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, February 23, 2014

Rusty Onowakohton Nolan ~ 7 Iroquois Communities sign HISTORIC DOCUMENT REJECTING the FNEA

The Education Act will prevent our culture and religion to be used as examples in our children’s education. The act will cut funding in many areas in education and will be periodically monitored by outside agents.
Right now the project Truth & Reconciliation is happening across the country and you would think they would begin to recognise laws like the FNEA to be criminal.
Make sure we all take note of this event, because it is a historic event now unfolding. We are united once more and are now stepping into our own vessel. Will Canada help us on our way or prevent our canoe from going upriver on its own? The answer will come from each of us as citizens of Canada and First Nations. Seeing that Canada and First Nations are partners in this country wouldn’t it be expected then that Canada receives an Education Act from First Nations as well? Interesting …
Again our youth have a huge voice in this and should be consulted. They should have some input on the discussions about what culture and religion is available for them to learn. I feel that both cultures are who we all are and we must embrace that. Learning is an awesome skill we have and we would be limiting ourselves if we do not explore each others cultures. To achieve a better understanding of who our neighbours are will be the key to moving forward together as a proud country.
Original Article
Author:  John Malloy

Republican Official Says Gays Should Be Purged From GOP, Blames Homosexuality On Satan

A new candidate for a Michigan seat on the Republican National Committee wants gays "purged" from the GOP and claims homosexuality is a "perversion" created by Satan himself.

Mary Helen Sears of Houghton County in the state's Upper Peninsula, elected vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party's 1st District last year, posted a rant in April on the Schoolcraft County GOP website -- preceded by a warning asking readers to "please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog."

The Real Illness Plaguing U.S. Health Care: Inequality

Nearly every week a new facet of the Affordable Care Act comes to light to support the conservative go-to homily: good intentions lead to bad policy. It was a nice idea to give freeloaders the chance to be treated for illnesses they had no chance to avoid (because, you know, genetics), but it’s time to sidle up to the grown-ups’ table.

The latest element of this cumbersome, overly-complicated bill to stir controversy shows how a profit-driven healthcare system has a pernicious effect on the old-time American religion of upward economic mobility and equality of opportunity. The lens of real estate and finance gives us an interesting look at how our healthcare system is part and parcel of an edifice that enables the rich to get richer and, well, you know.

Canada’s new citizenship bill a Trojan horse

The federal government’s new citizenship bill is a Trojan horse.
It is presented as an attempt to reduce fraud and rationalize the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, both of which are sensible aims.
But it would also give Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government unprecedented authority to strip Canadians — including thousands born in this country — of their citizenship.
These are the most radical provisions of Bill C-24, unveiled Thursday by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

What Ailes the Media?

The genius of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch in the creation of Fox News has two primary components. The first is financial: it doesn’t take that many disaffected, ill-informed, angry old white guys who couldn’t care less that they’re being lied to to make a cable-news network profitable, but apparently there’s enough of them to make Fox News about $1 billion a year. The second is political: by posing as a ref while actually being a player, Fox manages to corrupt the entire political playing field. What was once considered a “fact”—such as the near-airtight scientific consensus on the reality of man-made global warming, or the birthplace of the current president of the United States—becomes merely one pole in an endless “debate” in which actual evidence carries the same weight as total bullshit. You can see the results in the actions and arguments of today’s Republican Party—and, with it, America’s apparently limitless political dysfunction.

From Occupy to Climate Justice

It’s an odd thing, really. in certain precincts of the left, especially across a broad spectrum of what could be called the economic left, our (by which I mean humanity’s) accelerating trajectory toward the climate cliff is little more popular as a topic than it is on the right. In fact, possibly less so. (Plenty of right-wingers love to talk about climate change, if only to deny its grim and urgent scientific reality. On the left, to say nothing of the center, denial takes different forms.)

Sometimes, though, the prospect of climate catastrophe shows up unexpectedly, awkwardly, as a kind of non sequitur—or the return of the repressed.

