Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Who Stops Paying Social Security Taxes After Today?

Take a guess; how many Americans earn $50 million or more per year? Answer: 199 earn a wage or salary of over $50 million a year which turns out to be about $117,000 daily. (Most of the very wealthy get their incomes from investments, not salaries.)

Why are these fellow Americans interesting? Why is $117,000 a day an interesting number? Because after today those fellow country men and women stop paying Social Security taxes (they continue to pay Medicare tax all year). The Social Security earnings cap is $117,000 per year.

U.S. Science Funding Falters, Sequestration Only Part Of Problem: Study

WASHINGTON -- The United States is losing its global dominance in the field of biomedical research, and sequestration is only partially to blame.

New research published in The New England Journal of Medicine this week shows that America's global share of money spent on biomedical research went from 51 percent to 45 percent from 2007 to 2012. The study, conducted by five academics and market analysts and titled "Asia's Ascent — Global Trends in Biomedical R&D Expenditures," blames the drop on a decline in private industry investment into research and development accounts. Over that same five-year period, the global share of United States, private, industry research and development expenditures declined from 50 percent to 42 percent. Public funding, meanwhile, stayed relatively stable.

Mercury Levels In Alberta Oilsands 16 Times Higher Than Normal: Environment Canada Scientists

Mercury levels around the Alberta oilsands are 16 times higher than background loads, with contamination taking on the shape of a 'bull's-eye' over the region, say Environment Canada scientists.

Speaking at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference in Nashville, Environment Canada researchers Jane Kirk and Derek Muir said mercury levels are at their highest concentration in the immediate area of oilsands operations but extend out to cover a 19,000-square-kilometre area, Postmedia reports.

NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption

In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.

Not Pocahontas, Not a Super-Indian, Not a Drunk and Not a Slut

Marlene McKay has spent a long morning in this city's Prairie Ink Restaurant and Bakery talking to me about judgment in Canadian society. It is the topic of her doctoral thesis.

She is a Métis anthropologist from "the end of the road," as she puts it -- from the tiny Cree and Métis community of Cumberland House at the terminus of Saskatchewan's Hwy. 123, the oldest settlement in the province, founded in 1774.