Latvia – Government, Law and Business Travel Websites – in Latvian, English, Russian, German and/or French languages – 2006 update from 2004

This is an August 30, 2006 update and revision of our February 14, 2004 posting Latvia – Government and Law Websites – in Latvian, English, Russian, German and/or French languages. We have added some important sites related to lawyers and business travel in Latvia and have updated all previously listed links. We would in the future appreciate suggestions, corrections or necessary additions, especially from the applicable organizations in Latvia.
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Latvia – Government and Law Websites
in Latvian, English, Russian, German and French languages (as available)

Latvian Flag
Latvian Flag

Since the LawPundit speaks fluent Latvian, this post with a list of Latvian government, law and law-related websites is a natural for the LawPundit blog.

The Original List from Attorney Aldis Alliks (amended)

Attorney (Advokāts) Aldis Alliks (advocate@alliks.lv) in Latvia sent me a long list of Latvian government, legal and law-related websites similar to the list below. LawPundit has reorganized the list for English-language purposes and has added the official English translations (as available at the respective online pages) – as well as the appropriate links to those pages – and has expanded the language key to include: lv = Latvian language, en = English language, fr = French language, de = German language, ru = Russian language, thus also adding some French and German language pages which Alliks does not mention, since these are few. Thank you Aldis for your excellent list which we used as the basis for this list.

Money and Banking

Bank of Latvia – Latvijas Bankalv en

Financial and Capital Market CommissionFinanšu un kapitāla tirgus komisijalv

Institutions of Learning – Mācību iestādes

University of LatviaLatvijas Universitātelv en

University of Latvia Faculty of LawLatvijas Universitātes Juridiskā fakultātelv en

Human Rights Institute, University of Latvia, Faculty of Law
– Cilvēktiesību institūts
lv en ru

Student Self-Government – Faculty of Law – University of Latvia – Studentu pašpārvaldelv

Riga Graduate School of LawRīgas Juridiskā augstskolalv en

Latvian Police Academy – Latvijas Policijas akadēmijalv en

The Juridical College – Juridiskā koledža (for legal paraprofessionals)lv en ru

Legal Information and databases – Juridiska informācija, datu bāzes

Latvian Laws – LR likumi un MK noteikumilv en (for English see links directly below)

Latvian Official Gazette – Latvijas Vēstnesis (Periodical – Laikraksts) – lv

Law and Justice – Likums un Tiesības (Journal – Žurnāls) – lv en

NAIS – Latvian Legislation DatabaseNormatīvo Aktu Informatīvā Sistēma (NAIS)lv en

Translation and Terminology CentreTulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrslv en

LURSOFT (Database of Companies, Credit, Newspapers, Addresses, Court Claims, Licenses) – LURSOFT datu bāze – lv en

JURIDICA (Law Information resources) – juridiskās informācijas resursi – lv en

Latvian Legal Documents DatabaseJuridisko dokumentu datu bāzelv en ru

State Archives of LatviaLatvijas valsts arhīvu sistēmalv en ru

The Latvian Judiciary (Courts) – Tiesas

Latvijas tiesu portāls (Latvian Courts Portal) – lv

Constitutional Court of the Republic of LatviaLR Satversmes tiesalv en

Riga Regional CourtRīgas apgabaltiesalv en

General Information about Latvia

The Latvian InstituteLatvijas institūtslv en fr de (fact sheets, Lettland, Fakten) ru (fact sheets, Fakti o Latvii)

Latvian Investment and Development AgencyLatvijas Investīciju un Attīstības Aģentūralv en de fr ru

Public Policy IssuesSabiedriskās politikas portālslv en

CIA – The World Factbook – Latvia – ASV CIP – fakti par Latvijuen (select by country)

Government Institutions – Valsts institūcijas

The Latvian ParliamentSaiemaLatvijas Republikas Saeimalv en

The Latvian PresidentLatvijas Valsts prezidenta kancelejalv en de fr ru

Bank of Latvia – Latvijas Bankalv en

Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of LatviaLR Ministru Kabinetslv en fr ru

