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.]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Documentary ponders ‘betrayal’ of aboriginal dreams after War of 1812

A new U.S. documentary being aired Monday ahead of next year’s bicentennial of the War of 1812 puts a different spin on the enduring debate over who won the historic battle between British Canada and the fledgling United States, instead highlighting the unambiguous defeat suffered by North America’s aboriginal nations as a result of the war.

The two-hour film, produced by the Buffalo, N.Y.-based PBS affiliate that has millions of viewers in southern Ontario, casts the native allies of the British-Canadian forces — led by the heroic Shawnee chief Tecumseh — as fierce and effective fighters in resisting American invasion attempts.

But the resulting deadlock in the war, which left North America’s borders intact after 2 1/2 years of fighting, also ended Tecumseh’s dream of a confederation of Indian nations with large, secure territories and a status comparable to the British colonies and American states.

The documentary, simply titled The War of 1812, “clearly deals with the fact that the one group that lost heavily is the natives,” Canadian military historian Peter Twist, a consultant on the film, told Postmedia News.

Report Illegal Immigrants To Authorities, David Cameron Urges

The prime minister has urged the public to report people suspected of being illegal immigrants as part of a wide ranging speech in London on migration to Britain and its impact on the struggling economy.

David Cameron claimed that initiatives introduced to return illegal immigrants to their home countries were working, but said the government needed help from the public.

"I want everyone in the country to help, including by reporting suspected illegal immigrants to our Border Agency through the Crimestoppers phone line or through the Border Agency website," he said. "Together we will reclaim our borders and send illegal immigrants home."

Blaming the last government's points-based system for failing to stem recent rises in net migration, Cameron said the coalition's changes to the system had led to fewer unskilled people entering the UK.

Panic of the Plutocrats

It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.

And this reaction tells you something important — namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called “economic royalists,” not the people camping in Zuccotti Park.

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police — confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain calls them “anti-American.” My favorite, however, is Senator Rand Paul, who for some reason worries that the protesters will start seizing iPads, because they believe rich people don’t deserve to have them.