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.]

Sunday, December 25, 2016

From dream home to unholy mess

Stories of building delays are not uncommon on the front lines of Toronto’s condo craze.

But when Tracey DaSilva bought in the Union Lofts in the Junction Triangle four years ago, she expected her inconvenience and uncertainty would eventually be rewarded with the key to a dream home in a boutique church conversion in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods.

Instead, she was handed a refund for her deposit and builder upgrades and now faces the prospect of watching the developer resell the original condos for a higher price.

Public consultation on Bill C-51 looks like an elaborate PR stunt

Canada is currently undergoing a human rights crisis. The Liberal government is conducting public consultations over the "problematic elements" of the so-called anti-terror Bill C-51. However, this process is already set up to be rigged.

This three-part blog series will act as a response to the Liberal government's rhetoric of amendments by highlighting the actual problematic elements of the Act. Ultimately, the Liberal government should repeal and replace the Act with national security measures that can be held accountable to our Charter rights to democratic participation and privacy.

This series is meant to inform activists and concerned citizens about the dangers of unshackled national security law in a time where an atmosphere of fear overshadows our democratic rights.

Theresa May U-Turns On Workers On Boards Pledge

Theresa May has watered-down on her Tory leadership campaign pledge to install worker representation on company boards.

Speaking to the CBI’s conference in London this morning, the prime minister said firms would not be forced to do it if they did not want to.

“While it is important that the voices of workers and consumers should be represented, I can categorically tell you that this is not about mandating works councils, or the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on boards,” she told business leaders.

This Critique of Fake Election News Is a Must-Read for All Democracy Lovers

In the wake of President-elect Donald Trump's narrow upset victory last week, many journalists and critics have leveled a finger at Facebook, claiming the social network was partly to blame for the growing milieu of false and misleading "news" stories that only serve to insulate potential voters within an ideological cocoon of their own making.

These Professors Make More Than a Thousand Bucks an Hour Peddling Mega-Mergers

IF THE GOVERNMENT ENDS UP approving the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger, credit won’t necessarily belong to the executives, bankers, lawyers, and lobbyists pushing for the deal. More likely, it will be due to the professors.

A serial acquirer, AT&T must persuade the government to allow every major deal. Again and again, the company has relied on economists from America’s top universities to make its case before the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission. Moonlighting for a consulting firm named Compass Lexecon, they represented AT&T when it bought Centennial, DirecTV, and Leap Wireless; and when it tried unsuccessfully to absorb T-Mobile. And now AT&T and Time Warner have hired three top Compass Lexecon economists to counter criticism that the giant deal would harm consumers and concentrate too much media power in one company.

Living in Trump’s Soviet Union

When my parents lived in the Soviet Union, having a Jewish-looking “physiognomy,” as it was called, proved a daily liability. Standing in line for eggs or milk or ham, one could feel the gaze of the shopkeeper running down one’s nose, along with the implied suggestion “Why don’t you move to Israel already?”

Social media in the era of Trump is essentially Leningrad, 1979. Trump supporters on Twitter have often pointed out my Jewishness. “You look ethnic” was one of the kinder remarks, along with the usual litany of lampshade drawings, oven photos, the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Auschwitz, and other stock Holocaust tropes. It is impossible to know if the person pointing out your ethnicity and telling you to jump into an oven is an amateur troll in St. Petersburg, Florida, or a professional troll in St. Petersburg, Russia. What this election has proved is just how intertwined those two trolls may be.

Schumer on Trump: 'He was not my friend'

There’s a lot of talk about Chuck Schumer’s long relationship with Donald Trump in New York bearing bipartisan fruit in Washington next year. But Schumer says he was never as close to Trump as the president-elect has claimed.

“He was not my friend. We never went golfing together, even had a meal together,” Schumer told POLITICO in an interview Friday, two days after he was elected Senate minority leader. “He’s called me, we’ve had civil conversations a couple of times. But I’ve got to see what he does.”

Europe’s leaders to force Britain into hard Brexit

European leaders have come to a 27-nation consensus that a “hard Brexit” is likely to be the only way to see off future populist insurgencies, which could lead to the break-up of the European Union.

