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.]

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?

As the numerous and obvious ethical conflicts surrounding the Clinton Foundation receive more media scrutiny, the tactic of Clinton-loyal journalists is to highlight the charitable work done by the foundation, and then insinuate — or even outright state — that anyone raising these questions is opposed to its charity. James Carville announced that those who criticize the foundation are “going to hell.” Other Clinton loyalists insinuated that Clinton Foundation critics are indifferent to the lives of HIV-positive babies or are anti-gay bigots.

China doesn't give a damn what Canada thinks

The cheerleaders have been out in force over the last few days, spreading rose petals along the route that Justin Trudeau will take on his first official visit to China next week, ahead of the two-day G20 leaders’ summit early next month.

The themes employed by Trudeau’s fans are time-honoured and brightly polished. They’re also questionable at best, downright nonsense at worst.

How Obama Helped Lay the Groundwork for Trump’s Thuggery

It is no secret that we are living in an age when we are constantly bombarded by images of murder, beatings, police brutality, and the carnage of suicide bombings on television, in the newspapers, and on the Internet. And we all know that America has the highest rate of imprisonment, as well as of murder and suicide by firearms, of any “civilized” country in the world. What is new is that a man running for the office of president often sounds like a thug, and that his offhand threats and insults seem only to galvanize the loyalty of his millions of supporters, the most recent example being Trump’s provocative line that “Second Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton.

Viktor Orbán’s Potemkin referendum

On October 2, Hungarians will vote in a referendum on Europe’s plan to relocate refugees throughout the continent. The controversial vote is being heavily promoted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and perceived similarities to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union have heightened interest in its outcome.

And yet, it would be a mistake to give too much weight to Orbán’s referendum. The vote is more of a public relations endeavor than an expression of democratic will — an attempt to strengthen Orbán’s image as the leader of an emerging populist, nationalistic and regressive Europe.

How Isis came to be

Three years ago, the Islamic State (Isis) did not exist; now it controls vast swaths of Syria and Iraq. Showing off its handiwork daily via Twitter and YouTube, Isis has repeatedly demonstrated that it is much more than a transnational terrorist organisation – rather, it is an entity with sophisticated command, control, propaganda and logistical capabilities, and one that has proven its ability to take and hold strategically critical territory at the heart of the Middle East.

Goodale invests $138 million to upgrade indefinite detention, not reform it

On Monday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the federal government would be pouring $138 million into upgrading immigration detention facilities across Canada. Two detention centres, in Quebec and British Columbia, will also be replaced.

The announcement comes after Goodale refused to meet with hunger-striking immigration detainees in two maximum security Ontario prisons.

Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace

In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict.

The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.

Trump’s Speech On Terrorism Was An Inexcusable Exercise In Scapegoating and Scaremongering

On Monday, Donald Trump gave a speech at Youngstown State University that amounted to an overlong, incoherent exercise in scaremongering. Most of the press coverage, almost uniformly negative, focused on the Republican nominee’s call for the “extreme vetting” of visa applicants. But there was much more to it than that.

A good rule of thumb for knowing you are in the presence of a crank is when he starts in on how Islamofascism or, as Trump repeatedly called it “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is the great challenge of our age, comparable to the challenges posed by the three great, sinister ideologies of the 20th century: Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. That was Trump’s opening gambit; it only went downhill from there.