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.]

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Do BC Fish Get the Shaft in Ottawa?

For a province that prides itself on its pristine shores and myriad coastal industries, British Columbia lacks important representation on the Ottawa committees responsible for fisheries, according to a local filmmaker.

Damien Gillis, who has produced documentaries about environmental issues in B.C., said the limited number of British Columbians on fisheries committees explains what he sees as a lack of action on threats to salmon and the closure of West Coast coast guard stations and lighthouses.

Frozen: BC Welfare Rates Haven't Risen in Eight Years

In a gesture to British Columbia's lower-income residents, the government last month ended a much-reviled clawback on child support payments. But it did not increase general welfare rates. In fact, income assistance rates haven't budged for eight years.

And the province's finance minister has no immediate plans to raise rates.

"We continue to examine the rates," Mike de Jong told The Tyee in an interview. "As our financial health improves, it's an area that we may acquire more of an ability to address. We haven't found ourselves in that position to this point."

Why is the Harper government still treating veterans like the enemy?

Canada’s mission in Iraq comes up for renewal in April. The extension is pretty much a done deal; even Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who refused to support Canada’s original engagement, is making noises about coming on board for Round Two.

The reason is obvious: Liberal stock has fallen, while Tory fortunes have risen, on the issue of terrorism. Threats to Canada’s security have changed the public’s mood — maybe even the ballot question — in the run-up to this year’s election. For a government that needed a distraction from an uncertain economy, ethical lapses and voters’ natural appetite for change after nine years, the timing could not have been better.

Harper inadequate, inconsistent on China, former adviser says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former top foreign policy adviser has published a scathing critique of the Conservative government’s handling of relations with China.

David Mulroney, Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012, says Canada should boost its economic and diplomatic ties with China and even reinforce its naval presence off the west coast to show its serious about being a player in the region.

But Harper has failed to show adequate leadership and has been wildly inconsistent, with periods of estrangement and hostility followed by flurries of activity to try to woo Beijing, according to the ex-diplomat.

Ferguson Official Stated President Obama Wouldn't Last Long "Because What Black Man Holds a Steady Job for Four Years”

New details have emerged about the Justice Department's forthcoming reportfinding patterns of racial discrimination among officials and police officers in Ferguson, Missouri. Among the findings is an email saying that Barack Obama wouldn't last long as president because he's black and data showing that for years, traffic stops, use of force, petty crime charges, and affronts by police caninesdisproportionately targeted the city's black residents.

Meet the professors behind the swift assault on C-51

Prime Minister Stephen Harper must wonder what’s hit him.

When Harper announced Bill C-51, known at the Anti-Terrorism Act, at a campaign-style event in Richmond Hill, Ont., on Jan. 30, he might reasonably have judged that his government’s response to what he called “violent jihadism” was a sure political winner.

After all, polls show his Conservatives enjoy a solid edge over the New Democrats and Liberals on the fighting-terrorism file. On the policy details, the experts in security law at his disposal inside the federal public service easily outgun anyone in the opposition parties’ research bureaus.

Canadians' Mood On Economy Worst Since Great Recession: Report

The collapse in oil prices has evidently shaken Canadians’ faith in the economy, and public attitudes are the most sour they have been since the Great Recession, a new survey says.

The survey carried out for ad agency Bensimon Byrne found 55 per cent of respondents said Canada’s economy is in decline, while 45 per cent said it’s growing. The last time a majority was negative on Canada’s economy in this survey was November, 2009, when the country was beginning to dig out of the recession sparked by the 2008 financial collapse.

California Bill Would Stem Criminalization Of Homelessness Statewide

Anti-homelessness laws are on the rise in California, but one state lawmaker is pushing back against the trend.

Criminalizing homelessness has spiked in the Golden State, a tactic experts and advocates say achieves nothing but fostering a tense environment and more targeted violence against homeless people. To make the streets a more peaceful place, state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) introduced on Friday the Right to Rest Act, which would allow homeless people to move freely in public without fear of getting harassed or punished by authorities.

Domestic Violence Survivor Found Guilty Of Child Abduction For Fleeing With Daughter, May Be Deported

A unanimous jury found Korean immigrant detainee and domestic violence survivor Nan-Hui Jo guilty Tuesday of child abduction charges filed by her child’s father and alleged abuser, Jesse Charlton. Now, Nan-Hui is also facing deportation and permanent separation from her child immediately after the hearing.
Nan-Hui Jo fled the U.S. to South Korea in 2009 with her then one-year-old daughter Vitz Da (known as Hwi) to escape abuse by Vitz Da’s American father Charlton, an unstable Iraq war veteran diagnosed with PTSD. For years, Nan-Hui raised her daughter in Korea during which time Charlton, unbeknownst to Nan-Hui, filed child abduction charges against her. When Nan-Hui traveled to Hawaii last summer to consider schools for the American-born Hwi and perhaps re-connect her daughter with Charlton if it was safe, she was immediately arrested and sent to jail.

Iran: Netanyahu Speech To U.S. Congress 'Boring And Repetitive'

ANKARA, March 3 (Reuters) - Iran on Tuesday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress on Tehran's nuclear program as "boring and repetitive," the state news agency IRNA said.

In his address, Netanyahu warned U.S. President Barack Obama against negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran that would be a "countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare" by a country that "will always be an enemy of America."

"The speech today by the Zionist regime's prime minister was boring and repetitive ... and part of the hardliners' election campaign in Tel Aviv," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, IRNA reported. Iran says its nuclear energy program is solely for civilian purposes, not bombs, and it is in talks with six world powers with an end-June deadline. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Original Article
Author: Reuters