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, February 25, 2014
Believe it or not, 99 percenters, the 1 percent feels your pain: It suffers from inequality, too. An extremely comfortable inequality. But still, inequality.
The $1.2-billion building on Ottawa's east side — dubbed the "spy palace" by critics and believed to be the most expensive government building ever constructed in Canada — has become a rallying point for activists protesting in the wake of allegations that CSEC has been spying on Canadians, in contravention of its mandate and possibly Canadian law.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 10th federal budget all but balances the books this fiscal year, leaving a negligible $2.9-billion shortfall heading into the 2015-16 election year — when Prime Minister Stephen Harper will go to the electorate sporting a surplus that could exceed $6 billion.
I thought: “Really?” My mother’s ancestors have been traced as far back as Mackinac Island in the 1700s, where a French soldier named Bertrand met an Ojibway woman. We don’t know her name, but she was my great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother. For the ensuing 300-odd years, the Bertrands, Mitchells, Spaldings, Matthews, Foulds and Selleys have been at worst (hi there!) reasonably productive members of society and at best considerably better than that. My great-grandfather served with the Canadian Engineers in the First World War and my grandfather as a navy pilot in the Second. His service record notes 81 carrier landings, seven at night, and a decoration “for leadership, skill and daring during an air attack on an enemy convoy … on the night of 11th-12th January 1945.”
Revelations last week that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was spying on Canadians cell phones through airport Wi-Fi networks only came to light due to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ontario's privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said she was "blown away" by the news, adding that CSEC's methods seemed those of a "totalitarian state, not a free and open society."
Snowden's cache of leaked documents also showed that that CSEC was helping the U.S. government to use their embassy as a listening post on Canadian soil during the G20 summit in 2010. Last month a federal court judge ruled that CSEC made a "deliberate decision to keep the court in the dark" about asking foreign governments to spy on Canadians.
Holder, who has made criminal justice reform a central focus of his over the past several months, said the policies had a disparate impact on minority communities and echoed those enacted during the post-Civil War era.
Pundits, CEOs and columnists constantly debate whether women can “have it all.”But a large swath of working mothers in America have no choice, but to do it all: They spend their days toiling away at department stores or cleaning other people’s houses then rush home to take care of their kids.
In interviews with Fox News and other conservative outlets, Wolf insists he has the utmost respect for the president, with whom he shares a male ancestor, Thomas Creekmore McCurry—Obama's great-great-grandfather and Wolf’s great-grandfather. Although Wolf has only met the president once, he told Fox News three years ago his family is proud of what "Barack" has accomplished and wants to see him succeed. But more recent comments reveal a rhetorical extremism and rigid ideological opposition that would be at home within the most excessive circles of the far right.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty created a stir this week when he raised doubts about the promise to allow income splitting for couples with children under 18. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it seems, shares his reservations.
Alexander used an interview with the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong earlier this week to invite wealthy Chinese to find a new ways to enter Canada in the wake of the cancellation.
"What we are saying to them is that all of our other immigration programs are available to you. Find the one that fits best for your situation," the English-language newspaper quoted him as saying.
Obama drew a clear connection between California's troubles and climate change as he toured part of a farm that will go unsown this year as the state faces its worst drought in more than 100 years. Even if the U.S. takes action now to curb pollution, the planet will keep getting warmer "for a long time to come" thanks to greenhouse gases that have already built up, Obama said.
This week, the last of the 234 protesters were released from jail as part of an amnesty. The amnesty law also calls for the opposition to vacate seized government buildings in Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine.
Highlighting the lack of the voice of expertise from women outside "the traditional spheres of women's sexual interests", the Cambridge academic said: "To put it another way, for a female MP to be minister of women or of education or health is a very different thing from being chancellor of the exchequer.