The hardening line in EU capitals comes as Nigel Farage warns European leaders that Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, could deliver a political sensation bigger than Brexit and win France’s presidential election next spring – a result that would mean it was “game over” for 60 years of EU integration.

Exiled cleric could pose risk to Canadian-Turkish relations: diplomat

HALIFAX – A senior Turkish politician attending the Halifax International Security Forum says Donald Trump’s election could spell trouble for relations with Canada if a U.S.-based Muslim dissident his country wants extradited seeks refuge north of the border.

There’s been speculation in the American media that the new administration’s friendly attitude towards the Tayyip Erdogan regime could increase the likelihood the U.S. will extradite Fethüllah Gulen to his native Turkey before the cleric can seek asylum in Canada or another country.

Homeless Youth Are Even Younger than You Thought

Youth are winding up homeless on Canada’s streets younger than previously thought, according to the first pan-Canadian survey of its kind released this week.

Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey of 1,103 respondents across 47 different communities in 10 provinces and territories, revealed that jurisdictions where support services are available to young people only when they’re 16 or 18 “are waiting much too long to intervene.” About 40 per cent of the youth surveyed became homeless before they were 16.

When a Populist Demagogue Takes Power

In May, Rodrigo Duterte, the provincial mayor who had just been elected President of the Philippines after promising to rid the country of crime and drugs by killing thousands of criminals, vowed to stop swearing. He told reporters, “Don’t fuck with me.” He called political figures “gay.” When a reporter asked about his health, he replied, “How is your wife’s vagina? Is it smelly? Or not smelly? Give me a report.” In an overwhelmingly Catholic country, he swore at the Pope. At first, he defended his language as a gesture of radical populism. “I am testing the élite in this country,” he said. “Because we are fundamentally a feudal country.” But, the day after the election, he appeared with a popular televangelist and said, “I need to control my mouth.” He compared his forthcoming transformation to that of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. “If you are the President of the country, you need to be prim and proper,” he said. His inaugural speech, in June, was obscenity-free.

Quarter of TTC surface routes regularly exceed crowding standards

In news unlikely to surprise Toronto transit users, more than a quarter of the TTC’s bus and streetcar routes are regularly overcrowded, the Star has learned.

Data obtained from the TTC show that 43 of roughly 155 bus and streetcar routes exceed the transit agency’s crowding standards at some point during each week. That’s more than a quarter of all surface routes.

Aleppo's children's hospital bombed as it treats chlorine gas victims

The only children’s hospital in besieged Aleppo is out of action after being bombed as it treated victims of a chlorine gas attack, forcing staff to evacuate babies in incubators and other patients injured over days of fierce bombardment.

There are currently only four functioning hospitals left to serve around 250,000 civilians living in opposition-held areas, which have been under intense attack since the Syrian government and its Russian backers launched a new offensive on Tuesday.

Obama Administration Blocks Arctic Oil Drilling Through 2022

Further cementing President Barack Obama’s climate legacy, the Department of the Interior announced on Friday its intent to ban oil drilling in the U.S. section of the Arctic Ocean for the next five years, citing environmental risks.

The plan blocks the sale of new offshore oil and gas leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, north of Alaska, between 2017 and 2022.

For Erdoğan, migration crisis is an opportunity

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has an unrivaled knack for turning setbacks and challenges to his advantage. Since July, he has used a failed putsch to impose a state of emergency that gives him carte blanche to crush all forms of dissent. Finding a way to capitalize on the 3.2 million predominantly Syrian migrants who reside in Turkey will, by contrast, be a tougher task. But if anyone can turn a burden of this size into an opportunity, it’s Erdoğan.

It’s Time to Diversify the Democratic Party Leadership

The flaws in the foundation of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement made the entire edifice collapse last week.

It is now imperative to totally transform the party and its allied organizations into true instruments of social change that harness the political power of the country’s demographic revolution. In the coming weeks and months, a new round of leaders and staff will be put in place to guide the Democratic Party into the 2018 and 2020 elections, and this is the moment to make radical changes in the strategies, spending, and staffing.

