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 07, 2013

Still Alberta's Prerogative To Determine Speakers At Oilsands Reviews: Alison Redford

EDMONTON - Alberta's premier says it's still her government's prerogative to make sure the review process for oilsands projects doesn't get bogged down by interveners who aren't directly impacted by what's being proposed.

Alison Redford was responding to a ruling earlier this week by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Richard Marceau.

U.S. Launches Raids In Somalia And Libya

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — In a stealthy seaside assault in Somalia and in a raid in Libya's capital, U.S. special forces on Saturday struck out against Islamic extremists who have carried out terrorist attacks in East Africa, snatching a Libyan al-Qaida leader allegedly involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years ago but aborting a mission to capture a terrorist suspect linked to last month's Nairobi shopping mall attack after a fierce firefight.

A U.S. Navy SEAL team swam ashore near a town in southern Somalia before militants of the al-Qaida-linked terrorist group al-Shabab rose for dawn prayers, U.S. and Somali officials told The Associated Press. The raid on a house in the town of Barawe targeted a specific al-Qaida suspect related to the mall attack, but the operation did not get its target, one current and one former U.S. military official told AP.

Washington Dramas

Around the National Mall in Washington last week, signs of the government shutdown were unavoidable. Some were actual signs, like the ones posted in front of museums and monuments that are free and open almost every day of the year, saying those sites were now closed “due to the federal government shutdown.” Outside the National Air and Space Museum, a family of Japanese tourists took pictures of one another standing by the sign. Solitary joggers replaced the noisy busloads of kids who would ordinarily be swarming the Mall. The Library of Congress was closed; even its Web site was shut down. The Capitol police weren’t being paid, but they were on duty, and, fortunately, the crowds were sparser than usual when, on Thursday afternoon, a driver who had rammed a barricade outside the White House led police on a high-speed chase. “The timing on this was really kind of scary,” Representative Blake Farenthold, of Texas, said. “Capitol Hill police are at a lower personnel level because of the shutdown.”

Why Is No One On the First Treatment To Prevent H.I.V.?

In November, 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a three-year clinical trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, announcing the arrival of a treatment that could reduce the risk of contracting H.I.V. by more than ninety per cent. The treatment involved a blue, oval pill containing emtricitabine and tenofovir. Marketed under the brand name Truvada, the pill was synthesized in 2004 by Gilead Sciences, the world’s largest producer of branded H.I.V. drugs, and has been used in combination with other antiretrovirals as a primary treatment for people living with AIDS. The N.I.H. team discovered that a daily dose of Truvada not only suppressed the virus in people who were already infected but also prevented healthy people from contracting H.I.V. in the first place. Following the N.I.H. study, which tracked gay men in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States, additional trials showed the drug to be effective for heterosexual men and women, as well as for injection-drug users. Researchers called the treatment “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” or PrEP for short. Others have called it “the new condom.”

The future of political comms: Less is seldom more

Over in the UK about a week ago, a small story appeared in a public relations trade magazine: Alex Aiken, executive director of UK government communications, told a crowd at the Public Relations Consultants Association that the days of the press release are done. “If you are writing more than 200 words on any subject, you’re probably in the wrong place,” PRWeek quoted him as saying.

By way of example, Aiken pointed to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which apparently sent out some 350 tweets during the UK’s annual badger cull, but only issued one press release. That, he said, pointed to the future of government communications. “This is the end of the big budget advertising and marketing campaigns,” Aiken reportedly told the crowd.

Tecumseh’s Ghost

200 years ago today, in what is now called Moraviantown, Ontario, the great Shawnee warrior, Tecumseh was killed defending Canada against invading American troops during the War of 1812.  After waging a fearsome battle with the encroaching American militia for over five years, Tecumseh had struck terror in the hearts of American settlers, soldiers and commanders alike. His alliance with the British General, Isaac Brock, and their victory at Detroit, decisively shifted the early momentum in the War to Canada’s favour.  No longer could the Americans boast that victory would be (as Thomas Jefferson promised then President James Madison) “a mere matter of marching.”  Indeed, it can be said that it was Tecumseh – as much as any other single individual – who saved Canada in the War of 1812.

What is Stephen Harper’s problem with Elections Canada?

