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Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 16:52:26 +0000 From: Campaign for Freedom of Information Subject: Offence of destroying records / MoJ FOI statistics

Dear Colleague,

Two new publications have been added to the Campaign for Freedom of Information's website:

1) Time limit for prosecution of offences under section 77 of the FOI Act.
As you may know, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recently commented on the University of East Anglia's handling of FOI requests for climate change data.  The ICO pointed out that although the deliberate destruction of requested records is an offence, no prosecution could be considered in the UEA case as there is a 6 month time limit for doing so.  Last year, the Campaign promoted an amendment to the FOI Act to extend this 6 month limit, but the government rejected it.  A note explaining the background is here - www.cfoi.org.uk/fois77offence290110.html

2) Freedom of Information statistics
The Campaign has responded to a request from the UK Statistics Authority for its views on the adequacy of the Ministry of Justice's freedom of information statistics.  The response explains the Campaign's concerns about the quality of statistics describing delays by central government in dealing with requests.  The response is available here - http://www.cfoi.org.uk/pdf/foistatsresponse.pdf

Best wishes,

Katherine Gundersen
Research Officer

*************************************
Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens
London
EC1N 7RJ

Website: http://www.cfoi.org.uk
Email: admin at cfoi.demon.co.uk




Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 23:47:38 -0800

Deadline: 12 February! Establish a Marine Reserve in the Chagos Islands >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFT_3/zkin/qMBD

Dear Ray,

At least 60 species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Endangered Species live in the Chagos Islands -- a UK Overseas territory and by far the richest marine ecosystem under British jurisdiction.

Help establish a no-take reserve that would provide the maximum protection possible. Please sign the petition to Foreign Secretary David Miliband and urge him to protect the pristine ecosystem of the Chagos Islands >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFT_3/zkin/qMBD

The Chagos islands are rich with at least 1,000 species of fish -- and endemic corals and reef fish found nowhere else in the world. They are a very special and rare place, a relatively unpolluted and undisturbed part of the world's oceans, still teeming with fish, invertebrates, mammals, seabirds and turtles.

But without your help, this pristine area may not be preserved for future generations. We only have until 12 February to deliver your signature to Secretary Miliband. Ray, please take a couple of minutes to speak out for the Chagos today!
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFT_3/zkin/qMBD

Thank you for taking action,

Natasha
Care2 Campaign Team

Read the petition: www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFT_3/zkin/qMBD
Forward to a friend: www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFT_2/zkin/qMBD




Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 03:32:00 -0000 Subject: Is the Recent Warming "Unprecedented?"

It has been claimed that the late 20th century warming is "unprecedented" in the last thousand years.   Here is a link to DOZENS of articles published in peer-reviewed journals that indicate the Medieval Warm Period was as warm or warmer than present.  Furthermore, it was worldwide.

www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

address provided




Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 23:38:13 -0800

Hi Ray,

Care2 members in the UK have an incredible opportunity: The Chagos Islands, one of the most pristine marine ecosystems left on earth is on the path toward becoming the largest protected marine reserve controlled by the UK. But the powers-that-be need to hear from you how important these islands in the Indian Ocean really are.

Tell the UK government that you support the creation of a marine reserve in the Chagos Islands. >>
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFTen/zkFL/qMBD

Marine life around the globe is threatened by pollution, over-exploitation and bycatch. Protecting the Chagos, and the more than 1,000 species of fish -- some of which are found nowhere else on earth -- would be a crucial step toward protecting other coral reefs around the world.

There isn't much time left: We only have until 12 February 2010 to let the UK government know how special and crucial this marine area is. Voice your support for providing the Chagos Islands with the maximum protection possible. >>
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFTen/zkFL/qMBD

Thanks for taking action!

Emily V.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Forward to a friend >>
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFTeM/zkFL/qMBD
Read the petition >>
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFTen/zkFL/qMBD




Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 23:23:25 -0800

Dear Ray,

It's not every day that a government puts on the table sweeping protections of a massive ocean region. This means the potential for the largest protected marine area and the preservation of one of the most spectacular coral reefs remaining on the planet.

