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, June 30, 2015

Bill C-24 Is a Hostile Greeting to New Canadians

KELOWNA, BC -- While Canada Day is usually a time to celebrate the swearing in of new citizens, this year will be the first time that their citizenship will be marked with an asterisk, thanks to Harper's passage of Bill C-24.

The new law threatens dual citizens and immigrants to Canada with revocation of their citizenship. Now, citizenship can be revoked by a Citizenship Officer without a live hearing, without opportunity for appeal, without a judge, and for reasons other than a fraudulent application.

Will a 'Perfect Storm' Sink Europe?

Dark clouds are lowering over Europe's economic future, as three distinct tempests gather: the Greek crisis, Russia's incursion in Ukraine and the rise of populist political parties. Though each poses a considerable threat, Europe, aided by the recent cyclical pickup, is in a position to address them individually, without risking more than a temporary set of disruptions. Should they converge into a kind of "perfect storm," however, a return to sunny days will become extremely difficult to foresee any time soon.

Quebec Is Getting Ready to Block Websites It Doesn't Like

For governments accustomed to wielding their power to regulate local activity, the Internet has long been a source of frustration. From music sites to Uber to AirBNB, online services represent an enormous challenge to conventional government regulation, which typically relies on a jurisdictional hook to compel compliance.

While most reputable global companies can ill-afford to simply ignore laws or court orders, there are still websites that operate largely beyond the reach of government regulation. In response, some governments have attempted to regulate online behaviour, ordering Internet providers to block access to offending websites.

Is big pharma behind Clark's health firings?

They’re twisting in the wind.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark and her senior ministers are using every tactic in the book to avoid any sort of public disclosure of what happened behind the scenes when eight health researchers were illegitimately fired, one after the other, in the fall of 2012.

As a family physician for nearly 40 years, I have watched the pharmaceutical industry infiltrate into political and regulatory structures, as part of the general corporatization of society. What the Liberal government is now doing is simply one more example of how bought-and-sold officials sustain this pernicious process.

Europe's Attack on Greek Democracy

NEW YORK -- The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.

Harper's Rule Breaking Rush to Crush Unions

"There's nothing democratic about what's going on here. It's like watching the Roman Empire collapse." -- BC Liberal Senator Larry Campbell on Conservative senators imposing Bill C-377

Is there anything more undemocratic than Canada's most tainted organization -- the Conservative-controlled Senate -- breaking its rules and then overturning its own Conservative Speaker's ruling, all to hurriedly impose anti-union legislation before the federal election?

That's what happened last week with Bill C-377, an odious private members' bill shepherded from beginning to end by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's own office, passed by Parliament's Conservative majority and sent to the Senate for approval.

Computer glitch withholds $1.7M in EI payments to struggling families

The federal government hasn't provided hundreds of low-income families their full government benefits since at least 2007, an internal review has found.

A staff member at Employment and Social Development Canada recently identified a "system anomaly" that has been withholding employment insurance money from about 800 needy families in each of the last eight years.

Mulcair’s secret meetings with the Tories

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was in discussions in 2007 to join the Conservative party as a senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, discussions that several sources, including former senior Harper staffers, say was the first step in securing Mulcair to run as a Conservative candidate in 2008.

The negotiations between the Conservative government and the man who is today leader of the left-leaning official Opposition allegedly broke down over money: Mulcair wanted nearly double what Harper’s office offered, two sources tell Maclean’s.

Leaked Survey: World Bank A Place Of 'Fear And Retaliation'

Many World Bank Group employees complain the bank’s managers are shutting down internal debate and ruling by fear, according to a confidential survey obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The Huffington Post.

“The World Bank has evolved into a place of fear and retaliation,” one employee said, according to a 163-page compilation of open-ended comments that were submitted last year as part of an in-house bank survey. “Intellectual debate is no longer welcome. Management is inept and there is no captain in this ship. Senior management does not know its own organization ... only fear, fear, fear.”