Ministry of AgricultureZemkopības ministrijalv en

Ministry of CultureKultūras ministrijalv en

Ministry of DefenceAizsardzības ministrijalv en

Ministry of EconomicsEkonomikas ministrijalv en fr

Ministry of Education and ScienceIzglītības un Zinātnes ministrijalv en

Ministry of EnvironmentVides ministrijalv en

Ministry of FinanceFinanšu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Foreign AffairsĀrlietu ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of Health – Veselības ministrijalv

Ministry of the Interior – Iekšlietu ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of Justice – Tieslietu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Regional Development and Local Governments – Reģionālās attīstības un pašvaldību lietu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Transport and Communications – Satiksmes ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of WelfareLabklājības ministrijalv en ru

LGS [Air Navigation Services, Air Space Utilization, Air Traffic Organization]Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (LGS)lv en ru
As written at that website:
The main revenue source for LGS are air navigation charges collected for the rendered service and there is no financing from the State budget. Moreover, LGS is one of the largest tax payers in Latvia…. LGS was founded on October 21, 1991 as an Air Navigation Services Enterprise with 100% state ownership on the basis of the disintegrated Aeroflot structure. On June 12, 1997 the enterprise changed its legal status and became a State Joint Stock Company keeping the same title. On October 11, 2004 in line with the Latvian legislation LGS was entered in the Commercial Register as State Joint Stock Company of Air Space Utilisation and Air Traffic Organisation Latvijas gaisa satiksme but since February 17, 2006 the name has been changed to State Joint Stock Company Latvijas gaisa satiksme.”

Insolvency Administration [Bankruptcy]Maksātnespējas administrācijalv en

Central Statistical BureauCentrālā statistikas pārvaldelv en

Civil Aviation AdministrationCivilās aviācijas administrācijalv en

Competition CouncilKonkurences padomelv en

Consumer Rights Protection CentrePatērētāja tiesību aizsardzības centrslv en

Corruption Prevention and Combating BureauKorupcijas novēršanas un apkarošanas birojslv en ru

State Culture Capital FoundationValsts Kultūrkapitāla fondslv en

Data State Inspection [Personal Data Protection]Datu valsts inspekcijalv en ru

State Environmental ServiceValsts vides dienestslv en
The former Environmental State Inspectorate was reorganized in January of 2005 and is now known as the State Environmental Service.

Food and Veterinary ServicePārtikas un veterinārais dienestslv en

Health Quality Control CommissionMedicīniskās aprūpes un darbspējas ekspertīzes kvalitātes kontroles komisijalv

Housing AgencyMājokļu aģentūralv

Land RegisterZemesgrāmatalv en ru

Latvian Certification CentreLatvijas Sertifikācijas centrs (LATSERT)lv en ru

Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology AgencyLatvijas vides, ģeoloģijas un meteoroloģijas aģentūra (LVĢMA)lv en
This agency was formed in 2005 as the result of a reorganization which joined the previously separate agencies for environment, geology and meteorology.

Latvian National Accreditation BureauLatvijas Nacionālais akreditācijas birojs (LATAK)lv en

Latvian National Human Rights OfficeValsts cilvēktiesību birojslv en

Latvian RailwayLatvijas Dzelzceļšlv en ru

Latvian Guarantee Agency Ltd.Latvijas Garantiju aģentūra (LGA)lv en ru

State Construction Inspection (SCI)Valsts būvinspekcijalv en

Latvian State Forests (LVM)Latvijas valsts mežilv en de ru

Latvian Standard Ltd.Latvijas standarts (LVS)lv en

Latvian Tourism Development AgencyTūrisma attīstības valsts aģentūralv
and see in this connection the
Official Latvia Tourism Portal lv en ru de li ee fr
The Law Pundit recommends the following additional sites for tourism:

Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory InspectionIzložu un azartspēļu uzraudzības komisijalv en

Marine Environment BoardJūras vides pārvaldelv en

State Medicines Pricing and Reimbursement Agency (SMPRA)Zāļu cenu aģentūralv en

Road Transport AdministrationAutotransporta direkcijalv en ru
The former Motor Transport Directorate has been renamed in official translation as the Road Transport Administration.

