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.]
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The 400 ppm level in the atmosphere, up 40 percent since wide use of fossil fuels began with the Industrial Revolution, is rapidly spreading southwards. First recorded in 2012 in the Arctic, it has since become the norm for the Arctic spring.
On Monday, however, Lisieux was paying tribute to a secular heroine whose blue-eyed stare was equally hard to avoid. From the campaign posters, newspapers and magazines ranged in the station kiosks and newsagents, the smiling – now triumphant – face of Marine Le Pen was everywhere.
How did a lawyer twice convicted of fraud, who went to jail for 18 months for stealing from his own clients, who was charged with influence peddling in 2012, and is now facing three new counts of illegal lobbying and another of influence peddling – how did such a talented guy get to sit at the right hand of power in the Prime Minister’s Office?
The probe into Mr. Lynn, who is a friend of Mr. MacKay, will look at the hiring of four senior executives at the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation. It was provoked by complaints from the federal Liberal Atlantic caucus that accused the Tories of a pattern of patronage abuse.
The revelations in newly released data come as the Conservative government is weighing major policy reforms – including a new “wage floor” – in response to criticism that employers are relying on the temporary foreign worker program as a way to avoid raising wages.
Any day now, the Harper Cabinet will make its decision on Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project, approved with conditions by the Joint Review Panel in December 2013. Cabinet's decision is expected by mid-June.
That decision is deeply linked to the fact that Jim Prentice is now officially in the race for leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party and is considered the front-runner to become premier of Alberta, replacing Alison Redford who resigned in March. The Progressive Conservative leadership vote is scheduled for September. If Prentice wins, he would be Alberta premier for about two years, until the 2016 provincial election.
It was the first time the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party had won a nationwide election in its four-decade history. If the results are confirmed, it could secure as many as 25 seats in the new European Parliament, more than eight times the three it won in 2009.
Hours after 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger shot and killed 7 people near a Santa Barbara university campus in California on Friday night, an internet user on a messaging board siteasked, “Will [A]merican women become nicer after today’s attempt?” “I heard that New Yorkers became a lot nicer after 9/11,” he wrote. “Could this happen to women as a gender after today’s events? I’m seeing that some feminists subreddits are toning down their anti male vitriol after today’s incident.”
The Athabasca Glacier is the largest of six ice sheets that form part of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. It is a popular destination for tourists from around the world who climb aboard huge snow coaches to get an up-close look.
In recent weeks, Canadian businesses — sitting on historically massive cash reserves — have been under fire for using temporary foreign workers or unpaid interns, and chided by political leaders for failing to raise wages or invest in employee training.
They've been maligned even by the traditionally business-friendly Fraser Institute for collecting billions of dollars in so-called corporate welfare for decades.
Some 338 observers are part of Canada's current independent mission in Ukraine; they are fanned out across the troubled country to assess the integrity of Sunday's presidential election process.
A new study on debt across the higher education system reveals that the massive debts borne by both students and their institutions has climbed to about $45 billion per year. So the debt-related payments to the financial sector—including Wall Street investors, institutional lenders and the mammoth federal student loan system—drive about one tenth of all spending on higher education nationwide. These debt-servicing costs are tied to tuition lending as well as financial debts accrued by schools themselves, which finance investments of all kinds, from professors’ salaries to libraries to indulgences like sports teams and administrators’ bonuses.
After next week's presidential election, which former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win, authorities may not have to impose glowing reviews of his performance.
The three people in the apartment were among the six left dead Friday night during the shootings near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elliot Rodger, 22, the suspected gunman, apparently killed himself, authorities said.
The court can act quickly, as when Justice Antonin Scalia last month corrected an embarrassing error in a dissent in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency.
The amendment, from Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), passed in what was nearly a party-line vote. Four Democrats voted for the amendment, and three Republicans voted against it. The bill aims to block the DOD from taking any significant action related to climate change or its potential consequences. It reads:
How ironic, then, that the man who will likely be elected president of Ukraine this Sunday is a leading representative of this old way of doing things. Petro Poroshenko is an oligarch who has shifted political allegiances—even serving in the Yanukovich government—and exploited political ties for commercial gain.
Now Canadian oil is on the cusp of adding to their empire.
Already the largest foreign leaseholder in Alberta’s controversial oilsands, a Koch Industries subsidiary has filed an application to start development on the Dunkirk commercial scale oil project.
The Supreme Court selection panel – three Conservative MPs, a New Democrat MP and a Liberal MP – had come bearing a list of six candidates to replace Justice Morris Fish of Quebec, who was nearing 75 and about to retire.
This Drug Defendant Spoke Her Mind, Then A Judge Told Her She’d Stay In Jail Until She Retracted Her Statements To The Media
After federal and local authorities raided Ilana Lipsen’s Alpine, Texas, store in search of illegal drug evidence, there was a dispute over what happened that day. Lipsen told reporters that Drug Enforcement Administration agents at the scene violently threw and kicked her sister Arielle, who was charged with assaulting federal agents. Prosecutors countered they never beat her.
On Thursday, the two Koreas exchanged artillery fire along the poorly marked western sea boundary. South Korean officials say the exchange started after two North Korean artillery shells fell in waters near a South Korean navy ship on a routine patrol of the area.
The conservative former leader, who is widely expected to seek re-election in 2017, argued for a profound overhaul of EU institutions ahead of a May 25 European Parliament election in which the Eurosceptic National Front is currently tipped by polls to emerge as France's leading party.
Mr. Harper has said Canada will proceed with long-promised regulations to rein in the sector’s burgeoning greenhouse gas emissions only “in concert with” the United States.
Just when it looked like Nigel Wright could return to being just another guy who runs through city streets in the middle of the night, along come some intriguing new disclosures revealing more questionable behaviour on his part inside the PMO.
Of course, for months, the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the central player in the saga of that $90,000 payment to a scandal-plagued senator.
When roughly 10,000 gallons of chemicals leaked into a West Virginia watershed this January, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency. Officials shut down schools, deployed the National Guard, and rallied volunteers to bring water and support to the 300,000 people without potable water.