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.]

Friday, March 14, 2014

Enbridge Gas Price Hike Could See Customers Paying 40% More

OTTAWA - The harsh reality of this winter's exceptionally cold weather is catching up to millions of natural-gas users in central Canada.

The natural-gas company Enbridge has applied to Ontario regulators for a nearly 40 per cent hike in the energy rates it charges customers, just one month after predicting that its massive storage capacity should mute any price increase.

11 Jaw-Dropping Lines From Dianne Feinstein's CIA Torture Statement

Today, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein released an astonishing statement on her committee's investigation into torture by the CIA – and the intelligence agency's shocking, and possibly illegal, activities to spy on the committee itself.


One of the most riveting and liberating events of postwar life was the Soviet policy of glasnost, the Gorbachev-era explosion of media. The euphoria came not from the means of transmission but, rather, from what was being transmitted—and read, and heard, and seen. After decades of totalist censorship, after art, history, science, journalism, philosophy, and so much else had languished under the state, Gorbachev, particularly in the years from 1987 to 1990, unleashed everything. The thrill of this was unimaginable. After so much gray, color; after so many lies, truth, debate, discussion. And it was glasnost that led to everything else, from a full reckoning with the Soviet past to a debate about the way to go on, to live, to organize society.

Now, as Vladimir Putin sends troops into Crimea and hints at following up on this cruel gambit with further moves into eastern Ukraine, he is, step by step, turning back the clock on information. It is a move of self-protection. The latest step came on Wednesday, with the announcement that Galina Timchenko, the longtime and much admired editor of the news site, has been fired, and replaced by Alexei Goreslavsky, the former editor of, a site that is far more sympathetic to the Kremlin.

Corporate America Stashes $206 Billion Overseas, Fights Minimum Wage Hike, Is The Worst

Hey, Corporate America, are you befuddled as to why you are widely considered the mustache-twirling villain in the tragicomedy that is the U.S. economy? Here are two pieces of news that might help explain.

First, your chief financial officers shipped $206 billion in cash to overseas tax shelters last year, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The total amount of cash held in offshore havens rose to $1.95 trillion, according to Bloomberg, which is more than the combined market values of the six biggest companies in the U.S.

'Social Cost Of Carbon' Too Low, Report Says

WASHINGTON -– The U.S. government uses $37 as its estimate of how much a ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere costs, including decreased agricultural productivity, damage from rising sea levels and harm to human health related to climate change. The Obama administration updated that figure, known as the "social cost of carbon," in November.

But a report released Thursday argues that $37 is far too low. It doesn't include costs of other major climate impacts, such as increased respiratory illness from higher pollen or ozone, or the spread of insect-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, or the toll that ocean acidification will take on fisheries.

Two Charts That Will Enrage Everyone (Well, Except Bankers)

Take every single dollar made by full-time workers earning the federal minimum wage last year. Now double that pile of cash. OK, now we’re in Wall Street bonus territory.

Wall Street pulled in $26.7 billion in cash bonuses last year, according to estimates revealed Wednesday by the New York state comptroller. That’s up about 15 percent from the previous year, and amounts to $164,530 per person when split up among the industry’s 165,200 employees in New York.

Russia Masses Troops Near Ukraine

MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) - Russia announced on Thursday it had started military exercises near the border with Ukraine in what is likely to be seen as a show of force in the standoff with Kiev and the West over Crimea.

Separately, the ministry said Russia had sent six Su-27 jet fighters and three military transport planes to ally Belarus, responding to a request prompted by joint U.S.-Polish exercises in NATO nation Poland, Interfax reported.

Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of The Nation’s Top Corporate Interest Group In 7 Of 8 Cases This Term

So far this term, the Supreme Court handed down eight cases where the United States Chamber of Commerce filed a brief — and a majority of the justices sided with the Chamber in all but one of these decisions. The one outlier decision was a case involving anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers where the justices votes broke down along unusual lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing the majority opinion and Justice Sonia Sotomayor in dissent.

