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.]
Friday, June 16, 2017
Discussions of poverty in the United States often mistakenly focus on urban areas. While urban poverty is a unique challenge, rates of poverty have historically been higher in rural than urban areas. In fact, levels of rural poverty were often double those in urban areas throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
While these rural-urban gaps have diminished markedly, substantial differences persist. In 2015, 16.7 percent of the rural population was poor, compared with 13.0 percent of the urban population overall – and 10.8 percent among those living in suburban areas outside of principal cities.
The prosecutor, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, told assembled reporters that seeking the death penalty is “not in the best interests of this community or in the interest of justice.” After considerable research, she said, she had concluded that capital punishment offers no empirical benefits to society: It is not a deterrent, it neither enhances public safety nor protects law enforcement officers from violence, and it costs millions more — in litigation and housing — to kill a defendant than it does to confine them behind bars for life.
Mr Putin defended the meeting - a coup for Ms Le Pen - saying that he was not seeking to influence France's election.
Ms Le Pen has garnered widespread support at home but her extreme views have deterred most foreign leaders.
Lamont Lilly: Ramona, for those who may be unfamiliar, what is the MOVE Organization? Who founded MOVE, and what is the organization about?
Ramona Africa: The MOVE Organization is a revolutionary organization founded by a Black man named John Africa. He brought people together from all different backgrounds, nationalities, religions, etc., and gave us one common revolutionary belief. That belief is in the sanctity, and all importance of life, on all levels, without exception. And it is that uncompromising belief commitment to life that has put us in direct conflict with the system that we're living under, a system that doesn't care anything about life -- whether it's the air, the water, the soil that feeds us, they don't care. But as members of MOVE, we are committed to life.
Today an "executive micro-smart bachelor" in the now "styling boutique building" goes on Craigslist for $1,297 a month. At 225 square feet, it's micro, all right.
The suspect, a 19-year-old U.S.-Israeli citizen who currently lives in Israel, was apprehended Thursday, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Huffington Post. He said a motive is not yet known and that the FBI helped Israeli police with the investigation.
Meeting in the rugged, mountainous Lebanese interior near the southern border, where occupying Israeli forces were driven out by Hezbollah in 2000 and suffered a second setback in the 2006 war, the commander feels emboldened by his Syrian spoils. “Commander Samir,” who declines to use his real name because he is not authorized to speak to the press, contends that his organization has moved new Russian anti-aircraft weapons and long-range missiles from Syria to this border region.
But even in the current environment, it’s startling to learn that the Alabama legislature is considering a bill to give a Birmingham-based church its own police force. The bill, Senate Bill 193, would specifically authorize the Briarwood Presbyterian Church, which has more than 4,000 members, to hire its own police force that would be “invested with all of the powers of law enforcement officers in this state.”
Denis Voronenkov, who had spoken out against Vladimir Putin and Kremlin policies, was shot three times outside the upmarket Premier Palace hotel.
Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, quickly pointed the finger at Russian authorities, calling the killing an act of “state terrorism”.
Wisconsin Republican urges cuts to college aid to keep poor students from buying ‘goodies and electronics’
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) complained Tuesday during a congressional hearing that low-income students are spending their Pell Grant funds on commercial goods that he deems unnecessary, reported Inside Higher Ed.
The case concerns a classic white-man-speaks-with-forked-tongue situation, this one in the Yukon. It concerns the future of the vast Peel River watershed, which some environmentalists call the last intact watershed in Canada.
Led by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, the conservative lawmakers have signed on to a volley of letters accusing Soros of using his philanthropic spending to project his liberal sensibilities onto European politics. As Lee and other senators put it in a March 14 letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Soros’ Open Society Foundations are trying “to push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left.”
Mitch McConnell is being tasked with fixing what GOP senators and House members say is a flawed Obamacare repeal proposal — one with little to no chance of passing in that chamber in its current form — in a week’s time.
Turkey has been embroiled in a row with Germany and the Netherlands over the barring of campaign appearances by Turkish officials seeking to drum up support for an April referendum on boosting Erdogan’s powers.
“If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy,” Erdogan said at event for local journalists in Ankara.
“It is preservative, I think, of all the other rights,” Roberts responded. “Without access to the ballot box, people are not in a position to protect any other rights that are important to them.”
While the outage was brief, it was enough to rattle nerves — especially among those who had heard a rumor that, two weeks earlier, hackers had gained entry to the computer system by sending an email seemingly from the United Nations. Once a recipient clicked on a link in the email, however, it opened the door for malware to enter the parliament’s computer system.
