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, May 11, 2016

Donald Trump Doesn’t Plan To Release Any Of His Tax Returns

In a break with recent presidential nominees, Donald Trump said Tuesday he does not plan to release any of his tax returns before the November elections because of an ongoing IRS audit.

“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press, further claiming that he does not believe voters are interested in their contents.

Donald Trump, Bucking Calls to Unite, Claims ‘Mandate’ to Be Provocative

Donald J. Trump’s behavior in recent days — the political threats to the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan; the name-calling on Twitter; the attacks on Hillary Clinton’s marriage — has deeply puzzled Republicans who expected him to move to unite the party, start acting presidential and begin courting the female voters he will need in the general election.

But Mr. Trump’s choices reflect an unusual conviction: He said he had a “mandate” from his supporters to run as a fiery populist outsider and to rely on his raucous rallies to build support through “word of mouth,” rather than to embrace a traditional, mellower and more inclusive approach that congressional Republicans will advocate in meetings with him on Thursday.

Brazil’s Democracy to Suffer Grievous Blow Today as Unelectable, Corrupt Neoliberal is Installed

In 2002, Brazil’s left-of-center Workers Party (PT) ascended to the presidency when Lula da Silva won in a landslide over the candidate of the center-right party PSDB (throughout 2002, “markets” were indignant at the mere prospect of PT’s victory). The PT remained in power when Lula, in 2006, was re-elected in another landslide against a different PSDB candidate. PT’s enemies thought they had their chance to get rid of PT in 2010, when Lula was barred by term limits from running again, but their hopes were crushed when Lula’s handpicked successor, the previously unknown Dilma Rousseff, won by 12 points over the same PSDB candidate who lost to Lula in 2002. In 2014, PT’s enemies poured huge amounts of money and resources into defeating her, believing she was vulnerable and that they had finally found a star PSDB candidate, but they lost again, this time narrowly, as Dilma was re-elected with 54 million votes.

Democratic Convention Hosted by Republican Donors, Anti-Obamacare Lobbyists

The Democratic Party’s 2012 platform pledged to “curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests.” But the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality.

The Hypocrisy Of Trump’s Refusal To Release His Tax Returns

In an interview with the Associated Press, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump revealed that he will not release any of his tax returns before election day.

Previously, Trump blamed an ongoing audit for his failure to release returns, an excuse that was questioned by tax experts. As recently as Sunday, Trump pledged to release the returns “as fast as the auditors finish.” Last October, Trump said he would release his tax returns once Hillary Clinton released her emails. Now, Trump adds that he’s not planning to release them because “there’s nothing to learn from them” and voters aren’t interested in the information.

Poor People Don’t Stand A Chance In Court

Your landlord has decided to evict you and your family has nowhere to go. Or you’re in an abusive relationship and need a restraining order and probably a divorce and custody order for your children. Or you’re a homeless veteran trying to get VA benefits and navigate the complicated claims process. Or you’re being hounded by a collector for a debt you can’t pay who’s threatening to take away all of your income.

Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Turn Silicon Valley Into Detroit?

The proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) like to describe it as a free-trade deal for the 21st century. That might be a good sales pitch, but it’s not accurate. The TPP has little to with reducing trade barriers, which in most cases were already low. The TPP can more accurately be described as a piñata, that is chock full of special deals for the corporate interests who negotiated it. It will likely do more to impede trade than promote it, and in the process it creates rules that potentially override democratic decision-making at all levels of government.

Hedge funds win no matter what: These are the obscene salaries of the industry’s top managers

For the world’s top hedge fund managers, 2015 was a fantastic year, with an astounding amount of money made. Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine released its annual review of how the top managers fared last year, and the tally for the group of 25 came in at nearly $13 billion, up 10 percent over 2014. In any year, that figure would likely grab headlines, but considering that it was the worst year for funds since 2011 – with Atlantic Investment Management founder Alexander Roepers telling the Wall Street Journal “Everything went wrong” – those totals seem particularly enormous.

The Bundys won’t go away: The family gears up for another battle — which means more embarrassment for conservatives

Even though the occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon ended in arrests and one death, the right-wing militia movement that swirls around the Bundy family of Nevada is still hard at work, dismantling what was left of the good reputation of the more libertarian strain of conservatism in the western United States.

Cliven Bundy, the patriarch of the family that got arrested in February for allegedly threatening federal agents rather than pay his grazing fees, is in the news again for suing President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid, Reid’s son, former Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, and U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro for supposedly violating his constitutional rights.