The Housing Recovery Has Skipped Poor and Minority Neighborhoods

On October 11, 2009, when Isaac Dieudonne was two years old, his family moved into a new home in Miramar, Florida. As they began to unpack, young Isaac bounded out the front door in search of fun. The parents found him several minutes later, floating dead in the fetid pool of a foreclosed house.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, approximately 5.7 million properties have completed the foreclosure process, and stories like this begin to answer the critical question of what happens to all those homes. While many are resold, too often they fall into disrepair, creating blight that drags down property values and turns communities into potential deathtraps, attracting not just mosquitoes and mold, but crime and tragedy.

Justice Ginsburg Deals a Blow to Partisan Gerrymandering

In a victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of an independent commission to draw Arizona's congressional districts. Writing for a narrow majority in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of direct democracy and making sure the power of the people is not hijacked by its elected representatives.

"The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering," Ginsburg wrote. "In so acting, Arizona voters sought to restore 'the core principle of republican government,' namely, 'that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.'" Ginsburg's opinion was joined by the three other liberal-leaning justices and Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Angela Merkel Will Be Responsible For A Greek Exit From The Eurozone

If Greece leaves the eurozone in the coming days, it will be the result of decisions made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, more than any other institution or leader.

Although Greece has been negotiating with a so-called "troika" of institutional creditors -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, which represents the eurozone nations -- Germany is widely believed to be the creditor whose views are most decisive. The country is the single largest creditor in the series of bailout payments that the troika has provided to Greece since 2010. As such, Germany under Merkel’s leadership has been the lead architect of the loans-for-austerity policy Europe has used to manage the Greek debt crisis.

Paul Krugman Urges Greeks To Vote 'No' On Bailout Referendum

Paul Krugman is urging Greeks to vote “no” in a referendum that could determine their country’s future in the European Union.

In a New York Times blog post published Sunday evening, the Nobel Prize-winning economist argued that the July 5 referendum would simply preserve the same dysfunctional austerity regime that has left Greece languishing for five years.

Justices Breyer, Ginsburg Say It Is 'Highly Likely' The Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON -- Two liberals on the Supreme Court on Monday suggested that the death penalty itself may be unconstitutional, saying that it may violate the Eighth Amendment.

Both Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined two other liberals on the court in the dissent that suggested that states would be able to burn prisoners at the stake under the majority's ruling on Oklahoma's use of lethal injection drugs. But Breyer also wrote a dissent, joined by Ginsburg, which said the death penalty in any form may be unconstitutional.

Breyer wrote that he believed it was "highly likely that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment" and called for the court to address that "basic question." He suggested that the decline of the death penalty made it an "unusual" punishment that, for the past 40 years, has been "imposed arbitrarily."

Supreme Court Liberals: Lethal Injection Decision Would Allow Prisoners To Be 'Burned At The Stake'

WASHINGTON -- In a scathing dissent in the Supreme Court ruling on Monday which upheld Oklahoma's use of a lethal injection drug, some of the court's liberal justices suggested that the high court's ruling would allow prisoners to be "drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake" by states that wished to put them to death.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Eleana Kagan, wrote that the majority opinion in the 5-4 case left those sentenced to the death penalty "exposed to what may well be the chemical equivalent of being burned at the stake."

The Supreme Court Just Delivered A Victory To Coal Plants That Want To Emit Unlimited Mercury

Power plants may continue to be able to emit unlimited mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants thanks to the Supreme Court, which on Monday took steps toward invalidating the first-ever U.S. regulations to limit toxic heavy metal pollution from coal and oil-fired plants.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court found fault with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, commonly referred to as MATS.

This Move By The Supreme Court Probably Means The End Of Affirmative Action

On Monday, The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the case of Fisher v. University of Texasagain which does not bode well for supporters of affirmative action. In 2013, the case wasremanded and the U.S. Supreme Court voided the lower appellate court ruling. Then it was sent back to the Fifth Circuit court.

Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event Begins; 2015 on Pace to Become Hottest Year on Record

At the end of May, a few friends and I opted to climb a couple of the larger volcanoes in Washington State. We started on Mount Adams, a 12,280-foot peak in the southern part of the state.

We were able to drive to the Cold Springs Campground at 5,600 feet, where the climb would begin. This itself was an anomaly for late May, when the dirt road tended to still be covered with snowpack. But not this year, one in which Washington's Gov. Jay Inslee has already declared a statewide drought emergency, given this year's record-low snowpack.

America’s Got War: Poverty, Drugs, the Middle East and Terror

War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror.  The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you.  It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.

When you define something as war, it dictates the use of the military (or militarized police forces, prisons, and other forms of coercion) as the primary instruments of policy.  Violence becomes the means of decision, total victory the goal.  Anyone who suggests otherwise is labeled a dreamer, an appeaser, or even a traitor.

Postal workers' union alleges union-busting by Canada Post

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) alleges Canada Post is practising union-busting, after the Crown corporation dropped its contract with the unionized temporary agency that had been staffing its international parcel intake plants.
"Canada Post makes the decision as to who gets the contract, and we believed they deliberately went to a different company to avoid CUPW and to avoid having a unionized group of workers processing the parcels," said CUPW 3rd Vice-President George Floresco.

'Mother Canada': Harper builds another monument to himself

For those who still don't fully understand the game, the "Mother Canada" controversy should provide some enlightenment.
The discovery that Parks Canada has furnished $100,000 to the project -- after swearing that the statue in Cape Breton Highlands Park was a purely private project -- blows the lid off the scheme.
The political engineering on this comes from the Prime Minister's Office. This is Stephen Harper building yet another monument to himself.
It's not just the money. The fact that the rules governing national parks have been casually trashed to accommodate the project has the PMO's fingerprints all over it.

Dean Del Mastro legal fees subsidized by taxpayers

Canadians subsidized the legal fees of Dean Del Mastro, the former parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, through a fundraiser organized by his riding association that allowed it to provide tax receipts to contributors.

Political contributions are eligible for a tax credit of up to $650, depending on the amount contributed. A spokeswoman for the commissioner of Canada elections says there are no guidelines for how a riding association spends its money outside of an election period. That means the Peterborough Conservatives broke no rules.

Harper, his jailbirds and the march toward demockery.

Stephen Harper’s dead-end campaign for re-election hit a few potholes in the road this week: an unwanted photo-op of Dean Del Mastro being led off to jail in shackles; a really dumb TV performance from Kory Teneycke; and a weird internecine battle among Tories over the use of the PM’s name for fundraising.

First to the man who said “I am Peterborough,” without realizing the he is not really in the league of Louis the Sun King. Dean Del Mastro is an albatross around the neck of an already ethics-challenged Conservative party. The appropriately nicknamed Cons are simply debasing the base. The PM appointed Del Mastro his government’s spokesman on ethical and electoral matters. That’s akin putting Dr. Arthur Porter in charge of something really important like CSIS oversight…. Wait, Harper did that too!

Federal infrastructure fund spending favoured Conservative ridings

A federal infrastructure fund aimed at fixing up arenas and community centres was spent disproportionately in ridings represented by Conservative MPs, a Globe and Mail analysis shows, as the governing Tories prepare to roll out a nearly identical fund in the months before the fall election.

Ridings that elected Conservative members of Parliament in 2011 received, on average, 48 per cent more money from the $150-million Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund than ridings that elected opposition MPs, a Globe tally of more than 1,600 projects across Canada shows.

The inhumanity of the Gaza blockade and the need to end it now

UPDATE, June 29: Early Monday morning local time, the four ships in the Freedom Flotilla II were intercepted by Israel defence forces in international waters. According to the IDF, everyone on board has been detained. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has as of yet been unable to contact its allies on board. Canadian Kevin Neish and former chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Bob Lovelace, are among those on board the flotilla.

