Saturday, December 12, 2009
On COP 15’s official "Indigenous Peoples Day" indigenous peoples lead massive demonstration in Copenhagen
“Indigenous rights and knowledge are foundational for addressing climate change”
12.12.2009 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Indigenous Peoples from across North America and their allies from around the world who have gathered for COP 15 will lead an unprecedented demonstration for just climate policy in Copenhagen today. Saturday's protests coincide with the official COP 15 "Indigenous Peoples Day" events, and so the six-kilometer march from Christiansborg Slotsplads to the Bella Center will be led by a contingent of delegations of Indigenous Peoples, including the official Bolivian Delegation.
“Indigenous rights and knowledge are foundational for addressing climate change, but the United States and Canada are still not signatories to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP),” said Jihan Gearon of Fort Defiance Arizona/Navajo Nation, Native Energy Organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network. “Because of our efforts here this week, last night the United States discussed inclusion of DRIP language in the negotiations of the agreement. We are marching today to push for climate policy that upholds indigenous rights and we will continue to work for environmental justice in our home communities.”
“As Indigenous People, we are here at the COP to speak about threats to our cultural survival and the direct life-threatening impacts of climate change in our communities,” said Clayton Thomas Mueller, Indigenous Tar Sands Campaigner of the Indigenous Environmental Network, which has brought over 20 Indigenous delegates from Native communities in Canada and the U.S. and to participate in demonstrations to build the global movement for climate justice.
“Fossil fuel extraction and refinement are literally killing our people with cancer, and killing our planet with CO2” said Crystal Frank, a youth delegate with REDIOL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands) from Arctic Village, AK. “Many of the proposals on the table inside the COP will continue to allow oil and coal companies to exploit our lands and pollute the atmosphere."
Today's march, organized by the Danish group “Klimakollektive,” steps off at 1 pm local time from Parliament Square. The Indigenous delegation will lead what many are predicting to be the largest and loudest demonstration at COP 15.
Indigenous Environmental Network: Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions. www.ienearth.org
The Indigenous Environmental Network is in Copenhagen for the duration of COP 15. Copenhagen Media Line: +45-526-85596 ###
From The New Information Order
In the pre-Internet age, our society had an order of information in which knowledge was managed by experts and authorities, as well as representatives of the political, legal, scientific, medical and economic powers-that-be. Academics, scientists, spokespersons for the state and the owners, producers and editors of the major media decided what was real and what was unreal, what was true and what was false. The upside of this was that an awful lot of utter nonsense did not find mainstream distribution. The downside was that some material was misclassified as unreal or false – either by error, or because of interest group pressure, ideology or group-think.
The Internet threatens all this by speeding up circulation of unofficial data and simply bypassing the official information authorities. Crucially, it enables the creation and distribution of pure speculation or outright lies without significant legal hazard.
In the pre-Internet 'knowledge order', the label 'conspiracy theory' was one of the key management tools of the powers-that-be, enabling the denigration of a political or historical proposition without it having to be falsified. In the post-1964 sections of Dr Christopher Andrew's 1,000-page history of MI5, In Defence of the Realm (Allen Lane, 2009), Andrew, as the spokesman for MI5, repeatedly dismisses the claims of critics of the agency as “conspiracy theories”. Based on the notion of an authority being allowed to see the official records of a secret agency, to report back that all is well and that the agency's critics are simply misinformed or conspiracy theorists, Andrew's book looks like one of the last hurrahs of the old information order.
Elsewhere, though, the new order is lapping at the feet of the old. The first big breakthrough from the margins of the cybersphere to the major media in this country was when, on 27 September, the BBC's Andrew Marr asked Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “A lot of people in this country use prescription painkillers and pills to help them get through. Are you one of them?”
In the furore which followed, it was revealed that Marr had no evidence other than the “evidence” which lots of other people (including this writer) had: emails circulating which suggested that Brown was taking a particular antidepressant. It was the first time in this country that something so sensitive and potentially damaging had made its way from the Internet into mainstream TV politics – from unregulated to regulated screens, as it were.
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From Political Linguistics in America by Prof. John Kozy
Languages are called living because they constantly change. There's no way to stop that, of course; people use languages as they will. Linguists often speak approvingly of the change, citing the richness it adds to language and inventiveness of the human mind, but the change also has unintended consequences that are often overlooked. The change, after all, is what makes works written in old and even middle English unintelligible to modern speakers of English.
