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.]

Monday, July 31, 2017

Brexit woe: London’s still calling US bankers even as they prepare to flee

Nord Anglia International School Dublin is not even scheduled to open until September 2018, but its slots are already going fast thanks to some of the wealthiest foreigners in the region: American bankers.

Three U.S. banks operating in London have contacted the school in Ireland about the prospect of enrolling their employees’ children. One bank this month asked for 50 slots — which go for an average of 20,000 euros, or $23,000, a pop, said project manager David Quigley.

Taliban claims ‘the Russians’ provided their weapons

Two different Taliban cells claim “the Russians” supplied them with arms as the Afghan government claims it is investigating the level of support Moscow has for the insurgents.

The Russian government has previously denied supporting the Taliban and only keeping in contact with the militants for the sake of peace talks. Two separate sets of Taliban told CNN in a video exclusive that their guns originally came from Russian government sources.

‘It breaks my heart’: At 102, oldest living Tuskegee Airman laments continuing US racial discrimination

Celebrating his 102 birthday, the oldest surviving Tuskegee Airman —  the nation’s first all-black aviation unit — lamented the fact that racial discrimination still pervades America almost 70 years after President Harry Truman integrated the armed forces.

In an interview with People magazine, Sgt. Preston Jowers said it “breaks his heart” that America still hasn’t moved past racial hatred.

That Sound You Hear Is Elizabeth Warren Tightening Her Grip on the Democratic Party

When Vox‘s Jeff Stein reported late last week that Democrats had, at long last, unified around a message for 2018—”A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages”—the immediate reaction was almost universal mockery. “The Democrats’ new message shows they’ve learned nothing from the 2016 campaign,” thundered Mic. The Washington Free Beacon (and seemingly everyone else) noted that the second half of the slogan sounded suspiciously like the Papa John’s motto: “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Papa John’s.”

How Betsy DeVos, the Koch Brothers and Donald Trump Are Selling Our Schools to the Highest Bidder

Where are Charlie and Dave, Mrs. Koch’s two mischievous boys?While the Koch brothers have stayed out of the national limelight since the White House was acquired by Trump and Company, that doesn’t mean the two right-wing billionaire brats are any less active in trying to supplant American democracy with their little laissez-fairyland plutocracy. In fact, in late June, you could’ve found them in one of their favorite hideaways with about 400 other uber-wealthy rascals, plotting some political hijinks for next year’s elections.

Frankfurt touts expertise, not pomp, in battle for Brexiting banks

FRANKFURT — While the French have tried to win the hearts of bankers fleeing Brexit, Germans focused on wooing their bosses — and it seems to be paying off.

Germany’s skyscraper-filled financial capital is emerging as the front-runner to host bankers relocating from London as the U.K. prepares to exit the EU.

Brexit burns Ireland’s British bridge to EU markets

Brexit threatens to sever the logistical lifeline that connects Irish food producers to the rest of the EU.

For many Irish farmers and food producers, Britain is a time-saving flyover from their rainswept island on the periphery of Europe to millions of hungry consumers on the Continent. The cross-U.K. route allows Irish traders to reach EU markets in a little over 10 hours door-to-door, a swift timeframe vital for transporting perishable goods.

Spicer Disease

It was the best tweet I’ve seen in a long time.

It came from former presidential advisor and political pundit David Axelrod: “O.J. Simpson paroled yesterday.   Sean Spicer today. Both greatly relieved.”

Axelrod was referring to President Donald Trump’s feckless press secretary, who was turned into a human piñata on Saturday Night Live for his slavish willingness to spew nonsense on behalf of the Oval Office.

Alexis Tsipras: 'The worst is clearly behind us'

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has promised to defy his critics by taking the country out of its longest-running crisis in modern times. “The worst is clearly behind us,” he told the Guardian in an exclusive interview.

“We can now say with certainty that the economy is on the up … Slowly, slowly, what nobody believed could happen, will happen. We will extract the country from the crisis … and in the end that will be judged.”

China demands India pulls back troops in border dispute

China has demanded that India pull back its troops from a contested region high in the Himalayas, warning New Delhi not "to push your luck" amid a festering border dispute.

According to Indian officials, about 300 soldiers from either side face each other about 150 metres apart on the Doklam plateau, an area also claimed by India's ally Bhutan.

Chuck Schumer Says Senate Democrats Are Open To Single-Payer Health Care

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued Sunday that it’s time for the Democratic party to take a “bold” approach on economic issues, adding a single-payer health care system is “on the table.”

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Schumer previewed the economic agenda his party plans to roll out this week. He acknowledged that Democrats failed to win over voters in the 2016 election with a clear economic message, and said his coalition plans to change that.

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?