NDP Offers Clear Choice in Corporate Tax Debate

Many of Canada's federal general elections have been fought, and won or lost, on a single, dominant issue. In 1911 the battle was over free trade with the U.S. (The Tories fought it and won.) In 1988 it was free trade again. (The Tories were for it, and won.) During the two world wars conscription was the hot item. And this year?

Would you believe corporate taxes?

Lately that's the one topic provoking the New Democratic Party to attack Justin Trudeau, and Stephen Harper and his Conservatives to assault Tom Mulcair.

Only the NDP is proposing a boost in corporate taxes, which might pull some five billion more dollars into the Canadian treasury yearly. The Tories, meanwhile, say the rate shouldn't budge and Trudeau has mused aloud about cutting it further.

Anatomy of a Stephen Harper Photo Op

It doesn't get more salt-of-the-earth than when the prime minister stands in front of a Canadian flag surrounded by regular folks to announce students can now apply to a program.

Wait. Given what Tyee reporting has brought to light, let's amend that opening paragraph.

It doesn't get more salt-of-the-earth than when the prime minister stands in front of a Canadian flag surrounded by regular folks (vetted ahead of time) (for a photo) (during an election year, bill sent to taxpayers) to announce students can now apply to a program (announced the year before and many times after) (harnessing the fully co-operative PR team of the publicly funded institution he is visiting).

Seniors going bankrupt in soaring numbers

Judy Southon never imagined it would come to this. She and her husband Vic had good jobs, raised a son and were homeowners. But after a run of bad luck, the 67-year-old wound up deep in debt and had to declare bankruptcy.

"I was scared and shocked," says Southon, who lives in Toronto.

The golden years have become a tarnished chapter for some. Seniors are carrying more debt into retirement and, as a result, a growing number are going bankrupt.

'Broken' adoption systems leaves children stranded despite couple ready to adopt

A childless couple are giving up on adoption after battling what they say is a broken system that leaves thousands of Canadian children stuck in provincial care instead of placing them with willing families.

"It wasn't impatience that made us stop adoption — it was a loss of faith completely in the system. When you start to wonder, 'What the hell is going on?'" Lori Niles-Hofmann told Go Public.

What was going on, she said, were long, unexplained delays, no answers and no accountability.

Judge signals it’s time to offer relief from ‘backbreaking’ fines

A judge on Ontario’s top court is strongly suggesting a change of legislation to commute “old and backbreaking fines” for people who struggle to pay them years after their conviction, having a negative impact on their lives.

Justice Peter Lauwers, of the Court of Appeal, was presiding in the case of Toronto resident Keith Jaques, who had requested more time to appeal fines dating back to 2007 and totaling more than $10,000, for driving with a suspended licence and without insurance.

Israel Blocks 4-Vessel Flotilla Of Foreign Activists From Reaching Gaza

JERUSALEM, June 29 (Reuters) - Israeli forces boarded a boat leading a protest flotilla of foreign activists to the blockaded Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Monday and forced it to sail to an Israeli port, the Israeli military said.

Activists said the boat also carried a group of journalists and politicians, among them former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and a European Parliament lawmaker for Spain.

Israeli troops boarded the boat in international waters then searched and seized it, an Israeli military statement said. No bloodshed was reported.

Some States Are Still Trying To Resist Gay Marriage

County clerks in Texas will be able to turn away gay couples seeking marriage licenses, the state's attorney general Ken Paxton (R) announced on Sunday.

Clerks can refuse based on religious objections, Paxton told the Austin American-Statesman, and because the clerks will probably be sued, "numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs," he said.

Texas was one of 13 states that banned gay marriage before the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that those bans were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage across the country. Therefore, it's not surprising that its lawmakers are trying to resist following the ruling.