Rightscorp Expands Into Canada, Calls It Worst Developed Country For Piracy

Canadians who are accused of online copyright infringement could soon be seeing demands for money in the mail from a U.S. anti-piracy company.

California-based Rightscorp, a publicly traded firm that says it represents more than one million copyright claims, announced this week it is planning to expand into Canada.

But because copyright laws here are different from the U.S., Canadian internet providers may not be as willing as their U.S. counterparts to play ball with a company many would describe as a copyright troll.

StatsCan's New House Price Index Up Most In 2 Years

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says its new housing price index rose 0.3 per cent in January, following a 0.1 per cent gain in December.

It says the national increase was the largest since May 2012 and was mainly due to strong gains in the Prairie region.

Metropolitan Calgary was the top contributor to the January rise, with prices up 1.3 per cent, the largest increase since April 2007.

The biggest monthly price gain in January was in Saskatoon, where prices were up 1.4 per cent, the largest monthly increase in the city since March 2008.

Prices were down 0.3 per cent in the Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo region for the second consecutive month and new house prices also fell 0.3 per cent in Charlottetown.

Prices were unchanged in seven of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed in January.

Original Article
Author: CP

Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton's Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced yesterday she has personally paid back the $45,000 cost of her trip to South Africa in December, and that of the young aide who went along with her.
"My hope is that we can now get back to the work Albertans asked us to do," the premier told a hastily organized afternoon news conference -- whatever that work is, since it's not at all clear her government is following anything remotely like the agenda the people who elected her in 2012 expected.
In other words, Shut up and leave me alone!

Fair Elections Act = voter suppression, says Ed Broadbent

For many months the Conservative government has blatantly taken away by fiat the right to strike of union members within federal jurisdiction. They are now threatening to shut down environmental charities that are talking about climate change. And they are ramming through Parliament changes to the elections act that will almost certainly mean that many thousands of Canadians will not be able to vote.

Big Oil Has No Place In Alberta School Curriculum Redesign: Critics

Major oil companies should not have a say in the redesign of Alberta's school curriculum, say critics.

A document posted on the Alberta Education website this week shows companies like Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy, Stantec, PCL Industrial Contractors and Syncrude Canada have been recruited to "help draft Alberta's future curriculum for our students."

Environment Canada braces for cuts to climate programs

OTTAWA—Canada’s efforts to combat climate change could be scaled down as Environment Canada braces for more budgetary belt-tightening over the next three years.
A recently released report on Environment Canada’s plans and priorities reveals the department plans to reduce spending from $1.01 billion in 2014-2015 to $698.8 million in 2016-2017.
While the report noted current fiscal year’s spending is somewhat inflated due to a one-time payout, the department is still projected to spend about $162 million less in 2016 than it plans to in 2015.

The copyright bill and the chocolate bar loophole

Seven years ago an importer narrowly won a Supreme Court decision that allowed it to continue bringing Toblerone chocolate bars into Canada. Since then, parallel importers have operated in a legal grey zone, something that will continue with the passage of the government’s copyright and trademark bill C-8, copyright lawyers say.  

Parallel importing is the practice of buying legitimate goods in a country where they are sold at a relatively low cost, and importing them into a country—in this case, Canada—where their official distributors charge more.

Apathy is Boring Engages the Rage

The first sound to crystallize over the crunching snow was the drums. Thrum, thrum, thrum -- just a hair faster than a heartbeat. As the crowd advanced, the singing began. A break opened in the line of heads held high -- two small boys at the front of the procession, proudly pounding their instruments. The banners brushed the bottom of the traffic lights and, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, the crowd stretched the width of the street. This was Dec. 15, 2012, in North Battleford, Sask. Here, as in so many other places around the country, Indigenous peoples had gathered to lend their voices to the Idle No More movement.

Want details about a program promoting accessible and accountable government? Sorry, no can do

It’s an admirable motto: “Visible government = accessible government = accountable government,” one adopted by the program overseeing federal branding. Try finding out much about it, though, and you’ll soon hit a brick wall.

