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.]

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Why Oil And Gas Giants Are Trying To Buy Three Local Elections In California

Santa Barbara rose to prominence in the environmental movement after a massive 1969 offshore oil spill drew national attention to the issue and changed the industry forever. Since then, the city and broader region has been a leader in environmental awareness, even as it sits on massive fossil fuel deposits. With residents set to vote on an anti-fracking ballot measure Tuesday, the next evolution in that ongoing dynamic could be one of the biggest turning points yet.

We Could End Hunger If We Recovered Half Of The 1.3 Billion Tons Of Food Wasted Each Year

Advocates claim a new, innovative website could help salvage some of the alarming amount of global food waste.

The Global Community of Practice on Food Loss Reduction was launched last week by three United Nations agencies -- the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program -- and aims to be a global resource for individuals and organizations hoping to curb food waste, according to a press release from the U.N.

Canada Is The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document

Canada singled itself out as the only country to raise objections over a landmark United Nations document re-establishing the protection of the rights of indigenous people last week. It was a gesture one prominent First Nation leader called “saddening, surprising.”

“Canada was viewed always as a country that upheld human rights,” said Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. “For Canada to be the only nation state to get up to make a caveat on the vote – that’s very telling.”

Midterm Anxieties

When does Ebola look like a gift? Apparently, when you are a Republican candidate for the Senate who sees it as a handy pretext for bringing up immigration politics while scaring people into voting for you. Thom Tillis, in a campaign debate in North Carolina with Senator Kay Hagan, put it this way: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got an Ebola outbreak. We have bad actors that can come across the border. We need to seal the border.” In New Hampshire, Scott Brown started off by conjuring up ISIS fighters slipping through spongy borders, then casually switched to Ebola-sickened hordes. “One of the reasons why I have been so adamant about closing our border,” he said, “is because if people are coming through normal channels—can you imagine what they can do through a porous border?” Both ISIS and Ebola provoke enough anxiety for most people to contemplate them without being goaded. There are, however, no reported instances of Ebola-infected immigrants crossing illegally from Mexico, and, with ISIS fighters busy in Iraq and Syria, it’s possible but not likely that they’re hanging out in Ciudad Ju├írez, planning a raid on Arizona, as Representative Trent Franks maintains. But, as Franks and his fellow-Republicans demonstrated, you don’t need to construct a plausible or even a coherent scenario to deploy such threats for political ends.

France's National Front Reaches Highest Membership Number Since Party Was Founded

The crisis among political parties is everywhere, or nearly. According to our information, Marine Le Pen's National Front (FN) now counts 83,000 fully paid-up members who are eligible to vote at the party's convention on November 29 and 30. That is twice the number claimed by the far-right party at the start of 2012.

An internal source in the far-right party says the figure represents, "give or take a few hundred", the electorate that is eligible to elect the president of the FN at its triennial convention. The figure was finalized on Oct. 31 before a bailiff, but another list will be added between now and Nov. 24.

Millions of minority voters threatened by electoral purge


Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.

UN climate change report offers stark warnings, hope

Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the United Nations' panel on climate science said Sunday.

The fifth and final volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's giant climate assessment didn't offer any surprises, nor was it expected to since it combined the findings of three earlier reports released in the past 13 months.

Who shot Yehuda Glick?

The Israeli narrative about the shooting of Jewish extremist Yehuda Glick raises many questions and doubts.

Yet it fits perfectly within a scenario sketched out by Glick himself that a spectacular act of violence targeting Jews would help bring forward his yearned for goal: the replacement of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque with a Jewish “Third Temple.”