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`Perceptions' ITEM
Copyright © 2009 Ray Dickenson
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'08 - '09 mail

LATER Gov't Secrecy F.o.I `Iraq War' F.o.I on `Greed' Pol Murder? F.o.I Course
Stop Greed Politico & Pedo Help Primates Buy Nothing Day Public Comment? Help Don Carter
Save Primates Save the Net F.o.I Courses Help Big Cats Help Ourselves? EARLIER


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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 16:19:37 +0000 Subject: Welcome for proposal to halve "30 year rule"

Dear Colleague,

The Campaign has welcomed proposals to halve the "30 year rule" and automatically release government records after 15 years.  The proposals are made by a committee chaired by Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, which had been asked to review the 30 year rule by the Prime Minister.

The full press release is available from -

Best wishes,
Katherine Gundersen

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens

Tel: 020 7831 7477

Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:46:35 +0000 Subject: Government should 'live with' Tribunal's decision on disclosure of Iraq cabinet minutes

Dear Colleague,

The Campaign has issued a press release saying the government should accept today's decision of the Information Tribunal and release the two sets of cabinet minutes from 2003 discussing the decision to go to war in Iraq.  The Tribunal's decision, made under the Freedom of Information Act, found that the balance of public interest favoured disclosure.

The press release is available here -

Best wishes,
Katherine Gundersen

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens

Tel: 020 7831 7477

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:26:38 +0000

Dear Friend,

This is to let you know that the Government has announced that it is shelving its proposals to exclude MPs' and peers' expenses from the scope of the FoI Act.  The decision was apparently prompted by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats declared intention to vote against the measure.  The Government says the Conservatives had previously agreed to support the measure.  The Conservatives have denied this.  Some measure on this issue may still be brought forward if there is agreement between the main parties.

The Campaign's parliamentary briefing for the debate is now available here, though the debate itself will not now take place.  For full background on the measure, our webpage has collected comment and press coverage on the proposal.

Best wishes,
Katherine Gundersen

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens

Tel: 020 7831 7477

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 07:57:07 GMT

Hi Ray
look at this site this is the And-albert foundation run by David Murden
take care... best wishes for Christmas...
Roger Prince Hull - East Yorkshire

address not supplied - `contact' mail-form

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 16:06:56 +0000

Dear Friend,

Using the Freedom of Information Act - courses for new & experienced FOI requesters

The Campaign is running two half-day training courses for FOI requesters on Tuesday 13 January 2009 in central London.  The morning course will provide an introduction for those who are new to the legislation, covering both the Freedom of Information Act and the parallel Environmental Information Regulations.  The afternoon course will examine some of the key decisions from the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal, and explain how they can help you obtain information.  Requesters can attend either or both courses.

Further details are available from
Petition on publicly-owned companies and FOI

I thought you may like to know about the following petition on the Number 10 website:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to support a change to the law to make companies owned two thirds or more by public authorities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000."

John Cross, the petition's creator explains:
The public has a right to know how public money is spent.  At present Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes companies that are 100% owned by the Crown or by a single public authority subject to the Act.  The current law is not sensible - a company owned by one local authority is subject to the Act but a company owned by two local authorities is not.

You can sign the petition here

The deadline for signatures is 23 January 2009.

Best wishes,
Katherine Gundersen

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens

Tel: 020 7831 7477

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 17:53:24 +0000 Subject: Gordon Brown responds to WDM's question on global greed

Dear Ray,

Thanks to your efforts in voting for our question to Gordon Brown on the global financial crisis, we got a personal reply from the Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown on YouTube

In our original question we asked the PM not to forget the world's poor in tackling the credit crunch, in particular at the recent G20 summit in Washington.

You can watch our original question here - and Gordon's response to it:

We'll let you decide how well the PM answered our question!  Nevertheless, thanks to everyone who took action and voted for our question to be answered - we've got his attention now.

Last chance to sponsor our global greed report

Help us hammer home the message to Gordon Brown that the financial crisis is an opportunity to create a fairer world.  Sponsor our report which reveals how UK high street banks are putting poor people out of business.

Prevoius WDM reports and briefings have persuaded governments to change their policies and influenced people around the world.

