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.]
Monday, March 23, 2015
LONDON—Nature has been replaced by humans as the driving force behind changes on the planet—and we need to take urgent action if we are to avoid our own destruction.
This is the view of two scientists—including a Nobel prize winner—who support the theory that the planet has entered a new Anthropocene epoch that has succeeded the Holoscene, the current geological warm period that began at the end of the ice age 11,500 years ago.
“When you really think about income splitting, it’s the equivalent of state-run socialism for the wealthy,” Michael Taube wrote in a column in the Toronto Sun.
“A few of us will shift income to get a tax credit directly from the government, paid for by taxpayers. Doesn’t have much to do with free enterprise and the private sector, I’m afraid.”
The 42-year-old Quebecois woman is known in Parliament for chasing the former minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, down a hallway to plead for help. Her husband, Claude Rainville, served for 20 years as a traffic technician in countries such as Rwanda, Syria and Haiti. "Mr. Fantino, as a spouse, can I talk to you please?" she yelled last May after a committee meeting, as the minister and his staff ignored her and kept walking.
As Dr. Jeff Ritterman has documented, Monstanto's herbicide, Roundup, has been linked to a fatal kidney disease epidemic, and has also been repeatedly linked to cancer.
Recently, a senior research scientist at MIT predicted that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, will cause half of all children to have autism by 2025.
In spite of estimates of a 75 percent or greater chance of an ecologically disastrous spill, the U.S. government is expected this week to give the green light to Shell Oil’s plan to restart drilling for petroleum in the Arctic.
Environmentalists who have campaigned against the proposed exploration by the Anglo-Dutch group in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska are likely to protest the decision, which was made by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Senator Ted Cruz wants you to think he is different: the video he released Monday morning ahead of his presidential campaign announcement was titled “Time for truth.” Those were also the first words he spoke at Liberty University after making his official announcement.
“If you compare to our parents or grandparents which built this country, I think we’re a little bit spoiled," admits Bjorn Knudsen, whose father worked for a large North Sea oil company.
Fifty years ago, Stavanger's biggest industry was canning herring. Now, this city is the country's de facto oil capital.
CIBC says its index of Canadian employment quality is at a 25-year low, and nothing the Bank of Canada can do to adjust interest rates is likely to fix the situation.
In fact, its job quality index has been trending down for the past 25 years and is 10 per cent below its level in the 1990s, the CIBC report said.
Dear Mr. O'Malley, or may I call you Peter?
Thank you for your letter and your highly perspicacious questions. You write:
"Harper has now decided that Canada must play an important role in the centuries-long Shia-Sunni war within Islam. Well okay, but I'm unclear which side we're on. I think we're now Shias, right?"Fact is, Canadians need to know the answer here, because under the new laws, if we promote support for the wrong warring Islamic sect, we could be subject to life in prison."Perhaps you could explain exactly why the sect we support is terrific, and why the sect we oppose should die."
After we at the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) broke that story, I still found the idea galling: that professionals, many of them scientists, allowed themselves to be cowed from using basic scientific language. After all, that keep-your-head-down mentality has allowed the administration of Republican Gov. Rick Scott to get away with this for the past four years. But perhaps it's also comforting. The employees I've found during my reporting are nonetheless the ones doing the long thinking, working to address the effects of climate change, even as they have to hunker to avoid political interference. They know they'll be here when Rick Scott is gone. So will the problems they're working on.
The parent of another senior tells me he stands at the mailbox for an hour every day waiting for a hoped-for acceptance letter to arrive.
Parents are also uptight. I’ve heard of some who have stopped socializing with other parents of children competing for admission to the same university.
The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that first-term Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will announce a presidential bid on Monday. He is expected to do so in a speech at Liberty University, a Lynchburg, Virginia-based Evangelical University founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell and known for its far-right social policies.
Every boxing fan wants to see the first pair settle matters in the ring this May 2 in Las Vegas. Conversely, no progressive politico relishes a fight between Trudeau and Mulcair. That’s because it just might leave Stephen Harper wearing the championship belt again.
Trudeau must be realizing about now that Mulcair is no Patrick Brazeau when it comes to inside fighting.
The group has not been rescheduled, the committee clerk confirmed to CBC News.
The NFA's lawyer, Solomon Friedman, had been scheduled to share a panel with Open Media executive director Steve Anderson and was expected to raise concerns about Bill C-51. The bill has already been roundly criticized for including measures that would let government departments share information, as well as for giving the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) broad powers to disrupt unlawful activity.
The little known Communications Security Establishment wanted to become more aggressive by 2015, the documents also said.
More than one-third of those professionals in Canada are Baby Boomers. And as they approach retirement, not enough young people are entering the sector to replace them. "The oil and gas industry... used to be the place to go to have a great career that could take you all over the world doing exciting things," said Jim Fearon, vice-president at the Canadian division of Hays, a recruitment firm that each year releases a report tracking the salary levels and demographics of oil and gas professionals across the world.
Franke James found herself on the federal government’s radar in the spring of 2011 after Canadian diplomats agreed to offer a $5,000 grant in support of a European art tour featuring James’s artwork. The grant was revoked a few days later by a senior director of the Foreign Affairs Department’s climate change division, who felt the funding would “run counter to Canada’s interests.”
There is no sign so far that the Tories will bow to opposition demands to soften the bill. Chief among critics’ concerns are worries about lawful protesters being labelled potential national security threats, dramatic additional powers at home and abroad for Canada’s spies, and insufficient independent oversight of the state’s increasingly powerful security apparatus.