So what are you waiting for? Voice your support for the protection of the Chagos Islands, the richest marine ecosystem under UK jurisdiction >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFtY6/zkEN/qMBD

The Chagos islands are rich with at least 1,000 species of fish - and endemic corals and reef fish found nowhere else in the world. At least 60 species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Endangered Species live in the Chagos Islands. Declaring the Chagos a no-take reserve would provide this invaluable area the maximum protection possible.

Corals may well be the first global ecosystem to collapse and disappear. The protection of these magnificent coral reefs will be an important step toward preserving and researching to revive corals throughout the ocean. www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFtY6/zkEN/qMBD

Many other marine species -- fish, invertebrates, mammals, seabirds and turtles -- are at risk of becoming endangered due to pollution, bycatch, exploitation by humans and rising carbon dioxide emissions. This is an incredible chance to preserve one of the more pristine areas for future generations.

Please sign the petition urging the British government to protect the Chagos Islands! >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFtY6/zkEN/qMBD

Thank you for taking action!

Natasha
Care2 Campaign Team




Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 10:58:36 GMT

The well of our time is deep and when the candle of science splutters out we have to rely on fragments of oral tradition to see the way.  Our journey is a fantastic one and there are many paths that remain unlit but...

You seem unimpressed by the rise of the City States.  Does the skill and fortitude of Peking Man on his treacherous journey need to be explained by a lost technology (sat nav perhaps)?  Dragons and serpents and fantastic calendar beasts;  are these dinosaurs or more important icons of psychological formula in predominantly rural past?

It never hurts to ask questions but 'standard' prehistory is already intriguing enough for me.

Rick

[address supplied]

Hello Rick,

Sorry about delay, been doing some thinking about your questions.

While I quite agree that 'standard' prehistory is interesting, there are significant questions and anomalies hinting at a more complex past.

Face it, even today - in the 21st century CE - there are isolated groups of humans living in local `Stone Ages' or only slightly further advanced.  Which makes me think, apparently along with others, that similar contrasts and dichotomies could have existed in the past.

For instance, Native American legends say (fairly accurately imho) that they found megafauna ("monsters") on arriving in North America (presumably via Beringia).  But, interestingly, along with those matter-of-fact accounts, they said that "civilized humans" were already living there, who they described as "magicians" (w/technology?) and farmers (owning "good animals" - i.e. normal ruminants and modernish livestock).

Some tribal groups claim they were gifted with some good animals by the magicians, while others, maybe later arrivals, talk of "flood", "volcanoes" and "cold" and the disappearance of both "monsters" and the "magicians".  Which seems to tally with a catastrophic event (indicated by evidence being uncovered even now) causing a temporary (sea?) flooding, maybe accompanied by some years of `nuclear winter' such as might result from either widespread volcanism or comet or meteorite strikes or a combination of both.

Turning to the Old World, many folk - even among professional archeologists and anthropologists - have commented on the strangeness of some high civilizations, like Ancient Egypt and others, suddenly appearing, almost fully-fledged; their language at its most complex and technology at its most advanced.  (I.e - like the Abydos questions being raised today).

All this, along with more extreme anomalies described in the `Forbidden Archeology' type of books and presentations, and coupled with many clues in text references from classical times onwards, have formed my present opinion:  that there's a lot unrealized about the distant past.  In fact I think that paradigms are shifting right now and that, as you can see has happened several times in the last few hundred years, the available vista is going to expand in a jump, perhaps by orders of magnitude.

So if you find any interesting details on almost any `pre-history' problem I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know about them.

