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.]

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Could Photosynthesis Be Our Best Defense Against Climate Change?

A gigantic, steaming-hot mound of compost is not the first place most people would search for a solution to climate change, but the hour is getting very late. "The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade," declares a new report from the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization, which added that the decade was "the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850." Among those extreme events: the European heat wave of 2003, which in a mere six weeks caused 71,449 excess deaths, according to a study sponsored by the European Union. In the United States alone, 2012 brought the hottest summer on record, the worst drought in 50 years and Hurricane Sandy. Besides the loss of life, climate-related disasters cost the United States some $140 billion in 2012, a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council concluded.

Eye-popping Tory riding war chests raise eyebrows

OTTAWA - The refusal of Conservative riding associations to explain how they spend millions in taxpayer-subsidized cash raises suspicions they're putting the money to questionable uses, Liberal deputy leader Ralph Goodale says.

Goodale said he can't fathom how Tory riding associations have racked up eye-popping expenses, such as the nearly $70,000 in "travel and hospitality" reported by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's Whitby-Oshawa association last year.

"That's astounding, that's breathtaking," the veteran Liberal MP said in an interview.

Stop development on edges of Canada’s national parks

If you’re heading to one of Canada’s more than 40 stunning national parks this summer, you might want to leave your bathing suit behind and bring a gas mask instead.

A new report from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society warns that “inappropriate” development projects are encroaching on Canada’s parks, threatening the water, air quality, wilderness and wildlife, not to mention a booming tourist economy.

‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation

Oil spills at a major oil sands operation in Alberta have been ongoing for at least six weeks and have cast doubts on the safety of underground extraction methods, according to documents obtained by the Star and a government scientist who has been on site.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has been unable to stop an underground oil blowout that has killed numerous animals and contaminated a lake, forest, and muskeg at its operations in Cold Lake, Alta.

Toronto’s infrastructure crisis: What will it take to restore the city?

Infrastructure’s not what it used to be. In Toronto, most of it is old and getting older. Even worse, it is no longer the heroic mission of a proud city, but a burden no one wants to shoulder.

Though we’ve had good times and bad, Toronto has never been able to wrap its collective brain around infrastructure issues. A local plebiscite turned down a subway as far back as 1912, an act of singular short-sightedness that hampers the city to this day.

Wall Street's Commodities Profit Threatened As Federal Reserve Launches Review

The Federal Reserve said late Friday it is revisiting a landmark ruling that allowed big banks to enter the lucrative commodities business, raising the specter that banks may be banned from the highly profitable activity.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and other large financial institutions have the most to lose, given their revenues from investing in and trading commodities, such as oil and aluminum. Representatives for the three banks declined to comment.

Woman’s long fight to be recognized as a Canadian citizen heads to court

Jackie Scott has been waiting years to be officially accepted by her country.

The 68-year-old was raised in Ontario, paid her taxes and voted in elections. But a dizzying tangle of old laws has meant the government doesn’t consider her a Canadian.

Now, her long, drawn-out fight to be recognized may be reaching its climax as her case is set to have its day in court on Monday.