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, February 02, 2016

Taxi drivers prepare to protest again February 12

Toronto taxi drivers are gearing up for another protest against Uber that will shut down major roads downtown.

That the rally falls on one of the busiest weekends this month – on February 12 as the city prepares for Family Day long weekend and to host the NBA All-Star Game – is no coincidence. The only thing that could stop the planned protest is if city council decides to file an injunction against UberX at its meetings this week.

After Bill To Drug Test Welfare Applicants Is Unveiled, Lawmaker Proposes Testing Legislators

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently.

In response, state House Delegate Shawn Fluharty has introduced legislation to drug test state lawmakers. Legislators would have to take a drug test before each voting session, and those that failed would be barred from casting a vote or receiving their pay. “I think the public expects us to adhere to the rules that we try to legislate,” he told WTRF. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t do it. It’s not going to cost the taxpayers any more money because we’re going to pay for it ourselves.”

Liz Cheney Announces She's Running For Congress In Wyoming... From Virginia

Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will run for Wyoming's lone House seat as a Republican, she announced Monday night on Facebook -- from Virginia.

"At this perilous time," Cheney wrote, "we must have a strong, conservative voice representing Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives. I am running because I will be that voice." There was one big problem: Cheney's post was geotagged -- from Alexandria, Virginia. (The geotag has since been removed.)

Cheney, a television pundit whose previous foray into Wyoming politics was a spectacularly failed primary campaign against Sen. Mike Enzi (R), may have an easier time winning the state's open House seat than she did trying to oust a sitting senator. But if she's trying to portray herself as a Wyoming native rather than a fixture of the Washington, D.C. elite, she's off to a bad start.

Original Article
Author:  Nick Baumann

Ted Cruz Just Won The Iowa Caucus. This Is His Radical Agenda For America.

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucus with about 28 percent of caucusgoers’ votes, edging out Donald Trump by 4 percentage points. His fellow senator, Marco Rubio, received 23 percent.

Cruz was hammered in Iowa for his stance against ethanol subsidies, a major boon to the corn-heavy state, but also netted endorsements from prominent Iowa conservatives like Bob Vander Plaats, an anti-LGBT activist who heads the Iowan organization The FAMiLY Leader.

Trump’s Attorneys Are Trying To Silence The Staffer Accusing Him Of Discrimination

DAVENPORT, IOWA — Attorneys for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are trying to stop Elizabeth Mae Davidson, the woman accusing the Trump campaign of gender discrimination, from speaking publicly about her allegations, Davidson’s attorney told ThinkProgress on Monday.

Davenport-based labor attorney Dorothy O’Brien said Trump’s attorneys contacted her client shortly after news broke on Sunday that Davidson was taking legal action against her former employer. Davidson was a field organizer for the Trump campaign in Iowa before she was fired on Jan. 14, one day after a New York Times article reported problems with the team Davidson worked for.

What the Bernie Sanders Unelectable Argument Says About Black Lives

There is something belittling about the language of the "Bernie Sanders is unelectable" fallacy -- something that is subliminally dismissive.

How is it possible that we live in a time when progressives say #blacklivesmatter, but call the ideas of Bernie Sanders too "radical" to implement, and conclude his "radical" ideas make him unelectable?

Canada Will Sign TPP Thursday, but Deal Far from Done

Later this week, the 12 countries that make up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive global trade deal that includes Canada, the United States, and Japan, will gather in New Zealand to formally sign the agreement. Signing the TPP is a major step forward for the controversial treaty, but questions still abound over whether it will be ratified and take effect.

While the Liberal government has been cautious about expressing its support -- International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has been consistent in calling for consultation not conclusions -- the decision to sign the TPP was never much in doubt. The agreement contains incentives to be an “original signatory,” since only those countries qualify for the rules related to entry into force of the agreement. To stay on the sidelines at this early stage might have kept Canada out of the TPP for good.

NDP Premier Rachel Notley lives the bitumen bust

The NDP promised to review royalties paid by Alberta natural gas and oil producers. Last Friday Premier Rachel Notley released the report and reacted to its findings.

It is well known that Alberta revenues from natural gas and oil have been a bargain for producers, and the four-member review panel pointed this out in its report.

It is also clear that company profits from today's prices of less than $30-a-barrel oil hardly represent pre-slump gains from more than $100 oil. Premier Notley acknowledged as much. Nothing in her announcement suggested the NDP was looking for increased government revenues from lower oil and gas prices.

Melanie Joly, Heritage Minister, Vows CBC Help After Years Of 'Planned Demolition'

The NDP pressed the federal government over its platform pledge to boost funding to CBC/Radio-Canada, days after the heritage minister hinted Liberals could renege on the marquee campaign promise.

“For 10 years the CBC was attacked and needs some oxygen,” NDP opposition heritage critic Pierre Nantel said in question period Monday. “The government made promises it has to keep them now.”

Jason Kenney's Heckling Of Harjit Sajjan Angers Liberals

Veteran Conservative MP Jason Kenney sparked controversy in question period Monday with a heckle directed at Canada's defence minister that a Liberal MP later deemed "racist."

Though Kenney rejected Liberal calls to apologize in the House of Commons, he took to Twitter to explain why he allegedly said MPs needed an "English-to-English translation" as Harjit Sajjan spoke about the government's plans to deal with the so-called Islamic State.

Michigan's Top Lawyer Just Picked A Side In Flint Water Case

Residents of Flint, Michigan, allege that state and city officials ignored evidence the city was pumping toxic water from the Flint River into their homes. Bill Schuette, Michigan's Republican attorney general, hasn't finished his investigation into whether any state laws were broken when Flint’s water was poisoned. But in the legal fight, Schuette is already picking sides: On Friday, he said in a court filing that his office probably can't ethically defend Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in court while defending certain lower-level state officials -- and those lower-ranking bureaucrats will need their own lawyers.

Hillary Clinton Is Not Electable

Sounds stupid right? Why would one of the most well-known figures in politics be unelectable? She's a woman. Her husband was previously POTUS. She has been a Senator and a Secretary of State. She gets millions from big donors to fund her juggernaut of a campaign. She has the support of the DNC as well as it's chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's bolstered by the mainstream media and they treat Hillary like she's Michael Jordan running down the open court for a dunk. Slamma jamma.

Facebook Is Changing Your News Feed In A Subtle But Important Way

Facebook is introducing a new way to track what you do on your News Feed.

The social network will now weigh two different factors when deciding what to show you, the company announced in a blog post Monday.