‘Sorry isn’t good enough’: Veterans call Fantino’s apology a performance as Tories accuse unions of stoking anger

Furious veterans have rejected an apology by Julian Fantino as nothing more than a mere “performance” after the minister said in the House of Commons that he “absolutely regrets” that he arrived “very late” for a scheduled meeting.

In the face of growing calls for him to resign or be fired, Fantino had tried to offer an olive branch Wednesday to the former soldiers left angry and insulted after the veterans affairs minister abruptly cancelled his meeting with the veterans, only to then “barge in” at the last minute and apparently insult the group. The minister blamed a Tory cabinet meeting that ran late for the “regrettable delay. “

Case worker says federal government not being honest

Michelle Bradley says the federal government isn’t being completely honest with Island veterans when it comes to closing the district office in Charlottetown.

Bradley is one of two case workers with Veterans Affairs Canada in Saint John, N.B., who have been tasked with more than 2,200 files from veterans on P.E.I.

That works out to at least 1,100 veterans each.

Fantino and the politics of contempt

The mall cop has a way of coming out in Julian Fantino. He probably treated adolescent shoplifters with more respect than he showed Canadian war veterans last week.

But last week, Fantino did something I personally didn’t think was possible. He made the CEO of Canada Post look like a new-age, sensitive guy.

Remember him, creator of the Deepak Chopra Workout for Seniors? Seniors and shut-ins love the end of home mail delivery, right? They can’t wait to exercise those sketchy knees and aching hips scaling snowdrifts in February to pick up their bills. Deepak said that’s what they told him, so it must be true, right? 

In Fantino’s case, the veterans had a scheduled meeting with the minister and got stood up. Julian, you see, had important matters to attend to. He was at an important cabinet meeting that ran late. As a very important man, he simply had more important things to do than keep a date with a bunch of unimportant former soldiers who could be left waiting like unwanted job applicants and then sent packing down the Highway of Has-Beens.

Little-known federal office to oversee natural resource projects secretive, heavy-handed: NDP

OTTAWA — A little-known federal office of barely two dozen people is charged with overseeing $230 billion worth of proposed natural resource projects across Canada and helping get aboriginal groups onside, but it’s facing criticism of being too heavy-handed and secretive.

The Major Projects Management Office is responsible for overarching management of federal environmental and regulatory reviews of what are currently 76 projects representing approximately $231 billion in potential new resource development investment across Canada.

Stephen Harper blinded by partisanship in choices for SIRC

Stephen Harper is about as adept at picking spy watchdogs as he is at picking senators.
More evidence of his abysmal record arrived late last Friday when Chuck Strahl, the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, suddenly announced his resignationfrom the part-time post watching over Canada’s civilian spy service, CSIS.
Strahl, a former Reform/Canadian Alliance MP and Tory cabinet minister, left the job in the wake of conflict of interest allegations that arose after it was revealed that while he was SIRC chair he had lobbied the federal government on the controversial Northern Gateway Pipeline. (CSIS has reportedly monitored native and environmental groups opposed to the development. Indeed, SIRC is stacked with members closely aligned to the oil patch.)

Conservatives' Fair Elections Act eliminates the referee, Marc Mayrand says

OTTAWA — Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand on Thursday lashed out at the Conservative government’s proposed changes to the elections law, saying the bill would “take the referee off the ice” and could make it harder for some voters to cast ballots.

In uncharacteristically frank remarks, Mayrand responded to suggestions of political bias against Elections Canada made by Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre, who said earlier this week that it was important that the referee of fair elections not wear a team jersey.

Harper’s broken election-reform pledge

I am the only person in Canada who realizes it, but when Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed off on his recently unveiled Fair Elections Act, he broke a solemn pledge.

While the Fair Elections Act contains many measures — it regulates robocalls, it cracks down on election fraud, it tightens up auditing rules for political spending — what it doesn’t do is restore freedom of expression to all Canadians by scrapping what’s known as the “election gag law.”

In case you haven’t heard of it, this law, which was enacted in 2000, imposes severe legal restrictions on how much money citizens or independent organizations can spend on “election advertising.”