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro was recently charged under the Canada Elections Act, accused of overspending his campaign limit in 2008 and of filing a false report. This is only the latest in a long history of clashes between the Conservatives and the laws and institutions charged with keeping our elections free and fair.

In June, for example, Elections Canada sent a note to the Speaker of the House of Commons asking him to suspend a Conservative MP from Manitoba, Shelly Glover, for failing to file proper documents relating to the 2011 campaign.

More seriously, in the 2006 election, the Conservative Party of Canada used the “in and out” scheme to take advantage of a loophole in spending rules.

Freemen-On-The-Land Grande Prairie: Alberta RCMP Aware Of Group, Working Toward Peaceful Solution

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. - RCMP say they're working towards a peaceful solution after reports that some self-proclaimed sovereign citizens have taken over a trapper's cabin in northwestern Alberta.

Cpl. Roy Kennedy said Friday that officers were looking into complaints relating to property about 60 kilometres southeast of Grande Prairie.

Jeff Rubin: Boom Times Aren't Coming Back, But That's Not Necessarily Bad

As recently as 13 years ago, a barrel of oil cost $20, or even less. Today, global crude prices are hovering around the $100 mark. We may be getting used to higher prices at the pump, but the world economy isn’t, says economist Jeff Rubin — and the result is a permanent shift down in economic growth.

Rubin was the chief economist at CIBC World Markets for close to two decades, but had to part ways with his employer when he started writing about how rising energy costs are going to make our worlds a lot smaller.

Egypt Warns Protesters Will Be Treated As Foreign Agents Ahead Of Sunday's Military Celebrations

CAIRO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Egyptian authorities said on Saturday anyone who protests against the army on Sunday when the country celebrates the anniversary of an attack on Israel forces during the 1973 war will be regarded as agents of foreign powers.

Presidential spokeman Ahmed al-Muslimani was speaking to the state news agency in anticipation of demonstrations by the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been staging protests against the army's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.

The Shutdown Prophet

In a merciful twist of fate, Juan Linz did not quite live to see his prophecy of the demise of American democracy borne out. Linz, the Spanish political scientist who died last week, argued that the presidential system, with its separate elections for legislature and chief executive, was inherently unstable. In a famous 1990 essay, Linz observed, “All such systems are based on dual democratic legitimacy: No democratic principle exists to resolve disputes between the executive and the legislature about which of the two actually represents the will of the people.” Presidential systems veered ultimately toward collapse everywhere they were tried, as legislators and executives vied for supremacy. There was only one notable exception: the United States of America.

Culture of Fear: Miriam Carey’s Tragedy, and Our Own

It’s something I’ve been writing a lot about over the past six years: our culture of fear, and how much more frantically we respond to scary stuff than we did in decades past. In 2007, it was the bed-wetting response to a visit from Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, when, for instance, the Democratic leader in Albany threatened to pull grants from Columbia University if he was allowed to speak there. I compared that to the 1959 visit of Nikita Khrushchev, who got a twenty-one-gun salute and a state dinner. This year it was Boston Marathon, when two kids with a home-made bomb shut down an entire American city. Compare that to Christmastime 1975, when a terrorist bomb killed twenty-four civilians, no one was ever found responsible—and life almost immediately went on. Andrew Sullivan calls it “Our Collective 9/11 PTSD.”

Inside Vancouver's Hack Space

"Your eyeball might explode," Adam Barlev warned me for about the sixth time as he activated the laser cutter. I dutifully secured my safety glasses in case the cutter went akimbo.

I was cramped in a small room with Barlev -- an artist and chemistry PhD student -- and a large Redsail laser cutter; a second hand piece of industrial equipment that resembles an '80s arcade cabinet.

Because of its retina-frying capacity, the cutter is sequestered in the back of the Vancouver Hack Space (VHS), a basement workshop on industrial land southeast of Science World.

Sense Of Unease Growing Around The World As U.S. Government Looks Befuddled

An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled — shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world's financial system into chaos.

While each of the factors may be unrelated to the direct exercise of U.S. foreign policy, taken together they give some allies the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity, providing an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week.