Senate Kicks Off Debate Over Reauthorizing Controversial NSA Programs

The Senate Judiciary Committee summoned a handful of cybersecurity, privacy, and national security experts on Tuesday to lay out the pros and cons of reauthorizing the law the NSA says authorizes it to collect hundreds of millions of online communications from providers like Facebook and Google as well as straight off the internet’s backbone.

Meet The Men And Women Behind Donald Trump

It finally happened: Donald Trump, the blustery billionaire businessman, is the Republican Party’spresumed nominee for president.

But when Americans head to the polls in November, they will not only be choosing between Trump and the Democratic Party’s nominee. They will be choosing between a whole slew of people who will advise the two candidates. Knowing who those people are, and how they have historically operated in the political world, is crucial to understanding what kind of sprawling, consequential decisions will be made from the White House.

Trump Selects a White Nationalist Leader as a Delegate in California

On Monday evening, California's secretary of state published a list of delegates chosen by the Trump campaign for the upcoming Republican presidential primary in the state. Trump's slate includes William Johnson, one of the country's most prominent white nationalists. [Update: Responding to this story late Tuesday, the Trump campaign blamed Johnson's selection on a "database error," and Johnson told Mother Jones he would resign. Here are documents showing the Trump campaign's personal correspondence with Johnson yesterday.]

Watch Donald Trump Brutally Trash Paul Ryan

This week the big political news—so far—is the tête-à-tête between Donald Trump, the celebrity billionaire who has mounted a successful hostile takeover of the GOP, and Paul Ryan, the Republican congressman who was begged by his colleagues to assume the House speaker slot. Last week, Ryan, the senior elected Republican figure in the land, took a shot at Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, by noting he was not yet ready to endorse the tycoon. Trump subsequently complained he had been blind-sided by Ryan. The power non-couple quickly scheduled a pair of meetings in Washington slated for this Thursday. Party elders told reporters the goal of the sit-downs  is to forge a path to party unity. (On Twitter, political observers pointed to the scene in The Godfather during which the mob families try to negotiate a truce.) Yet Trump has in the past demonstrated brazen disregard for Ryan.

Uber Drivers Owed $730 Million More If Employees, According To Court Documents

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Drivers who worked for ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] in California and Massachusetts over the past seven years would have been entitled to an estimated $730 million in expense reimbursements had they been employees rather than contractors, according to court documents made public on Monday.

The figure was calculated by attorneys for drivers in a class action against the company, based on a standard rate for mileage reimbursement set by the U.S. government, and on data provided by Uber. Uber disputes the idea that drivers would ever be entitled to that reimbursement rate.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Lets Loose On ‘Hated Gringo’ And ‘Ugly American’ Donald Trump

Donald Trump likes giving nicknames to his enemies, but now he’s got a couple of his own.

“He is the ugly American,” former Mexican president Vicente Fox said in an interview on the Kickass Politics podcast. “He is the hated gringo because he’s attacking all of us. He’s offending all of us.”

Fox also repeated his opinion of Trump’s proposed border wall.

Non-Syrians denied asylum claims under EU-Turkey deal - MEPs

Hundreds of non-Syrian asylum seekers deported under the EU-Turkey migration deal were not allowed to claim asylum in either Greece or Turkey, a group of European politicians has claimed.

After interviewing 40 of the deportees, the three MEPs have concluded that, despite EU promises, the deal with Turkey is not being enacted according to international law.

An open letter to Donald Trump supporters: Please, for the love of all that is good, reconsider this insanity!

A strange old hermit once asked, “Who’s the bigger fool — the fool, or the fool who follows him?” Regarding the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the station of presumptive Republican nominee, it’s extraordinarily clear who the fool is, and while Trump is, himself, an unqualified and horrendously undignified would-be president, his supporters have been suckered into supporting him anyway — for all of the wrong reasons.

Donald Trump is just this dumb: He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know — but his latest ignorance is breathtaking

Donald Trump is an ignorant fool. He doesn’t know anything about anything, and worse yet he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know anything about anything. (In psychology, this is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect). The sum total of his talents consists of having the foresight to be born to an immensely wealthy father, and possessing a Rain Man-style idiot-savant capacity for self-promotion. That’s it.

A couple of days ago he provided a frighteningly clear illustration of the bottomless depths of his ignorance when he suggested that he might reduce the national debt by using his deal-making skills to get America’s creditors to accept less than full payment for the nation’s debt obligations to them.

Trudeau calls UN goal to boost aid spending ‘too ambitious’

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — whose rookie government likes to boast “Canada is back” — is scaling back Canada’s support of a key UN goal to boost international aid spending, calling it “too ambitious.”