Some attempts have been made to control linguistic change; they have not had much success. L'Académie française, for example, has continuously fought a loosing battle against changes in French, and even the U.S. governments attempts to advocate Simplified English show few positive results. Yet attempts to control linguistic change arise because of an irrefutable fact, namely, that linguistic change often makes speech and writing ambiguous which obscures meaning and leads to muddled thinking.
Take the word 'democracy,' for instance. It has come to mean something like a government whose agents are 'elected by the people.' But that's a slippery definition. Democracy originally meant rule by the people, but the people do not rule in governments whose agents are merely elected.
If there are legal or financial restrictions on who can seek office, what is called democracy can be any one of a number of different kinds of government. If only clerics of a specific religious sect can seek office, the government that results is really an ecclesiocracy. If only the affluent can seek office, it would be a plutocracy. If only geniuses are allowed to seek office, it would be a geniocracy, and there are numerous other types. Merely calling a nation democratic is so ambiguous it has no real meaning.
When President Wilson went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to seek a Declaration of War against Germany in order that the world “be made safe for democracy,” exactly what was he pleading for? Almost a dozen major and numerous minor wars since have apparently not made the world safe for anything, no less, democracy. The world is more dangerous for nations and their peoples than ever.
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From 'Something may come through' dimensional 'doors' at LHC
A top boffin at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) says that the titanic machine may possibly create or discover previously unimagined scientific phenomena, or "unknown unknowns" - for instance "an extra dimension".
"Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it," said Sergio Bertolucci, who is Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, briefing reporters including the Reg at CERN HQ earlier this week.
The LHC, built inside a 27-km circular subterranean tunnel deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border outside Geneva, functions like a sort of orbital motorway for extremely high-speed hadrons - typically either protons or lead ions.
The differences are, firstly, that the streams of particles are moving at velocities within a whisker of light speed - such that each stream has as much energy in it as a normal car going at 1000mph. Secondly, the beams are arranged in such fashion that the two streams swerve through one another occasionally, which naturally results in huge numbers of incredibly violent head-on collisions.
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A galaxy located billions of light-years away is commanding the attention of NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and astronomers around the globe. Thanks to a series of flares that began September 15, the galaxy is now the brightest source in the gamma-ray sky -- more than ten times brighter than it was in the summer.
Astronomers identify the object as 3C 454.3, an active galaxy located 7.2 billion light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. But even among active galaxies, it's exceptional.
"We're looking right down the barrel of a particle jet powered by the galaxy's supermassive black hole," said Gino Tosti at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Perugia, Italy. "Some change within that jet -- we don't know what -- is likely responsible for these flares."
Blazars, like many active galaxies, emit oppositely directed jets of particles traveling near the speed of light when matter falls toward their central supermassive black holes. What makes a blazar so bright in gamma rays is its orientation: One of the jets happens to be aimed straight at us.
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The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.
Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose "the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military's detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict," Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo's advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.
The office has not made its conclusions public. However, The Chronicle and other media reported in May that the office will recommend that Yoo be referred to the bar association for possible discipline, but that he not be prosecuted.
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Six doctors who believe government scientist David Kelly was murdered have launched a ground-breaking legal action to demand the inquest into his death is reopened.
They are to publish a hard-hitting report which they claim proves the weapons expert did not commit suicide as the Hutton Report decided.
They have also engaged lawyers to write to Attorney General Baroness Scotland and the coroner Nicholas Gardiner calling for a full re-examination of the circumstances of his death.
The doctors are asking for permission to go to the High Court to reopen the inquest on the grounds that it was improperly suspended. If Baroness Scotland rejects that demand, or the court turns them down, their lawyers say they will have grounds to seek judicial review of the decision.
Dr Kelly was found dead at a beauty spot near his Oxfordshire home in 2003, days after he was exposed as the source of a story that Tony Blair's government 'sexed-up' its dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq.
In one final phone conversation, he told a caller he wouldn't be surprised 'if my body was found in the woods'.
The inquest into Dr Kelly's death was suspended before it could begin by order of the then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer. He used the Coroners Act to designate the Hutton Inquiry as 'fulfilling the function of an inquest'.
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