Florida Gives Huge Contracts To Prison Health Care Providers Plagued By Lawsuits

The Florida Department of Corrections awarded two massive contracts to a pair of private health care providers to serve the state's prisoners. Both companies have been besieged by medical malpractice lawsuits, according to a report in the Broward Bulldog.

Corizon Prison Health Management inked a five-year, $1.2 billion deal and Wexford Health Sources scored a $240 million contract for the same time period, according to the Bulldog.

Muhammed Tanvir, New York Man, Put On No-Fly List After Refusing To Spy For FBI, Lawsuit Says

Is the FBI using its notorious no-fly list as a way to retaliate against Muslim Americans who refuse to spy for them? It might be, according to a new lawsuit.

Muhammed Tanvir, of Queens, N.Y., says he was asked by the FBI to spy on the Muslim community to which he belongs and was put on the no-fly list when he refused, Courthouse News reported on Thursday.

Lee Terry Needs His Salary During Government Shutdown To Pay For His 'Nice House'

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said this week that there is no way he's giving up his salary during the government shutdown.

"Dang straight," he said when asked by the Omaha World-Herald Bureau whether he would keep his paycheck.

About 800,000 public servants are furloughed during the government shutdown, and they'll only receive back pay for the lost time if Congress authorizes it. Even if Congress does approve the retroactive paychecks, they could be delayed for some time, depending on how long it takes for the government to reopen. Many government workers who have spoken with The Huffington Post have said any delay in their pay will be hard, since the bills they need to pay won't be delayed.

Russia Stops Adoptions To Sweden, Seeks Agreement Barring Gay Couples From Adopting

Russia does not want its children falling into the hands of gay parents -- so much so that the country has opted to ban all Swedish parents from adopting.

Swedish The Local reports that Moscow halted all adoptions to the Scandinavian country this week. The prohibition is part of a recent court decision that disallows any foreign country that recognizes same-sex unions, or affords adoption rights to gay couples, from taking in a Russian child.

Carbon Budget Message In IPCC Report Reveals Daunting Challenge

Within the voluminous report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on Sept. 27 is a conclusion as sobering as any climate change warning to date.

The world is currently on track to emit enough greenhouse gases by about 2040 to exceed the globally agreed upon temperature target of 3.6°F (commonly referred to in international negotiations as the 2°C target), beyond which the risks of “dangerous” consequences of global warming escalate.

Herman Wallace Dead: Member Of The 'Angola 3,' Dies At 71

NEW ORLEANS -- NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 71-year-old man who spent more than four decades in solitary confinement in Louisiana died Friday, less than a week after a judge freed him and granted him a new trial.

Herman Wallace's attorneys said he died at a supporter's home in New Orleans. Wallace had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and stopped receiving treatment. Wallace was held for years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. In 2009, Wallace was moved from Angola to "closed-cell restriction" at Hunt Correctional in St. Gabriel, where he recently was taken to the prison's hospital unit.

32 Republicans Who Caused the Government Shutdown

Friday was the fourth day of the government shutdown, and there’s still no sign of an exit. What’s surprising about the ongoing fight is how a small group of members of Congress have managed to bring Washington to a halt. Just months ago, Speaker John Boehner was warning that forcing the government to shut down over Obamacare or anything else was politically hazardous. Yet Boehner remains stuck, his strategy dictated by a small rump of members in the Republican caucus who refuse to budge. On Monday night, as government funding ran out, a group of around 40 hardline conservatives refused to support any resolution to fund the government that didn't defund Obamacare. Since Monday night, their goals may have become less clear, but their resolve has not weakened. While it’s widely believed that a “clean” resolution would pass the House handily, it would also likely lead to a right-wing rebellion in the caucus that would spell the end of Boehner’s speakership.

Official Royal Mail valuation 'more than £1bn too low'

Taxpayers could lose out on more than £500m in the controversial privatisation of Royal Mail, Labour has warned.

Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, attacked the government sell-off after a leading City analyst said the coalition had undervalued the 497-year-old postal service by more than £1bn. Nearly two-thirds of the company is being sold.

"It is truly shocking that taxpayers are set to lose out to the tune of half a billion pounds because the government has undervalued Royal Mail, as this [Panmure Gordon stockbrokers] report suggests," he said. "This analysis suggests that the true value of Royal Mail's shares is a third higher than the price the government is getting for its stake."

NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users

The National Security Agency has made repeated attempts to develop attacks against people using Tor, a popular tool designed to protect online anonymity, despite the fact the software is primarily funded and promoted by the US government itself.

Top-secret NSA documents, disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveal that the agency's current successes against Tor rely on identifying users and then attacking vulnerable software on their computers. One technique developed by the agency targeted the Firefox web browser used with Tor, giving the agency full control over targets' computers, including access to files, all keystrokes and all online activity.

Supreme Court Case Could Spark Dramatic Rise In Campaign Contributions From Wealthy Donors

WASHINGTON -- Removing the limits on total campaign contributions by a single donor, a restriction now before the Supreme Court, would lead to a huge increase in giving by a small group of very wealthy Americans, according to a new report released Friday.

The aggregate limits, which restrict individual donors to giving no more than $123,200 in the 2014 election cycle, are being challenged in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, set to be argued before the high court on Oct. 8. The case was brought by Alabama company owner Shaun McCutcheon and joined by the Republican National Committee. McCutcheon argues that the aggregate limits are an unconstitutional restriction of his First Amendment right to support as many candidates as he would like as much as he would like.

No One Understands Strategy To Avoid Debt Ceiling Crisis, Sorry Y'all

Debt ceiling strategy! Everyone knows we need one, in order to prevent a huge, global economy-crippling default crisis. But no one seems to know, right now, what the hell is going on, or how catastrophe is to be averted. That includes me. So, here is a column about how no one knows what the hell is going on, or how catastrophe is going to be averted, including me. I'm telling you this right up front, so that you can just bail out now, and get on with your life.

Lockheed Martin Will Furlough 3,000 Workers On Monday

BETHESDA, Md. -- BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Lockheed Martin says it will furlough 3,000 employees on Monday due to the government shutdown.

The big defense contractor said Friday that the number of employees put on furlough will increase weekly if the shutdown continues.

When’s the hammer gonna drop?

The leaves are falling and Rob Ford has yet to be taken away in handcuffs.

A lot of us had expected to see that scene flickering across our TV screens by now. It’s not just the media and their friends among the intelligentsia who’ve caught wind of the rumours.

But it looks like the public will have to wait to see what’s in those Project Traveller search warrants that may or may not shed light on the infamous video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack. Lawyers representing some of the alleged gang members caught up in that raid,  including the purveyor of said video, are raising concerns about the slow pace of disclosure. Legal obstacles must be jumped first.

Aboriginal leader Shawn Atleo warns of 'grave' human rights crisis

Canada is facing a "grave" human rights crisis, warned the National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo during a rally to honour and remember the lives of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls on Parliament Hill Friday.

Canadians are rallying in over 200 locations across the country at Sisters In Spirit rallies, an event organized by the Native Women’s Association of Canada annually for the past eight years on Oct. 4.

David Suzuki, Chief Theresa Spence, Brigette DePape Get Together To Take On Tories

OTTAWA - Imagine if the people who rankle you the most decided to hold a party on the same day as yours, and just down the street.

That will be the case for the Conservatives next month as some of Canada's best known left-leaning activists organize a conference a kilometre away from the big Tory policy convention in Calgary.

Environmentalist David Suzuki, Council of Canadians chairwoman Maude Barlow, Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence and union leader Paul Moist are among those scheduled to attend the so-called "Pros and Cons" conference.

Even activist Brigette DePape — the former Senate page who held up a "Stop Harper" sign during the last throne speech — will be on hand for the Nov. 1 event.

The organizers say the conference is designed to inform people about the impacts of Conservative policies, and discuss possible alternatives.

Suzuki in particular has been the subject of much derision inside the Conservative movement, criticized for his vigorous opposition to oil pipeline development.

Original Article
Author: CP

Residential Schools Day Students To Launch Class Action Lawsuit

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Students who attended native residential schools in B.C., but did not live in residence, are seeking redress for their experiences.

Lawyers representing groups of former day scholars from the Tk'emlups and Sechelt bands say an application to certify a class action lawsuit will be filed in federal court sometime this month.

Chief Rick Hanson's Call For DNA Sample Collection At Arrests Gains Traction In Ottawa

Calgary's top cop's call for the collection of DNA before a conviction is gaining traction in Ottawa, but is being blasted by people in the streets and law professionals alike.