Battle for Aleppo: Syrian forces intensify air campaign

At least 49 people have been killed in heavy government air strikes in the eastern part of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, witnesses and activists say.

The overnight bombardment, which began late on Thursday, was part of a wider military escalation by the Syrian government and its allies against opposition groups holed up in Aleppo.

Nigel Farage Says He’s Been ‘Victimised’ As Leaked Report Suggests Ukip Misspent EU Cash

Nigel Farage has denied Ukip has broken any rules by using EU funding to fuel its eurosceptic campaigning in the UK, claiming his party is being “victimised”.

The Ukip leader dismissed reports that have emerged from a leaked dossier suggesting the party misspent nearly £400,000 to fund its own electioneering.

A leaked audit compiled by the European Parliament Bureau suggests Ukip broke spending rules by diverting taxpayers’ money to its own polling ahead of the EU referendum and in key target constituencies for last year’s general election.

Angela Merkel’s new job: global savior

BERLIN — Donald Trump’s surprise victory in last week’s U.S. presidential election comes as a boost to the American alt-right movement, the global cement industry (should the wall go up, that is) and, if some of the commentary is to be believed, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The fear of a xenophobic populist in the White House has liberals everywhere looking to Berlin for moral guidance. They tout Angela Merkel as the new torchbearer for human rights. They call her the next leader of the free world. Or as the New York Times put it in a headline shortly after the vote: “Donald Trump’s Election Leaves Angela Merkel as the Liberal West’s Last Defender.”

Obama urges Trump against realpolitik in relations with Russia

Barack Obama has warned the US president-elect, Donald Trump, against taking a purely “realpolitik approach” to relations with Russia and encouraged his successor to continue standing up for American values.

“I’ve sought a constructive relationship with Russia but what I have also been is realistic in recognising there are some significant differences in how Russia views the world and how we view the world,” Obama said at a press conference with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin.

The Bloody Battle for Aleppo

The residents of rebel-held eastern Aleppo had lived without bombardment and explosions for three weeks. The Syrian and Russian governments placed a moratorium on bombing the city on October 18, a pause meant to let civilians evacuate, and to let weary fighters surrender or flee. Then on Monday, residents received a text message warning them to flee or face aerial attack. On Tuesday, Russian jets rained missiles down on neighborhoods surrounding Aleppo, many of them occupied by U.S.-backed rebel groups. By Wednesday, helicopters had dropped dozens of barrel bombs on buildings, including a children’s hospital and a blood-donation bank. At least 20 people were reported killed in the first two days, including several children, and the figure keeps rising as bodies are pulled from beneath the rubble.

Resisting Trump: What's Next for the Immigrant Rights Movement

After building a fierce grassroots movement and turning out voters in record numbers, immigrant communities have been struck with a mix of panic, anger and confusion as a divided nation prepares for President Donald Trump. Now, advocates are digging in their heels for a hard fight, and both immigrants and their allies are hurrying to make preparations before Trump takes office.

"It's important to note that he's not president yet," said Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center.

Top FBI Lawyer Argues Against Requiring Warrant for Data That Tracks People’s Location

IF LAW ENFORCEMENT was forced to get a warrant to obtain information about a suspect’s whereabouts from the phone providers, it would be “crippling,” according to James Baker, general counsel at the FBI.

“I don’t know how we would handle that,” said Baker, speaking on a panel at the American Bar Association’s annual conference on national security law in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The executive branch would suffer from “a huge amount of uncertainty and confusion while we are doing investigations.”

Palestinian farmers are the first line of resistance to Israeli occupation Israel

Olive farming, the traditional industry of Palestine, is heavily threatened. Olive oil is not only the main cash crop of the West Bank, it’s also a symbol of national pride and the deep connection that Palestinians feel to the land. Almost every family from the West Bank owns olive trees, which take up to fifteen years to bear fruit and another thirty or forty after that to reach full maturity. The work of cultivating olives is a commitment that is passed down through extended families, becoming a vital part of family and community life.