The Federal Identity Program (colloquially called “FIP” among bureaucrats familiar with the program) was established in 1970 to develop and maintain the integrity of Canadian emblems like the coat of arms, the flag symbol and the Canada wordmark — all familiar sights that help Canadians know when they’re looking at something belonging to the feds whether it’s a GST cheque, passport, income tax form, or the now-retired Canadarm.

Buffalo River Dene Nation Loses Bid To Halt Oilsands Exploration

DILLON, Sask. - A Court of Queen's Bench Justice has ruled against the Buffalo River Dene Nation in its attempt to halt oilsands exploration on what the band calls its traditional territory.

The legal action was launched last summer after two exploration permits were issued to Scott Land and Lease.

The First Nation believes granting the permits was a violation of treaty rights and says the policy of duty to consult was ignored.

But Justice Grant M. Currie has ruled the issuing of exploration permits does not "engage the duty to consult."

The province says the permits grant the company exclusive rights for exploration, but do not permit access to land or excavation.

It is not known if the First Nation will appeal the decision.

Original Article
Author: CP

Jim Flaherty's 'Dangerous' Meddling In Housing Market Could Spoil The Party: Economist

Not only is there not a housing bubble, but Canada’s low interest rates mean there’s plenty of room for house prices to grow, says an analysis from a housing market economist.

Will Dunning, who has carried out research for Royal LePage and Canada’s mortgage lobby, CAAMP, also criticized the government’s “dangerous” tightening of mortgage rules, which he said could lead to an “unpredictable” outcome for the housing market.

Doubting Democracy?

When the Economist –- one of the most authoritative voices in the global media -- begins to doubt democracy, it is time to get serious about fixing things.

Last week’s cover story (March 1-7) was titled “What’s Gone Wrong With Democracy: And How to Revive It.” The magazine’s extensive deliberation that stretches over a six page essay was prompted by the rapid-fire events of the past several years –-popular eruptions from the original Orange Revolution in Ukraine to the Arab Spring that have cast autocrats out only to replace them with failed attempts at democracy and then a return to autocratic rule, often as not backed by men in uniforms. The continuing dysfunction and gridlock in Washington and other Western capitals is equally a cause for their worry.

Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Files Historic Lawsuit Against Obama Over Force-Feeding

Emad Abdullah Hassan, a Yemeni inmate at Guantanamo Bay, introduced a historic lawsuit on Tuesday against the U.S. military prison's force-feeding of detainees on hunger strikes.

The case marks the first legal challenge requiring a federal judge to oversee an inmate's testimony on Guantanamo prison conditions.

Hassan, who has reportedly engaged in a continuous hunger strike since 2007, was turned over to the U.S. by Pakistani security forces for suspected affiliation with armed groups, but was cleared for release in 2009.

Gunmen Attack Students, University In Central Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — At least three people were wounded Tuesday in the central Venezuela city of Barquisimeto when student protesters blocking streets were attacked by unknown gunmen, a university official in the city said.

The attacks came one day after a student leader was shot to death by unidentified attackers in the western city of San Cristobal.

Francesco Leone, rector of the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado in Barquisimeto, said two protesters suffered bullet wounds while blocking roads around the university Tuesday. Another was injured by rubber bullets. The victims said their attackers appeared to be pro-government civilians.

Putin's Actions Could Break Up Russia, Not Unify It

Strobe Talbott is president of the Brookings Institution and chairman of the State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Deputy secretary of state in the 1990s, he was President Bill Clinton's point man on the former Soviet Union. He is the author of "The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy." He was the first director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

This article first appeared in YaleGlobal.

Crimea Vote Doesn't Offer 'No' Option For Joining Russia

KIEV, March 11 (Reuters) - Sunday's vote in Ukraine's Crimea is being officially billed as a chance for the peninsula's peoples to decide fairly and freely their future - but in fact there is no room on the ballot paper for voting "Nyet" to control by Russia.