Sponsor our report (we'll credit you inside the cover and send you a copy)

All the best,
Murray Benham, Head of Campaigns WDM

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 17:46:03 GMT

Jack Straw knows about an American pedophile psychologist who influenced a government consultation paper in 2005 on family law and he has allowed it to happen.

address not supplied - `contact' mail-form

Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 12:55:24 GMT

Replace Primate Experiments with Validated Alternatives in Europe
To: All European Citizens who care about Primates

Europe is at a critical stage and decisions are being made which can protect our health and develop new medicines by embracing new technology or remain in the past with continued dependence on primate experiments.  A public hearing on primate research from the EU Science Committee on sixth November has been criticized for disregarding scientific evidence of its limitations and ignoring the potential of advanced alternative techniques.  The hearing was requested by the European Commission in light of their proposal at the start of November for the review of Directive 86/609 which controls animal experiments.  They are under pressure to introduce a timetable for the phasing out of primate experiments, an intention already backed with Written Declaration 40/2007 last year which had one of the highest ever total of signatures.  Despite this their proposal only includes a ban on the testing of Great Apes and wild caught monkeys while experiments on other primates, nearly all of the 10,500 yearly used in Europe, is still allowed.  Significantly the ban on Great Apes has a loophole preventing it from being final.  This has been described as a missed opportunity by many leading scientists and welfare organizations.

Most of the scientific procedures with primates, mainly macaques, are for drug development, neurological research and safety testing of vaccines.  For drug development, human microdosing methods such as accelerator mass spectrometry are proven replacements.  They have the added advantage of being useful at the earliest stages of research and studies have shown that they are highly successful in predicting the effects of drugs even at low dosages.  They have been approved by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency and are employed by many of the major pharmaceutical companies.  Other alternatives available that need more support include molecular methods for vaccine testing and magnetic resonance imaging for neurological research.  Still more are In Vitro, using samples of human skin in test tubes to give rapid results, microdialysis and human genetic studies.

There has been limited success from research into major human diseases using primates.  The results have not translated well to benefit humans.  For example, twenty five years of using primates for Aids research has failed to find treatments or cures.  In fact, it is alternative technology that has produced the crucial breakthroughs in understanding this disease.  Total replacement of primates is achievable with more research and development but the European Commission are resisting progress in favour of maintaining the status quo.  Replacing primates in laboratories with alternatives is not simply a humane goal but a scientifically sound one.

One new technology improving rapidly is human neuroimaging according to a recent article published in the Neuroimage Journal.  This article is a collaboration of some of the Britain's most respected professors who, realising that animal experiments were failing to deliver, discussed their replacement with the latest technology.  Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry are one of the pioneers of brain imaging and are using it to produce results in the study of pain symptoms that years of animal research has not discovered.

The value of animal research is exaggerated by those who have an interest in its preservation.  It uses artificial methodology not taking into account differences between human and non-human anatomy.  For these reasons it is an unreliable way to investigate human diseases.  The immense resources would be put to much more effective, efficient and humane use when redirected to alternative research more directly applicable to humans.

Our MEPs must realize that primate testing can be replaced with alternative technology, in the many cases when it has shown to be an improvement.  When more investment is needed to develop these alternatives this must be made available.  This issue must be addressed when the revision of Directive 86/609 is debated in parliament.  They must also strive to ensure the first reading is completed before April next year, when all attention will focus on the June 2009 European Elections.  If you agree this is urgent please contact your MEPs and tell them so.

Further information from

Thank you for your time.

T. Gallett from London, England

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 15:52:43 -0800

Fri Nov 28 Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day TREASURE HUNT Friday, 28 Nov 1:30 PM - 06:00 PM Union Square and environs SF, CA

Fri Nov 28 5:30PM Justin Herman Plaza: Market @ Embarcadero. Bring: Bike Helmet Costume. Light if you expect to be out past 8:30pm sunset.

Sat, Nov 29, 1-5PM Buy Nothing Day + Really Really Free Market = Lucky You Dolores Park (near 19th and Dolores St).SF, or

KFC Demo, Sun., Nov. 30, Noon, Geary Blvd.&6th Ave; Golden Buddha lunch 1:15
Two events for animal people, come to either one or both. (Rain cancels both).
Volunteers invited for anti-KFC leafleting Sun Nov 30, Noon to 1pm KFC, 4150 Geary Boulevard, at the corner of 6th Ave SF
Leaflets and posters are provided by PETA.  Help educate the public and increase compassion for chickens.
PETA won major concessions from KFC in Canada through leafleting at KFCs:
Click here: Take Action: PETA Wins KFC Campaign in Canada_
. Let's get results in the United States! Followed by:
Lunch at Golden Buddha (mostly-vegan restaurant) at 1:15 p.m. 832 Clement Avenue, between 9th and 10th Avenues, San Francisco.
Questions? Contact Bonnie Knight, Members, SFVS,

HULA HOOPING Sunday November 30th: DOLORES PARK: We're meeting up from 2 to 4 pm in our usual spot on the Dolores Street side of the park between 19th and 20th Street. See you there!

