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 02, 2016

Growing Number Of GOP Politicians Refuse To Back Donald Trump In The General Election

WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said Wednesday that he won't vote for Donald Trump, even if he becomes his party's presidential nominee.

"I’m not going to vote for him in November," Baker told reporters, according to the Boston Globe, noting that he also didn't vote for Trump in the state's Super Tuesday primaries. Trump still easily won Massachusetts, capturing nearly half of the vote.

CETA Announcement Shows It's Possible To Fix Trade Deals

After some rather minor tinkering with one part of the CETA free trade deal with Europe, our new Liberal government is now saying the deal could be signed, ratified and in force by 2017.

Not so fast.

There is still much to be concerned with here. But we can still fix what's wrong, and not just with CETA. The announcement Monday proves that.

As violence erupts at Super Tuesday Trump rally, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed at future events

On Monday, 30 black students attending a Donald Trump rally at Valdosta State University in rural Georgia were forcefully ejected — simply for being black.

On Tuesday, in Louisville, Ky., what happened to young black protesters at another Trump rally wasn’t just racist — it appears to be outright criminal.

While we have already widely reported that white supremacists are openly proclaiming that they are fully emboldened and energized by Trump, the natural progression of their romance with Trump is now on full display.

Larry Fink and His BlackRock Team Poised to Take Over Hillary Clinton’s Treasury Department

Goldman Sachs paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 for three speeches, but an even bigger Wall Street player stands ready to mold and enact her economic and financial policy if she becomes president.

BlackRock is far from a household name but it is the largest asset management firm in the world, controlling $4.6 trillion in investor funds — about a trillion dollars more than the annual federal budget, and five times the assets of Goldman Sachs. And Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, has assembled a veritable shadow government full of former Treasury Department officials at his company.

Orrin Hatch Gives Trump A Pass On The KKK

With Donald Trump exiting Super Tuesday still looking like the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, some establishment Republicans are interpreting his comments in ways that will allow them to support him despite the race-related controversies embroiling his campaign.

One such Republican is Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who backs Sen. Marco Rubio for president but has said he’ll support whoever ends up supporting whoever ends up being the GOP candidate.

Uranium Mining Is Coming To The Grand Canyon, If Koch-Backed Group Gets It Way

A dark money group backed by Charles and David Koch is behind a well-funded effort to undermine protections at the Grand Canyon and overturn the Antiquities Act, the law President Teddy Roosevelt used to permanently protect the area in 1908. If successful, the campaign could stop a permanent ban on uranium mining near the canyon’s rim, despite support for such a ban by a vast majority of Arizonans.

Middle East Summers Could Become Unlivable By End Of Century

James Hansen has a dire warning for the Middle East and tropical areas: Summer is coming.

By the end of the century, the so-called "father of global warming" predicts that rising temperatures caused by human-induced climate change will render the countries that already experience hot summers unlivable during those months.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Shouldn't Be Welcoming Loan Sharks Into the Democratic Party

We know that the most vulnerable among us were hit the hardest during the 2008 financial crisis. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes, and their bank accounts. That's enough to make you sick to your stomach. But for many, it got worse.

Predatory payday lenders stepped in to profit during the financial crisis. They targeted poor communities -- and people without access to credit from banks -- by offering them short-term loans at sky high interest rates.

China testing Obama as it expands its influence in Southeast Asia

The Obama administration has been forcefully trying for nearly six years to prod China to abide by the usual international rules and to curb Beijing’s controversial claims of Chinese sovereignty over a maritime corridor in Southeast Asia.

But new evidence is emerging that China has been playing a familiar game of ignoring U.S. warnings or concerns, this time by installing radar, missiles and jet fighters on a series of reefs and atolls over which it has asserted control in the South China Sea. The long-simmering dispute in this far-flung spot on the globe represents yet another test for President Obama’s foreign policy in this final year of his presidency.

The Clinton Dynasty Scrambles to Stay on Top

Bernie Sanders has been called a lot of things by the Hillary Clinton campaign and its assorted hench-people. But "king"? That's a new one, to say the least.

New and unexpected, considering the source: Chelsea Clinton, only child of the Clinton dynasty - which, besides the Bushes, is as close to a political royal family as exists in the US today.