Best regards - [RD]


(hope to put links in that answer soon - to internal / external references)





Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 07:06:37 -0800

Help Save Kenya's Lions from a Deadly Neurotoxin
Take Action >> http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFs0x/zJ0P/qMBD

Dear Ray,

It's horrifying.  Right now, a poison made by a U.S. company - a product that the Environmental Protection Agency says is too toxic to be used in America - is threatening the extinction of the majestic African lion.

If we don't do something soon, these great cats could vanish from one of their last remaining homes in the wild. Take action now - and help save the planet's few remaining wild African lions:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFs0x/zJ0P/qMBD

Just a handful of carbofuran - a deadly neurotoxin that is banned in the U.S. - can kill an entire pride of lions. Sadly, this awful poison is still sold in stores (and widely used) across Kenya and East Africa.

Just 50 years ago, it is estimated that nearly a half a million lions could be found in Africa.  Now lion experts say that as few as 16,000 remain a staggering decline of more than 95%. In Kenya, home to world-famous wild lions, the story is especially sad.

Please take action today:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFs0x/zJ0P/qMBD

The Kenya Wildlife Service estimates that fewer than 2,000 of these majestic great cats now remain in Kenya - down from an estimated 35,000 that made their home in the country just 50 years ago.  According to the agency, one hundred lions are killed each year -- many by carbofuran.

If Kenya's lions continue their precipitous decline, there will not be a single wild lion left in the country in 20 years.

To address this crisis, our friends at Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund have been asked by some of Africa's leading conservationists to intervene.  Defenders helped to ban carbofuran in the United States.  Now, they need your help to convince Kenya's prime minister to get tough on carbofuran use in his country.
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFs0x/zJ0P/qMBD

At least seventy-six lions have been confirmed killed by carbofuran, with many more deaths left unreported. And while it is a crime in Kenya to use this deadly poison to kill lions, very few have ever been arrested for poisoning a lion with carbofuran.

Please sign the petition and urge Kenya's Prime Minister to enact a ban on carbofuran - and take concrete action to protect these endangered great cats.
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFs0x/zJ0P/qMBD

Thank you for taking action!

Natasha
Care2 Campaign Team




Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:52:04 GMT

hello,

i wonder if there are any books available on a.r. wallace, his theories etc.  i would be pleased if you could inform me.

thanking you in advance.
[address supplied - answer sent]

Hi,
Thanks for the question, it made me re-examine current info on Wallace.

For a researcher there's a big problem with Wallace's life:  he was so talented and had such an enquiring mind that he had interests in many fields, more than the average scientist, then or now.  But most biographers naturally tend to have agendas - personal preferences in which fields they want to stress - so we have to look at a range of biographers to get an idea of the real Wallace.

Luckily Prof. Charles H. Smith, of Western Kentucky University also has an interest in the `real Wallace', and has assembled some information.

Here's "Smith on Wallace" web2.wku.edu/~smithch/wallace/smith.htm

and his list of "Writings on Wallace" web2.wku.edu/~smithch/wallace/second.htm

Here's Prof. Smith's entrance page to his Wallace collection web2.wku.edu/~smithch/index1.htm

BTW, the professor seems a nice person - here's his mail

Hope those page-links are some help - years ago I foolishly thought I "knew" a bit about Wallace but am still finding new aspects in a wide range of references / quotes and writings.

For instance, Andrew Lang, author of "Myth, Ritual and Religion" (an excellent couple of volumes on the `new anthropology' of Wallace's day), seemed to share Wallace's approach and quotes him, especially on investigations of para or psi phenomena - see Lang's book "Cock Lane and Common-Sense" www.gutenberg.org/files/12674/12674-h/12674-h.htm

Good luck, please let me know if you find more interesting stuff.

[RD]





Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 09:15:40 -0800

Hi Ray,

Salmon raised in open net fish farms pose dramatic problems for the environment and public health - but it doesn't have to be so, if the aquaculture industry were to adopt strong protections on salmon farms.

Demand stronger protections for salmon >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFr24/zJ.w/qMBD

The waste from millions of captive fish at fish farms empties directly into the ocean, polluting the water with untreated sewage, toxic chemicals and other wastes.

