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.]
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
For many in the Global North, certain countries only appear on our radar screens as discount winter vacation hotspots. Other times, when natural disaster strikes, these countries serve as empathy-building backdrops to raise millions for charities that, after skimming some off the top, may distribute some of the contributions for the clean-up effort.
One such country is the Philippines, which made Canadian news headlines this month because of a typhoon, and which may again generate some news coverage if Justin Trudeau decides to attend the Asia-Pacific economic summit next month. The Philippines might be mentioned in passing as one of the largest sources of Canada's live-in caregiver program and of "temporary foreign workers," both groups painfully separated from their loved ones for years by Canada's restrictive immigration policies.
When Jason Kenney took over as national defence minister in February 2015, he was briefed with a thicker stack of papers about public opinion and media operations than about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Operation Reassurance and Operation Impact combined.
Embassy obtained the transition books for Mr. Kenney through an access to information request. Similar documents may be provided to a new minister when prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau names his Cabinet Nov. 4.
"John Dyble's record in this government is well known, and transparency is not a word most people would associate with him," NDP MLA Katrine Conroy said during question period.
Dyble's involvement came up on Oct. 22 after the release of Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's report Access Denied: Record Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia.
It's much bigger. Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's report is really about corruption and a fundamental threat to democracy.
The state has immense power, and politicians and their operatives are motivated to wield that power to protect their own interests.
Yasir Naqvi said police officers will also have to tell citizens that the stop is voluntary and that the person can walk away.
Over the past 18 months, two of the world's largest automakers have been found responsible for deadly conspiracies. But, recent revelations can't compete with the industry's previous scandals.
Last month Volkswagen was caught rigging millions of its cars' emissions testing systems to meet regulatory standards. The German company programmed its turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to activate emissions controls during laboratory testing while in real-world driving the vehicles produced up to 40 times more nitrogen oxide. Hundreds, probably thousands of people will be afflicted with asthma, lung disease and other ailments as a result.
While it certainly appears in many Conservative public statements since the election, that denial was the consistent theme in a recent discussion on CBC Radio's The Current. It involved surviving MPs Erin O'Toole and Candice Bergen and Conservative spinner Tasha Kheiriddin, and while it was billed as "soul searching," it was anything but.
As part of the tour, the Israeli government pushed hard for an invite to the Center for American Progress and landed an event at the progressive institution on Nov. 10, the day after Netanyahu has a scheduled meeting with Obama. The embassy's push for the invite, sources familiar with the lobbying said, was joined by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which also applied pressure to CAP to allow Netanyahu to speak.
Two related measures won approval in the House of Representatives earlier this year and must be reconciled with the Senate bill before final legislation goes to President Barack Obama.
Joko was in Washington, DC, for a photo op with President Barack Obama, to talk about climate change, and to promote Indonesia as a choice venue for foreign investors. His trip was also supposed to include a stopover in San Francisco for meetings with tech industry executives. But Joko's decision to return to Indonesia early underscores the challenges his country faces in stopping the worst deforestation on Earth—deforestation that is playing a critical role in global climate change.
- Saudi Arabia projected to run massive deficits
- Storage getting close to capacity, Goldman Sachs warns
- Canadian oil producers, Alberta budget in the red
The bad news keeps piling on for the oil industry and the countries that rely on it.
Despite oil prices having already fallen 60 per cent from their highs last year, investment bank Goldman Sachs says they could suffer another major decline as storage space for refined fuel gets closer to full capacity.
What?! Let me get this straight: the NDP blew its best chance of winning government in history, squandered its lead and dropped by 59 seats -- over half from the 103 it won in 2011 -- and there's "a lot of hope" after the election?
The NDP also lost one million votes from 2011, despite higher turnout, and for the first time in Canadian history saw a third party, Justin Trudeau's Liberals, leap frog over the Official Opposition to win 184 seats -- and there's "a lot of opportunity?"
There is no escaping the conclusion that we are playing Russian roulette with the environment by allowing CO2 emissions to continue to rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides conservative benchmarks as to what is required to stabilize the average global temperature at its current level of around 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) above the preindustrial average of 56.7 degrees. According to the IPCC, global CO2 emissions need to fall by about 40 percent below current levels within 20 years, to around 20 billion tons, and 80 percent by 2050, to seven billion tons.
At least three out of 10 anti-fracking activists who were arrested in Denton in June also posed with that very same sign, but they weren't smiling at the time. Rather, they sat soberly in front of it, determined to delay scheduled fracking operations at a Vantage Energy gas well site on the edge of the city's west side by blocking the entrance to the site.
The patrol represents the most serious U.S. challenge to 12-nautical-mile territorial limits China asserts around the islands and is sure to anger Beijing, which said last month it would never allow any country to violate its territory in the Spratly archipelago, where seven outposts have been built.
What is going on here?
The answer is simple and painful -- wage theft. In America, corporations can get away with stealing our wages, but in Denmark (and elsewhere), they can't. Virtually the entire bottom 95 percent of American wage earners are victims of wage theft ... perhaps including you!
If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 percent,” said Mr. Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.
China's Foreign Ministry said authorities monitored and warned the USS Lassen as it entered what China claims as a 12-mile (21-kilometer) territorial limit around Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands archipelago, a group of reefs, islets, and atolls where the Philippines has competing claims.