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 16, 2016
The strikes occurred amid discussions of a cease-fire to be implemented by Thursday. On paper, the cease-fire deal made last week by members of the International Syria Support Group -- most notably Russia and the U.S. -- is an unprecedented diplomatic success: they agreed to a "cessation of hostilities" and to expand humanitarian aid in the region. But the details of the deal are not promising.
More than 70 percent, which is 4 billion people, of the world's population lives without sufficient access to fresh water for at least one month of the year, according to a new paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
Previous studies calculated a lower number, estimating that between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people lived with moderate to severe water scarcity for at least a month out of the year.
The call came as Salim Alaradi's trial proceeded at the U.A.E. Federal Supreme Court, where the Canadian businessman of Libyan origin has pleaded not guilty to three terror-related charges.
The carpentry instructor, who grew up in the small Manitoba town of Dauphin, was about 12 years old when the four-year guaranteed annual income program was implemented in his rural hometown in 1974.
Dubbed Mincome, the program provided about 1,000 low-income families -- including the Richardsons -- with monthly cheques that topped up their household income to a base amount.
1. Some veterans are forced to wait as long as eight months to find out if they can receive benefits. The disability benefits program application is complex and time-consuming.
2. Many veterans must endure long delays in obtaining medical and service records from National Defence and long wait times for mental health assessments.
In a report released Tuesday, auditor general Michael Ferguson reviewed Ottawa’s efforts to join with Ontario and the United States to help keep General Motors and Chrysler afloat during the recession.
In the neighbouring Aleppo province, a missile struck a children's hospital in the town of Azaz, killing at least five people and wounding dozens on Monday. And in a nearby village, an air raid hit a school, killing seven and wounding others.
But until last week, they felt unfairly denied access to the benefits of social welfare organizations, United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the like. Now, these are rich people, so they wanted special social welfare groups, ones that would solely benefit rich people. And that’s exactly what they got.
The Canadian Wheat Board Alliance says more than 50 farmers from the Swan River and Pelly areas of Manitoba and Saskatchewan met last week and unanimously passed a resolution calling for the re-establishment of the Canadian Wheat Board.
The group says the loss of the single-desk system has resulted in an increasingly dysfunctional rail system, reduced grain quality guarantees to other nations and an overall loss of $6.5 billion in income to farmers over the last two years.
Former agriculture Minister Ritz passed legislation ending the Canadian Wheat Board, and last year half of its assets were sold to Saudi-owned G-3 Global Grain Group.
Author: The Canadian Press
If you ask people on the street who America's biggest water polluter is, for many, oil Goliaths like Exxon or Chevron might be first to come to mind - but not by a long shot would either of those be the correct answer.
It was an auspicious time for conservatives. Because of Powell, Rehnquist, and two other Nixon appointees to the high Court, public school desegregation began to unravel, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Miliken v. Bradley. Poor children were told that they did not have a right to the same educational resources provided to rich children by the Court’s 5-4 decision in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. As I write in my book, Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, before Nixon’s justices joined the Supreme Court, liberals could hope for a day where “poverty is itself unconstitutional.” After Nixon filled nearly half the bench, the Court’s days as an agent for economic justice were largely over.
Clinton has been painted by opponents, both among Republicans and those in her own party, as a stage-managed politician without a moral or philosophical center, a woman whose only burning passion is for her own election. Most significantly, she is perceived as someone who cannot be trusted to represent the interests of those who would vote for her.
Gabriel, 16, has suffered from serious respiratory problems like asthma for about a decade, Salas told ThinkProgress, and little has changed since he was first taken to a hospital. “His condition hasn’t improved,” she said in Spanish.
Warren, an acclaimed legal scholar, explained in a viral Facebook post that since the American people re-elected Obama in 2012, his power to nominate a replacement has already been approved by the voters.
Agreements such as NAFTA are turning the world into a free market planet, countries without borders. More and more, the multinationals are overriding the democratic process, so that the election of government to represent the will of the people is becoming a mockery. The autonomy or sovereignty of countries is being undermined by the new world order of neo-liberal dog eat dog free market ideology. The latest are CETA, TiSA and TPP.
But I would add this. You know, the Security Council finally got around to adopting a resolution. At the core of that resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva, which set forth a cease-fire and moving toward a political resolution, trying to bring the parties at stake in Syria together.
At least 3,545 noncombatants died and another 7,457 were injured by fighting last year in a 4-percent increase over 2014, the international organization said in its annual report on civilian casualties.
Why, Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to know, was the government not only refusing to defend the law, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, but arguing the other side — all while continuing to enforce it?
Yet nearly eight years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, it is evident that those who were responsible for bringing it about have managed to go completely scot-free. Not only that, they have been able to get governments to stick the costs of the crisis and the burden of the recovery on their victims.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) declared that President Obama should not nominate a successor this year and that the decision should be left for the next president. “We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court Justices in an election year,” he said.
The issues remain before the Court, but the balance of power just changed. Justice Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving member of the Court and one of its most outspoken conservatives, is dead. When the sun rose this morning, Republicans enjoyed a 5-4 majority on the nation’s highest Court. It sets on an evenly divided bench.
Financial fraud is at the heart of the coming crisis. In 2008 when a sector rife with fraud crashed, instead of having to face responsibility the too-big-to-fail banks were bailed out with public dollars. The public, meanwhile, bore the cost not just in dollars but also in lost jobs, lower wages and home foreclosures.
She has done this time and time again. Free college sounds great, but how would he get GOP governors to cooperate? Single-payer health care is popular with progressives, but how would he get Republicans in Congress to go along with it after the nasty Obamacare fight?
Dmitry Medvedev told a security conference in Munich that a lack of cooperation threatened to return the continent to “40 years ago, when a wall was standing in Europe”. He rejected the widely held belief that Russian planes had hit civilian targets in Syria.
Now use it to define what's being done to America today - our Big Story. Journalist and activist Naomi Klein did just that a couple of weeks ago when she and I talked at Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York about the Koch brothers' resistance to the reality of climate change.
A little over two decades ago, on December 2, 1993, the principle engineer of Colombia's infamous cocaine empire, Pablo Escobar, was killed while fleeing police on the barrio rooftops of his hometown, Medellin. Before he died he had amassed an organization of state-like power, challenging, in fact, the government of Columbia itself over the question of its extradition policies-and winning. Dubbed the Medellin drug cartel, his international cocaine operation grew to prominence functioning similarly to the corporations which dominate today's global economy. Escobar knew, by controlling every possible link in the drug chain from production to retail, he could corral suppliers under a single umbrella, dictate the price of his product, and severely limit any would-be competitors from challenging his power.
The Chancellor is considering plans to end more generous rebates for higher rate taxpayers on pension contributions and replace them with a flat rate of relief which could be as low as 20 per cent.
The allegations filed by three former Eritrean conscripts in B.C.'s Supreme Court accuse Nevsun Resources of being "an accomplice to the use of forced labour, crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses at the Bisha mine."