Chief Rick Hanson on Wednesday called for changes to federal legislation that would allow law enforcement agencies to extract a DNA sample at the time of arrest. The move, said Hanson, would help police solve some crimes faster and bring resolution to others.

Currently, DNA samples are only gathered for certain crimes and only after conviction.

The Shutdown in 10 Infuriating Sentences

At its core, the dispute over the budget and the debt ceiling isn't complicated at all. But it is full of misconceptions and urban myths. Here are the 10 facts worth remembering past all the obfuscation:

1. Democrats have already agreed to fund the government at Republican levels.

2. Despite what you might have heard, there have only been two serious government shutdowns in recent history, and both were the result of Republican ultimatums.

Congressional Liberals Mobilize to Keep Social Insurance Out of Shutdown Talks

We’ve seen this movie before: Republicans force a showdown in Congress over funding the government, the debt ceiling or, in the present case, both. Then a “grand bargain” is proposed to solve the impasse—one that includes serious reductions to social insurance programs.

That’s just how the GOP would like the current drama to play out. Wednesday, National Review’s Robert Costa reported that House Speaker John Boehner and Representative Paul Ryan are rallying nervous Republicans by telling them that while Obamacare may not end up getting defunded, GOP leadership is cooking up another big budget deal that includes cuts to the safety net so cherished by many conservative members. “It’s the return of the grand bargain,” one member told Costa. “Ryan is selling this to everybody; he’s getting back to his sweet spot,” said another.

Banks Stockpile Cash For Government Default They Say Won't Happen

Banks are totally not worried about the U.S. government defaulting, sparking a nightmarish financial panic. Yes, they're stocking extra cash in ATMs to satisfy cash-hungry zombie hordes. But they're sure they won't need it!

Bank executives are adding 20 to 30 percent more cash to their ATMs and re-reading their dog-eared copies of What To Expect When You're Expecting A Financial Shitstorm, according to the New York Times and the Financial Times.

1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime, Report Warns

One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every 17 white males, if current incarceration trends continue.

These are among the many pieces of evidence cited by the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison reform, in a report on the staggering racial disparities that permeate the American criminal justice system.

Arviat, Nunavut Youth Trade Kraft Dinner For 'Country Food'

Caribou pizza. Muskox burgers. Arctic char loaf.

These may sound like gourmet dishes from an upscale, trendy restaurant serving Canadiana cuisine, but they’re actually the foods that the children of Arviat, Nunavut, reject.

What’s the big deal? Let’s change the anthem

It looks as if we are back at the business of changing the lyrics of our national anthem, not only to reflect its original intentions, but who we are as Canadians today.

Nearly two years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper bowed to public pressure and went back on his promise to alter the lyrics of O Canada, a group of prominent Canadian women, including former prime minister Kim Campbell, author Margaret Atwood and Senator Nancy Ruth, is taking up the fight again. So what’s the big deal? Let’s do it.

As far as I can tell, their case is simple, and eminently reasonable: In the 1908 version of O Canada, the English lyrics contained the words “true patriot love thou dost in us command,” which in 1913, were changed to “in all thy sons command” for no discernible reason. One account has it that the words were masculinized to help recruit soldiers for the First World War, but I doubt anyone will argue that those brave young men who lined up to fight and die for their country, did so because the anthem was changed to reflect machismo.

No abortion funds for war rape: Paradis

OTTAWA - The Harper government will not fund overseas projects that enable war rape victims and child brides to obtain abortions, International Development Minister Christian Paradis said Friday.

The Conservative position on the matter was unclear last week after it backed initiatives at the United Nations to tackle sexual violence and forced marriages.

But Paradis said government policy will follow the same logic as that outlined when Canada announced $3 billion for maternal and child health at the 2010 G8 summit in Muskoka. At the time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said none of the those dollars would go toward abortion services because there were enough other worthy initiatives to support.

Conservatives top spenders on controversial ‘ten percenters’

Seven Conservative MPs, including one cabinet minister, were among the top ten spenders this past year on controversial “ten percenters.”

