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, February 17, 2016

Sheldon Adelson Bets It All

It was around 10:30 p.m. when Steve Jacobs rolled down the gravel driveway. The air was warm for early January, even for Florida. Yellow boat lights bobbed on St. Augustine's harbor, and the scent of star jasmine hung on the breeze. Jacobs stepped onto his porch and found the door still locked. It had only been a few days since he had come home to find it mysteriously ajar.

Thanks To Citizens United, Your Boss Can Bring Politics Into The Workplace

WASHINGTON -- If you’re one of Nevada's 200,000 casino workers, you’re probably going to be getting a memo from your employer about the upcoming Nevada caucuses. The American Gaming Association has distributed a voter information guide to its member companies to hand out to employees.

The guide, a first for the casino trade group, aims to show employees where various presidential hopefuls stand on the issue of casino gambling. It lists candidates from both parties and grades them based on their positions.

Death of a Justice

With the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the November election may decide the fate of all three branches of the United States government. That's a pretty unique situation, and it may boost turnout on both sides of the aisle. In most presidential elections, there's a wonky argument to be made about Supreme Court picks, but it's not usually so front-and-center with most of the voting public. Hardcore partisans tend to care deeply about this kind of thing, but the average voter usually doesn't think about it all that much in the voting booth. This year, things will obviously be different.

China uproots 9,000 people for huge telescope in search for aliens

China is to relocate more than 9,000 people in the lead-up to the opening of the world’s largest radio telescope later this year – a move that Beijing hopes will boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life.

Work on the 1.2bn yuan (£127m) Fast (Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope) project began in the south-western province of Guizhou in 2011 and is expected to be completed by September.

University of British Columbia Votes To Keep Fossil Fuel Investments

VANCOUVER — The University of British Columbia's board of governors has voted against dumping the university's investments in fossil fuels.

The school's finance committee brought a motion not to support divestment, but instead to create a so-called sustainable future fund.

City Councils Oppose Mayors in Latest Broadband Battle -- Ottawa and Toronto motions support CRTC decision on open access web.

The Canadian battle over broadband services has taken an unexpected turn in recent weeks as Bell's effort to win high profile support for its appeal of a crucial ruling issued by Canada's telecom regulator appears to have backfired.

After support from Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson for the telecom giant came to light, city councillors in both cities fought back with motions rejecting the mayors' positions and expressing support for more competitive Internet services.

Drug companies wine and dine family physicians

A three-course dinner was served to the doctors assembled to hear the presentation in the restaurant’s private dining room.

After the plates were cleared, the speaker, a general practitioner with a specialty in chronic pain, wrapped up his lecture and slide show.

While discussing effective drugs for lower back pain that is moderate but persistent, he zeroed in: The best medication for that is Cymbalta.

Canada's monetary policy: Capital flows while Team Trudeau sleeps

United Technologies, a U.S. company flush with yearly profits of $7.6 billion, last week closed an Indiana air-conditioner manufacturing factory, and transferred over 2,000 jobs to Mexico.

Asked by Indiana Senator (D) Joe Donnelly about what this meant for Americans working hard to make their companies profitable, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen replied it was miserable for them, but her job was to see new jobs become available for laid-off Americans workers.

In effect, the U.S. Fed has a double mandate given it by Congress: keep inflation under control and promote full employment.

The 'good billionaire': Silicon Valley roots for Bloomberg for president

Michael Bloomberg may feel that his recent hints at a 2016 run for the White House have barely registered in a presidential year dominated by big characters and unexpected twists.

After the initial stir caused by news the former New York mayor was considering entering the 2016 race as a centrist, independent candidate, he has quickly receded to the shadows, barely discussed by either Democratic or Republican candidates.

Does Hillary Clinton Care About the Gender Pay Gap? Not When She Was Senator

Turns out despite all this talk about Hillary Clinton being a feminist candidate, she doesn’t always practice what she preaches. It’s a pretty a widespread statistic that women tend to make 77 cents for each dollar that men make in the same positions. The presidential candidate has even tweeted about these figures:

Yet, as a New York senator, Clinton took the disparity a few cents further (as well as several years back) and paid her female staff about 72 cents per dollar she paid her male staff, according to the Washington Free Beacon.