people were killed after a fire broke out in a manufacturing factory in the Philippines. The fire occurred as a result of the ignition of chemicals at the factory”

    A good reason to oppose the TPP because this fire is just the price of cheap imports to American consumers. It would be a violation of Philippine sovereignty if global labor rights organization used trade agreements to force the Philippine government enforce the labor rights in international agreements. Safe working conditions in the Philippines would hurt America’s poor who pay higher prices for imported clothes.


  9. mulp
    May 18, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    “– How much are the Obamas worth? At least 1.9 to 6.9 million dollars; Hooray! Democracy represented by millionaires”

    I gather progressives are angry at the enforcement of copyright on import which meant that Chinese book printers couldn’t flood the US market and other nations with counterfeit books by Obama, so they were only able to sell them in China and much of the rest of Asia except Japan?

  10. mulp
    May 18, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    “– Let’s hear it for liberal apologists on behalf of a failed Obama administration that’s accomplished very little since 2009 for the American working class”

    Yeah, Obama failed to use his military to round up all the registered Republicans and send them to gitmo….

    Seriously, where were you on getting out the vote in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 to defeat the job killing tax cutting Republicans elected to Congress and most State legislatures?

    The statement about Obama is classic free lunch politics – “why won’t Obama give me free stuff without me paying a dime. He is failed because he required payment for everything and I want stuff for free like the Republicans promise, except I want different stuff for free.”