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, June 29, 2017

Army accused of extrajudicial killings in Egypt video

The Egyptian army has been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings in Sinai province, with a leaked video purportedly showing soldiers executing detainees and then staging events to make the deaths appear to be casualties of a gun battle.

The video, which was posted online on Thursday by Mekameleen, an opposition TV channel based in Turkey, appears to show two blindfolded men being shot in the head by uniformed soldiers.

Andrew Sullivan and the “model minority” myth: Columnist unintentionally reminds us that racism is the force that gives conservatives meaning

Last Friday Andrew Sullivan published an essay in New York magazine titled “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton?” The argument presented therein was not novel, nor was Sullivan’s essay particularly insightful. The article is highly useful in some ways, however.

It is a reminder that while it may be fashionable to blame Donald Trump’s “white working class” voters for electing a racist incompetent, the bigotry that propelled Trump to the presidency is endemic to the Republican Party and modern conservatism as a whole. This includes its “reasonable,” “serious” and supposedly “principled” voices like Sullivan as well.

Elizabeth Warren Reveals Mitch McConnell Is Just as Big a Jerk Behind Closed Doors

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) guest-starred on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" Tuesday shortly after kicking off her nationwide book tour in New York City. This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class, the 11th book by the U.S. senator, former professor and bankruptcy law expert, is the story of wealth inequality in America since the 2008 financial crisis.

Site C dam project has become 'uneconomic' and should be suspended: UBC report

A new report is calling for the suspension of B.C.'s Site C dam project, saying it's no longer going to benefit the provincial economy as once expected and that power from the hydroelectric station will likely be exported at losses of up to $1 billion.

The report on water governance released Tuesday looks at which option would be best for B.C. from a business standpoint: cancelling, suspending or finishing the $8.5-billion project.

China chases billionaire who threatens 'explosive' allegations against elite

A flamboyant Chinese billionaire known for his love of supercars and social media has claimed he is the victim of a political witch hunt after he threatened to lift the lid on “explosive information” about corruption at the top of Chinese politics.

On Wednesday China’s foreign ministry confirmed that, at Beijing’s request, Interpol had issued a red notice for the arrest of Guo Wengui, a 50-year-old tycoon who had in recent months taken the highly unusual step of speaking out about alleged cases of corruption involving the relatives of senior leaders.

Precarious Work Is Awesome And Canada Will Get Way More Of It: Report

Finance Minister Bill Morneau last year warned Canadians they will have to get used to precarious work. Now a new survey from a staffing agency suggests precarious work will increasingly become the norm over the next decade.

The survey from Randstad Canada predicts an “immense shift” to what it describes as “agile employment and non-traditional workers.” And it sees this as a good thing.

How Saskatchewan does cash-for-access — in broad daylight

Politicians who navigate a corrupted political system have some of the easiest jobs in the world. With the weight and legitimacy of the state behind them, they need not sell anything more than access to themselves. And it is a seller’s market.

For a long time, there was no better example of this than Quebec. In 1977, the Parti Québécois enacted the toughest campaign financing laws in the country, which banned corporate donations and limited individual contributions to $3,000. For the next three decades, provincial politicians — from the PQ and especially from the Liberal Party of Quebec — devised ways to get around this pesky law.

Jeremy Corbyn’s 7 weeks to save Labour

LONDON — The U.K. Labour Party, 117 years old, one of the twin behemoths of modern British politics, is about to go head-to-head with potentially its most deadly enemy yet: Prime Minister Theresa May.

May’s shock decision to call an early election will force the opposition party to face the electorate at a moment of extreme weakness. The vast majority of its MPs do not back their leader, the left-winger Jeremy Corbyn. Divisions within the party have contributed to dismal poll ratings. And on Brexit, the party faces a challenging balancing act between its two core groups of voters: metropolitan, middle-class progressives, many of whom would love dearly to see Britain stay in the EU, and working-class voters in poorer areas concerned about jobs and immigration and enthusiastic about Brexit.

Bomber jacket wars: Stagecraft beats statecraft in the Trump White House

A great photographer by the name of Bud Lee once told me that photographs record another’s truth, not yours. I was new to the journalism game back then, and even after working with him for a month on a photographic essay called “The Politics of Costume” for Esquire, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. The way I saw it, Bud was creating his own truth by picking the moment to snap the shutter.

Russia bans Jehovah's Witnesses and labels group as extremists

Russia’s supreme court has banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group.

The court ordered the closure of the group’s Russia headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.