The Crimean voter will have the right to choose only one of two options in the March 16 referendum which the region's pro-Russian leadership, protected by Russian forces, announced earlier this month.

G7 Leaders Warn They Will Take Further Action If Russia Tries To Annex Crimea

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Group of 7 world leaders say they won't recognize results of a referendum for the Crimea region to split from Ukraine and join Russia.

A statement from the seven nations released from the White House on Wednesday calls on Russia "to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law." It says the referendum scheduled for this weekend "would have no legal effect" and the process is deeply flawed.

The leaders said they would take further action, individually and collectively, if Russia tries to annex Crimea.

The statement was from the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States, along with the European Council and the European Commission.

Original Article
Author: AP

Outside Money and Low Turnout, Not Obamacare, Gave GOP its Florida Win

Republicans who want to imagine that they can campaign against Obamacare and win every swing seat that is in the offering in 2014 will try to suggest that GOP nominee David Jolly’s win in Florida’s 13th Congressional District proves their point.

But that’s a stretch.

Jolly did campaign as a critic of the Affordable Care Act. And his Democratic foe, cautiously centrist former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, did offer a nuanced defense of the reform initiative—along with a more robust argument on behalf of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Tech-Sector Neoliberalism Isn’t the Answer to America’s Inequality Problem

Eric Schmidt is the chairman of Google. Last year, he raked in compensation totaling over $100 million from the company, adding to his net worth of over $8 billion. According to The New York Times, Schmidt owns “a Gulfstream V, a 195-foot yacht and multiple homes across the country including a new $22 million Hollywood mansion.”

Last week, he addressed the SXSW conference on the topic of economic inequality—I mean, who better, right? He proposed three basic fixes for the problem.

One is strengthening the safety net for the less well-off. I am definitely with him there. The United States is one of the richest societies the world has ever known, but it has a remarkably ungenerous welfare state. So, so far we’re good. The war on poverty worked, and it would work even better if programs like food stamps, Medicaid and the EITC were expanded.

Mark Carney Left Canadian Economy Damaged, CIBC Says

OTTAWA - High-profile central banker Mark Carney is taking it on the chin these days with blows landing from both sides of the Atlantic.

The former Bank of Canada governor, who made international news last year by jumping ship to head the storied Bank of England, has been undergoing a serious grilling in London over the bank's tame response to manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

Chris Christie's Administration Outraged Both Liberals And Conservatives With This 1 Move

As if Bridgegate wasn’t enough, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration just made one move that's angered both the right and the left: Essentially banning beloved electric-car maker Tesla from the Garden state.

New Jersey motor vehicle officials approved a rule Tuesday that would require all car companies to sell their vehicles through franchised dealers instead of directly to customers. The move essentially prevents Tesla from selling cars in New Jersey because the electric vehicle maker owns its own stores. Most auto makers sell vehicles through franchises.

On April 1 the company will stop selling cars in the state.


“The C.I.A. just went and searched the committee’s computers,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said on Tuesday, in a speech on the Senate floor. She accused the Agency of sabotaging the oversight efforts of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which she chairs, and thus the separation of powers; engaging in “a potential effort to intimidate this staff,” by accusing them of “hacking”; breaking its word; and maybe breaking the law. “Besides the constitutional implications, the C.I.A. search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the C.I.A. from conducting domestic searches or surveillance,” she said. The C.I.A. spied on the Senate, and the senator is angry.

The Inevitability of Income Inequality

There’s been a lot of discussion about the historically high levels of income and wealth inequality lately—mostly from people on the shorter end of that stick—with good reason: There’s no end in sight.

In his new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” economist Thomas Piketty argues that worsening inequality is inevitable in a mature capitalist system, based on his analysis of 200 years of data. But inequality isn’t just an evolving condition like a crippling allergy that comes and goes, or just grows, enumerated by horrifying statistics. Nor is it just the result of a capitalist-utopian idea of free markets in which everyone gets a fair shot armed with equal information (which simply don’t exist in the real world, where markets are routinely gamed by the biggest players). Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy. It is an inherent result of the consolidation of a substantial amount of both financial power and political influence in the hands of a few families.