The Fair Elections Act hinders whistle-blowing

On Feb 4, the federal government tabled Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, to amend the Canada Elections Act. Unfortunately, the amendments, if passed, will do little to curtail the type of electoral fraud that took place during the May 2011 federal election. What they will do is make it much less likely that electors will ever learn of such activity when it does occur, or that those involved will be prosecuted.

To understand the bill, one must remember that in May 2013, and contrary to Conservative government denials, the Federal Court found that a “deliberate attempt at voter suppression” took place “across the country” during the 2011 general election that was targeted at non-Conservative Party supporters, and identified the Conservative Party’s CIMS database as the likely source of information for those efforts. The court also found that “the respondent MPs engaged in trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits.”

Tories' bill strips Elections Canada of power to promote voter turnout

The Conservative government is stripping Elections Canada of its authority to encourage Canadians to vote in federal ballots under changes to the agency’s mandate.

Legislation tabled this week sets out restrictions on what information the chief electoral officer can provide the public, limiting it to five matter-of-fact topics related to how to vote or become a candidate.

Elections Canada Contradicts Pierre Poilievre, Says No Consultation On Bill

OTTAWA - Opposition critics say they'll be scouring the fine print when the Conservative government introduces legislation Tuesday morning to overhaul Elections Canada.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand has long been calling for reforms, including tighter reporting rules on automated phone calls during election campaigns, penalties for impersonating election officials, stronger investigative powers and more protections for voter privacy.

Harper's Politics Serve Politicians, Not Canadians

Poet, Anatole France, once observed that, "it is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel." He could just as easily be commenting on two recent actions of our present federal government that fly directly in the face of what is supposed to be good politics: giving the people what they want. How else to explain the undue harshness against this country's veterans, or the outright attack and manipulation in the Harper government's attempts to revamp Elections Canada to its own purposes.

What makes both of these instances so remarkable is the sheer arrogance of a government acting against the best interests of its own people. In the process, as the French author observed above, we now have a federal government that is detached enough that it feels it can directly act in a manner that offends the average Canadian. Watch how Rick Mercer reacts to all this to get an idea on just how high are the stakes.

Why Is the Port Authority Raising Wages for Only Some Airport Workers?

In a surprise move last week after months of inaction, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey mandated a series of improved conditions for subcontracted workers at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports. Executive Director Patrick Foye, in a letter to the CEOs of JetBlue, Delta, American and United Airlines, demanded that all workers currently making $8 to $9 per hour or less get a $1 per hour raise, with an eventual phase-in to an hourly wage of $10.10. The decision will cover some 8,000 subcontracted service workers who do much of the work that keeps the airports running: cabin cleaning, baggage handling, terminal security and ground transportation dispatching.

Has the NSA Wiretapping Violated Attorney-Client Privilege?

The first time Adis Medunjanin tried to call Robert C. Gottlieb in mid-2009, Gottlieb was out of the office. Medunjanin was agitated. He had to speak to an attorney. Gottlieb’s assistant told him Gottlieb would be back soon. When Medunjanin spoke to the lawyer a little later, he was told he might need legal representation. He thought he might be under investigation.

Over the next six months and in forty-two phone calls, Medunjanin sought legal advice from Gottlieb. When he was arrested in January 2010 on charges that he tried to bomb the New York subway, it was Gottlieb who defended him, receiving security clearance to review government documents pertinent to the case in the process.

The IRS Swings on Dark Money but Misses the Target

If you’re concerned about “dark money” in politics and the tsunami of cash from the super-wealthy and corporations pouring into the political system, or if you were outraged by the recent “scandal” involving the IRS’s clumsy assessment of 501(c)(4) groups, your ears probably perked up when you heard that the Internal Revenue Service has issued draft regulations to “provide clarity” to the rules that govern so-called “social welfare” organizations.

Yet the new regs will do almost nothing to fix the things you think are broken and may, in fact, do some real damage to the ability of everyday Americans to have an impact on the political process.