Tory MP Kyle Seeback from the Brampton West riding topped the list, spending a total of $32,115.57 over the past fiscal year, which ran from April 2012 to March 2013, on flyers. He’s followed by MPs Bal Gosal, Brian Jean and Lisa Raitt, the minister of transport, who forked over $20,480.83 on the flyers in Halton, as the biggest spenders — all from the Conservative party.

Tory Senate leader received large donations from 17 members of same family

OTTAWA — Before he was appointed to the Upper Chamber, the Conservative Party’s new leader in the Senate received political donations from 17 members of the same extended family as well as contributions from a key witness before the Charbonneau commission on Quebec political corruption.

Claude Carignan, the former mayor of the Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache, was made government Senate leader this summer, replacing Sen. Marjory LeBreton as the Conservatives moved to stem the damage from the expense scandal.

Anti-Keystone billionaire takes aim at Harper

OTTAWA - An anti-Keystone XL pipeline crusader has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suggesting Canada's aggressive lobbying for the project played a part in the ongoing government shutdown south of the border.

Tom Steyer, a San Francisco billionaire who's also a major Democratic party fundraiser, chastises Harper for saying he would not "take 'no' for an answer" from U.S. President Barack Obama on TransCanada's Keystone XL.

Maternal health without abortion: A fundamental hypocrisy

Even with all of our advanced technology and scientific knowledge, humanity still struggles with widespread poverty and hunger, economic inequality, war and strife, environmental destruction, and a long list of serious human rights abuses -- including high rates of preventable maternal mortality. The latter has been one of the world's most intractable human rights problems because of the low status of women, but recent efforts have shown that it can be significantly reduced. All it takes is political will and a steadfast opposition to right-wing forces.

If the will is there, Indigenous languages can still flourish

"Years ago while visiting his grandma Lucinda Robbins in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, CEO Don Thornton purchased a Cherokee-English Dictionary written by a professor from the local University.
When he showed the dictionary to his grandma, she commented in a frail but angry voice: “That man used to come to my house for three years asking how to say words in Cherokee.  Pretty soon it would be lists of phrases.  I fixed his lists for three years and all I wanted was a copy of the finished work but never received one.”
Don flipped through the pages of the entire dictionary looking for her name but Lucinda Robbin’s name was nowhere to be found.  She was not credited for her work, not only that, she was never paid and did not even receive a copy of the work."

Libs' Cuts May 'Neuter' BC's Farmland Protector: Advocates

After Bill Bennett was appointed to lead a cost-cutting core review of British Columbia's government services and agencies, the energy and mines minister made it clear that even the most "sacrosanct" of these would not be spared. Including the Agricultural Land Commission and the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Established 40 years ago, the commission, an independent Crown agency, is in charge of overseeing and protecting the approximately 4.7 million hectares within the land reserve -- land prioritized for farming. As development and industry pressure has grown in many land reserve regions since 1973, so too has concern about B.C.'s ability to grow its own food.

In These Mexican Towns, Mining Resistance Is Fertile

A steady stream of visitors trickled into Capulálpam de Méndez as dusk fell upon the Sierra Juárez mountains in southern Mexico one cold January evening. Despite the frosty overnight lows, over 400 farmers, indigenous leaders and environmental activists from throughout Latin America had joined roughly 1,400 residents of the Oaxacan mountain town to exchange experiences in the fight against mining companies in their respective communities.

It was no coincidence that Capulálpam was playing host to the "Yes to Life, No to Mining" event, a hemispheric grassroots gathering aimed at sharing lessons learned among mining-affected communities. In 2007, the town succeeded in having the operations of Vancouver-based Continuum Resources' Natividad mine suspended indefinitely, after demonstrating that it was behind both the contamination of a local river by arsenic and lead, and a decline in the local water table that dried up 13 local springs.

Will Canada Become a 'Graphene Superpower'?

It might be the most important mining rush you've never heard of -- certainly, it's among the planet's strangest. The location is the northern Canadian wilderness, where resource firms are competing to extract a flaky mineral that might someday help solve climate change, revolutionize electronics and cure cancer.

The mineral they're after is a high-quality form of graphite. No, not the lower quality variety that goes into the end of your pencil. Large, undeveloped graphite deposits in Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere in Canada could be tapped to make a wonder material proponents say will shape the next industrial revolution.