In an exclusive interview with the Star just hours after he pledged a new unbudgeted $785 million boost to Canada’s contribution to the global fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Trudeau acknowledged Ottawa has no intention of meeting the international goal to spend .70 per cent of gross domestic product on foreign aid anytime soon.

Panama Papers confirm Canada's tax system is in desperate need of repair

A string of revelations about tax avoidance have made headlines in recent months, from the Panama Papers and KPMG Canada's tax shelter business, to a local incident involving the resignation of a UBC Board member following a tax avoidance case lost in B.C. Supreme Court.

These revelations have fuelled a mix of renewed outrage and resigned cynicism about pervasive, multibillion-dollar tax avoidance by some of the wealthiest few from around the world.

Congressman Who Called Trump "Our Mussolini" Will Vote for Him Anyway

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) did not endorse Donald Trump during the Republican presidential primary. He endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and in a radio interview before his state's caucus, he denounced the GOP front-runner in the strongest language possible: He called Trump a fascist. "Donald Trump does not represent Republican ideals; he is our Mussolini," he said at the time. "Donald Trump's approach is, 'I am just going to do it.'" In the same interview, Stewart said the election was the most important since 1860, when Abraham Lincoln's win prompted the South to secede.

But now that Trump has all but clinched his party's nomination, Stewart is having second thoughts on the GOP's Mussolini. "While Mr. Trump wasn't my first choice, we must move forward and unite to defeat Hillary Clinton," he told the Associated Press.

As recently as a week ago, Republican lawmakers were promising to fight Trump on the beaches (or at least the convention floor in Cleveland) if necessary to stop the steak magnate from taking control of the party. Now, even the guy who compared Trump to a fascist dictator is coming on board.

Original Article
Author:  Tim Murphy

This Election Inspired a John Grisham Novel. Now It Just Got Even Weirder

In 2004, with his company facing a $50 million fraud judgment, Don Blankenship, then the CEO of coal giant Massey Energy, spent $3 million in a successful effort to elect a little-known attorney named Brent Benjamin to the West Virginia Supreme Court, where Blankenship planned to appeal the judgment. A few years later, Benjamin voted to overturn the $50 million verdict. It was such a perfect illustration of money's corrupting influence that it inspired a John Grisham novel.

Uber, Lyft Halt Austin Service After Losing Fingerprinting Vote

AUSTIN, Texas, May 9 (Reuters) - On-demand ride companies Uber and Lyft suspended their services in Austin, Texas, on Monday after a stinging loss in a weekend vote where they had spent heavily to repeal a city ordinance requiring them to conduct fingerprint background checks for their drivers.

The defeat in the Texas capital could encourage other cities to back the fingerprint-based criminal background checks, knowing they can survive a bruising political battle, analysts said. Voters in the city of about 900,000 people said by a margin of 56 to 44 percent they wanted the fingerprint checks to stay.

Panama Papers Include Dozens of Americans Tied to Fraud and Financial Misconduct

Leonard Gotshalk, an Atlanta Falcons football player turned Oregon businessman, had a history of legal issues by the time he went looking to buy an offshore company in 2010. Lawsuits and criminal filings had accused the former NFL offensive lineman of fraud and racketeering.

Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm that specializes in selling offshore companies, initially told Gotshalk it couldn’t do business with him, because of “negative information” that its compliance unit had found. Gotshalk persuaded the law firm to reconsider, noting in an email that he’d “held offshore accounts in the past in Europe and Bahamas and Belize” without problems.

Will a Corporate Carve-Out Derail Criminal Justice Reform?

Criminal justice reform is one of the few legislative issues that could move forward in this highly partisan election year. But this long-awaited reform is in serious danger because of efforts by big corporations and their allies to include a “get-out-of-jail-free” card for white collar offenders. A few members of Congress are insisting that so-called “mens rea reform legislation” be included in the bipartisan criminal justice reform bills that have been painstakingly negotiated in the House and Senate.

Donald Trump Picks Man He Accused Of A Federal Crime To Lead His Transition Team

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead his White House transition team.

“Governor Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled transition team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.

Two Very Different Donalds, One White House Goal

Don McGahn’s picture is conspicuously missing from the wall of former commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, and it’s nowhere on the agency’s website.

The former FEC chairman’s presence, though, is still felt, nearly three years after he resigned from the commission. Former colleagues and fellow lawyers describe him as a disruptor who proudly upended enforcement policies and contributed to the FEC’s current gridlocked state.

Donald Trump Keeps Antagonizing Paul Ryan

WASHINGTON — GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday suggested that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would face consequences for not endorsing the businessman as the party’s presidential nominee.