After an FBI Agent Checked the Wrong Box, a Woman Was Barred From US Entry for 9 Years

The US government hid an egregious clerical error that placed a Malaysian Stanford University student on the TSA’s no-fly list and prompted a nine-year effort to clear her name, according to a federal ruling released to the public Thursday.

FBI Agent Michael Kelly “misunderstood the directions” on a form, leading him to “erroneously” check boxes that flagged Rahinah Ibrahim for the no-fly list in 2004, the ruling states. Kelly made that error despite a note specifically recommending Ibrahim “NOT be entered” into the terrorist screening database. Ibrahim belonged to a professional organization (Jemaah Islah Malaysia) with a similar-sounding name to a designated terrorist group (Jemaah Islamiyah).

How Crowdworkers Became the Ghosts in the Digital Machine

In 2007, Stephanie Costello had a boring office job with a lot of downtime that she spent online. She recalls the day she read one of those articles on that have become a staple of the Internet: how to make extra money online. These types of articles often appear in the soft-news sections of MSN, Yahoo and other sites, usually with the message that there is money being left on the table. Costello was intrigued at the prospect of cutting through the boredom of her day with the opportunity to pick up a little extra cash. She went to the website, Mechanical Turk, where companies can post tiny tasks and workers can find and perform them online. It was free to register—no call for an “investment” up front, which indicated that it was not on its face a scam. And she began making money immediately. Very small amounts of money.

Neoliberalism’s Favorite Advice

The cheap slogan, an alleged encouragement for today’s worker, cruelly ignores the fact that very few of us have the opportunity to make a living doing much of anything that sustains our spirits, Miya Tokumitsu writes at Jacobin.
Tokumitsu says:
There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate?— and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.
Superficially, DWYL is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum? Who is not?
By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.
Read more here.

Original Article
Author: Alexander Reed Kelly

Obama Killed the American Dream

“The U.S. worked hard to create the American dream of opportunity. But today, that dream is a myth.” —Economist Joseph Stiglitz, Financial Times

If you follow the financial news, you already know that the American people are on an epic downer. Just check out some of these headlines I pulled up in a five minute Internet search and you’ll see what I mean:

“Gloom and doom? Americans more pessimistic about future” Las Vegas Review

“U.S. Standard of Living Index Sinks to 10-Month Low; Expectations for future standard of living drops more than current satisfaction” Gallup

“Americans Still Pessimistic About Economy–Almost 70 percent think the economy is in bad shape” Time Magazine
‘Slipping behind’: Are we becoming a nation of pessimists?” NBC News

Iowa Is Getting Sucked Into Scary Vanishing Gullies

Last year, after a record drought in 2012, Iowa experienced the wettest spring in its recorded history. The rains triggered massive runoff from the state's farms into its creeks, streams, and rivers, tainting water with toxic nitrate from fertilizer. Nitrate levels in the state's waterways reached record levels—so high that they emerged as a "real issue for human health," Bob Hirsch, a hydrologist for the US Geological Survey, told the Associated Press.

The event illustrated two problems facing Iowa and the rest of the nation's topsoil-rich grain belt. The first is the challenge of climate change: how to manage farmland in an era when weather lurches from brutal drought to flooding, as it likely will with increasing frequency. The second, related challenge is the largely invisible crisis of Iowa's topsoil, which appears to be eroding at a much higher rate than US Department of Agriculture numbers indicate—and, more importantly, at up to 16 times the natural soil replacement rate.

Undermining democracy and human rights: A cautionary tale about anti-choice politics

Last week, Parliament and the pro-choice movement got a temporary reprieve from the relentless onslaught of anti-choice motions and bills introduced by Conservative backbenchers who won't take Harper's "No abortion debate allowed" for an answer. Not a single one made the list of pending private members' business for this session.
The news must have come as a huge disappointment to the anti-choice movement, which had been eagerly anticipating the introduction of two explicit anti-choice motions that had already been fully prepared and announced in December by long-time Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin). So what happened?

Canada Budget Will Target Charities Over Terrorist Links: Flaherty

TORONTO - Jim Flaherty says he will outline plans to curb the link between terrorists, organized crime and charities, as part of the new federal budget due next week.

