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.]

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Joe Biden Quietly Delivers An Absolutely Devastating Critique Of Donald Trump

Speaking in soft tones and encouraging the crowd to refrain from applause, Vice President Joe Biden quietly delivered a devastating critique of Donald Trump.

Biden described Trump as “a man who embraces the tactics of our enemies — torture, religious intolerance.”

Texas Cop Says He Was Threatened For Trying To Tell The Truth About Sandra Bland

Over a year after Sandra Bland died in police custody, an officer involved in the case is giving the world a glimpse into how the “blue wall of silence” works inside the law enforcement industry.

Prairie View, TX, police officer Michael Kelley says that a local prosecutor and police officials suppressed facts about Bland’s initial arrest while investigating Brian Encinia, the man who actually cuffed and booked Bland. Encinia was eventually charged, but only with perjury — a decision that sparked further outrage.

We should cheer the boos: Sandernista passion is the party’s cure, not a curse

If war is the continuation of politics by other means, then booing isn’t such an alarming way to express significant political disagreement. Once upon a time, party conventions were places where people fought out differences. In recent decades, however, they have been a stage-managed public relations exercise. Amidst the financial crisis’ wreckage, at the twilight of empire, the contradictions embedded within decades of immiserating policy have exploded the center of American politics. Booing is the least of my concerns.

Assange, Avowed Foe of Clinton, Timed Email Release for Democratic Convention

WASHINGTON — Six weeks before the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks published an archive of hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of the Democratic convention, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, foreshadowed the release — and made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency.

Mr. Assange’s remarks in a June 12 interview underscored that for all the drama of the discord that the disclosures have sown among supporters of Bernie Sanders — and of the unproven speculation that the Russian government provided the hacked data to WikiLeaks in order to help Donald J. Trump — the disclosures are also the latest chapter in the long-running tale of Mr. Assange’s battles with the Obama administration.

Trump Won’t Release His Taxes, Says Top Aide

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will not be releasing his tax returns, his top aide said Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”

“Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, said.

Addressing questions about whether Trump has financial ties to Russia, Manafort said Trump’s decision to break with tradition and not release his taxes “has nothing to do with Russia, it has nothing to do with any country other than the United States and his normal tax auditing process.”

Trudeau's deafening silence on C-51

Thursday, June 21 passed with the usual run of crime, chaos and political lies we’ve come to know as “the news”. But it was an important anniversary — and it went almost unnoticed.

A year ago, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), in partnership with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, launched a Charter of Rights challenge of Stephen Harper’s police state anti-terrorism act, Bill C-51.

Taiwan Group Paying for MP, MLA Junkets Has Crime Connections

Dozens of Canadian MPs and MLAs have accepted free trips from a Taiwanese business association despite reports that several of its directors are facing legal troubles.

National security expert Michel Juneau-Katsuya said the case shows Canadian politicians and governments haven’t grasped the need for vigilance in dealing with foreign lobby organizations.

“A common practice with politicians is not to pay attention to who they are talking to if they seem to be representing a certain group of the population, a certain segment that they are trying to seduce,” said Juneau-Katsuya, a former CSIS officer who is now CEO of the NorthGate Group, which helps companies guard against espionage activities.

Donald Trump And The Normalization Of White Male Supremacy

Donald Trump may or may not be our next president. But he has already changed America.

The mainstream narrative is that Trump has either duped his supporters or exposed their darker nature. The rest of America, unswayed by Trump’s charms, can still rescue the nation.

Ottawa man critically injured during arrest has died

A Somali-Canadian Ottawa man with mental health issues who was taken to hospital in critical condition on Sunday after police tried to arrest him has died from his injuries, his family said Monday.

Abdirahman Abdi, 37, had been on life support at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic Campus since the incident Sunday morning.​

Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, confirmed Abdi's death. The SIU investigates whenever there is a death, serious injury or allegation of sexual assault involving police in the province. It has assigned five investigators and one forensic investigator to the case.

Putin’s Buddy Trump Is About To Get National Security Briefings. Intel Officers Are Worried.

Members of the intelligence community are worried that Donald Trump ― who has deep ties to Russia and is apparently the preferred presidential candidate of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ― could have access to highly classified national security briefings as early as Friday.

Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will begin receiving the briefings after the Democratic National Convention ends on Thursday, ABC News reported Monday. As the Republican nominee for president, Trump is now among a handful of people who do not hold a security clearance but have the potential to get these briefings. But he also has closer ties to a foreign government than perhaps any presidential candidate in recent history.

New York Times Shills For Moribund Nuclear Power, Disses Renewables Revolution

Why does The New York Times keep pushing nuclear power, whose prices keep rising even as demand has collapsed in every market economy? And why do they keep dissing renewables, whose prices have dropped precipitously while demand has grown beyond expectation here and around the world?

This month alone, the Times managed to publish two pieces whining that the poor, neglected nuclear power industry is having trouble competing with renewables because solar and wind have become … so darn cheap.

Scott Walker Just Put An Insane Person On His State’s Supreme Court

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) appointed a largely unknown lawyer named Daniel Kelly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Indeed, Kelly’s primary qualification appears to be his allegiance to a species of conservatism that largely died out in the Roosevelt administration.

Much of the coverage of this appointment has focused on an odd quote where Kelly compares affirmative action to slavery. “Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways,” Kelly wrote in a book chapter the new justice included in his application to sit on the state’s highest court. “But it’s more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same.”

Trump Gave His First Major Interview As The Official GOP Nominee. It Was Completely Unhinged.

Normally after securing the official nomination of a major political party, candidates for president rein in the more incendiary rhetoric that may have won them the primary campaign, move to the center, and project a secure, calm, rational, and steady vision of national leadership to appeal to the whole nation.

Donald Trump took a different approach.

Trump, now officially the GOP nominee, in his first major interview after the convention on NBC’s Meet the Press, took the extreme rhetoric that won him the primary election and cranked it up a notch.

We Must Reject Economic Cannibalism

"What can I do to fix a broken global economy?" It's a question I've been asked a lot these past few months as I've crisscrossed the US speaking at TED venues, music concerts, the World Affairs Council, bookstores, on radio and TV shows, and at a variety of other forums.

During this election year it is important to recognize that corporations pretty much run the world. Despite the outcome of the elections, they will continue to do so -- at least until we organize and change the rules that have created the dominant neoliberal system.

5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win


I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Donald Trump reminds me of Vladimir Putin — and that is terrifying

Donald Trump’s dark and frightening speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday had pundits and historians making comparisons ranging from George Wallace in the 1960s to Benito Mussolini in the 1930s. As suitable as those comparisons may be, the chill that ran down my spine was not because of Trump’s echoes of old newsreel footage. Instead, I saw an Americanized version of the brutally effective propaganda of fear and hatred that Vladimir Putin blankets Russia with today.

Turkey’s Erdogan Shuts Thousands Of Schools And Charities Using Emergency Decree

ISTANBUL/ANKARA, July 23 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey on Saturday, ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.

Turkish authorities also detained a nephew of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

Ontario Electricity Prices Are Out Of Control

Ontarians aren’t just imagining it: Electricity prices in the province are soaring.

Prices jumped by 15.7 per cent over the past year, according to Statistics Canada’s consumer price index, about eight times faster than overall inflation.

Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter published this chart showing just how far hydro rates have diverged from other prices in the province.