National Board of FisheriesValsts zivsaimniecības pārvaldelv en

National Energy InspectionValsts energoinspekcijalv en

Naturaliziation BoardNaturalizācijas pārvaldelv en ru

Office of Citizenship and Migration AffairsPilsonības un migrācijas lietu pārvaldelv en ru (Управление по делам гражданства и миграции)

Patent Office of the Republic of LatviaLatvijas Republikas Patentu valdelv en

Public Utilities CommissionSabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisijalv en

Purchase Control BureauIepirkumu uzraudzības birojslv

Radiation Safety Centre Radiācijas drošības centrslv en

Register of EnterprisesUzņēmumu reģistrslv en ru

Riga International AirportRīgas starptautiskā lidostalv en

Latvian School of Public AdministrationValsts administrācijas skolalv en

Health Compulsory Insurance State Agency (HCISA)Veselības obligātās apdrošināšanas valsts aģentūra (VOAVA)lv en

State Agency of MedicinesValsts zāļu aģentūralv en

State Audit Office of LatviaValsts kontrolelv en

State Border GuardValsts robežsardzelv en

State Civil Service AdministrationValsts civildienesta pārvaldelv

State Education InspectorateIzglītības valsts inspekcijalv

State Employment AgencyNodarbinātības valsts aģentūralv en ru

State Firefighting and Rescue ServiceValsts ugunsdzēsības un glābšanas dienestslv en

State Forest ServiceValsts meža dienestslv en ru

State Information Network AgencyValsts informācijas tīkla aģentūralv en

State Labour InspectorateValsts Darba Inspekcijalv en

State Land ServiceValsts zemes dienestslv en

State Pharmaceutical InspectorateValsts farmācijas inspekcijalv

State Plant Protection ServiceValsts augu aizsardzības dienestslv en

State Police of LatviaValsts policijalv en

State Real Estate AgencyValsts nekustamā īpašuma aģentūra (VNI)lv en

State Revenue ServiceValsts ieņēmumu dienestslv en

Electronic Communications OfficeElektronisko sakaru direkcijalv en

Motor Insurers’ Bureau of LatviaLatvijas Transportlīdzekļu apdrošinātāju birojslv en

The Treasury of the Republic of LatviaValsts kaselv en

Professionals and Professional Organizations – Profesionālās organizācijas

Latvian Maritime Law AssociationLatvijas Jūras tiesību asociācijalv en

Latvian Sworn Notary CouncilLatvijas Notārslv en ru

English-Speaking Lawyers in Latvia (list of the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia)

Sworn Attorneys in Latvia (as of 1.1.2002) – Latvijas zvērināti advokāti
(a similar list is found at legal.lv)

Legal.lvLatvijas juridisko dokumentu datu bāzeLatvian legal and business document portal lv en ru

Other Organizations – Citas organizācijas

Business Software Alliancelv

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and IndustryTirdzniecības un rūpniecības kameralv en ru

Latvian Consumer GuidePatērētāja interešu aizstāvības klubslv en

Latvian Junior Chamber Internationallv en

Latvian Patients’ Rights OfficeLatvijas Pacientu tiesību birojslv en ru

News and Information – Ziņas un Uzziņas

1188 News and Information Service – Uzziņu dienests “118”lv en ru
The 1188 portal is a kind of Yellow Pages for Latvia and includes current information in Latvian, English and Russian about, for example, the following topics:

Map of Latvia (Interactive, Zoomable) – UzKartes (interaktīvās kartes un izziņas)lv en de ru