"There are some terrorist organizations, there are some organized crime organizations that launder money through charities, and make donations to charities," he said during a media conference in Toronto on Friday.

"That's not the purpose of charitable donations in Canada, so we're becoming increasingly strict on the subject. You'll see some more on Tuesday."

7 Environmental Charities Face Canada Revenue Agency Audits

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently conducting extensive audits on some of Canada's most prominent environmental groups to determine if they comply with guidelines that restrict political advocacy, CBC News has learned.

If the CRA rules that the groups exceeded those limits, their charitable status could be revoked, which would effectively shut them down.

Many of the groups are among the Conservative government's fiercest critics. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty signalled clearly in his budget of 2012 that political activity of these groups would be closely monitored and he allocated $8 million to the effort. The environmental organizations believe they have been targeted with the goal of silencing their criticism.

I'm a Member of the American 'Used-to-Haves'

I used to have a house. I used to go on vacations. I used to shop at department stores, get my hair done and even enjoy pedicures. Now, I don't. I'm a member of the American "Used-to-Haves."

Now, I'm renting an apartment and I'm desperately awaiting a check so I can pay the rent. Yet, I'm lucky to have an apartment that includes utilities. Despite my college degree from a prestigious college, and solid employment track record, I can't get a job. It's been so long since my corporate days, I now feel unemployable.

Environmentalists Continue To Question Keystone Analysts' Ties To TransCanada

WASHINGTON -- An environmental group is again hammering the contractor that created last Friday's environmental impact analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that conflicts of interest should have precluded the contractor's work on the report.

The final impact statement on Keystone XL concluded that the pipeline's environmental impacts would be minimal.

But Environmental Resources Management, the contractor that prepared that analysis, has been the subject of conflict of interest complaints since early last year, when it released its initial environmental assessment of the proposed 1,660-mile pipeline from Canada to Texas. After the initial analysis was released, it came to light that several ERM employees had done work for TransCanada and one of its subsidiaries -- a fact that the State Department had redacted from publicly released documents.

Lacking a House, a Senator Is Renewing His Ties in Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kan. — It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger.

“He calls it home,” said Jerald Miller, a retiree. “But I’ve been here since ’77, and I’ve only seen him twice.”

Missouri Senate Kills Medicaid Expansion For Roughly 300,000 Lower-Income People

The Republican-controlled Missouri Senate voted 23-9 along party lines Wednesday to kill legislation expanding Medicaid eligibility to roughly 300,000 uninsured, lower-income adults.

Despite Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) vocal support for expanding Medicaid, the state’s Republican-led legislature repeatedly defeated Democrats’ efforts to advance similar proposals last year.

"It's the easiest and simplest way to improve our health care in our state, improve our economy," state Sen. Paul LeVota (D), who spearheaded the amendment, said on Wednesday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "This isn't a crazy idea. This is an idea whose time has come."

Northern Gateway: Alleged Spying By CSIS, RCMP Triggers Complaint

VANCOUVER - Civil liberties advocates in British Columbia have filed complaints against CSIS and the RCMP over allegations the agencies snooped on opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association's complaints allege the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS, needlessly monitored First Nations and environmental groups and then passed along information to the National Energy Board and energy companies.

Canadian Oilsands Staff Fired, Reportedly Replaced With Foreign Workers

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - The federal government is investigating an allegation that several dozen Canadians working in Alberta's oilpatch were laid off this week and replaced with foreign workers.

A spokeswoman with Employment Minister Jason Kenney's office said Thursday that he has asked for an urgent review.

Fair Elections Act Will Prevent Young And Low-Income Canadians From Voting, NDP Charge

OTTAWA – The Conservative party is trying to prevent voters who don’t support their party from casting a ballot, the NDP charged Thursday during a debate on the government’s new electoral bill.

“A big part of this bill is about voter suppression,” NDP deputy leader David Christopherson told The Huffington Post Canada.