To subscribe to the Bay Area Hoopers list, send an email to:
bah-subscribe at

Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:21:17 -0800 Subject: [ctrl] EPA air Public comment needed Three days left

Public comment needed. Three days left.

From: Cathy Zoi, The We Campaign
Sent: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 3:08 pm
Subject: Public comment needed. Three days left.

Tell the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide pollution.

Take Action!

Friday is the last day to voice your opinion on whether the EPA - the Environmental Protection Agency - should regulate carbon dioxide pollution, the primary cause of the climate crisis.  This is a big deal.

The EPA is taking public comment, before making a ruling.

Of course, special interest - like the oil and coal lobbies - are working overtime to defeat a positive ruling and have already gotten thousands of comments submitted in opposition.

Most people don't know about this opportunity for public comment, so your voice can make a real difference.  And with a new president in the White House, it's likely that someone will actually be listening.  Submit your public comment to the EPA here:

In April 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide if it is harming our health and welfare.  After more than a year of delay, the EPA is finally now requesting public comments on whether carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants are endangering our health and our climate.

Join us, and send a message about how crucial it is to reduce harmful carbon dioxide pollution.  That you expect the EPA to use its powers to protect our health and welfare.  That we can "Repower America" by using energy sources that don't emit carbon dioxide, and make the switch to 100% clean electricity.  And that the solutions to the climate crisis are the same ones needed to address our economic and security challenges.

This is our chance to go on the public record - all the comments will be posted on the EPA's website.  To post your public comment, just go here.

For nearly eight years, the Bush administration has done nothing to address the growing threats we face from global warming.  Hurricanes are getting stronger, the North polar icecap is melting, and we've suffered through intense droughts, floods and killer heat waves.

The deadline is November 28th. Let's help end the era of delay.


Cathy Zoi

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 18:35:01 -0800

COOPRADIO.ORG: Canadian New Energy scientist Don Carter on research breakthroughs and Government persecution programs

When: Monday Nov. 24, 2008 @ Noon - 1 PM PT
Where: Vancouver Coop Radio CFRO 102.7 FM
Listen Live:

A conversation with Canadian New Energy inventor and scientist *Don Carter*, for 15 years President and Vice President of the Caribou Mining Association on his breakthrough New Energy research in metallurgy.  Don Carter also talks about the consequent malicious and unlawful prosecution by Revenue Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and other entities of the New World Order seeking to suppress New Energy research which will eventually displace petroleum and nuclear sources.

NOTE: An unlawful emergency hearing is being held in Prince George, B.C. on Dec. 16, 2008 by Revenue Canada to illegally prosecute Don Carter, on behalf of NWO corporations.

After listening to this program, listeners can register their complaints and letters of outrage against Revenue Canada's treatment of New Energy scientist Don Carter by writing or calling Revenue Canada at:

Northern BC and Yukon Tax Services
280 Victoria St
Prince George, BC 561-7800 (Prince George) (General)
V2L 4X3
1-800-463-6737 (Toll Free)


Surrey Taxation Centre
9755 King George Hwy.
Surrey, BC
V3T 5E1


Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 23:19:44 +0000 (GMT) Subject: European Commission proposes new animal testing legislation

European Citizens

The revised text of European Directive 86/609/EEC was last Wednesday published by the Commission as its formal proposed legislation and sent to the Council and Parliament ready for its first reading.

The use of primates in experiments is raising questions not just about the ethics.  There has been limited success in translating results to benefit humans from research into major human diseases. In vitro, genetic research and computer modelling, among other procedures, use modern technology and will some day provide superior alternatives.  The future for finding cures and advancing medicine lies with new technological advances to test and develop new drugs.  The most resistant diseases attack humans at the cellular level, so that is where they need to be studied.  This can be made to happen sooner with increased investment and more qualified use of resources.

It is in the interest of all Europeans to contact their MEPs and express their wishes regarding the final version of the new directive.

If you want to make a difference go to

For British Citizens, this September Gordon Brown made a speech to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester in which he said the UK must lead the world in fighting diseases and will make available extra public funds.  In British law,  Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, the 3R principles of Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in experiments are emphasised.  Unfortunately, only a fraction of the present financial support of 15bn for medical research is for innovative methods based on human biology such as in vitro and computer modelling.  An Early Day Motion, EDM 321, requests the UK government to accept the urgency of 3Rs research and provide more funding.  This is the best way the UK government can spend any increase in its budget for medical research.