Business Information at ZL Hotline – Biznesa uzziņu portāls “ZL Hotline”lv en de ru
This website contains links to the following products and services in Latvia: Advertising – Architecture, design – Automotive spare parts and accessories – Banks – Beauty treatment – Building materials , manufacture – Building materials, sale – Campsites with lodging, guesthouses – Car rentals – Cleaning services – Clothing – Computers – Construction and repairs – Construction machinery; sale and rent – Doors and windows – Education: general – Education: higher, institutions – Freight transport: by road – Furniture. sale – Furniture, manufacture – Hairdressers – Heat engineering – Hotels – Household appliances and devices – Internet Service – Internetshop – Legal services – Management and business consultancy and services – Massages, intimate clubs etc. – Medical aid: dentists – Medical aid: out-patient – Metal, sale – Motor vehicles, repairs and maintenance – Motor vehicles, sale – Notaries – Nursery schools – Packaging, wrapping – Photographic works – Printing services – Real estate – Recreational and leisure activities – Restaurants, bars, cafes – Security: services – Self-governments – Sports clubs – Telecommunications – Tourism and travelling, hotel reservation – Training, various Translation and interpreting services – Woodworking

The Titius-Bode Law and the Demise of Pluto as a Planet: The Imperium of the IAU Strikes Again

There are all kinds of laws, including those of the Universe and of our Solar System. We see that the mainstream astronomers are at it again – violating one of those laws.

In a decision which in our opinion is difficult to support, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and its 26th General Assembly have just zapped the status of Pluto as a planet.

THE IAU

The International Astronomical Union (see IAU.org ) was founded in 1919 and regards itself to be the naming authority for astronomical bodies. This is disputed inter alia by commercial enterprises who sell names of stars. After all, who is entitled to name a star?

STARRY CONSTELLATIONS

In addition, in 1930 the IAU fixed the present boundaries of the stellar (starry) constellations by adopting a system devised by Joseph Delporte, which fixed those boundaries along lines of right ascension and declination for the epoch B1875.0 , a so-called Besselian epoch (365.242198781 days), which has since been superseded in mainstream astronomy by Julian epochs (based on Julian years of 365.25 days and calculated by the formula
J = 2000.0 + (Julian date − 2451545.0)/365.25

The fixing of starry constellations at its present number of 88 had the drawback that not all ancient constellations are included in this system, nor did the ancients necessarily use the exact same stars for a given constellation as used by more ancient astronomers.

See generally in this regard, Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover, N.Y. 1963 (corrected republication of G.E. Stechert, Star-Names and Their Meanings, 1899), at StarPath (the book online) or Amazon

Moreover, different cultures (e.g. China) saw the stars somewhat differently in terms of their representations, even if there are substantial overlaps among cultures in the way they saw star groupings of the brightest stars in the sky.

Finally, the present “fixed” constellations give the appearance that the stellar constellations were always viewed the same way we view them today, which is simply false. There are of course similarities, but not everything is identical.

PLANETS

The IAU has now simply redefined what a “planet” is
and in the process has eliminated Pluto’s planetary status.
See the CNN article, Pluto gets the boot

As reported there by Associated Press:

For now, membership will be restricted to the eight “classical” planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Much-maligned Pluto doesn’t make the grade under the new rules for a planet: “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a … nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.“

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of “dwarf planets,” similar to what long have been termed “minor planets.” The definition also lays out a third class of lesser objects that orbit the sun — “small solar system bodies,” a term that will apply to numerous asteroids, comets and other natural satellites.“

The idea that sheer “size” (i.e. mass) and gravitational effect rather than “orbit” should be the determining factor for defining a planet shows in our opinion a serious lack of insight into the nature of the universe, which seems to us to be defined more by principles of “distribution” of matter, rather than by the “mass” of the matter per se. Indeed, the ancient Greeks (as in our opinion also ancient man) saw the stellar constellations as consisting not only of stars of the heavens but also of the spaces inbetween. Modern astronomers have often lost sight of the “spaces” inbetween, also as far as the planets are concerned.

Not only the Titius-Bode Law (more correctly called a “rule of the distribution of planetary mass by orbits”), but also an analysis of other known orbital systems such as the moons of Jupiter, shows that there is always an orderly “spacing” of “planetary” bodies around an orbited object. We also see this at the other end of the “size” spectrum, where electrons circulate the nucleus of the atom at regular intervals – not unlike the planets.