Police face little accountability, five years after the Toronto G20

In the months after the Toronto G20 Summit, public outcry over the perceived lack of police accountability in what was famously described as “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history” rose to a deafening tenor.

Police chief Bill Blair asked for patience, explaining he could not fire officers without disciplinary hearings, and that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which probes serious injuries involving police, had “first crack.”

Predominately Black Churches In Four States Have Been Destroyed By Fire In The Past Week

At least four predominantly black churches have caught fire in the last week, including at least three that have been the subject of arson, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports.

The string of blazes, which have occurred in four Southern states and Ohio, comes a week after nine people were gunned down at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. Dylann Roof, 21, has been charged with nine counts of homicide and possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime.

Gay Marriage and the GOP Sigh of Relief

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a right to marriage equality for all on Friday, there was an unexpected undertone to many of the official Republican reactions: relief. They didn’t echo Justice Antonin Scalia’s enraged dissent, which was dripping with contempt for his colleagues (“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court"). Plenty of social conservatives were apocalyptic, especially given the court’s Obamacare decision the day before (Rush Limbaugh despaired "a culture that is under assault and deteriorating rapidly"). But many Republicans quickly moved on to more defensible territory—that if gay marriage is going to be legal, religious conservatives should be shielded from participating in it.

Huckabee: Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Don’t ‘Have A Choice’ But To Engage In Civil Disobedience

Former Arkansas governor and current GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is calling on opponents of marriage equality to engage in acts of civil disobedience, saying that conservative Christians don’t “have a choice” but to directly challenge the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

China's Stock Market Is Crashing: What You Need To Know

NEW YORK — After a sizzling rally that more than doubled the value of China's main stock market over the past year, investors are now heading for the exit.

China's Shanghai Composite plunged more than 7 per cent Friday, one of its biggest drops in the last 10 years. The index is down 19 per cent since its recent high reached June 12.

Workers at GM plant growing anxious with Camaro production set to end

With the production of Chevrolet Camaros in Canada on its final lap, and the last iconic muscle car set to roll off assembly lines at the end of November, workers at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont., are growing increasingly worried about their future.

GM announced near the end of April that it will cut about 1,000 positions from the factory on Nov. 20, to coincide with the end of the Camaro's seven-year run in Canada.

Gap between Canada's middle class, wealthy 'starting to run away': report

A Canadian think-tank says the gap between the country's richest citizens and the middle class is starting to "run away," with wealthy 20-somethings now estimated to have a "half-a-million dollar head start" over their middle-class peers.

The report was released by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives earlier this week. It analyzed data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Financial Security, collected from 1999 to 2012.

Key emails in Prime Minister's Office at risk of deletion, report finds

Emails in the Prime Minister's Office are at risk of disappearing forever, and need to be better monitored to prevent staff from improperly deleting them.

That's the conclusion of a 16-month probe by Canada's information commissioner, triggered by the temporary disappearance of emails crucial to the RCMP's criminal investigation of Senator Mike Duffy over inappropriate expenses and housing allowance claims.

Right-wing extremism a greater threat in North America

The Charleston massacre at a historic black church served as a wake-up call in the U.S. to what some have dubbed “the other terror” — the threat posed by white supremacists, right-wing extremists and anti-government zealots.

Translation: the threat not posed by Al Qaeda or Islamic State extremists, which dominate today’s headlines and political agenda.

Washington’s New American Foundation released a study last week showing that nearly twice as many people were killed in the U.S. by non-Muslim perpetrators.

Could the Toronto G20 happen again?

It was the largest collective soul-searching in recent Toronto history.

In the bruised and battered aftermath of the G20 Summit, civil liberties advocates, former judges and watchdogs of all stripes dug into what went wrong during that fateful weekend in June 2010.

The dozens of recommendations contained in the pile of reports they produced strove toward a singular goal: to prevent a similar curtailment of civil liberties from ever happening again.

