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.]
Thursday, February 18, 2016
It goes to basic respect for the laws of the land, the willingness or ability of governments to enforce those laws, and to the responsibility we all bear to pay our taxes to support the kind of society we want for ourselves and our families.
The Obama Administration has made repeated promises to strengthen enforcement and hold corporate criminals accountable, and the DOJ [US Department of Justice] announced in September that it would place greater emphasis on charging individuals responsible for corporate crimes. Nonetheless, both before and after this DOJ announcement, accountability for corporate crimes is shockingly weak.
Internal emails from a federal vehicle testing facility showed no signs that enforcement officials had asked the top scientists at the lab to proceed with a full investigation, prior to September 2015 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board went public with details about their own probes. There was only a flurry of emails from the research facility about an investigation after the U.S. announcement on Sept. 18.
In a blistering statement, the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) accused the university’s faculty association of endorsing “a campaign of censorship against Israel and the Jewish People.”
The election decided several mayoral contests and helped conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley clear a key hurdle to maintaining her seat on the state’s powerful Supreme Court.
An investigation released Wednesday from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) chronicles the rise of American extremist groups in 2015, reporting that the number of hate groups increased 14 percent compared to 2014.
On the morning of January 11, an employee at the Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center found McMillen, who was not breathing. "She is cold and stiff, there is no respiration, no vital signs," the employee told a 911 dispatcher. About an hour later, McMillen was pronounced dead. Little is known about why McMillen wound up dead while in juvenile detention, a locked facility where young people charged with crimes are held while they wait for future court dates or other action in their cases.
Even as he goes head to head with our EU partners at a last-ditch summit in Brussels, a leaked discussion document shows four states are likely to stand against his feeble tweaks to the Union's ground rules. However thin, weak and watery Cameron's gruel may be, even this seems too much for our EU friends to swallow.
Short Money Rethink Unveiled By Government After Backlash Over Cuts To Westminster Opposition Parties
As all eyes in Whitehall were fixed on David Cameron’s Brussels summit, ministers are set to quietly publish online a ‘consultation’ on proposals to slash ‘Short Money’ grants by 19% this year and freeze it thereafter until 2020.
The plan to implement controlled gate access and smart fare cards was announced in 2009 by then-Premier Gordon Campbell. While the initial release date of the new system was set for 2013, significant delays due to ongoing technical difficulties pushed back the project and the general public wasn't given full access to Compass until November 2015.
The moves came in the wake of revelations of an obscure loophole that has allowed real estate brokers to transfer properties repeatedly -- tax-free and off the books -- before a house has even sold, ratcheting up prices.
A report published Tuesday by the Broadbent Institute provides new data on seniors' income and retirement savings. It paints a stark picture of worsening poverty and inadequate savings trends, and offers a clear baseline of evidence for government action.
The fact stands in stark contrast to a claim Finance Minister Michael de Jong made while presenting the budget on Tuesday.
Singling out a Belgian-born Radio Canada reporter, de Jong said in French, "For me, it's important to understand, the same person if he lives in Montreal, Trois Rivieres or Quebec, he's going to pay $8,000 -- $8,000 Sophie! -- more than the same person in British Columbia. It's incredible."
In video posted online by Right Wing Watch, the talk show host explained that God may have killed the conservative justice to make a point -- specifically to jolt Americans into realizing how important their freedom is so that they vote for Ted Cruz to pick Scalia's replacement.
The Twitterverse was full of fans. Civil liberties activists were cheering him on. But in Silicon Valley, the initial response was less effusive.
Google, the other tech behemoth that has promised to make encryption, security, and privacy a priority—but has stalled in implementing unbreakable encryption on its services by default—was notably silent for most of the day. But then Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed his support in a series of tweets: “Important post by @tim_cook,” he wrote.
During the election campaign, Trudeau promised that his MPs would have a free vote on everything except matters related to the Liberal platform, traditional confidence measures such as the budget, and anything to do with "our shared values and the protections guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
Nearly three decades before the rambunctious billionaire began his run for president – before he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, for the expulsion of all undocumented migrants, before he branded Mexicans as “rapists” and was accused of mocking the disabled – Trump called for the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York following a horrific rape case in which five teenagers were wrongly convicted.
Prices at the pump in Venezuela will jump as much as 6,086% for 95 octane gasoline, from 0.097 bolivars to 6 bolivars, or 1,300% for 91 octane as of Friday.
The RAF says the operation is still ongoing.
An RAF spokesman said: “The RAF can confirm that typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby Lincolnshire have been launched on a QRA mission. The mission is ongoing so we will not be offering any additional comment at this time.”
"What happens is you get hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the 'ziki fly,' all these other foreign type of diseases that find a way to our land," LePage said during a town hall meeting Tuesday night, according to Maine Public Broadcasting News.
The botched accounting — carefully kept out of public financial statements — has tied the department in knots, threatening negotiations for a new labour contract, prompting union grievances and forcing a massive payroll cleanup that has taken more than two years.
Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 year but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
But bank executives are different from you and me. Case in point: Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan. On Friday in filing, the bank said it handed Moynihan a 23 percent raise, bringing his 2015 pay to $16 million at a time when antipathy to Wall Street has become a central theme of the U.S. presidential election .
For the first time in five years, the number of hate groups in the United States rose in 2015, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal and advocacy organization known among other things for monitoring extremist activity.
Because he is facing the Clinton machine, as well as the conservatism of mainstream media, Sanders might not win the race. But it has now been demonstrated that another Sanders – possibly younger and less white – could one day soon win the US presidential elections and change the face of the country. In many respects, we are witnessing the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections.
His aim was to stand up for his rights. Instead, he lost his job.
“It was horrible,” he said. “This is Toronto. A lot of people are living paycheque to paycheque.”
Most of the job losses will be in Canada and Europe, and will be partly offset by hiring in certain areas.
The Montreal-based aerospace and rail equipment company (TSX:BBD.B) says the cuts will begin in the coming weeks and be completed by 2017.
In his first speech delivered as the newly appointed president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari “came out swinging,” Business Insider reported.
He likened the risk posed by big banks to that of a nuclear reactor, noting: “The cost to society of letting a reactor melt down is astronomical.”
British Columbia has the best economy in Canada -- something that BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark is constantly boasting about, calling it the country's only ''bright spot.''
And that's great news, but when do people in need start seeing any of the benefits?
The Ipsos Reid survey also found about one-quarter of the 1,582 people who responded to the poll were already unable to cover their bills and debt payments.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) introduced Clinton Friday at a Memphis campaign rally for Hillary Clinton by saying that while he clearly was not the first black president, he was a "heck of a stand-in."
"Regarding a ceasefire, a halt to operations, if it happened, it doesn't mean that each party will stop using weapons," Assad said in Damascus in televised comments.
When Republicans argue that Barack Obama should not nominate a Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia, they are embracing a modified version of the “Thurmond Rule,” a concept invented by one of the Senate’s most notorious racists.
Grassley, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, holds an outsized role in the confirmation process, as the Judiciary Committee initiates the vetting process for nominees and oversees all confirmation hearings.