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.]
Saturday, November 22, 2014
The panel said Syrians and Iraqis are subjected to an Islamic State "rule of terror" from its calculated use of public brutality and indoctrination to ensure the submission of communities under its control, and that the tactics include repeated violations against children and women.
North Korean diplomats have been on a vigorous campaign in recent months to counter a U.N. resolution urging the country's referral to the International Criminal Court, a move which it has dismissed as part of a U.S.-led plot to destroy its political system.
The United Nations doesn’t buy it.
A U.S. delegation, in a first appearance before the U.N. Committee Against Torture since 2006, told the panel in Geneva this week that it rejects Bush administration interpretations of torture statutes and affirms U.S. commitment to closing the dark chapter of the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program.
The Nebraska Supreme Court is expected to rule within weeks on whether the Nebraska Public Service Commission must review the pipeline before it can cross the state, one of six on the pipeline's route. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman gave the green light in January 2013 without the panel's involvement.
Dozens of people lay down in the street outside of a downtown theater hosting a film festival, pretending to have been shot by other protests playing the role of police officers in an action intended to evoke the memory of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who died 100 days ago in front of his home in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.
In a new scientific article authored by myself and colleagues from the University of Victoria and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, we have found that 86 per cent of species considered to be at risk of extinction in Canada are either deteriorating or failing to recover. Despite the fact that many of these species should be receiving protection, the government has largely failed to identify the critical habitat necessary for the species to recover, and as a result this habitat may be going unprotected.
Thousands marched through downtown Montreal on Sunday as part of a series of protests across Quebec as well as in Moncton, N.B.
Nicolas Bedard, who organized the Montreal event, said Quebecers value Radio-Canada and want to ensure it gets adequate funding. He said the public broadcaster is vital for a healthy democracy.
Unintimidated by the efforts of two administrations to force him to reveal a confidential source who disclosed the betrayal of the public by the government, Pulitzer Prize- winning New York Times reporter James Risen exposes more about the reality of greed, power and endless war in his new book, Pay Any Price. You can get the book now with a contribution to Truthout by clicking here.
In a revealing interview with Truthout about his new bookPay Any Price, journalist James Risen provides evidence of how the United States has become enmeshed in an endless war. He also discusses how the post-9/11, military-surveillance state has enriched - with little oversight or accountability - many opportunists. Risen tells Truthout: "Four trillion dollars is the best estimate for the total price tag of the war on terror, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much of it has gone to shadowy contractors. It is one of the largest transfers of wealth in American history, and yet it has gone largely unnoticed."
The communique issued at the conclusion of their summit in Brisbane, Australia says the leaders plan to jumpstart growth, in part, by creating a global infrastructure hub.
Barsky’s interest in criminal justice and the inequities of the U.S. system was ignited in recent years by two books: The New Jim Crow, which tackles mass incarceration and the over-representation of African-Americans in prison, and Devil in the Grove, which focuses on a 1949 rape case fought by Thurgood Marshall, then head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later the first black Supreme Court justice. The project gets its name from Marshall -- and for Barsky, its inspiration.
Barrera's case, which ended last month with a prison sentence of at least three years, is part of what Justice Department lawyers describe as a recurring pattern of corruption that spans a broad cross section of the military.
Appearing on CBS "Face the Nation," McCaskill was asked about Obama's plan to use executive action in order to defer the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants. "I'm not crazy about it," she said, before shifting her criticism to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over his refusal to take up an immigration reform bill in the House that was passed by the Senate.
“Iran is not your ally; Iran is not your friend. Iran is your enemy,” Netanyahu said Sunday on CBS "Face the Nation."
Israel is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. But relations between the two countries have become strained in recent months, as the U.S. participates in multi-party talks aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for lifting economic and trade sanctions against the country.
Hagel announced the Defence Innovation Initiative and said it would include an effort to develop and field new systems using technologies such as robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturisation, data processing and three-dimensional printing.
That’s because she makes just 78 percent of what a man makes. If a man’s pay lasts the whole year long, hers doesn’t even make it to Halloween.