In fact, according to the orderly spacing of objects around the Sun in our own Solar System, it is not only the Asteroid Belt (including Ceres) – which appears to us to be a disintegrated planet at that location – but also the “brothers” Neptune and Pluto (whose orbits overlap) should be regarded as planetary orbits, because their astronomical spacing around the Sun follows an orderly orbital system. In fact, in the case of Pluto, it is Pluto and not Neptune which actually occupies the orbital position predicted by the Titius-Bode Law. Keeping Neptune but throwing Pluto out of the planetary system is just ludicrous.

As written at the Wikipedia :

One plausible explanation other than chance is that orbital resonance from major orbiting bodies creates regions around the Sun that are free of long-term stable orbits. Results from simulation of planetary formation seem to support the idea that laws like the Titius-Bode law are a natural consequence of planetary formation, according to the current theories in this area.

Dubrulle and Graner have shown that power-law distance rules are a natural consequence of collapsing-cloud models of planetary systems possessing two symmetries: rotational invariance (the cloud and its contents are axially symmetric) and scale invariance (the cloud and its contents look the same on all length scales), the latter being a feature of many phenomena considered to play a role in planetary formation, such as inverse-square force fields and turbulence.”

The elimination of Pluto as a “planet” by the IAU does not take orbitals of heavenly bodies into account, which in our view is a grievous error, since it is not size (mass) which should be exclusively determinative of planetary status, but rather the orbital location of the orbiting body, regardless of its size.

We think the IAU has made a serious mistake in failing to take the Titius-Bode Law into account.

How Long Will America Lead the World?

Here is an interesting take on world affairs.

How Long Will America Lead the World?
by Fareed Zakaria

The United States is still the dominant force in technology, innovation, productivity and profits. But Americans don’t quite realize how fast the rest of the world is catching up.

This article was written a few months ago, but its message still rings loud and true.

I wonder how much of this accelerating speed of “catching up” is due to modern digital technology.

Godwin’s Law – When Proper Logic Fails

The following explanation for Godwin’s Law appears in the Wikipedia:

Godwin’s Law … is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It is particulary concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered “evil”.

The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

Godwin observed that people had increasingly begun to compare anyone and anything they mildly disliked with Hitler and/or Fascism….

Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and Wikipedia discussion pages….[emphasis added]

There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently (though perhaps incorrectly) referred to as Godwin’s Law.

Essentially, Godwin’s Law is a variant of the ill logic of guilt by association or argumentation by ad hominem (personal insult), whereby an argument itself is not attacked through logic – rather, it is countered by attacking the person who expresses the argument, either directly by name-calling (ad hominem) or indirectly by claimed affiliation or comparison with some allegedly undesirable group (guilt by association).

Ancient China Astronomy and Evidence

In past centuries and decades, persons trained in the law have left too much of the study of ancient history to academics not trained in the analysis of evidence, and this has led to many historical errors in the mainstream humanities, which rely more on the alleged academic authority of their gurus rather than on what the evidence actually provides. Among these failings are a near total failure by mainstream historians of astronomy and archaeologists (including Egyptologists, Assyriologists and Biblical Scholars) to recognize that ancient man was versed in astronomy – as the evidence clearly indicates. This has led to a complete and total misunderstanding of the role played by rock drawings and megalithic sites as astronomically sighted (and sited) landmarks and borders.

The Xinhua News Agency has now reported on August 16, 2006 that a Neolithic stone carving of the stellar constellation of the “Big Dipper” (Ursa Major) has been discovered in China on Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

They write as follows, reported in the English pages of China.com:

Neolithic Stone Carving of Big Dipper Discovered 2006-08-17 11:16:01 Xinhua News Agency

