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.]

Sunday, November 15, 2015


A roomful of demanding taxpayers and interest groups can pose an awful inconvenience to a nuclear operator seeking to extend the life of its plant.

That's exactly what Ontario Power Generation (OPG) faced this week at licensing renewal hearings for its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington as about 80 oral presentations and just as many written submissions filled the agenda.

Buried in the Fine Print Is a Threat to Democracy

According to an MSNBC interview on Tuesday with Charles Koch, he and his brother David are still shopping for a presidential candidate to support. They're looking to spend a cool $250 million for their chosen presidential candidate and, as Koch admitted, "I expect something in return."

Netanyahu's Arrogance; Our Stupidity

"When I entered the Prime Minister's office for my second term, I was summoned to Washington. 'Not one brick', they told me...The pressure from the international community and the Americans was enormous...And still, after five years on the job, we built a little more than 'one brick'...the important thing is to do it in a smart stand up to international pressure by maneuvering...we continue to head straight toward our goal, even if one time we walk right and another time we walk left."

Benjamin Netanyahu, 2014

"I know what America is. America is a thing that can be easily moved in the right direction. They will not bother us. Let's suppose they will say they say it?...We have such support there!". 

Benjamin Netanyahu, 2001

University Of Calgary Faces Review Over Donation To Enbridge

CALGARY — The University of Calgary will face an independent review over concerns about corporate influence at the institution.

"Questions have been raised regarding the creation and operation of the Centre for Corporate Sustainability, and the potential infringement of academic freedom of those involved," Mark Starratt of the university's board of governors said in a release Friday.


Anyone experiencing a case of déjà vu while reading the province's widely anticipated regulations on police street checks released October 28 should not be overly concerned. Your mind is not playing tricks on you.

That's because, like an off-season TV rerun, the regulations, presented by Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi, stipulate several policies that we've all seen before.

The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History

The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.

“The TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

With the "Robin Hood Tax," a Grassroots Movement Seeks to Bring Wall Street to Heel

Across the country, movements are rising up to challenge politicians who balance public budgets on the backs of working people instead of taxing corporations. "Municipal frugality" and "shared sacrifice" are examples of the political doublespeak and hypocrisy that governments employ while the 1% hoards its record levels of wealth.

In May, National Nurses United and student groups gathered in the nation's capital to join Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders to announce his introduction of the Robin Hood Tax bill, which proposes a small levy on Wall Street financial transactions. A burgeoning, national movement has sprung up in support Sander's legislation. The bill has not made it out of the Senate Finance Committee. Economists backing this proposal, such as Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, estimate the 0.5 percent tax would generate $350 billion annually in the US alone.

Top Cop Union Threatens Quentin Tarantino

Amid the continuing national debate about policing, Thursday brought the latest batshit PR move from police union leaders. Their current target, Quentin Tarantino, found himself on the receiving end of a veiled threat when Jim Pasco, the head of the national Fraternal Order of Police, told reporters that "something is in the works" against the Hollywood filmmaker. The union's plan, Pasco said, "could happen any time" between now and the premiere of Tarantino's upcoming film, The Hateful Eight, on Christmas Day. Just what exactly did he mean? More from the Hollywood Reporter:

A Tale Of Two Canadian Leaders

"Because, because, friends we believe that in a dangerous world, Canada must without apology advance our values and our interests...." As those words passed by former prime minister Stephen Harper's lips, I felt like I had closure. Everything became clear about this man, his policy and the legacy he leaves behind him. In a "dangerous world" he said, and to me that said everything. Suddenly the man I saw standing at the podium giving the last important address he will give as leader of Canada, I saw a man who was scared. A man who made his decisions and policy out of fear. It all made sense -- the fearful perpetuate the fear.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Canadian Dairy Could Face Bigger Hit Than Previously Thought

MONTREAL — Canada's dairy industry could face a bigger hit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership than previously thought, says an agricultural expert who studied the text of the deal involving 12 countries.

In addition to affecting milk, the TPP agreement would allow for more imports of yogurt, ice cream and different types of cheese, says Sylvain Charlebois, professor of distribution and food policy at the University of Guelph's Food Institute.

Justin Trudeau 'disappointed' with U.S. rejection of Keystone XL

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn't like the U.S. decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but says it will not hurt the strong bond between the two countries.

"We are disappointed by the decision but respect the right of the United States to make the decision," he said in a statement.

"The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation."

Obama rejects Keystone XL

After seven years of acrimonious court battles, profligate spending and hardball political lobbying, the Keystone XL pipeline is dead. U.S. President Barack Obama rejected the proposal, as most suspected he would.

"Several years ago, the State Department began a review process for the proposed construction of a pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through our heartland to ports in the Gulf of Mexico and out into the world market," said Obama in a press conference on Friday November 6.

Science by the Chemical Industry, for the Chemical Industry Must Stop

In the 1980s, Dr. Ranjit Chandra at Memorial University in St. John's, Canada was already well-known for his research in the fields of pediatrics and immunology. As a leader in medical research, he was elected as an officer of the Order of Canada, and served as president of the Nutritional Immunology & Allergy Center in India.

So when his 1989 British Medical Journal (BMJ) study purported to show the benefits of "hypo-allergenic" infant formula in reducing the risk of eczema in infants, no one raised concerns about the doctor's connection to infant formula maker Mead Johnson, which had funded the research.