Women of color have been putting in even more time. Black women have been working for free since August 21. Hispanic women have been doing so since July 16.
In 2010, according to investigators, a longwall-machine shearer in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia cut into a piece of sandstone, creating a spark that ignited a small pocket of methane gas and then exploded through more than two miles of tunnels filled with elevated levels of explosive gases and coal dust. Twenty-nine miners, all but two of those working on the site, were killed.
Judge Barry Kurren said Friday that both sides have agreed to delay the date the law goes into effect.
Kaci Hickox believes the quarantine orders that were issued for her after she returned from Ebola-affected Sierra Leone had more to do with politics during U.S. midterm elections than with health concerns.
Surprisingly or perhaps miraculously, one place where there wasn't violence on Friday was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The central point of focus in the recent unrest in Israel and the West Bank, the Temple Mount, the same location as the al-Aqsa Mosque, is Judaism's holiest site and Islam's third-holiest site.
The language of inequality is not enough to capture the extreme conditions we are confronting across much of the world. Inequality is a distribution, and it has long been present. What matters in the current period is the specific mix of conditions that have made it so extreme and expelled so many from their habitual life.
Tensions in Jerusalem have been boiling for months. In July, Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death in the city in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Soon after, war broke out between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, fueling more protests in Jerusalem. In recent weeks, the attempt to assassinate a controversial Jewish activist and deadly driving attacks on Israelis have heightened the city's unease.
Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Eason Chung — members of a student group that played a main role in organizing massive street protests that started nearly two months ago — arrived at the Hong Kong airport greeted by dozens of well-wishers holding up yellow umbrellas. But they were denied boarding passes for a Cathay Pacific flight when they were told their documents that would allow them to travel to Beijing were invalid.
The tribe has done its part to remain peaceful in its dealing with the United States in this matter, in spite of the fact that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through tribal land, and the concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed.
The climate deal between the US and China is a historic moment. It's not enough to match the scale of the climate crisis, but it's implications for extreme energy projects like Canada's Tar Sands are major. Here are five reasons why.
1. The Deal Reinforced Political Commitments to the 2°C Warming Limit.
In announcing their climate deal, the US and China committed to "the longer range effort to transition to low-carbon economies, mindful of the global temperature goal of 2℃", referencing the ceiling for warming agreed upon at the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009. With the world already close to crossing the 1℃ threshold, the prospects of 2℃ are dire. Even so, according to the International Energy Agency, current tar sands developments are on track to be triple the size they can be under a 2℃ limit, meaning that this deal also reinforces the reality that tar sands expansion are incompatible with global climate action.
At the current rate of progress it will take at least 81 years for women globally to achieve global equality in key areas, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). Meanwhile, from the studios of the CBC to the streets of New York, recent stories of harassment and violence against women abound.
Clement has consistently maintained that there is “excessive absenteeism” in the civil service.
“He’s out there saying we abuse sick leave, that we’re slackers,” counters Robyn Benson, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). “This is the first president of the Treasury Board who treats his employees with such disdain and disrespect.”
Stephen Lewis is fired up.
In a keynote address to the Child Care 2020 conference in Winnipeg, the former Canadian ambassador to the UN ripped apart the Conservatives' claim that their new income splitting tax scheme and expanded Universal Child Care benefit will offer meaningful help to families struggling with their child care needs.
Prime minister Tony Abbott’s perceived failure to address climate change is all the more galling in the wake of an agreement between the United States and China on Wednesday to limit their carbon emissions, they said.
Due to Missouri’s Sunshine Law, which keeps public government bodies’ records open to the public, the Post-Dispatch accessed interviews, radio calls, EMS records, and video surveillance from the Ferguson Police Department for its report. According to the publication’s findings, a dispatcher alerted officers about a theft at a convenience store at 11:53, which Brown was accused of after the shooting. At 12:02, Wilson told dispatchers he was on Canfield, where he told Brown and friend Dorian Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the street. He then realized that Brown matched the description of the theft suspect.