For full information on EDM 321

Thank You

Tony from London, England

Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 22:18:27 -0700 Subject: Last ditch effort by Big Media to prevent the internet from growing

This Halloween, the powerful lobbyists at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) are trying to scare Washington with horror stories about "white spaces" -- vacant TV channels that can be used to bring high-speed Internet to rural and low-income Americans across the country.

The NAB's hired guns have bombarded policy makers with false claims in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to hoard these airwaves and to disrupt a critical FCC vote taking place in just six days.

The FCC's five commissioners must not buckle under the intense lobbying pressure:

Tell the FCC: Don't Give in to NAB Scare Tactics

Here are the facts:
If we open white spaces now, we can bring the social and economic benefits of a fast Internet connection to tens of millions of Americans now on the wrong side of the digital divide.  FCC engineers have tested white spaces devices and determined that the technology can deliver high-speed wireless Internet, without interfering with adjacent TV broadcasts.

The NAB and Big Media are doing everything in their power to close off access to white spaces because they fear competition from new innovators and losing control of the public airwaves.  The NAB is furiously spending millions of dollars on dirty tricks and political intimidation to scare the FCC away from white spaces.  They have high-priced lawyers and lobbyists, but we have you.

Take just one minute to sign this Halloween action card and forward it to your friends.  Free Press will deliver your cards to the FCC on Halloween and make sure they "treat" us by opening white spaces for everyone's benefit:

This Halloween: Stand Up to the Lobbyists' Scare Tactics
Take Action: Tell Washington To Use White Spaces for the Public Good.

With your support today, we'll expose Big Media's fear-mongering and make certain that white spaces are used to make fast, affordable Internet service a reality for everyone.


Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

1. Maybe NAB lobbyists have seen Poltergeist one too many times. But whatever the case, we need to set the record straight by the time FCC commissioners gather to decide the future of white spaces on November 4. Click here to help Free Press fight back.

2. Learn more about the fight to open white spaces at

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 11:07:09 +0000 Subject: Using the FOI Act - courses for new & experienced FOI requesters

Dear Friend,

The Campaign for Freedom of Information is running two half-day training courses for FOI requesters on 9 December 2008 in central London.

The morning course will provide an introduction to the legislation, covering both the Freedom of Information Act and the parallel Environmental Information Regulations.  The afternoon course will examine some of the key decisions under the two regimes and explain how they can help you obtain information.  Requesters can attend either or both courses.

Further information is available from foi_requesters_course.pdf  [small PDF doc]

I'd be grateful if you could forward details of the courses to any colleagues or other contacts you think may be interested.

Best wishes,

Katherine Gundersen
Research Officer

Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens

Email: admin at

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 02:01:38 +0000 (UTC)

Dear Ray,

The largest cats in the world are no match for the relentless pursuit of profit.  Please act to protect tigers now:

Wealthy businessmen in China are pushing their government to overturn China's 1993 ban on trade in tiger parts.  These businessmen run for-profit tiger parks in China, and want to be able to sell tiger body parts from captive tigers.

But with fewer than 4,000 wild tigers in the world, any increase in tiger part trade, even from captive tigers, could spell extinction for these majestic cats.

Urge China to protect wild tigers by maintaining its successful ban on the tiger trade:

Thank you!
Rebecca Young,
Care2 Campaign Team

Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 03:27:38 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Ray,

Right now, a brilliant proposal is brewing in the European Commission: give 1 billion euros left over from the 2008 budget - lots of it unspent agricultural subsidy money - to African farmers.

This is an exceptional opportunity to give the right money, to the right people, at the right time.  Moving the proposal forward, however, may prove difficult.  This is where we come in >>

European leaders are gathering in Brussels on 15 October.  They'll have a full schedule with the financial turmoil, but it's crucial that they also provide momentum to this agriculture proposal.  We can help by asking French President Sarkozy, who is currently presiding over the European Council, to take the lead in approving the 1 billion euros proposal.

The World Bank estimates that growth in agriculture is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.  This growth is most needed to help smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women, who are being hit hardest by soaring food and fuel prices.

Please add your voice and help these farmers get the help they need to beat the hunger crisis >>

Thank you,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

P.S. These difficult financial times hit the poor the hardest, so we need all the help we can get! Please encourage your friends and family to sign, too >>

Right LiAnna - if we don't stop our damaging (looting + dumping: check this Mathaba News item) treatment of Africa etc, it'll keep rebounding on us, with illegal immigration and hatred from the rest of the world - R.D


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