How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’ Reach

WASHINGTON — Ten months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the nation’s surveillance court delivered a ruling that intelligence officials consider a milestone in the secret history of American spying and privacy law. Called the “Raw Take” order — classified docket No. 02-431 — it weakened restrictions on sharing private information about Americans, according to documents and interviews.

The administration of President George W. Bush, intent on not overlooking clues about Al Qaeda, had sought the July 22, 2002, order. It is one of several still-classified rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court described in documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a staunch defender of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, took to the Senate floor Tuesday with the stunning accusation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have violated federal law to spy on Congress.

Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, railed against the CIA for compromising the legislative branch's oversight role -- a theme echoed by many of her Senate colleagues throughout the day. The outrage was palpable among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and some suggested CIA Director John Brennan should resign if the allegations are true. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has stuck up for intelligence agencies in the past, declared a potential war.

Alberta legislature too disrespectful for school visits

Teachers at a middle school in Innisfail will no longer take their students to question period at the Alberta legislature after they witnessed the poor behaviour of the members there during a session last fall.

Innisfail Middle School sent a letter to Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, Premier Alison Redford and the leaders of all three opposition parties after 90 Grade 6 students visited the legislature on Nov. 5.

An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web

The inventor of the world wide web believes an online "Magna Carta" is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian the web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence and that new rules were needed to protect the "open, neutral" system.

Candice Bergen Off To U.S. To Laud Canada's Efforts On Homelessness

OTTAWA - Canada's minister of state for social development is heading to Chicago on Wednesday to tout Canada as an emerging world leader in the battle against homelessness.

Candice Bergen is slated to address the international Housing First conference on Thursday after a day of meetings with anti-homelessness advocates on the opening day of the event. The conference is sponsored in part this year by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Canadians Doubtful Of Some Core Pro-Business Policies: Poll

Canada’s baby boomers and their children see almost eye-to-eye when it comes to the country’s economic direction, and both groups are worried that some pro-business policies of the past several decades have made it harder to make a decent living.
That’s according to a new survey from the left-leaning Broadbent Institute, which looked at the economic attitudes of Canada’s largest population group, the baby boomers, and their children, the millennials.

TED Talks: Permit My Rude Interruption

"Each new 'big idea' to 'inspire the world' and 'change everything' pitched from the TED stage reminds me of the swamp root and snake oil liniment being sold from a wagon a hundred years past." -- Nathan Jurgenson, social media sociologist

TED Talks, money glistens. And now it's here in Vancouver, selling what may be snake oil solutions to the well-heeled and well-intentioned.

Who in their right mind would attend for U.S. $7,500 per person for the five-day TED Conference starting March 17 at the Vancouver Convention Centre when many speakers' talks get posted online for free?

Lawmakers More Likely To Meet With Campaign Donors Than Constituents, New Study Finds

WASHINGTON -- In its famous Citizens United decision in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door to big spending by outside groups, rejecting the argument that such unlimited contributions by corporations and other entities would tilt the political system away from average citizens. In his opinion for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the view that "independent expenditures do not lead to, or create the appearance of, quid pro quo corruption. In fact, there is only scant evidence that independent expenditures even ingratiate."

The Financial Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About Its Lack of Diversity

It's not unusual for the banking industry to challenge a new government rule. Ever since Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, the banks have sent forth their army of lobbyists anytime federal regulators try to enforce a new restriction, often resorting to the courts if they don't get their way. But their latest objection is particularly galling: They don't want the government or public to know about the diversity—or lack thereof—within their industry.

Washing Koch As White As Snow

Joe Scarborough recently got into quite a huff—and got the Morning Joe crew to huff with him—over Harry Reid’s attacks on David and Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialists who fund dozens of conservative causes and Republican campaigns. Reid had said, rather catchily for him, that Senate Republicans “are addicted to Koch.” The Senate majority leader also said the brothers “have no conscience and are willing to lie” in political ads, and that they’re “un-American” for trying to “buy America.”