Senate Bill 25, which will now be sent to the Texas House, prevents parents from suing their medical provider if their baby is born with disabilities, even if that doctor discovered the condition during routine prenatal testing and failed to inform the parents.
In an interview with the Guardian, David Little said: “The amount of Russian money coming into the UK is a concern. “One, because of the volume. Two, we don’t know where it is coming from. We don’t have enough cooperation [from the Russian side] to establish that. They won’t tell us whether it comes from the proceeds of crime.”
That was until the state legislature blocked wind development across Ohio, halting construction of the Long Prairie Wind Farm and leaving Amstutz’s district in financial limbo.
“We have to pass the bill,” she said, “so that you can find out what is in it — away from the fog of the controversy.”
Russian planes have been bombing the civilian population in southern Syria forcing them to flee to Jordan and Lebanon. There are now 20,000 Syrian refugees camped out in the desert awaiting admission to Jordan. A smaller number are waiting to enter Lebanon. Both groups are growing.
HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers.
Tests commissioned by Environmental Defence and Équiterre have found atrazine in both Toronto and Montreal's drinking water at levels that would flunk European safety standards.
“It’s quite alarming,” says Environmental Defence’s toxics manager, Muhannad Malas. “Torontonians are probably exposed to atrazine on a daily basis.”
In the first essay of her incisive book that addresses -- but is not limited to -- the historical suppression of women, Rebecca Solnit states, "My subject in this book is that subspecies of silence and silencing specific to women." Solnit distinguishes between a woman being quiet, which is a voluntary act, and a woman being silent, which is accomplished through cultural and individual male coercion. It is not just a verbal silence that she is discussing, but a patriarchal suppression of equality, power and welcome contribution to society. This is a theme that is threaded throughout her book, The Mother of All Questions.
“You are right now employing Nazi measures,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech on Sunday, using the informal ‘you’ in Turkish, according to Agency France-presse. “Against who? My Turkish brother citizens in Germany and brother ministers,” he said.
In Shots Fired, the buzzworthy police drama premiering March 22 on Fox, federal agents investigate a black cop who has gunned down a young, unarmed white man. By the numbers, police actually kill more white people than they kill black people, but they kill black people at a far higher rate. Using population data from the Census Bureau and police shooting data from the Washington Post‘s 2015 database, we calculated that black men between the ages of 18 and 44 were 3.2 times as likely as white men the same age to be killed by a police officer. And while black men make up only about 6 percent of the US population, last year they accounted for one-third of the unarmed people killed by police.
Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city's east.
Trump said (on 3/10/2017) that this year "would be a disaster for Obamacare. That's the year it was meant to explode, because Obama won't be here. That's when it was supposed to be, get even worse. As bad as it is now, it'll get even worse."
Right-Wing Billionaires Are Funding a Cynical Plot to Destroy Dissent and Protest in Colleges Across the U.S.
Figures from the Russian Federal Treasury show that the defense budget has been cut by 25.5 percent for 2017, falling from 3.8 trillion rubles to 2.8 trillion rubles. IHS Jane’s, one of the most authoritative sources on defense news, said the move represents “the largest cut to military expenditure in the country since the early 1990s.”
Critics expressed frustration that the list of 29 people that DNC chair Tom Perez announced on Wednesday included only two supporters of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, of whom just one was an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
The First Minister said she will press on with plans to hold a new vote and revealed in a speech to the SNP Spring Conference on Saturday that she expects to get approval from the devolved parliament next Wednesday.
A Toronto Star/Ryerson School of Journalism investigation documents a hybrid health-care regime that markets to a clientele who can access public health care while paying for services that reach beyond what is covered by OHIP, including 24/7 access to health-care professionals, fast-tracking of MRIs and a range of annual tests and lifestyle assessments.
These days, with a monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. standing near the National Mall in the nation's capital, and a national holiday dedicated to his memory, many official narratives take racial integration for granted, even as a longstanding civil rights crisis continues. A closer look at the repression faced by civil rights organizers and the subsequent slow eroding of the civil rights movement's historic victories reveals that this country's stated commitment to equality is, at best, a veneer.
Holy snapping duck shit! Chances are you’d want a pretty strong say in whether that could or should happen, under what conditions, with whose permission — and you’d want a very clear, objective analysis of the costs and benefits, and the risks, to you, your family, your neighbours, not to mention the physical place that would be so massively disrupted by such a project — you know, the place you currently call home.