Young people, aboriginals and low-income Canadians are being unfairly targeted by a bill that the Conservatives have labelled the Fair Elections Act, the NDP argued.

Why Now Is the Time to Reform How We Elect the President

American presidential election campaigns are absurd. Absurdly expensive. Absurdly long. Absurdly structured. And absurdly narrow in the range of ideas and options offered to a nation with an absurdly low level of voter participation. If ever there was a time to rethink how this country chooses its chief executive, this is it. And we don’t mean that in some rhetorical sense. We mean that this is the time, right now—two years before the first caucuses and primaries, thirty-three months before the November 2016 election names the forty-fifth president—to get serious about the process. That’s why The Nation is launching what we call “Project 45,” an initiative that refuses to accept the assumption that the 2016 campaign has to be dictated by insiders. We will identify and promote the reforms (and reformers) that offer the promise of a more open, inclusive and democratic process.

The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Donor Conference

There's one main rule at the conservative donor conclaves held twice a year by Charles and David Koch at luxury resorts: What happens there stays there.

The billionaire industrialists and their political operatives strive to ensure the anonymity of the wealthy conservatives who fund their sprawling political operation—which funneled more than $400 million into the 2012 elections—and to keep their plans private. Attendees of these summits are warned that the seminars, where the Kochs and their allies hatch strategies for electing Republicans and advancing conservative initiatives on the state and national levels, are strictly confidential; they are cautioned to keep a close eye on their meeting notes and materials. But last week, following the Kochs' first donor gathering of 2014, one attendee left behind a sensitive document at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort outside of Palm Springs, California, where the Kochs and their comrades had spent three days focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections and more. The document lists VIP donors—including John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John's pizza chain—who were scheduled for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld. The one-page document, provided to Mother Jones by a hotel guest who discovered it, offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kochs' political machine and shows how closely intertwined it is with Koch Industries, their $115 billion conglomerate.

Public Servants Take Average Of 11.5 Paid Sick Days A Year: PBO

OTTAWA - The federal budget watchdog says public servants take an average of 11.5 paid sick days a year, compared with 18 days reported by Treasury Board President Tony Clement.

The parliamentary budget office says in a new report that Clement's number includes time missed due to workplace injuries and unpaid sick leave.

Fair Elections Act Worries Elections Canada Chief Marc Mayrand

OTTAWA - The head of Elections Canada is fighting back against the Conservatives' suggestion that he's a partisan player and can't be trusted to oversee the fairness of the game.

Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform, justified the move to strip many of Elections Canada's powers by saying "the referee should not be wearing a team jersey."

But Marc Mayrand, the chief electoral officer, told reporters that if he's wearing a jersey, it only has black and white stripes.

Federal Science Hobbled By Cuts And Policies, Poll Says

The government's cuts to federal science budgets and its changes to policy are damaging scientists' ability to serve and protect the public, according to a new survey.

The survey was commissioned by the union representing federal scientists.

As well, the Conservative government's shift in federal science priorities under Prime Minister Stephen Harper toward supporting industry is out of step with the public's view that health, safety and the protection of the environment should be the government's top science priorities, says the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. (PIPSC)

'Unlikely Radicals' exposes the toxic Adams Mine Dump War

Everyone loves a good David vs. Goliath story and Unlikely Radicals: The Story of the Adams Mine Dump War by Charlie Angus is as good as it gets. Centred on the campaign to keep Toronto's garbage from being dumped in a decommissioned Northern Ontario mine, Unlikely Radicalsisn't just a story about the rural north vs. the urban south, it's a story about the politicization of ordinary people -- including Angus himself.
In the late 1990s Charlie Angus, NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay (and current Official Opposition Critic for Ethics), "believed that organized politics was the domain of stuffy old men." The former Toronto activist and punk rock musician was living in Cobalt, a town of fewer than 1,500 people in the heart of Northern Ontario's historic Mining District. It was also part of the Timiskaming District, "ground zero" for the Adams Mine dump war, the fight to keep Toronto's garbage from being dumped in the environmentally sensitive region.