Speaking with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Trump would not rule out trying to remove the Wisconsin congressman from his post as chair of this summer’s GOP convention, a role traditionally granted to the speaker of the House, if Ryan did not come around.

Bashar Assad’s Brutality in Syria Is Matched by U.S. Devastation Across the Region

Growing numbers of people worldwide are turning their Facebook profile pictures into solid red squares in an attempt to call attention to a new, deadly phase of the Syria war. The latest round of violence was marked by the bombing of a refugee camp near the Syrian border with Turkey, which resulted in 28 deaths. That attack was probably the work of the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad or its ally Russia.

Gimme Shelter (From the Tax Man): Disappearing Money and Opportunistic Candidates

There’s a pile of money hiding offshore. It’s true that jobs are also leaving the United States because American companies find it convenient to cut labor costs by moving manufacturing abroad, the economic issue you’re hearing most about in this election season. But the stunning amount of money that continues to flow across American borders (and those of other countries), and eventually disappears into the pockets of the corporate and political elite, ultimately causes even more damage to our finances and our lives.

John McCain Won’t Say Donald Trump Should Take Back His Comments About Immigrants

John McCain, Arizona’s senior Republican senator, declined to call upon Donald Trump to retract his past characterizations of undocumented Mexican immigrants entering the United States. McCain also said that Trump “could be a capable leader.”

On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, McCain was asked whether he would like to see Trump recant his statements that many undocumented Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and criminals.

Trump would make a lousy Insulter in Chief

Can Donald Trump insult his way to the White House?

Not at this rate. He has a better chance of being voted Mr. Conviviality by the 16 Republicans he vanquished en route to becoming the presumptive nominee of the GOP than slandering his way to power.

Whatever his prowess as a negotiator, Trump is a chump in the art of the put-down.

Buyers of Luxury Cars Benefited from BC Climate Fight

In March, the British Columbia government announced it will no longer pay a subsidy for any electric or hybrid vehicle that costs more than $77,000, but it made the change only after helping to pay for hundreds of high-end rides since 2011, including one that sells for over $1 million.

"I don't think the public wants us subsidizing anyone who can afford to buy a $100,000 vehicle," said Bill Bennett, who as the minister of energy and mines has responsibility for the program.

Ontario's soaring poverty gap ‘starkest’ for single adults as welfare rates stagnate

After five years on welfare, Pauline Bryant figures she was probably over-qualified to help others “get by on next to nothing” as a part-time community engagement worker last year.

Although the job gave Bryant an extra $600 a month, it didn’t provide medical benefits or enough money to escape welfare. But it eased her sense of isolation.

“What I liked best about working with others on low income was the message: ‘You are not alone,’ ” says Bryant, 53. “That’s what I held onto. I realized it’s not just me.”

The secrecy specialists behind Panama Papers’ Canadian offshore dealings

Wealthy Canadians whose offshore accounts were exposed in the Panama Papers got there with a lot of help.

A sprawling industry of tax avoidance professionals — lawyers, financial planners, bankers and accountants — make a living advising the rich how and where to find places to lighten, or even eliminate, their tax responsibilities in Canada.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Needs More Time, Proponents Say

CALGARY — Enbridge and its partners behind the Northern Gateway pipeline are asking for three more years to build support for the controversial project, but some First Nations say their opposition will never waver.

The company's Northern Gateway subsidiary and 31 aboriginal equity partners said Friday they've asked the National Energy Board for an extension to the 2016 construction deadline to secure legal and regulatory certainty as well as continue consultations.

Vancouver Housing Crisis Fuelled By Foreign Buyers As B.C., Canada Do Nothing: Study

VANCOUVER — The Canadian and British Columbia governments are complicit in fuelling Vancouver's housing crisis as foreign Chinese buyers continue to shut local residents out of the market, a new study says.

Josh Gordon, the study's author and assistant professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, said people whose dreams of owning a home are being crushed because they can't compete with foreign investors no longer accept "distraction'' excuses such as low interest rates for the state of the super-heated market.

Yes, Trump could win. Here’s what that would mean for us.

The best that can be said about Donald Trump is that, in his call to “make America great again”, he represents American exceptionalism.

But the basic tenets of Trump’s platform are nativism and protectionism. He would — literally and figuratively — build walls around the United States.

He would build a wall along the border with Mexico — and (he says) make the Mexicans pay for it — while rounding up and deporting 11 million undocumented residents of the U.S. He would ban Muslim immigrants to America. He would tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, and kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal among 12 countries, including Canada and Mexico. Trump is not alone in his opposition to the TPP. Both remaining Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, also oppose it.