Reid said he doesn’t begrudge the Kochs their wealth, but “what is un-American is when shadow billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system and benefit themselves and the wealthiest 1 percent.”

By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire

As the San Francisco bureaucrats on the dais murmured about why they weren’t getting anywhere near what we in the audience passionately hoped for, asked for and worked for, my mind began to wander. I began to think of another sunny day on the other side of the country thirteen years earlier, when nothing happened the way anyone expected. I had met a survivor of that day who told me his story.

A high-powered financial executive, he had just arrived on the sixty-sixth floor of his office building and entered his office carrying his coffee, when he saw what looked like confetti falling everywhere—not a typical sixty-sixth floor spectacle. Moments later, one of his friends ran out of a meeting room shouting, “They’re back.”

NAFTA Report Warns Of Trade Deal Environmental Disasters

WASHINGTON -- A report due to be released Tuesday aims to offer an object lesson to President Barack Obama: Free trade deals have high costs in unintended consequences for the environment, people's way of life, and local sovereignty.

The report by the Sierra Club and other groups in Canada and Mexico, released on the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, summarizes more than 100 nonprofit, government and scholarly studies of NAFTA, and draws a damning picture.

Parks handywoman suspended after reporting alleged indecent act in lunchroom

A city employee has been suspended from work for five days after she complained that a male colleague unzipped his pants and rubbed his body against her in the lunchroom.

Susan Rose, a maintenance worker with Toronto’s parks and recreation department, filed a workplace harassment complaint last summer following the incident, which prompted a five-month internal investigation.

Rose, who has worked for the city for 17 years, learned last week she would be suspended from her job over a comment she made to the employee before the encounter.

Women Don't Have More Sexual Partners When They Use Birth Control -- But Why Do We Care?

Women use birth control. Almost all of them. Abortion rates decrease when more women take birth control. Sex is better and more fun when women are on the pill. Oral contraceptives make life better for many women in ways that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.

Now that most women can reasonably expect to have sex without giving birth nine months later, they must be having tons of sex, right? Too much sex. Just an uninterrupted, condomless flow of high-risk sex.

Two million comments opposing tar sands expansion delivered to the U.S. State Department

The original plan of environmentalist groups in the U.S. was to deliver one million comments opposing Keystone XL to the State Department this morning. But the response from people all over North America speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline and the Canadian tar sands has been so enormous, a coalition of youth-driven environmental groups will now be delivering upwards of two million signatures to the doorstep of the White House this morning.

Dozens of organizations, including, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, SumofUs and the Centre for Media and Democracy, have come together to present Secretary of State John Kerry with two million reasons to say no to Keystone.

Chinese Officials Claims They Were Violently Tortured By Government

LILING, China (AP) — The local Chinese official remembers the panic he felt in Room 109. He had refused to confess to bribery he says he didn't commit, and his Communist Party interrogators were forcing his legs apart.

Zhou Wangyan heard his left thigh bone snap, with a loud "ka-cha." The sound nearly drowned out his howls of pain.

"My leg is broken," Zhou told the interrogators. According to Zhou, they ignored his pleas.

Tea Party Activists Aren’t Gearing Up For 2016 — They Want To Refight 1964

The conservative movement’s choice for president believes that whites-only lunch counters should be legal. He believes that business owners’ rights trump civil rights, that Medicare should be undermined or even destroyed, and that workers simply have too much power to demand better wages and working conditions from their employers.

Janus Joan Inc. Ordered To Compensate Disabled Worker It Paid $1.25 An Hour

A human rights tribunal has ordered an Ontario packaging company to pay nearly $187,000 to a developmentally disabled woman who was paid $1.25 an hour for years before being laid off along with all the other disabled people at the company.

Janus Joan Inc., of St. Catharines, Ont., was ordered to pay 45-year-old Terri-Lynn Garrie $142,000 in lost wages, plus nearly $20,000 in lost income due to being laid off and $25,000 in compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect, according to the Law Times.