13548226_2006081711161687805300.jpg
A neolithic stone carving of the Big Dipper star formation has been found on Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in northwest China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, according to experts.
The stone carving was discovered by Wu Jiacai, a 50-year-old researcher in literature and history with Wongniute Banner of Inner Mongolia. Wu found a large yam-shaped stone, 310 centimeters long, onto which 19 stars had been carved. The representation of the Big Dipper is on the north face of the stone. The stars are represented by indentations in the stone. The biggest indentation is 6 centimeters in diameter and 5 centimeters deep, said Wu. “The stone was carved by neolithic dwellers,” said Gai Shanlin, researcher with the Inner Mongolia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (IMICRA) and an expert in stone carving. The carving style proves this, said Gai. Astronomers’ conjectures about the shape of the Big Dipper some ten thousand years ago also match the carving.
13548226_2006081711161727372600.jpg
“Finding a stone carving in China‘s desert hinterland is a rare occurrence,” said Tala, director of IMICRA, who said it might help prove how ancient celestial bodies evolved.
Apart from the Big Dipper, Wu also found some “unexplained images” on the stone. He thinks they may depict ancient gods, such as the god of the sun and the god of horses. Further study would be needed to determine when the pictures were painted. Many neolithic jade articles from the Hongshan Culture — such as a dragon with a pig’s mouth and a cloud-shaped pendant — have already been unearthed around Baimiaozi Mountain. The Hongshan Culture was an aboriginal culture that existed in northern China about 6000 years ago. Tala believes the discovery will contribute to knowledge about the origin and spread of Hongshan Culture. (Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2006)”

This discovery fits in with the ancient hermetic system of land survey by astronomy discovered by Andis Kaulins, also in China – at the Great Wall of China.

Stars Stones and Scholars, deciphering the world’s megaliths, is available in hardcover at: Amazon.comUSA, Amazon.caCanada, Amazon.co.ukUK, Amazon.deGermany, Amazon.frFrance, Amazon.jpJapan, BARNESANDNOBLE, BOOKSAMILLION, SUPERBOOKDEALS, and PICKABOOK and in softcover at Stars Stones and Scholars. There it is shown that the Great Wall of China marks the Milky Way as the Dragon of Heaven (e.g. Yumen marks Gemini at the West end of the Great Wall whereas Shanhaikuan and this region of China mark the Head of the Azure Dragon (Tang Shay) in the East).

Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is located near the area where the eastern part of the Great Wall of China ends and many other ancient artefacts have been found in this region.

As we write in our book, this is ALL ancient astronomy, and we are glad to see that at least Chinese astronomers and archaeologists have recognized that cupmarks on rock drawings mark stars of the sky, as we have alleged all along for years. Perhaps the Chinese academics can get their Western colleagues to wake up.

The World of Oil: "A tank of gas, a world of trouble"

Via today’s refdesk Bonus Site, we are led to
The World of Oil: “A tank of gas, a world of trouble

Read this behind the scenes report by Chicago Tribune correspondent Paul Salopek for an extremely informative view of the world of oil, which is described at the Trib site as follows:

Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek traces gasoline sold at a Chicago-area station back to its origins. His safari reveals how America’s oil addiction binds it to some of the most violent corners of the planet – and to a petroleum economy nearing crisis.

The report includes a video oil safari around the globe.

Holy Kryptonite! – In America the Law is Dwarfed by Fiction

Reuters through Yahoo News reports of a poll by Zogby International, “commissioned by the makers of a new game show on pop culture called ‘Gold Rush,” where the law was veritably “dwarfed” by the competition.

75% of Americans could identify two of the dwarfs in the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, and Dopey), 74% could identify the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly), 60% could identify Bart Simpson, 60% knew about Superman and the planet Krypton, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter surpassed British Prime Minister Tony Blair 57% to 50% in terms of public recognition.

By comparison only 42% of Americans could identify the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial) and only 11% could name the Supreme Court Justice last confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Samuel Alito).

Saving grace, the intellectual elite that drives the country did put in an appearance as fully 20% of those polled could name at least one of Homer’s epic works (Iliad, Odyssey).

Hmmm. Perhaps it is time in the USA to speak openly about the necessity to achieve an EFFECTIVE GENERAL EDUCATION of American citizens.

We can not fault the public for not knowing the names of Supreme Court Justices, who are no competition for Hollywood, but when less than 50% of the citizenry know how their own government works, then you have a long term problem. This lack of knowledge is one of the reasons that the qualifications of people elected to Congress have dropped in recent decades and will continue to drop as an uninformed, uneducated public elects people who know not much more about their own government than they do.