What really happened at Council's Uber debate

In the end, it wasn't about Uber. For many councillors — including those who spent years loudly inveighing against the San Francisco tech company — it may never have been about Uber at all.

For others, this realization came too late, toward the end of Tuesday's day-long debate that resulted in the legalization of private "ride-sharing" services and the dismantling of recent taxi-industry reforms. These changes, together, put cab drivers in a place of unprecedented precariousness.

Passenger Fears Professor Doing Math Is A Terrorist, Delays Flight 2 Hours

A flight was delayed for more than two hours on Thursday after a paranoid passenger suspected a professor writing out math equations was a terrorist, the academic says.

American Airlines confirmed with The Huffington Post that the Thursday evening flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse was delayed after a female passenger said she was sick and “expressed some concerns” about the behavior of a male passenger. Spokesman Casey Norton could not confirm the names of either person on the Air Wisconsin-operated flight due to privacy regulations.

How Trump could beat Clinton

Donald Trump faces an uphill climb to win a general election battle against Hillary Clinton, but there is a path for him to beat the former secretary of State.

Trump enters the contest with poor approval ratings, particularly with women and Hispanic voters. He’s facing a battle-tested candidate in Clinton who will have no qualms about running a scorched-earth campaign to defeat him.

US takes tougher tone on Israeli settlements in new report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that takes the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state, diplomats told The Associated Press.

The U.S. and its fellow Mideast mediators also will chastise Palestinian leaders for failing to rein in anti-Israeli violence. But the diplomats involved in drafting the document said its primary focus will be a surge of construction in Jewish housing in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

History lesson for Paul Ryan: The Republicans have always been Donald Trump’s party

Amid the chaos, sadness and jubilation of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, one should remember that Trump isn’t that far from the ideology the party promoted well into the 20th century.  While the much maligned Republican “establishment” and their allies in the fourth estate are still struggling to deal with the reality of Trump as nominee, the conservative insurgents of the fifth estate are eagerly optimistic for a November showdown. Far from killing the Republican Party, Trump is restoring it to its old precepts: nationalism, economic protectionism, and nativism.

We can’t vote for either one: On world stage, Clinton and Trump present different, but serious, dangers

As of this past week Americans voters have their choices in November—all three of them. I do not see them as nearly as clear or simple as a lot of people might have imagined even a little while ago. The exception is the third of these alternatives, the right to remain silent—a phrase ordinarily used in another context but perfectly correct in this one. This position seems to have just gotten a great deal clearer, if not simpler.

In my read, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as it now shapes up does not present voters with anything like an obvious choice. Neither does it seem certain at this moment which of two candidates unworthy of election—let us speak honestly—will triumph. Nor can one say which of the two would be worse, and this, pathetically, is the metric now establishing itself in many voters’ minds.

Will the Trump-Clinton Taco Bowl be the ugliest election ever? Maybe not—but it could be close

Last week was a strangely gratifying one if you believe that politics is always a ruthless and dirty affair, and that it does no one any good to pretend otherwise. It was the week when Ted Cruz and John Kasich crashed into the unavoidable orange iceberg of Trump-ness from opposite directions. And it was the week when Donald Trump, now universally described as the “presumptive” Republican nominee (a pompous and thoroughly unnecessary coinage), launched his fall campaign with the infamous Taco Bowl tweet. He loves Hispanics! Was that a stupid racist gaffe or a stupid strategic masterstroke? In 2016, is there any difference? And how would we know?

Nuclear Costs Roll Onward and Upward

IGNALINA—When it was in operation in the 1980s and 90s, Lithuania’s Ignalina nuclear power plant had one of the most powerful reactors in the world. Today, the plant that was built to supply power to a large part of what was the Soviet Union’s Baltic region lies silent.

Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004, and one of the EU’s entry requirements was that Ignalina—similar in design to the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine, with no proper containment shell to restrict any escaping radioactivity—must be closed.

Panama Papers names to be made public tomorrow

They hoped to keep their business private, but some of the world's richest citizens will instead have their finances opened to prying eyes.

Confidential details of more than 200,000 offshore accounts in the Panama Papers — including the names of at least 625 Canadians — will be revealed tomorrow, in the hope that public scrutiny of the material will generate hundreds of tips about possible corruption and tax dodging..

Conflict Commish Vows to Ignore 'All' of Reporter's Requests

As a reporter, Bob Mackin is used to feeling on occasion that powerful people are ignoring the at-times uncomfortable questions he asks, but it's rare he has it confirmed that he's being ignored.

That confirmation came Friday in an email from British Columbia's conflict of interest commissioner Paul Fraser, who writing on his BlackBerry about an email from Mackin wrote, "Let's continue to ignore all of his requests."