EU ministers refuse bailout extension for Greece as referendum looms

Europe’s single currency entered the stage of rupture for the first time in its 16-year life on Saturday night when 18 governments told Greece its bailout package would be terminated within days. The country plunged towards financial collapse after its leftwing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, abandoned negotiations and called a referendum on his lenders’ terms for continuing the lifeline.

An emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers took place in Brussels on Saturday evening without Greece for the first time since the crisis began in 2010. It turned into a crisis planning session devoted to quarantining Greece and insulating the rest of the eurozone from the impact of anticipated financial mayhem.

Mother Canada Monument Provokes War Of Words

INGONISH, N.S. - Rhadie Murphy has spent her life on the rugged coastline that snakes along Cape Breton's northern flank, its pink granite rocks stretching out near her home in the heart of Ingonish.

The 72-year-old is unreserved in her pride and praise of the small community on the eastern edge of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, calling that piece of the Cabot Trail "the most beautiful place in the world."

So Murphy and her large family were left shaking their heads in bewilderment when their tranquil hometown took centre stage in a fractious debate over Mother Canada, the towering war monument that could adorn their shoreline.

Native Children Are Facing A 'National Emergency.' Now Congress Is Pushing To Address It.

Robert Looks Twice grew up in a trailer with his grandmother, uncle and eight cousins on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Looks Twice, along with two other young Native people from Pine Ridge, was a subject of Diane Sawyer's "Children of the Plains," a special that first aired on ABC in 2011.

For many Americans, "Children of the Plains" was a startling glimpse into the poverty and despair affecting the lives of Native Americans. Five cousins share a single bedroom with a collapsing ceiling. People carry the scars of generations of alcoholism and addiction. They spend their days broken and weeping in the quivering grass of the hills where their ancestors -- Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull -- captured Custer's American flag at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876; where the 7th cavalry massacred the Lakota and poured their bodies into a mass grave at Wounded Knee in 1890. This is what happened to the first peoples of this land. This is the lot left to their children.

What's Missing From the Marriage Decision

Today's Supreme Court decision recognizing the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry is a milestone in America's journey toward equal citizenship for all, regardless of sexual orientation. And while those of us who support marriage equality are right to rejoice, there remains one thing missing from Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion: he refused (once again) to say that all laws that discriminate against LGBT people are subject to heightened judicial scrutiny.

Julian Assange: Mainstream Media Rife With Censorship

Seung-yoon Lee, CEO and co-founder of Byline and contributing editor to The WorldPost, recently conducted a rare exclusive three-hour interview with Julian Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador, London. The interview has been serialized into three parts.

In part two of the series, Assange reflects on media -- how it works, whether there is hope in new media models and citizen journalism and whether he prefers Rupert Murdoch or Eric Schmidt. Read the original interview here. Read part one here.

Why A Bailout Deal That Keeps Greece In Europe May Endanger Greek Democracy

An emerging bailout deal between Greece and its creditors likely would continue the status quo of austerity. This ongoing economic pain may embolden Greek authoritarian political forces that have ties to Russia, experts say.

Greece is still negotiating with lenders over how budget-tightening in a bailout deal will be distributed. But the country has already agreed to targets that economists have said will depress Greece’s economy, regardless of who shoulders them. Without a bailout deal or an extension of payment deadlines, Greece will default on installments due in the next few weeks.

Greece's Bailout Money Doesn't Really End Up In Greece

In 2010 and 2012, Greece accepted bailout deals from European creditors totaling hundreds of billions of euros in order to prevent the collapse of the Greek banking system. The funds kept Greece from a potential default that would force it out of the eurozone, but most of the enormous sum of money involved in the bailouts ultimately didn't end up funding public services or directly going to the Greek people.

Ted Cruz Wants To Be Able To Vote Out Supreme Court Justices

After calling the last day "some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is now calling for Supreme Court justices to face elections.

In a National Review op-ed published Friday, Cruz chastised the high court for its decisions to reject a major challenge to Obamacare and to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.