The White Nationalist Strategy That Explains Donald Trump’s Success With Republicans

After Mitt Romney’s resounding loss to President Obama in 2012, the Republican Party did some much-publicized soul-searching. The so-called “autopsy report” published by the Republican National Committee owned up to one glaring lesson: as the face of America continues to get browner, the party needed to extend its appeal past its traditional base of older white men or face obsolescence.

“It is imperative that the RNC changes how it engages with Hispanic communities to welcome in new members of our Party,” the report declared, later adding, “The Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.”

Trump-Backing CNN Contributor Jeffrey Lord: KKK Had A ‘Progressive Agenda’

During a heated exchange that came on the heels of Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday victory press conference, Trump-backing CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord attempted to turn the tables on those who are criticizing Trump for not more aggressively disavowing his endorsement from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

Nato chief: Vladimir Putin 'weaponising' refugee crisis to 'break' Europe

Vladimir Putin is purposefully creating a refugee crisis in order to “overwhelm” and “break” Europe, Nato’s military commander in Europe said today.

Gen Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the US European Command, said that President Putin and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had “weaponised” migration through a campaign of bombardment against civilian centres.

Work until you're 75 - or even 81 - under Government review of state pension age

Millions of people could be forced to work until they are 75, the Government has hinted as details of a review into the state pension age were published.

Ministers have announced a radical review of the pensions regime amid concerns that he current system is not "affordable in the long-term".

Tory Benefit Cuts Will Leave 2.6 Million Children In Poverty, Institute for Fiscal Studies Forecasts

Tory benefit cuts will lead to more than 2.6 million British children living in poverty by 2020, a new study has revealed.

The research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) forecasts that another four years of David Cameron’s Government will mean the poorest households, particularly larger families and single parents, will be hardest hit.

Don’t Be Fooled — Lindsey Graham and the GOP Establishment Are Just as Crazy as Donald Trump

Lindsey Graham has been posing as the voice of reason in the Republican Party for the past few weeks, warning Tuesday that if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic standard-bearer, then “crazy loses to dishonest” in the public’s eye.  There isn’t any real evidence that Hillary Clinton is personally dishonest in the way that Graham is charging.  She’s just a politician.

But of course there is a lot of evidence that Donald Trump is unbalanced.

How a BC Union Dumped Fossil Fuels and Cashed In

"Hey, you placed an order to move all of your money out of equities. What's going on?!"

No surprise that the investment manager was twitchy. BC Government and Service Employees' Union treasurer Paul Finch expected a reaction when he pulled $20 million from Canadian equities in one day in 2014.

Both the strike fund, and the union's general reserves -- Finch told the investment managers to sell the equity holdings. Now.

Apple vs. the FBI: Picking the lock of private data

If you're feeling confused about the Apple vs. the FBI saga, relax. That's perfectly normal. Over the past couple of weeks it's been a dizzying and challenging saga, even for tech observers. And, it's been a hard one to write about because every day it seems like there's a new twist.

So, perhaps, the way to cut through all that is to think about what is at stake, rather than what has taken place. In short, for me the case comes down to this question: should citizens be able to know something that the government cannot get access to?

Ted Cruz Doesn't Want To Anger Donald Trump's KKK Fans

HOUSTON -- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz returned to his roots Monday night for a rally in the chapel auditorium of Houston Baptist University, where he was touted as a man of faith by his own pastor.

After laudatory speeches from former Gov. Rick Perry (R) and current Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the senator bore witness to his faith -- "I know the meaning of God’s grace through Jesus," he said -- and recited a long list of reasons why Donald Trump should not be the Republican presidential nominee.

FBI Director Admits He Could Unlock Everyone's Phones if the Feds Win Their Fight With Apple

FBI Director James Comey has answered congressional questions about his fight with tech companies over access to encrypted devices and messages in the past. But rarely has he endured the kind of inquisition he faced on Tuesday afternoon before the House Judiciary Committee.

San Francisco Deputies Charged For Allegedly Forcing Inmates To Fight

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two sheriff department deputies and one former deputy were charged for allegedly turning the county jail here into a "fight club" where two mismatched inmates were forced to battle each other while guards watched, according to the San Francisco district attorney and the FBI.

If the inmates, who were significantly different in size, refused to fight, the former deputy threatened to handcuff them, beat them and douse them with Mace or shock them with a Taser, according to District Attorney George Gascon.