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.]

Friday, April 15, 2016

The CRA is far too cozy with the accounting industry

It might look like a good start, but the Trudeau government’s planned crackdown on tax evaders is doomed to failure unless it also forces a radical culture change at the top of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Reacting to the storm of outrage provoked worldwide by last week’s publication of the Panama Papers — a veritable global Who’s Who of the super wealthy and those who enable them in their efforts to hide their assets — Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier has made public a series of measures aimed at running down the tax shirkers and earning an extra $2.6 billion in federal revenue over the next five years.

Tennessee Passes Anti-LGBT Counseling Bill

Tennessee legislators on Monday passed a bill that could jeopardize access to mental health treatment for LGBT individuals, part of a string of recent anti-LGBT legislation in the South.

The GOP-sponsored bill, which now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam (R), allows therapists and counselors to reject patients they feel would violate “sincerely held principles.” Haslam hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the bill into law.

Inside Erik Prince’s Treacherous Drive to Build a Private Air Force

ON A CRISP SATURDAY in November 2014, a black Mercedes SUV pulled onto the tarmac of an Austrian specialty aviation company 30 miles south of Vienna. Employees of the firm, Airborne Technologies, which specialized in designing and equipping small aircraft with wireless surveillance platforms, had been ordered to work that weekend because one of the company’s investors was scheduled to inspect their latest project.

Sanders on Clinton: Not Unqualified, Compromised

As the Sanders surge continues, the Democratic presidential contest has gotten
chippy. After Clinton called Sanders “unprepared” to be president, Sanders responded he thought she was “unqualified.”

The chattering classes went off. Democrats were rending garments and ringing hands worried about the campaign getting too negative and personal. Guy Cecil, director of one of the Clinton armory of SuperPacs, played the inevitable sexist card. President Obama felt it necessary to weigh in, with his spokesman Eric Schultz saying Obama believes Clinton” comes to the race with more experience than any non-vice president in recent campaign history.” More experience, in other words, than anyone except Al Gore, daddy Bush and Richard Nixon.

The Assad Files

The investigator in Syria had made the drive perhaps a hundred times, always in the same battered truck, never with any cargo. It was forty miles to the border, through eleven rebel checkpoints, where the soldiers had come to think of him as a local, a lawyer whose wartime misfortunes included a commute on their section of the road. Sometimes he brought them snacks or water, and he made sure to thank them for protecting civilians like himself. Now, on a summer afternoon, he loaded the truck with more than a hundred thousand captured Syrian government documents, which had been buried in pits and hidden in caves and abandoned homes.

Director Brennan: CIA Won't Waterboard Again — Even if Ordered by Future President

CIA Director John Brennan told NBC News in an exclusive interview that his agency will not engage in harsh "enhanced interrogation" practices, including waterboarding, which critics call torture — even if ordered to by a future president.

"I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I've heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure," Brennan said.

Aboriginal Community In Canada Declares Suicide Crisis Emergency

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian aboriginal community of 2,000 people declared a state of emergency on Saturday after 11 of its members tried taking their own lives this month and 28 tried to do so in March, according to a document provided by a local politician.

The declaration was signed by Chief Bruce Shisheesh of the remote northern community of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario. It was provided to Reuters Sunday night by the member of parliament for the area, Charlie Angus, who said in an interview, “This is a systemic crisis affecting the communities.”