Minnesota judge overturns state ban on transgender health coverage

A Minnesota state judge has issued a ruling that is good news for the state’s transgender community. After an 11-year ban, the state’s Medicaid system, known as Medical Assistance (MA) must provide coverage for transition-related surgical procedures.

A 64-year-old trans man by the name of Evan Thomas sued, with support from the ACLU of Minnesota and OutFront Minnesota, for the right to a double mastectomy. His doctors deemed the procedure medically necessary for resolving his gender dysphoria, but Thomas depended on MA, which denied him coverage. In the meantime, Thomas was relying on chest binding to help resolve his dysphoria, but he had to stop after it caused him chest infections and acute bronchitis.

Investigative Reporter Greg Palast: GOP Stole 2016 Election Using Voter Suppression, Purging Ploys

Americans who think the 2016 presidential election was far too reminiscent of the 2000 edition might be on to something. What’s more, like a busted clock, President-elect Donald Trump could actually be right twice: that the “swamp” of Washington, D.C., needs draining, and that U.S. elections can be stolen. In fact, investigative reporter Greg Palast thinks Trump and his party may have just made off with this one.

In the turbulent days since last Tuesday’s shocker brought roiling national tensions and divisions out in the open, politicians and pundits have lurched about in an effort to explain the results. Everything from woefully flawed polling models to a complacent electorate, intolerable nominees and third-party “spoiler” candidates has been trotted out in explanation, amounting to a confusing and jumbled picture. What for some constituted an earth-shattering national disaster appeared to others as the dawn of a welcome new era. As anyone with a social media account knows, there hasn’t been much gray area in between. (Among many other things, this campaign season was marred by extremes.)

How the House of Commons will fight Brexit

LONDON — If you thought Brexit was chaotic now, just wait until divorce proceedings actually start.

Within the next two years, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament’s approval to kickstart Britain’s withdrawal, convert all EU law into U.K. law, introduce an immigration bill restricting freedom of movement from the Continent and negotiate a divorce deal with Brussels that doesn’t wreck the economy or spark a fresh bid for Scottish independence.

Theresa May Refuses To Deny Nigel Farage Will Be Given Seat In House Of Lords

Theresa May has refused to deny Nigel Farage could be given a peerage and a seat in the House of Lords.

The Ukip leader has spent the last week basking in Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election - which he sees as part of the same movement that took the UK out of the EU.

Yesterday Farage refused to rule out re-joining the Conservative Party in the wake of the Brexit result. “Let’s see what happens,” he said when asked by Sky News.

Germany Alarmed About Potential Russian Interference In Election: Spy Chief

Germany is alarmed that Russia may seek to interfere in its national elections next year, the domestic intelligence chief said, echoing concerns raised in the United States before Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.

German officials have accused Moscow of trying to manipulate German media to fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis, weaken voter trust in moderate mainstream government under Chancellor Angela Merkel and breed divisions within the European Union so that it drops sanctions against Moscow.

Chuck Schumer Named Senate Minority Leader

WASHINGTON ― Democrats chose Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) to helm their caucus in the Senate Wednesday, making him the first-ever Jewish leader to head a party in Congress.

Schumer, who first won election to the House of Representatives in 1992, has served in the Senate since 2000, and has risen steadily in the ranks. He shepherded the Democrats into the majority in 2006 when he led the party’s campaign committee. Republicans won back control in 2014.

Russia withdraws signature from international criminal court statute

Russia has said it is formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the international criminal court, a day after the court published a report classifying the Russian annexation of Crimea as an occupation.

The repudiation of the tribunal, though symbolic, is a fresh blow to efforts to establish a global legal order for pursuing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Children's hospital in Aleppo hit as airstrikes continue

Jet fighters and helicopters bombing east Aleppo hit a children’s hospital on Wednesday morning, destroying sections of the building as medics and patients sheltered in the basement.

An ambulance driver and at least two children were among the dead after a night of fierce attacks on rebel-held sections of Syria’s largest city.

Bill C-51 is violating our Charter rights and Canada doesn't care

Bill C-51 has been routinely called out by activists, journalists and legal scholars for empowering Canada's government and security establishment with the ability to violate charter rights and domestic privacy. Intelligence and security agencies in Canada already have a history of abusing their powers. Under their new expanded powers, this abuse can only become more sharply focused.

