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.]
Friday, August 21, 2015
Of the thousands held in the facility known as Homan Square over a decade, 82% were black. Only three received documented visits from an attorney, according to a cache of documents obtained when the Guardian sued the police.
The G20 turned Tommy Taylor into an activist. A theatre artist who was arrested outside the Novotel hotel and caged at the detention centre on June 26-27, 2010, he recounted his experience in an epic Facebook note that he later adapted into a monologue play, You Should Have Stayed Home; it toured across the country in 2013.
In the show's climax, Taylor describes the brusque indifference with which then-police chief Bill Blair greeted him in their one and only encounter, two years after the summit.
Since last August, four separate Department of Justice (DOJ) reports have been released, detailing racially-discriminatory and exploitative policing, officer misconduct and mismanagement during the unrest that followed Brown’s death, and a troubled Family Court system. Members of law enforcement have been ousted, a new interim police chief has stepped in, and the Ferguson City Council has diversified.
Greenpeace named Apple tops in its 2015 "Clicking Clean" report and commended the company for being transparent about its energy use, pledging to power its data centers entirely with renewable energy, seeking to reduce and mitigate its carbon footprint, and advancing the cause of renewable energy by pushing utility companies to make it available to both large and small customers.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has recently been complaining about the hesitation other provinces are showing toward the proposed Energy East pipeline, which is intended to help open markets and sustain development of the bitumen sands. The premier has touted billions of dollars in supposed revenues for other provinces, and rejected the idea that any part of Canada's federation can veto energy development by any other part.
What all of his comments have in common is failure to appreciate the nature and importance of the climate problem we face, and the consequences that carries for Canadian infrastructure planning.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to portray himself as a leader who stands by his foreign friends through thick and thin. But can they really depend on him? And can we depend onthem?
Like the economy, Harper has made foreign policy a key plank in his Conservative Party's reelection strategy. And that stalwart support for certain groups and countries is a showpiece part of the prime minister's vote-winning effort.
Income inequality has become so outrageous that even Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination are talking about it, though not their party’s role in creating it or any workable solutions. On television the talking heads wring their hands, saying, “If only we could afford the costs of digging ourselves out of the economic hell most Americans have been shoved into.”
One question is dominating the political discussion of the Republican presidential primary: How is Donald Trump crushing the rest of the candidates when he’s so crazy? The New York Times recently hosted a debate on the topic.
The state of Missouri has been trying to put funding toward a new stadium in an effort to keep the NFL’s St. Louis Rams from moving to Los Angeles. The local stadium authority launched a lawsuit against the city in April, kicking off the effort to move forward with construction and forgo ballot-box approval.
McCall created the Better Living Incentive Community in 2012, a residence hall where inmates with a clean record can apply to live. The BLC living environment has more lenient security than the rest of the prison as well as other benefits, such as an education program -- residents can take music classes, art lessons, or study beekeeping or barbering. Inmates can even take part in "Healing Species," a compassion-education program in which prisoners work with rescue dogs. But the programs aren't just for recreation; rather, the purpose is to educate and enrich the lives of these incarcerated men.
Some Republican presidential candidates have picked up the call, urging Congress to do anything in its power to defund the women's health group after a procedural vote in the Senate on Monday failed to advance a bill doing just that. Other presidential hopefuls, however, are more cautious about using such a blunt tactic that proved unsuccessful in the past.
Addressing 13,000 pastors at the Southern Baptist Forum in Nashville, Tennessee, Bush said he supports cutting federal funds for Planned Parenthood, the largest women's health service provider in the U.S.
Russia is the dominant market for B.C.'s most abundant food fish, locally known as Pacific hake -- a close relative of haddock that roams the edges of the North American continental shelf in schools comprising at least a million tonnes of biomass.
The total number of casualties in the almost 14-year conflict was up one percent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, a new U.N. report said. However, the number of women casualties rose by 23 percent and children 13 percent.
On Monday Harper called Alberta's new NDP government a failed experiment, a disaster uniformly rejected by Albertans.
What a month it's been. While the first half of 2015 has not been kind to Canadians and the economy, July has proven to be worse.
On the economic front, we have had a tumultuous month capping a tumultuous first half of the year. When Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz described Canada's economy as "atrocious," little did we know how atrocious it was going to get.
That sums up the difference between the two countries when it comes to dealing with climate change.
The Clean Power Plan that U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled on Monday puts the Americans on track to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.