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.]

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Man Who Would Be Ex-President

Maybe he really is a secret Muslim terrorist from Kenya.

I mean, think about it. He runs for president as a populist, soaking up all the liberal energy for change in the country. Once in power, he surrounds himself with failed conservative advisers, and squanders most of his mandate. Then, just as it looks as if he will still be able to defeat his clueless Republican opponent, he turns in the worst performance any presidential candidate has ever given in a general-election debate, tanking the race and turning the country over to a party of fanatical Ayn Rand acolytes and warmongers.

Homeland’s Abu Nazir never dreamed up anything this diabolical.

A Politics of Love

Building on Deepak Bhargava’s points, I would offer that there is a broader base for an economic justice movement than ever before. Despite political polarization, just below the surface, more and more Americans are feeling deep pain around their jobs, homes, health, security and future opportunities. From immigrant domestic workers and their families in California, to aging white boomers in deindustrialized Pennsylvania, to African-American teachers in Alabama and young veterans in Iowa, there is a continuum of anxiety and suffering that connects us. Regardless of election outcomes, this may be the greatest opportunity for us to unite in generations. To seize the opportunity, we must pay attention to the connective tissue needed to build and hold a broad movement together.

Hey, small spender -- With the government and consumers exhausted, officials are begging firms to pick up the slack

CANADA’S ruling Conservatives like to boast that their country weathered the world recession better than any other G7 member. Though they tend to attribute this success to their own policies, one of the main causes was Canada’s conservative corporate culture. Its banks had barely dabbled in subprime mortgages when America’s housing market imploded.

That caution, widely seen as a virtue during the financial crisis, now looks problematic in a recovery that is at risk of choking. In 2010 and 2011 Canada’s GDP grew by an average of 2.8% a year, more than America’s and than the economies of other rich commodity-dependent countries like Australia, New Zealand and Norway. The OECD now predicts it will grow by 1.9% in 2012, the same as New Zealand and less than the other three countries.

Stock Market Outlook: Markets To Face Pressure From US Earnings, European Economy

TORONTO - Concerns about the state of Europe's economy will run against the start of U.S. earnings season this week, which could lead to unpredictable movements in stock markets.

With sparse economic data on the schedule, traders will be looking for any signs of where the global economy is headed in the coming months, and that could lead to erratic shifts or a sudden downturn in market sentiment.

Rob Anders' Transgender 'Bathroom Bill' Petition Praised On Sun News

Rob Anders appeared on Sun News on Friday where his petition to stop what he calls the transgender "bathroom bill" was praised by host Brian Lilley.

In a segment title "Flush The 'Bathroom Bill,'" Anders outlined the reasons for his opposition to private member's Bill C-279, which would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and hate crime section of the Criminal Code to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" as grounds for discrimination. Sun News ran a segment earlier in the week attacking the Toronto District School Board for a new set of guidelines which will allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

Cowichan River Drying: River Could Dry Up By End Of October, Threaten Salmon Runs

DUNCAN, B.C. - The Cowichan River could run bone dry before the end of the month if rain doesn't start falling by the bucketful, raising concerns for environmentalists, municipal officials and representatives of the nearby paper mill.

The record-breaking drought could drastically impede spawning salmon runs, put the local pulp mill's operations in jeopardy and even affect the village of Crofton's water supply, says a local sport fisherman and longtime champion of the Cowichan river ecosystem on Vancouver Island.

Single Euro-Zone Budget Gains Momentum Ahead Of Summit

BRUSSELS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Debate about the idea of creating a separate budget for euro zone countries is intensifying in the run up to an EU summit later this month, with less opposition to the proposal than many officials first expected, diplomats say.

At a private dinner held last week among the EU ambassadors of several northern European countries, including Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland, those present were surprised to find a fair degree of consensus on the proposal.

Construction to begin on steel barriers for Parliament Hill

OTTAWA — A multimillion-dollar phalanx of steel barricades is to be erected in front of Parliament Hill beginning Tuesday.

The $8.6-million project is intended to tighten perimeter security around the Hill by installing fixed and retractable bollards — short vertical posts — at the three main vehicular gates along Wellington Street.

Notice of the construction work was issued Friday to House of Commons staff by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

Budget watchdog operating 'outside' mandate

The minister responsible for cutting $5.2 billion out of the federal government's operating budget over the next three years is accusing the federal budget watchdog of operating "outside" his mandate and is prepared to make that very case before the courts, if need be.

That's because Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer (PBO), has given federal officials in 56 departments until Oct. 10 to submit the information his office has been requesting with respect to the savings and reduction measures contained in this year's federal budget or risk legal action.

India slow to invest in Canada’s oil sands: Joe Oliver

Indian companies are lagging behind when it comes to investing in Canada’s giant oil sands but could well start making deals within the next five years, Energy Minister Joe Oliver says.

Mr. Oliver, speaking to Reuters before a visit to Delhi and Mumbai, said Canadian energy industry needs $650-billion in investment over the next decade. Ottawa concedes much of it will have to come from abroad.

Why Northern Gateway shouldn’t go near Great Bear Rainforest

BELLA BELLA, B.C.—Sometimes in life you have to witness a place firsthand to really get it.

See it. Experience it. Sense it.

I had watched a video of the channels and byways in western British Columbia that supertankers will ply if the controversial Northern Gateway Pipeline is approved. But I decided I wanted to see them up close, then form my own opinion.

Labour confrontation threatens Ontario’s transformation

Dalton McGuinty’s attempted wage freeze is boiling over.

Public sector unions are seething. Opposition parties are frothing.

But the premier’s latest tensions with organized labour are only a foretaste of tougher times ahead for Ontario.

As McGuinty fights a rearguard battle against his former labour allies, he is quietly launching a frontal assault on his own $125-billion-a-year provincial government: Not just wage restraint, but reformation.