We are given a unique opportunity to voice our concerns of our unbridled national security apparatus. We need to push for a national security platform that is mandated to respect human rights (domestically, and abroad) and held accountable to those standards. Before this, we need to understand some of the major human rights concerns that this legislation enables.

Boris Johnson Offering ‘Intellectually Impossible’ Life To British People Outside The EU

Boris Johnson has been accused of offering British people a vision of life outside the European Union that is “intellectually impossible” and “politically unavailable”.

Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned the UK could not expect continued unfettered access to European markets after Brexit unless it accepted free movement of labour.

A Post-Brexit Roadmap for Clinton Voters

The morning after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Remain campaign and the overwhelmingly young, urban liberals who championed its cause, awoke to the reality of bitter, unexpected defeat. Tammy Palmer, an activist who campaigned against Brexit, cried all the way to work. “By the time I got off the tube, I was like, right, screw it, I’m going to find an army, and I’m going to lead that army, and [Brexit] is not going to happen,” she said. People poured out onto the streets to protest the outcome, to march for Europe. Then, they started organizing. Emails with subject lines like “#GenerationFucked #SaveLondon #SaveBritain” circulated among young activists and writers, sketching out possible plans for action.

NSA Chief: WikiLeaks Hacks of Democrats' Emails Were a "Conscious Effort by a Nation-State"

The WikiLeaks release of internal emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign constituted a "conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect," the head of the National Security Agency said Tuesday.

"There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind," NSA Director Michael S. Rogers said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. "This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily." Rogers acknowledged in October that Russians were behind the hacks.

Boris Johnson's Brexit vision 'intellectually impossible' – EU minister

Boris Johnson is promising the British people a Brexit deal that is “intellectually impossible” and “politically unavailable”, according to the Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup president.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem delivered a scathing attack on Johnson after the foreign secretary claimed the UK would probably be leaving the customs union while also seeking free trade with the EU and extra immigration controls.

Supreme court judge hints at legal hitch that could seriously delay Brexit

A supreme court judge has raised the prospect that Theresa May would have to comprehensively replace existing EU legislation before the government could even begin Brexit, in a move that could seriously delay the process.

In a speech that angered leave campaigners, Lady Hale said the supreme court judges could go further than simply forcing May to publish a short piece of legislation to approve the triggering of article 50.

Russia Has Long-Term Ambitions In The Middle East: Israeli Official

Israel should be concerned about the deepening disconnect between Russia’s aims in the Middle East and its own goals, according to a senior Israeli official who held high-level meetings in Moscow last week.

Avi Dichter, chairman of Israel’s foreign affairs and defense committee and the former head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency, said Russia’s views on Iran, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah were in sharp contrast to Israel’s and a growing source of potential conflict.

An American Tragedy

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.

Anna Maranta, Ottawa Rabbi, Finds Swastika Spraypainted On Home Door

An Ottawa rabbi says her front door was hit with racist graffiti between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Anna Maranta posted a photo of the graffiti on Facebook. It showed a swastika and anti-Semitic slur in red paint.

Maranta said the hateful message is an example of what has been "unleashed" by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.

"This. This is what has been unleashed by the American president-elect, and those that support him," she wrote.

The growing smear campaign against Keith Ellison

With the Democrats in disarray following President-Elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory, the horse-race for the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair is tense, messy, and potentially crowded. Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison is one of the favorites — and conservatives are already trying to tear him down with false equivalencies and smear tactics.

One common thread to the complaints: Ellison’s religion. Ellison is the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, as well as the first Black congressman from Minnesota.

Bond Markets' $1-Trillion 'Trumpflation' Wipeout A Bad Sign For Canadian Housing

Canada’s housing market could soon be suffering from a new condition, one that a TD Bank economist is calling “Trumpflation.”

But "Trumpflation" wouldn't mean rising house prices — it would mean higher mortgage rates, leading to worse times for the housing market.

U.S. stock markets soared in the days after Donald Trump’s electoral victory, betting that his administration will be good for business.