Additionally, captive farmed salmon make ideal hosts for highly contagious diseases and parasites; escapees compete with and threaten wild salmon in British Columbia and Europe's wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.

Two companies -- Marine Harvest and Cermaq -- are the world's largest salmon producers, with open net cage operations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Chile and Canada.  As a citizen, your voice matters most!  Tell Marine Harvest and Cermaq to clean up their act in the United Kingdom! >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFr24/zJ.w/qMBD

Thank you, LiAnna Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

P.S. Tell a friend to sign, too >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFr25/zJ.w/qMBD

Seems Canada / USA are suffering same problem in Pacific - RD




Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 05:34:46 +0100

Ray,
I have been folowing a skewed grid pattern I found in the stock markets in 1993 for almost 17 years - my observations are such that I can now confidently say the resulting angular structure which has a perfectly interlocking family of angles appears everywhere I have looked in the eye-observable natural world.

Would you or anyone else be interested in seeing a copy of the grid.

W. Lochore
New Zealand

No address, but he might see any request made here.  (Can anyone in NZ who knows him maybe ask him to send one?)




Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 06:03:49 -0700

Hi Ray,

The true measure of a society is how well it educates its children. Can we really say that we are providing all of our children an education that will allow them to reach their potential, regardless of their circumstances?

Take the pledge to provide the best possible education for the children in your life!
>> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFqYQ/zJu8/qMBD

The traditional, one-size-fits-all approach used by many educational systems fails to account for different learning styles and can quickly extinguish a love of learning.

Fortunately, families are discovering that online learning is the perfect tool to fulfill the promise of education since technology permits lessons and pacing to be tailored to each student.

Don't compromise a child's full potential and future -- pledge to give the best possible education!
>> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFqYQ/zJu8/qMBD

Thanks for taking action!

Andrew
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Forward to a friend >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFqYq/zJu8/qMBD
Read the petition >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFqYQ/zJu8/qMBD




Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 15:45:09 +0100

Dear Colleague,

Do you want to learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act?  Are you already using the Act, but want to know more about how the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal are interpreting its key provisions?

The Campaign for Freedom of Information is running two half-day courses for Freedom of Information requesters in central London on 20 October 2009.  The morning course will provide an introduction to the legislation covering both the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.  The afternoon course will examine some of the key decisions made under the two regimes and explain how they can help you obtain information. Requesters can attend either or both courses.

Further details are available from -
www.cfoi.org.uk/pdf/foicourseOct2009.pdf

Please circulate details of the course to any friends or colleagues you think would be interested.

Best wishes,

Katherine Gundersen
Research Officer

*************************************
Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens
London
EC1N 7RJ

Website: http://www.cfoi.org.uk
Email: admin at cfoi.demon.co.uk




Date: Fri , 14 Aug 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi
(Two Petitions - Worth Supporting)

Petition 1 - CARE2
The military regime in Burma is clearly trying to silence Suu Kyi and prevent her from any involvement in the country's upcoming elections.  We cannot stand by and allow her voice and the voices of those who demand freedom in Burma to be silenced.

Please ask China and Russia to join with the UN Security Council and the global community in condemning Burma's actions, calling for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma, and supporting a global arms embargo against Burma.>>
www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFO6F/zJML/qMBD
---
Petition 2 - AMNESTY INT.
Immediate and Unconditional Release of Aung San Suu Kyi
Take Action On This Issue >>
Amnesty Int. Petition

On May 14, 2009, Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, and two of her assistants were taken from her home to Insein Prison following an incident in which an American man allegedly swam across a lake to her house and stayed there for two days.  Suu Kyi was subsequently put on trial for breaching the terms of her house arrest, and was sentenced to an additional 18 months under house arrest on August 11, 2009.  These charges and punishment are politically motivated and fail to meet international and national legal standards. The only issue here is her immediate and unconditional release.