UN Syria envoy warns of terror risk if Assad wins total military victory

A total military victory for Bashar al-Assad rather than a negotiated peace deal will leave Syria and Europe exposed to resurgent Sunni terrorism, as in Iraq, the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has warned.

In an interview with the Guardian in London ahead of meetings with members of the UK Foreign Office, and amid reports of a renewed Russian assault on the rebel-held cities of Idlib and Homs, De Mistura said it was unlikely that the EU and World Bank would cover the huge cost of rebuilding Syria if a settlement were imposed entirely on Assad’s terms.

Aleppo airstrikes restart as Russia announces major Syria offensive

Pro-Assad forces have intensified attacks on Syrian rebels, launching a fierce aerial bombardment of besieged eastern Aleppo and missile strikes from a Russian aircraft carrier stationed off the coast, the day after Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone.

The US president-elect and Russian president discussed “regulating the conflict in Syria” and the need to combat “international terrorism and extremism”, Putin’s office said in a statement.

China’s Great Leap Backward

What if China is going bad? Since early last year I have been asking people inside and outside China versions of this question. By “bad” I don’t mean morally. Moral and ethical factors obviously matter in foreign policy, but I’m talking about something different.

Nor is the question mainly about economics, although for China the short-term stability and long-term improvement of jobs, wages, and living standards are fundamental to the government’s survival. Under China’s single-party Communist arrangement, sustained economic failure would naturally raise questions about the system as a whole, as it did in the Soviet Union. True, modern China’s economic performance even during its slowdowns is like the Soviet Union’s during its booms. But the absence of a political outlet for dissatisfaction is similar.

Elizabeth Warren Gets Real, Dings Obamacare: ‘We Failed Not In Our Messaging But In Our Ideology’

WASHINGTON ― Elizabeth Warren delivered a blunt message to a large group of wealthy liberal donors Monday, arguing that the Democratic Party’s failure to connect with working and middle-class people had opened the door for Donald Trump to win the presidency.

Warren, according to sources in the room, ran through a litany of issues on which Democrats had left people behind, either by offering too little or nothing at all. Perhaps her most surprising criticism was directed at the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Outcry as China executes symbol of injustice Jia Jinglong

Chinese authorities faced a bitter outcry after executing a villager who became a symbol of injustices endured by the country’s disenfranchised masses.

Jia Jinglong, a farmer from the northern province of Hebei, was put to death on Tuesday for the murder of a Communist party official he blamed for destroying his life.

Trump in the White House: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump managed to pull the biggest upset in US politics by tapping successfully into the anger of white voters and appealing to the lowest inclinations of people in a manner that would have probably impressed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself.

But what exactly does Trump's victory mean, and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on January 20, 2017? What is Trump's political ideology, if any, and is "Trumpism" a movement? Will US foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?

Conservative Leadership Candidate Cheered For Dismissing Climate Change

GREELY, Ont. — Global warming is apparently up for debate in the Conservative leadership race, judging by the clear differences in how candidates were received Sunday when one explained his support for a carbon tax and another declared he didn’t believe climate change was a real threat.

The distinction arose during a question about corporate subsidies at an unofficial leaders debate featuring nine Conservative candidates assembled in a wedding and conference venue about 30 kilometres from Parliament Hill.

Peace River Valley, Sacrifice Zone

In the next decade, a 60-metre-high wall of compacted earth will stretch more than a kilometre across the main stem of the Peace River, causing the waters behind it to swell into a 93-square-kilometre artificial lake, drowning the best topsoil left in northeast British Columbia. The waters will swallow 50 islands and a valley that is home to farmers, ranchers, trappers and habitat to innumerable creatures big and small.

Over four days in late September 2015, writer Christopher Pollon paddled the 83-kilometre section of the river that will be destroyed by the Site C dam reservoir, accompanied by photojournalist Ben Nelms. Their goal was to witness the very first steps of construction for the $9-billion project, the most expensive infrastructure project in B.C. history. They conclude their trip by touring the same stretch by land, interviewing and photographing the locals who stand to lose everything.