Call on Than Shwe, the head of the military junta, to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Myanmar. >>
Amnesty Int. Petition




Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 04:26:40 -0700

Date: Hi Ray,
Recently, Kenyan Wildlife Authorities seized $1 million worth of elephant tusks hidden in coffins that were bound for illegal ivory markets in Asia.

Demand a permanent ban on all ivory sales by signing the petition today! >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoWc/zJJN/qMBD

Ever since members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) allowed a limited legal ivory trade, there has been a growing demand in tusks. This has lead to skyrocketing rates of illegal poaching, and unless sales are permanently banned, elephants are likely to go extinct.

Despite heightened efforts from wildlife authorities to protect the animals, poachers are still slaughtering hundreds of elephants annually -- further threatening the already endangered populations.

Current laws allow permitted countries to participate in periodic sales of ivory. This needs to stop once and for all. Now is the time to permanently ban the trade of ivory and end the senseless slaughtering. >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoWc/zJJN/qMBD

Thanks for taking action!

Andrew
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Forward to a friend >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoWB/zJJN/qMBD
Read the petition >> www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoWc/zJJN/qMBD




Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:59:43 +0000 (UTC) Subject: Plans to extend FOI Act "disappointingly modest"

Dear Colleague,

The Government's plans to extend the Freedom of Information Act to just 4 bodies or classes of organisation is "a useful but disappointingly modest" result, the Campaign for Freedom of Information has said.  The four are the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Financial Services Ombudsman, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and Academy Schools.

The Campaign's press release is here -
http://www.cfoi.org.uk/foi160709pr.html

The Government's response to the consultation on extending the Act was announced in a Ministerial Statement on Freedom of Information yesterday (16 July 2009).  The Statement also confirmed that a revised FOI records management code of practice has been issued.  However, the expected publication of the Government's formal response to the review of the 30 year rule has now been deferred.

On 10 June 2009, the Prime Minister announced that the 30 year period before old official papers are made public would be reduced to 20 years, but Cabinet documents and information relating to the Royal Family would be made exempt from the FOI Act altogether for 20 years, an extremely retrograde step.  Yesterday's Statement said "The Government are considering carefully the practical details of implementing a new rule and aim to publish their full response in late summer".

Best wishes,

Katherine Gundersen
Research Officer

*************************************
Campaign for Freedom of Information
Suite 102
16 Baldwins Gardens
London
EC1N 7RJ

Website: http://www.cfoi.org.uk
Email: admin at cfoi.demon.co.uk




Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:29:13 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Good News for Africa's Lions - Help Push for a Final Pesticide Ban!

Hi Ray,

Dear Ray,

Good news! Recent reports from the agricultural committee in Kenya's parliament are saying that the manufacturer of carbofuran pesticide is being told to remove the remaining pesticide in Kenya -- and that an environmental committee is being set up to draft a final ban.

Support Kenya's parliament in banning carbofuran pesticide -- and help protect Africa's majestic, wild lions:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoG4/zJi0/qMBD

Over the past six years, 62 lions have been killed by poison. In 2004, 187 vultures died after feasting on a carcass that had been laced with furadan on the Athi- Kapiti plains adjoining the Nairobi National Park.

While the Kenyan government has previously stopped the sale of carbofuran pesticide in the country, some members of Kenya's parliament have voiced their opposition to a ban.

Please act today. Send your message to the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife -- urge Kenya to protect Africa's wildlife from this toxic pesticide:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoG4/zJi0/qMBD

Thank you for speaking out for wildlife!

Natasha
Care2 Campaign Team

P.S. - Carbofuran pesticide -- which is banned in the United States and the EU -- is poisoning Africa's wildlife. Watch the video and take action to help ban this poison in Kenya:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoG4/zJi0/qMBD

Forward to a friend : http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoG3/zJi0/qMBD Read the petition : http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFoG4/zJi0/qMBD

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